Extra Deep Countertops

olivertwistkitchenJuly 21, 2012

I know a lot on here rave about their extra deep countertops as a way to get more counterspace. I was initially on board with this until I read that for short people like me, extra wide counters would mean it would be harder to reach my upper cabinets. I tried it, and it's true.

Just meant with KD for the first time today and he recommended extra deep counters, and said if I make my upper cabinets deeper also, that I would be fine. He said the problem of having trouble accessing the really far back parts of the cabinet shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Then I went to the Appliance Store. We want a slide-in range. He told me that a slide-in range would look silly in 30inch deep counters because there would be 6 inches of nothing behind it. Is he right?

Other thoughts about extra deep counters? Thanks.

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Fori is not pleased

Slide in ranges are supposed to have counter behind them and look fine whether it's 3", 6", or 24". It's actually nice to have the space back there. The hood might be more challenging though. That's where the thinking needs to be!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:19PM
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coco4444

I don't know if it looks "silly" to you, but here is my slide-in range in a 29" deep counter:

We love having the extra space. We elected not to do deeper uppers, nor pull them out. I haven't had issues reaching my uppers, but I am a little vertically challenged and do keep a step stool in the kitchen. As for the hood, again we installed it normally. In hindsight it might have been better to mount it out (further over the cooktop), but we would have had to find a way to mask that distance. Functionally it works fine for us.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:48PM
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aliris19

Bingo -- all the answers and pictures to boot from Coco.

I'm not overly vertically challenged, but I packed storage to the rafters and so everything's relative; I still need to get up there and need a step stool to do it. I think key is making your peace with your step stool and maybe even planning for it. I actually didn't because I didn't want to keep opening a drawer and hauling it out and slotting it back in. Plus I'm a slob and aesthetically challenged, so having the thing just hang out, folded away, around a corner, works great for me. Plus we have very wide aisles everywhere so often I keep it open and everyone just walks right around it (perish the thought that anyone might want to help out by putting the thing away) -- so that's fine.

Many here have had nifty solutions. There are toe-kick step ups that may be best for the severely vertically challenged. I say that because I would think the extra step sticking into your work space would constitute a large "cost", necessitating an even larger "benefit"-need for offset (if you follow).

Others have built pullout drawers into spaces, sometimes as fillers between cabinets, to house the stool vertically. There are many varieties of really flat-folding stools out there that many like. I've seen a toe kick drawer that *stores* the stool (horizontally).

Anyway, this is sort of a life-style thing, whether and how you like to use a stool. My point is only to plan for it. And then you can have the extra space the deep counters afford. FWIW I have deep counters and absolutely love them. Our KD was very discouraging of them and I had to fight for them and am glad I did. Also, if you can afford it, I highly recommend outfitting those deep counters with deep drawers below too, with full extension slides. I neglected this in one cabinet stack and it irks me every day. I just hadn't noticed I could have fit that extra space under there and I am always shocked at how shallow 24" seems (everything's relative and my other drawers are almost all deep). grrrr....

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 5:01PM
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loves2cook4six

I have the deeper counters and deeper uppers and your kd is correct. Most of what we store in the uppers is accessible from the front of the cabinet so as long as you can reach the front you should be good.

The lowest shelves we reach all the way into the back for cups and glasses, higher shelves have storage boxes so we just pull out the box to get at everything.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 5:06PM
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olivertwistkitchen

Thanks for all the great replies and images. I actually like the space behind the range. If I put a niche/nook back there will I still be able to reach it?

Co-Co, I love your range.what is it?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 6:06PM
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coco4444

Electrolux induction/convection slide-in. Almost a year in and it still makes me happy :)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 6:27PM
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olivertwistkitchen

Oh, too bad. I am not ready to take the plunge on induction. Looking for a regular electric smooth top, and one that has a Powerboil feature like GE.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Bellsmom

If you go with extra deep counters, be SURE your cabinets and especially drawers are extra deep. I cannot believe that most of our cabinet makers said they put standard depth drawers in extra deep cabs. And they KNEW I was counting every square inch of storage.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 7:50PM
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a2gemini

I would have gone deeper but the budget prevented it!
The frameless bottoms and minimal framed uppers make it OK

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:36PM
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coco4444

Yeah, I didn't worry about extra deep cabs or drawers either. I pulled out my cabinets more for the fact that doing so made my fridge look built-in. I wasn't too worried about paying the premium for extra deep drawers, etc. Having said that, like a2gemini, my frameless cabs and full extension drawers were enough for me.

