12" or 15" peninsula overhang?

Skyangel23April 16, 2014

I am finalizing kitchen design this week. Still a few changes before final, final version, but one thing I am trying to decide is whether to do a 12" or a 15" overhang on our angled peninsula. The builder had it as a breakfast bar with only an 8" overhang, but we made it flush with the counter top since the kitchen configuration doesn't work for an island and the end of peninsula to the right of the sink is the planned prep area (can watch kids at the same time, a plus!). I've already extended it to be 12", but I am unsure whether it should be more.

We will have seating there, so I want it to be comfortable, but I don't want it to look too large or look weird w/ all the angles. There is 50" for the walkway between the end of the peninsula and the stove wall (counting 1 1/2" countertop overhang on both sides), and there is 7 ft. between the peninsula side w/the overhang and the kitchen table, not including chair space for either peninsula or table. That 7 ft. is also a walk-through to the family room.

Any advice?

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peninsula in relation to kitchen nook and walk-through space

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:22PM
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accidental double post

This post was edited by Skyangel23 on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 22:58

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:43PM
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I believe there are design "standards" for the overhang for counter-height seating. If I'm not mistaken, it's 15 inches to allow for knees to fit under the overhang. If it were bar-height, 12 inches would be enough.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:05PM
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The best way for you know is to go to a showroom and test for yourself.

The overhang for my peninsula is 12 3/4", at counter height. I'm glad I didn't make it longer.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:50AM
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Are you going to have table and seating in the nook? You have to allow enough room to walk past.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:19AM
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Kathy Rivera

The standard is apparently 12" for bar height and 15" for counter. However, I have 12" on my counter-height and it is fine. It's what my KD says he always does with counter height and the granite people said the same. And I'm 5'8". If you and the family are all 6 footers and you intend to eat almost every meal there, maybe you should consider 15". But we have our dining table behind the counter so 3 extra inches for clearance was more important than 3" at the counter. And, for the record, I've yet to hit my knees on the cabs and I sit there a lot.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:57AM
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For my peninsula, where we have counter height seating, I have 12" on two sides and 15" on the other where my husband was supposed to sit. Except that he sits on one of the other sides. He is 6'4". Allowing that extra 3" was one of my WORST decisions. I lost three inches in a cabinet below the peninsula for no good reason. The 12" overhang is perfectly fine for my husband. His knees don't bump and he does not unduly push the stool out into the aisle.

Yes, there are "standards" but adhering to them is not always a good idea.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:03AM
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I've heard that the NKBA standards are 15" and if it were me, that's what I'd do.

On a side note, granite tops will have to have additional support, engineered stone tops will not.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:21AM
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Hi all,
Thank you for your personal experiences Calumin, Kathy, and nycbluedevil. It is good to know the 12" works for you. We are not super-tall, nor do we plan to eat most of our meals there.
Our table is behind the peninsula too, so I am concerned about maximum walk-through clearance.
I think it sounds like 12" will work best for our layout, and I'm so glad it is not a problem for those who posted. Thank you!!!!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:04AM
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We've had the 12" version for 25 years and until I read it here, had no idea it was "inadequate." We are 5'8" and 6'2" and have never bumped our knees. We eat the majority of our meals there. I don't understand how you'd need 15" unless you had a habit of sitting with your belly pressed right up to the edge? Anyway, try it out at an actual counter, but feel free to ignore the conventional wisdom on this one.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Mine is 18". I would never, ever, ever intentionally go with less. Sitting here right now, I cannot imagine 12". I'd be hitting my knees on the cabinet to try to get close enough to the counter to type in an ergo position. Mine is counter-height. I'm 5'8".

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 1:44PM
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Well, I'm sitting at my desk in front of my computer, and 12" would be fine for me. I'm 5'2", but it has more to do with how far you like to be "in" --- I like to sit back from the edge. If I sit in too close, I feel cramped. (That said, I can't cross my legs in 12").

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Is the nook going to have a banquette? It's really right for back to back seating and a traffic path. I'd skip seating there at all since the table is so close.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:58PM
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The nook will have a banquette, no room otherwise! :-) Our family sits at the table together for 80% of meals at least. The peninsula seating is primarily for kids to sit while we make dinner/clean up, so they can chat with us/ draw/ do home work/ eat a quick lunch on the weekends, ect. It will also be used when we have large groups of 25+ people over for bon fires and game nights, once a month or so.

So it is not for extended seating time periods and will not be used much by adults, which is why I feel pretty comfortable with the 12" overhang now that I've gotten several responses. I think we need the extra inches for the walk-through space more.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:58AM
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It's not just about knee space. Most chair seats are 18" deep. Our bar stools are 18" deep. Unless you will have less deep stools or don't care that they protrude, you need more overhang.

I would forget the whole thing, as I don't think you'll have enough room for your main seating area. Will you have chairs at the table, opposite the banquette seating? You need a minimum of two feet 'push back' for the chairs. Are you used to banquette seating? It's pretty confining for diners stuck in the middle.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:24PM
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What if you want stools with backs? Then you wouldn't need an 18" overhang to tuck them under, correct?

