counter height window pictures please

lodaladyFebruary 9, 2009

I'm curious about the counter height window. I searched this forum, but nothing appeared to address this topic. I'm ordering my new window this week, but before I do, I'd love to see what you have done.

Please share your pictures, please????

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Picture below is of window slightly above counter height in the garage apt. at our lake house.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:14PM
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Here's ours

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Here is my counter window in 2 photos, but not the best shot of the window itself, uhfortunately.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:30PM
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No pix (mine's like NCLakeHouse's, to allow windows to open and room for outlets below)), but the effect of counter height windows is to minimize the feeling of separation between inside and out. Nothing will do that as well if that"s what you want.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Having my window at counter height is one of my favorite features in my kitchen. I had concerns about it beforehand, but they were unfounded. It really opens the space and makes it more enjoyable working at the sink.

I hate to admit I still don't know how to add a picture to a post...but if you'd like to take a close look at mine you can find it in the photobucket pics in the Finished Kitchens Blog under amck's Kitchen. You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. I think I've posted several views.

I would encourage anyone building or remodeling to consider bringing the windows to counter height.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:52PM
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Here are a couple of shots of mine (nighttime/winter & daytime/summer)...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:04PM
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I love the space and light that our window provides.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:37PM
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here are mine... they are bumped out about 8"... inside and outside pic for you.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Here's a picture of ours:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 2:15AM
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Wow, mamadadapaige you are a lifesaver!! I had posted something in the windows forum trying to find a box bay to help solve my kitchen window dilemma and you have done it!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And I've always loved your kitchen too!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:43AM
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here's ours. it's one of my favorite things about our new kitchen....

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:41AM
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And here's mine:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 12:32PM
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Mine is slightly higher: window is 6 ft long and each of the windows cranks open..I can't wait for the spring breeze to blow in while I'm cooking.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:08PM
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Thanks for starting this thread! We're going to have lots of "countertop windows" and I've been searching out pics as well.

Can any of you talk about how difficult it was to frame the openings to have the window sitting right at the counter (either glass even with countertop - like christinamc; or just the frame but no trim right above the counter - like mamadadapaige)? It seems like there is so little room for error, but the effect is great!

Here's one of my inspiration pictures:

And another I took at a house in Australia:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I love seeing the views outside these windows. Beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Here are mine.

If you look close, we had a floor level problem and our slab installer had to cut out around the cranks on the bay window casements - what a craftsman!

Here's the other one in my pastry rolling area:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Here's mine. I love it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 2:44PM
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Dang! I love all these windows! I would NEVER have thought of a countertop window without this forum. THanks so much as I think the kitchen design of my kitchen will revolve around the size of the countertop window I will install. I'll cut corners elsewhere, but I must have a countertop window :-)

Thanks for taking the time to post pictures.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 2:50PM
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We went through this for our window. We had a bay window that was only 22" above the floor. We raised it so we could put our counter into the bay and up to the sill as well. The two side windows open, the middle window does not. It is difficult and you may or may not get it exact...err on the side of slightly higher than lower, though, b/c you can have a very short sill (~1/4" or so) and still have the same look.

Besides being sure your window is at the right height, be sure you can open the window (if it will open).

  • Get a casement window (crank open rather than lift up to open) b/c trying to open a window when leaning over a counter can be a "stretch" :-)

Be sure you have enough room b/w the counter and the crank so you can turn the crank w/o running into the counter

Usually, the window should be 36" off the finished floor. The height of the window itself is up to you want it almost to the ceiling or a different height? In our case, we were constrained by the fact that our bay was an actual bump-out of the house so we were limited to the height of the bump-out...14" lower than our 8' ceilings.

OK...this is what you have to do...

  1. First, are you replacing your current floor? If so, will it be before or after you put in the window?
  • If before, you need to know the thickness of the floor and the materials used to put in the floor.

    E.g., our tile floor went in after our window. So, we had to know how thick the tile was (3/8") + thickness of thinset + subfloor (if new subfloor will be put down).