OP: the Electrolux model I got comes in a smooth top electric version.

Here is a link that might be useful: E'lux electric slide-in

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Fori is not pleased

I wanted the extra space from my extra deep drawers. Very useful. And the cab guy didn't really charge much extra, even with the upgraded drawer hardware. I did have my uppers 18" over 30" lowers so that I could reach the exact same amount of cabinetry I could in a standard layout. I'm 5'1". I would do it again. In fact, I might.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:26PM
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aliris19

Bellsmom: yup - kinda amazing, eh? That's why I said I had to fight the KD for the deep counters. And all over again for deep drawers. And kept having to point out where they were needed... and forgot one cabinet stack. It's like there's this "oh, it's good enough for me, should be good enough for you" feeling; it's like somehow that extra depth is just embarrassingly *exorbitant* to some. Go figure.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 1:06AM
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attofarad

Like Co-co, I'm making my countertop deeper to match a full-depth refrigerator. Just on that one side, my others will be standard. I'll be putting that same induction range into a 31" countertop, with 16" uppers. I'll also be putting 27" deep drawers to both sides (stacks of 3), which will give me storage of 7.8 drawers in the space of 6 drawers. The Blum hardware for the 27" costs about $30 more per drawer, mostly because any over 21" are only available in the heavy-duty rating.

Fori, do your 18" uppers look okay? I was considering that instead of 16" over my deep counter, but thought it might look like too deep of a cave under them. I can still change it for another couple of days, then I'm locked in.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 3:36AM
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lynn_r_ct

Aliris19 - And I thought I was the only slob or I mean, ahem, aesthetically challenged! Loved it.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 4:43AM
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aliris19

You should see the kids. oy. Funny thing is, I was once almost compulsively neat. But dh is an existential slob and at some point you just join em so you don't go crazy, to mix a few metaphors. I like to blame the offspring's condition on the better half, but quite truthfully, at this point I'm not sure that would be 100% fair. You should see this desk, for example. I was at a party tonight where a dad was railing about his kids for their messy desks whereupon no work could ever possibly get done, and I just shrunk lower and lower in my chair ... as I procrastinate at 2am, getting nothing done..... sigh. clutter is a scourge. I want a wife.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 5:05AM
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Fori is not pleased

Atto, that's one reason I went with white cabinets but I think stained would have been fine. I only did the deep cabs on one side of a galley and nobody ever noticed the difference.

Also, it was a small kitchen so I only had two uppers that deep, but they were big! I have since moved. So, my apologies, new owners. :)

Now, I did put little cup shelves beneath the cabinets which might have made them look less boxy. Or not--turned out people taller than me couldn't see them from most angles. I guess this photo is right after the final counter was installed and has my sample pile....

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:28PM
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olivertwistkitchen

KD said that while he'd make the uppers extra deep, he would keep the lower drawers regular depth. He said the cost of making lower drawers extra deep would likely be prohibitive. He also said that with the full extension opening I would be getting more usable space anyway. He also said that trying to open an extra deep drawer all the way would be too much: awkward and unwieldy.

His other point was that by reorganizing everything else in the kitchen which will increase my storage, I would be less dependent on those few extra inches of drawer space.

What do you think? Should I insist? How much extra $ do you think we are talking to make them extra deep?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 6:38PM
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aliris19

Ask your KD for a cost both ways. For me, it was not too much more; a little bit. But it was way worth it, whatever it was. I did not have one stack I could have made extra long and a year later, hardly a day goes by that I don't regret it. Conversely, hardly a day goes by when I don't marvel at the extra-deep drawers I do have. IME the upcharge was worth it. But it's true that your own pocketbook and the rest of your kitchen's design and such considerations will mean that YMMV.

As for the functional rationalizations: poppycock.

Only you can decide what "cost-prohibitive" means to you. But the other stuff sounds to me like 'I-don't-want-to-do-this-so-I'll-make-up-some-random-good-sounding-reason-to-cover-my-tracks'.

Quite frankly, I'd consider questioning whether this is even the right guy to be ordering from at all!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Fori is not pleased

Insist, or at least get a quote. Unless of course you have gads of space and don't need it. The extra storage is significant and the drawers are NOT hard to pull out.