We have a similar situation, where the backs of the stools will face the back of the chairs at the dining table. With a 15" overhang, we have nearly 11 feet from the peninsula to the outside wall. With a 36" wide table (parallel to the peninsula), we'll have 7'10" to divide between the two aisles, knowing that we need more space on the peninsula side of the dining table. But there's no way we'll be able to get 5 feet between the peninsula and the table. I was about to abandon seating at the peninsula because I'd read that we needed 5 feet. My KD disagreed and encouraged us to similuate this seating arrangement. We learned that because the aisle is not a main thoroughfare in the house, we should be able to comfortable get away with about 4 feet between the peninsula and the dining table. Skyangel, I'd recommend going to a friend's house or kitchen showroom with a tape measure and seeing what is acceptable for you.

My dad's new kitchen has a 14" overhang at counter height, and that's plenty for me.

Like skyangel, we expect to rarely have people sitting at both the peninsula and dining table, making the narrow aisle even less of an issue.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:45PM
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We are just finishing up on our new build so we haven't used our island in our kitchen yet but I have the same island set up you are planning. We have a 15" overhang. I love it. I didn't want to go smaller because of the fact that I didn't want the people sitting opposite of the sink to feel crowded. I also wanted the 15" so we could choose stools without backs that can be stored completely under the overhang and out of the way.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:38PM
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I would never go less than 15". Friends of ours have 12" and at 5'10" I find it very uncomfortable to sit at. Our 15" is just barely deep enough for my daughter (5'11") and me - our knees do hit the back of the cabinets, but it's not too bad. When my husband (6'5") sits at the peninsula, he has to "straddle" the back of the cabinets - definitely not comfortable for very long (and he doesn't sit there that often for that reason). My son never sits at it as it's too shallow for him - but he's 6'6", not exactly "average". For us, 18" would have been much better....if only I had known when we did our kitchen... I would think 15" would be perfect for "average" height people.

There is a reason for design guidelines - they're not numbers pulled out of the air.

As to space b/w your table and peninsula - we have 48" and if someone is sitting at both places, it's tough to get by b/w them. I wish we had another 6", at least.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:36PM
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wow Buehl, you have a tall family! I am 5'5 so don't have that problem. :-) We do have a couple of tall friends, but not many. And they will have other seating options as well.

outdoorgirl, hmm I want to store stools all the way under as well. Good point.

Rchicago, our table will be parallel to the peninsula as well. We have about 11'8 from wall to end of peninsula (at 12" overhang). With the banquette allowing the table to be closer to the wall, I estimate about 6 ft from the table to the back of the peninsula. I think there will be enough room for walk through with chairs pushed in, and with people eating on both sides, which won't be often, still room to squeeze through. I will try to measure at some friends' houses. :-)

Chisue, there will only be two sitting at the banquet at the far side, so getting out shouldn't be too hard. With chairs there will be enough space, not a ton, but enough to pass through,3 ft ish, even with people at the peninsula and the table. Although, I did not even think about the actual chairs/stools until your comment. I will have to think about that.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:20PM
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We have around. 13" overhang and our barstools are cushy swivel with backs. I'm barely5' and DH is just under 5'10". We eat every single meal there and are quite comfortable. We do no have a dining table behind the stools

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Pick one seating or the other. According to the measured layout, you don't have room for both and people walking through. There's only a bit over 6' between the angle of the peninsula and the wall of the nook. That's 2' for seating, 3' for a table, 2' for seating, and you're alredy over the space's dimensions.

Give up the nook, or the bar. Or, bump out the nook a few feet and square it up. Or change the peninsula. What's there is too tight.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Holly, we will but a banquette bench seat against the first window wall running parallel to the peninsula, then the table. From the window wall to the peninsula is almost 12 ft., not 6 ft.

This post was edited by Skyangel23 on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 12:14

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:51AM
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I agree with Holly. It's too tight. You need an 'aisle' at least four feet wide -- and you have a lot going on with the access to the room to the left of this drawing and a slider within the nook area.

Draw this on graph paper with dining chairs and bar stools pushed back two feet, as they will be as people exit table and bar. If you want the bar stools completely out of the way, they need more overhang -- and someone to tuck them in after every use.

I'd prefer to have plenty of room for table and chairs. Kids can hang out there. I've found that small children are uncomfortable using our bar-height chairs anyway. I don't know how old your kids are or how long you'll be in this house, but try to picture much *bigger* kids using the spaces.

Will the banquette be warm enough? We had an east-facing kitchen with a table partially in front of sliders. It was chilly on the glass side at dinnertime in the winter. (Maybe you don't have very cold weather where you're building.)

I'd go with a narrow raised 'bar' just as shield between kitchen clutter and the dining area.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:30PM
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I don't know if it's enough to indicate a trend, but I've been called to trim bar tops into wall caps within the last 6 months. One solid surface, one granite.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:12PM
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