    Then, we had to subtract the thickness of the vinyl that was still in place but was going to be taken out later (1/4")

  1. If the window will be going in after the new floor is installed or you are not replacing the floor, you can skip this step.

Next, find out the height of your cabinets themselves. Most are 34-1/2" high. But, if you have raised or lowered your counters you will have a different height. Now, determine the thickness of your countertop material.

  • If granite, is it 2cm or 3cm? Generally (in USA), the west coast has 2cm and the rest of the country has 3cm. (2.54 cm = 1 in)
  • If 2cm, you will need to know the thickness of your plywood subtop.

Add these numbers together and that's how high off the floor you will need to place your window. And, like I said before, it's better to err on the side of too high than too low.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 3:23PM
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americancolleen, you sound just like me! Months ago when I saw photos of some of these windows that go down to the counter, I decided I had to have one, and I wanted it to be the focal point of my kitchen.

My window trim isn't painted yet, but I wanted to show you my bump-out. It's only 6 inches deep, but it makes the area behind the sink seem huge. It was much less expensive to do than a greenhouse window. (Please ignore my leaning faucet ... not hooked up yet.)

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Oh man am I jealous Erika! In a good way though!
I love your bump out, windows, countertops and cabinets! Even the view is superb.

I have this handy retired guy who does things that we can't do and I am going to ask him about doing a bump out. I just came to the conclusion that I would NOT buy a beverage center or bump out the wall behind where the fridge will go - just suck it up and get a CD fridge and replace the old one down cellar with a cellar type basic fridge to handle overflow. Saves quite a bit and I think that $$ will help my convince my husband that a bump out window is a great idea. I don't have nearly the room you have --- maybe 48" or 50" but I bet a bump out would make that area look a lot larger.

Love your cabinets too! I'm going to go with a creamier color and a beaded inset. I'm debating on the slab drawers or ones that match the cabinet doors.... but I keep going back to kitchens like yours - I just love that simple, timeless look and I think that's exactly what I will go for.

I like the drainboard in your countertop too. I'm thinking more along the lines of soapstone and stainless for the sink and I'll definitely do a drainboard. I hate my kitchen strainer but I really would miss it. I hate putting every tea cup and spoon in the dishwasher because you dont have anywhere to dry it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your beautiful kitchen! I bet you love it every time you walk in there!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 6:46PM
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Has anyone used awning windows that tilt out from the top (so the rain doesn't rain in) in this application? We're in Seattle =)

Buehl - thanks so much for sharing that info - very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:20AM
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ERIKA!!!!! your countertops are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 7:31AM
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I do have a question about your window. I'm trying to figure out the labor involved. I would *guess* that you have a small 'roof' over the bump out? Was it a tough job for the guy(s) who did it?

I'm going over tomorrow to get a rough price on windows and then I'm going to try to figure out materials, etc so I have a rough idea of what to expect in terms of $$$. I think it's very much worth it (within reason) and something that I will regret not doing if I don't do it. However, the sell to my husband is something else entirely ;-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Thanks Colleen and Karen! =)

Colleen, sorry it took me a while to get these photos for you of the outside. We didn't need a little roof because we have an overhang there. The guys said it was very easy to frame. If you want me to ask them about how much you should expect to pay, give me the size of your window and I'll ask them.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 2:44PM
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I love these! My house isn't even 2 years old and I want to change my kitchen window (I did the cabinet layout and the builder picked the casement window over the sink, I've got plenty of room to the sides and wanted a bigger window, he said couldn't fit but now I see I don't need the sill 10" above the counter)! Maybe in 8-10 years I can talk DH into it if we're replacing counter at that time?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 4:00PM
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Hi Ericanh!
Thank you so much! I'm jealous of your overhang though :-) (and your kitchen too) - that had to have saved a lot of work because the contractor didn't have to construct a roof - just go straight up - and it looks great!