I had two that were iforgetmaybe 45" wide and 12-13" tall. I filled those with canisters of stuff. Heavy stuff. Flour, sugar, grains, etc. (I went through a baking phase.) Full extension, but I did give up self-close. I could have pushed for them (would have made my cabinet guy switch brands) but I don't find them to be that big a deal either way.

When you have a hundred pounds in a really wide drawer, you almost need to use both handles, but not on normal sizes.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:16PM
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greendesigns_gw

Yup, time to jettison this cabinet guy. He want to do his kitchen for you rather than what you want.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:54PM
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lalithar

I am doing extra deep counters and uppers.. 30 in and 18 in. My cost was not higher. I am paying for some heavy duty drawer glides for some of the drawers which are 28.5in deep front to back. I was able to feel comfortable about getting rid of the pantry to make for a more aesthetic landing area in my galley kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:28AM
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bob_cville

I agree with alaris that it sounds like the guy simply doesn't want to do anything out-of-the-ordinary that might require him to think or work hard.

I have extra deep counters and cabinets along the cooktop wall and find the extra space really useful. The drawers are also extra deep, and with my cabinet company (Scherr's) since they truly fully custom, the upcharge for the deeper drawers was something minimal like 10%, (basically just a charge for the additional amount of wood.)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:45PM
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chicagoans

I really like how Co-co's range looks. With the counter behind it, it looks more built in and sleek. Very nice!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:48PM
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olivertwistkitchen

I know he was thinking of Wood-Mode or Brookhaven. Wood-Mode is custom anyway, I think. Anyone have particular experience with deep drawers with Wood-Mode?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:02PM
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olivertwistkitchen

Met with a NEW kitchen Designer. I also told them I wanted extra deep countertops, which seemed reasonable to them. They were surprised when I asked for extra deep base cabs/drawers, but looked in the book and estimated it would be about $8K extra. Does that sound right? (She said extra $300 per unit of cabinetry).

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:14AM
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blfenton

Lalitha brings up a good point. If you go with the extra deep drawers you will of course be able to put more stuff in them. More pots/pans, casserole dishes - all heavy stuff. Make sure your slides and the drawer base are heavy duty enough to hold the extra weight.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:43AM
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oldbat2be

We have 30" countertops on this run with 18" deep uppers. We pulled our cooktop cabinet and the two adjacent ones forward 3" and filled the space around it with a custom stainless steel countertop. Love having a huge space to put hot things on. Note our lowers on this run are simply 24", pulled forward, another option which worked for us since we have a fair amount of storage.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:20AM
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quiltgirl

Olivertwist, unless your kitchen is gigantic, I think $8000 more is awfully steep! However, if Woodmode is your option, then that would fit how they price. Have you checked out having your cabinets custom made by the Amish? They do a fantastic job and are much more reasonably priced. We found a Mennonite man about an hour away who does beautiful work for a very good price. We have a big kitchen, cabinets will be painted with inset doors, mostly drawers, panels for fridge, dishwasher etc. several custom drawer organizers etc. and the cost is well below $20,000. Also, cabinets will be deeper than 24 inch. Our laundry was done by an Amish man with inset quarter sawn oak cabinetry that would have been double the price with anyone else.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:21AM
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mrspete

Do you know WHY 24" cabinets are considered standard? It has nothing to do with functionality in the kitchen, nor the average person's height. Rather, it's because a standard sheet of plywood is 48"; thus, a cabinet maker can cut a piece of wood in half and make two cabinet runs. No waste, which does matter to the industry -- and I think we're all anti-waste. In contrast, if you order a 30" deep cabinet, you have to pay for the wood that isn't being built into your cabinet.

Yeah, in a perfect world, that leftover piece would be used for less-deep uppers rather than wasted -- and in reality, the small-time cabinet makers probably do that. But they're still going to make you pay for it.

I'm working on a layout for a small kitchen right now, and initially I'd thought that extra-deep cabinets would benefit me (extra storage, you know). However, as I've looked at just where that extra depth would fall, I've decided against it. Even the island, where I was SURE I wanted extra-depth, I see that it's cheaper and just as effective to use a standard cabinet "backed up to" another standard cabinet. And two cabinets back-to-back means no concerns about whether the extra-long drawer can handle extra weight. So no extra-deeps for me.

