Cooktop Landing space

kailuamomMarch 20, 2013

Hi Gurus!

I am in process of desiging my rectangle kitchen, using Ikea cabinets. I have a 9' wall where I will have my fridge, cooktop and oven (in a lower).At the end of the 9' is a 4' wide backside of brick fireplace. We can cover a small portion of the fireplace so a cabinet could extend - but can't put the fridge or really any utilities there.

While I think it would be the most effecient use of space to get a range... I don't want to cook at the stove in front of my hot oven. I often cook at the stove while something is in the oven, so really don't want to do so in front of the oven.

The way I see the layout is fridge (which will be recessed into a closet on the other side - which is what is defining my 9 and restricting placement of the fridge'), then 36" cooktop in a 36" drawer base then oven in a 30" base cabinet.

My cooktop landing space will then be the counter over the oven which is to the right of the cooktop. The fridge will be to the left.

I always read about the landing space should be to the left -of the cooktop. Is that vital? I am right handed - if that matters.

I would post my Ikea plan but I am still fussing with the Ikea Kitchen planner, and can't figure out some things (like how to get the right size hood, and ovens in the plan).

(this picture is the wall in question, sorry its such a bad view.)

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That's intriguing: I always use the space on the right of the cooktop as my 'operating' area. (right handed). Why would it be better to have it on the left, I wonder? I want to grab my spoons, ingredients, etc with my right hand, so it's all on the right.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Kristen Hallock

My current cooktop is in and island. I have equal space on both sides of the cooktop, about 24" each side. I use the left as my "operating area" and I am right handed. My kitchen layout sucks right now though, so it may just be that. The are on the right is the fridge landing space and we always seem to have random items there. We come home and that is the landing pad so to speak...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:15PM
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In my current kitchen, I use the space to my left OR the island across from the stove. The island is better when there's a lot of prep.

On the ikea website, they are saying I need landing space on both sides? I don't have that now...but the kitchen is from 1961.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 7:19PM
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NKBA guidelines specify minimum landing space of 15" on each side of a cooktop/range and 27" minimum between a cooktop/range and refrigerator due to the dual use of the landing space.

A cooktop next to a range does not allow you to make full use of all 4 burners due to pan handles.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:00PM
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And local codes may be more stringent. We had to have 18 inches on either side of our cooktop.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Thanks -

Marcolo, what does this mean: 'A cooktop next to a range does not allow you to make full use of all 4 burners due to pan handles."

The cooktop would be next to an oven in a base cabinet with a countertop, so that should be fine clearance for handles. the other side with the fridge has less space. I would always have to point the handles to the right!

I will keep code in mind (as I try to figure this all out!)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Does a 36" cooktop fit in a 36" cab base? You might want to check if there are clearance requirements. I put my 30" cooktop in a 36" base, but that was also because then a 36" hood fits under the 36" upper cab. Will you have a 36" or a 42" hood?

But to answer your question, I don't see any reason why the cooktop landing space can't be on the right. Despite the guidelines, I only have landing/prep space on one side of my cooktop. It works for me. But will there be any fridge landing space between the cooktop and fridge?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 12:51PM
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For the past 20 years I've had kitchens with landing space on either side of the stove, sinks to the left and prep space in between, to the left. I'm right-handed and it feels natural to work to the left of my stovetop. I never use the counter to the right as landing space for the stove. It's landing space for fridge, MW, etc.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:48PM
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I hadn't heard of the left-landing for cooktops.
Generally, left-side landings are indicated for side-by-side fridges.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:05PM
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I have lived with both left and right work areas next to the cooktop. I much prefer working on the left of the cooktop. I am right handed, and I like to be able to reach over and stir, adjust heat, etc. without having to move my feet. I also like to pick up a cutting board in my left hand and scrape stuff off it into a pan with my right hand.

My (also right-handed) DW is comfortable working on the right of the cooktop.

In the end, I think this is one of those things where there is no "right" answer - it depends on the individual.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Landing space side is definitely a personal choice, but be sure to factor in burner configuration.

I'm right-handed, therefore it would be preferable/more comfortable for me to utilize the landing space to the right of the cooktop.

I'm relegated to the left, though, because my current range and previous cooktop had the "best" burners on the far left of the 6-burners. I'd rather use the landing space to the left than shuffle my feet across the width of the stove while cooking on the left and "landing" on the right.

So, if your only triple-ring burner, or your only simmer burner is on a certain side, and you anticipate using these burners a lot, you may wish to factor that into your decision re: landing space.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Wait, there are code requirements about how much counter space is on either side of the stove?

Do I need to call the city before I proceed any farther with my kitchen?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:01PM
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Raee...I've been ruminating on this same question all day! One of my lead plans has a bump out to accomodate other issues, and that's going to leave me with something less than 15" on each side of the range. I'm hoping it is a non-issue, that corners count and that the fact that there is counter on each side will make it a non-issue. In my instance, the larger problem is probably how close to the bumpout "wall" the range will be, I imagine... now that I am thinking (stewing) about this.

I have so little room on each side of my stove now, I never work there. Well, I do. I work at keeping it clutter free as those narrow counters end up being an irresistible place to plop crap. Now that I think of that, it's also giving me pause on my layout ideas.

Bleh, small spaces are hard.

kailuamom, I like your brick. I wouldn't extend into it, personally. Once the fridge gets recessed on the opposite end (lucky you) and remove the wall oven, I think you are going to feel like you have plenty of space. I guess the other option would be to put the wall oven where the fridge is, and frame in the cooking area like a nook?

It looks like you have vast amounts of counter on the sink side, though. At least in this picture, it seems like you have an ocean of space over there.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:45AM
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