Thanks for taking the time to post that picture.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 3:25PM
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amazing progress! can't wait to see your finished kitchen post!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 4:35PM
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    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 5:06PM
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jraz_wa we're located near Chicago and are using an awning window in the middle with casements on either side all mulled into a single unit. Have not started construction yet but have ordered the windows. The casements are 31" and the awning is 48" so just over 9' wide and 4' high. We wanted the casements with a picture window in the middle but decided to use the awning instead to get the added benefit of it opening, and as you point out we can open even when it's raining! We are going to have it installed similar to gglks above.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 7:49PM
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    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 4:08PM
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    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 7:25PM
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Alku05, I love your faucet, it reminds me of a tulip! Also kind of jealous of all your lovely views. I like my house, but want to move it into the the woods somewhere! ha.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 12:35PM
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I'm so glad to have found this thread so I can show my contractor how I'd like my windows over the kitchen sink. The contractor tells me that electrical code requires an outlet within 2 feet of the sink, so he thinks I have to leave room for an outlet turned on its side underneath the window. Has anyone else had to meet this code requirement? If so, how did you meet it?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:09AM
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Yes, you have to have an outlet within 24" of the sink, and no more than 48" apart on any counters. I am running in to this on my build.

My walls are very thick, so I am making angled returns on the windows to reduce the tunnel effect, and the added width of the total opening puts my outlets too far apart. I am putting outlets in the angled window return, and hopefully they will OK this. I asked an inspector, and he thought it was fine, but there's no guarantee that I'll get the same inspector when I get my electrical inspection. My Plan B would be to put outlets under the front of the counters in the affected area (ugghh).

Your best bet would be to get an approval for whatever you plan to do from your local building department. There are a few options, such as pop-up outlets.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:53AM
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bump. Need more pictures! Love this thread. Can you also tell the width of the total opening? Peke

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Hi! So here are a few photos of my new countertop windows -- minus the countertop, which is coming next week. But I thought this might show the depth of the bump out box better, before the counters go in. It's about 40 inches from the window to the front of the cabinets This might mean a bellyflop on the counter every time I want to open the window, but I'm OK with that. SO WORTH IT for the way it opens up the kitchen!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:52PM
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justmakeit, it looks fabulous already! did you build the bump out box new, or was it there before? how did you handle the exterior, especially the roofing on the box? Many, many thanks for any guidance on this!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Hi, smiling! Yes, the bump out box is new. There was a small window on the right hand side, but the mason had to remove a ton of bricks from the rest of the back wall. (Hoping we can use them for the other window in the kitchen that we got rid of.) There was a very large hole for several weeks, until the windows arrived and got put in. We don't have a roof on the box yet (lots of tyvek out there), but it will have a small slanted roof of roofing shingles, to match our existing roof. Underneath the box, we're putting three corbels, but they're just for looks, not for holding anything up. When the weather gets warmer and the mason comes back to finish up, I'll try to post some more photos.

Hope this helps.

Oh, I forgot to say, building the bump out box was optional, and unrelated to whether the windows were counter-depth or not. In our kitchen, I felt as though the extra foot-plus-a-bit would be valuable real estate, both for more counter space, and for pulling the eye out through the window and giving the illusion that the kitchen was more spacious than it is.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:25PM
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justmakeit, you are so great to answer with such detail! Many thanks, again. I will watch to see your photos when that acreage of counter top goes in. As you might guess, I'm wanting to do a counter height bumped put window, too, and I'm so glad to see that you went for the extra depth. You're right that it pulls the eye outward, stretching the room so nicely. Thanks once again for your help.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:05PM
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My last house:

Current house:

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:36PM
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Your explanation and calculations are so helpful. What gorgeous windows everyone. I can't believe the views.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:56PM
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counter height, nice to have the extra room behind sink

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:36PM
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Has anyone recently done a counter height, bump out window (or bank of windows) in their kitchen? I'm loving this old post and all of the pictures. I have a bump out planned for our addition and am looking at different ways to detail.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 1:16PM
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