Which is just as well, because at a measley five foot tall, I do have enough trouble reaching my upper cabinets as it is. In my present kitchen, I have a kick-stool on wheels that I store under my desk, yet it's cumbersome to bring it out when I want something from the second shelf.

oldbat2be -- that is a DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS backsplash. Stands out in a great way, doesn't look like everyone else's backsplash, yet won't look dated in five years. I want something kind of like that, but with more blue than brown.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:21AM
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oldbat2be

MrsPete - thanks!! kj patterson, here's a link to one company with good images of her tiles, definitely some blue there, good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: kj patterson tiles

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:48AM
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cloud_swift

I've got short arms. 30" deep counters wouldn't work well for me - I know from my island that if something gets pushed more than 26-27" back, I have to reach really hard or go around the island to get it. If my edge counters were 30" deep, it would be difficult for me to clean a splash off the back splash or back of the counter and difficult to reach plugs and switches there. I wouldn't be able to reach glasses at the back of a wall cabinet 30" from the front of the counter even on the bottom shelf.

Even with 24" counters, our old garbage disposal switch was a little bit into the corner because of the window over the sink and I really had to stretch to reach it. I'm very happy having an airswitch now and not having to reach to the wall for this task. It's a stretch to reach things in the corner upper cabinet too.

Height isn't the whole story, I'm short and the deviation form average height seems to be almost entirely in my legs being short with a fairly average torso and my arms are also short compared to average.

Deep counters may work for most people but they wouldn't work for me.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:07AM
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olivertwistkitchen

Cloud swift - where is your air switch if not on the back wall?

I was thinking of just doing the extra deep counters and deeper uppers so I can still reach them, but leave the basees regular depth. I too am very short at 5'1". I am not so worried about reaching the backsplash - other than for the disposal switch or UCL switches. I like the idea of being able to work on the counter of there is still a cookie jar or something on it up against the backsplash.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:52AM
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loves2cook4six

You can put the switch for the disposal into the counter if you use an airswitch.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:17PM
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cloud_swift

Oliver, as I said, it isn't just a matter of height. You might be the same height as me but have longer arms in proportion to your height. My kids could reach things that I couldn't when they weren't quite as tall as me.

Air switches are typically mounted in the counter top. Ours are located in the counter near the faucet handle which is very convenient.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:21PM
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olivertwistkitchen

So you all agree 8k is kinda nuts to pay for this? Small galley.
No Amish or anything out here in Long Island.

Another question- extra deep means 27 inches or 30 inches? I am not sure what I thought but KD was thinking 27 inches. I layed some cutting boards on my counters- some sticking out 27 inches and some 30 inches. with the 27 I could still reach my uppers and the backsplash and window easily. But with the 30 inches it was an uncomfortable stretch. Would 27 inches be a good compromise? Or is it too little to even get any benefit??

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:57PM
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aliris19

Hey Oliver -- maybe you want to post a layout, in a separate thread even? If your cabinetry is made to order you don't have to stick to those 3" increments. But there are many tradeoffs and reasons for choosing one dimension over another ... do you have plans you could post please?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:41PM
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quiltgirl

Lancaster Pa has an Amish community and is about three hours away. May be worth investigating. I am also 5' 2" and am making my cabinets 27" deep. With the counter top the work space will be about 28.5". Right now I have a cabinet that is that deep and it works well for me.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:00PM
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jakuvall

Just checked a few catalogs- price(per cabinet) to increase the depth of a 36" wide ranges from about 175 at the low end to 380 at the high end . At least one of the some semi custom won't do deeper glides, another would add a charge that I don't have listed. On LI you could be paying as much as 15% more.

Sounded to me like the KD was looking out for you. I'd price it for you, and consider what your "stuff" is but in most cases tell you exactly the same thing. Fine for wall cabintes, may be worth it on drawer bases, of questionable value elsewhere, my experience anyway. Most often we are pulling the cabinets to get deeper counters. (price to increase uppers up to 15" deep- between $32 for hi end brand, semis and middle custom are more at 87-125 per cab 36" wide- again LI would be at least a little more)

I'd give you what you want, but part of my job is to advise.
Kinda cracks me up, if this were a "KD came back xyz over budget" thread there would be a backlash against that.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:38AM
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