S/O How do tall people cook

eleenaOctober 9, 2012

w/o bumping their head?

I did not want to hijack the other thread (How much space should there be between top of range and hood?) but this is something DH and I were discussing last night.

So, the countertop is 36"-37" high.

I have read that it is more ergonomic to have a 35" counter for the cooktop area and I agree.

Let's say, it is 36".

The recommended distance from the cooktop to the hood is 30" to 36", depending on the manufacturer. Even with 36", it is no more than 72" total = 6 ft.

The hood's capture area is to be wider than the cooktop by at least 2".

Most cooktops are 19"-21" deep (front to back), so the hood should be ~24" deep (front to back). The countertop is typically 25"-26" deep.

If someone is taller than 6 ft, wouldn't they hit the hood while cooking?

I know it sounds silly but I couldn't figure out how to do it with a 24" deep hood. If the hood is 18"-19", it may provide enough distance but then it wouldn't overlap the cooktop to provide the recommended capture area.

Please explain!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My counters were supposed to be 38", but I think they came closer to 37-1/2" and the hood was set 36" above that and is 27" deep. The capture on it is good. I am fine with the height (5'12") and find that if I lean in at all, I am decreasing the angle means you don't bump. My 6'3" son would like it a little taller.

My hood is a Best by Broan. They have hoods designed to be installed higher and give you a chart that tells you how much additional cfm to add for installing it higher or adding turns in the vent duct, etc.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am about 5 feet tall and my DH is about 6 feet tall. Our needs are a bit different.

For him, we pushed the hood back from the edge a little more than recommended and raised it two inches. He has no complaints. Our cooktop is in our island. The island counter is 37 inches tall.

We are going to make our sink counter 36 inches tall. And we are installing pullouts for my ideal work height, which for prep is 34.5 inches. Further, I have a small baking surface at 32 inches.

Recently someone (can't remember who) had a link to a site with directions for making counters ergonomically correct. I save it and here it is

Here is a link that might be useful: ergonomic kitchen design

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mine is at 32" above counter height and like lacastx above, the angle gets compressed if you lean in.

But I think you might be overestimating the amount you will actually lean? In practice I find I don't do a full bend from the waist or anything like that. I generally will just incline my head slightly at the neck, and it's really not much forward motion at all.

It's similar to what my body does when reaching into fridge, and I don't hit my head on the top of the fridge either. At least not yet ... but I probably just jinxed myself. :)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Yes, I've read it and this is what it says:

"Cooking surfaces are usually set at countertop height. But, many economists believe they should be set lower to make it easier to peer down into pots and pans. How this is done with standard ranges we don't know, since they are always set at about 36" to match the factory standard countertop. With a cooktop, set into the countertop, it's fairly easy to lower the cooking surface by lowering the countertop."

And there was another good source that recommended 34"-35" for the cooktop (can't find the link).

My solution to the "head bumping" problem was also to raise the hood higher and increase the CFM (= more money).

My guess is that people have hoods wider than the cooktop but not deeper, in which case, some vapors will escape from front. Not that it is a big deal, but many are so adamant about the "capture area", it makes me wonder...

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Do you have a hood now? If so, just improve on it. If not, go visit someone.

Also do keep in mind that the vast majority of kitchens do NOT have the oversized hood "required" by gardenwebbers. MOST kitchens have hoods the same width as the cooktop/range and sticking out the normal 18" or whatever. And the users of these kitchens are just as likely to be happy with their ventilation as someone with the mongo hood that overlaps everything by 3 inches.

The recommended 3" overlap is sort of like suggesting you get the heavy duty pickup when you can pick up sheetrock and groceries in a half-ton. When you're actually out there cooking, a hood like the normal people use will serve well enough. Upgrade the hood in capture area and/or power if you indulge in especially smelly or greasy cooking OR if you place it higher than manufacturer recommendations OR if it's a look you want. But remember that hanging out on a certain appliance forum can lead one to get super concerned about effectiveness and coverage. If what you currently have doesn't work well enough, use it as a guideline as to what upgrade is needed. But having to put the rare pot of cabbage and kidney stew on the back burner to get good stink control is probably better than excessive headbanging.

There are other things to overthink in a kitchen that are more fun. Just wait for the backsplash!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you getting a range? Most of them stick out beyond the 24" deep hood. With added depth of range box and oven handle, you could be standing back a good 6-10" from the edge of a 24" hood. We mounted ours at 32" above a 37" counter, and my 6'4" son has never bumped his head on it.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm 6' and my wife is 5'. We put the cooktop and adjacent counter at 32", mainly for her convenience but it's worked very well for me too: it turns out to be a natural height for stove work (and remember that the bottom of the pan will be a couple inches higher than the counter). I still find a 36" counter better for chopping.

As I noted on the other thread, while we opted to keep the hood above my head, There's lots of testimony in the appliances forum from people who put it lower than their head and adjusted easily.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 6'2" son and 6'4" husband have both hit their heads on our hood, and it's installed slightly higher than the suggested height. I can check all the measurements if you're interested.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my experience (tall DH, father, sisters), tall people learn to compensate and occasionally clock their heads. Having them pretend to cook in a friend's kitchen with a hood like the one you have in mind, or mocking it up somehow for an evening, might be a good idea.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This topic comes up regularly on that "certain appliance forum". ;) I'll link a recent-ish thread below which includes a link to another thread. My answer is included in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Head bangers

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My DH is 6'5". He hits his head on everything, but has never hit his head on our 18" deep, 30" up from cooktop range hood. That I know of. Well, I've never heard any swearing from the kitchen with the words 'range hood' included...

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 6:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thanks for the link.

If it comes up so regularly, then it should probably added to the "sticky" or the other "FAQ" thread?

The problem is that thread titles are not very descriptive or specific. I often cannot find my own threads if I don't bookmark them and forget the title.


If you don't mind, I'd like to know the size of yours.


I don't have a hood. Also, the recommendation for 32"-36" height comes from the NKBA or some other "reputable source, not the TKO GW'ers, as far as I remember. LOL.

I went to a showroom yesterday and they had one of those deep custom hoods. I am not 6' but it was quite uncomfortable. I had to watch out. I am sure I'll learn to compensate but I know DH would be very unhappy if he hits his head on that thing.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am 5'10" & DH is 6'. I have never had a hood deeper than 18" before, so I am nervous about this too. I plan to put the hood 6' above the floor (35-36" above the range). The downside is that it will make the underside of the hood more visible, especially for people sitting at the island.

I don't understand how a lower cooktop and counter would be more ergonomic for tall people. I always want surfaces to be taller for me. I was very comfortable working on a 38" high counter at our last house. I wouldn't want my pots and pans any lower -- that would only make them easier for my young children to reach, not me!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Took some measurements.

We have 36" high counters with a freestanding range that sits 1/2" higher than that. The hood is 22" deep, and the bottom of the hood is 33" from the top of the range. That's a bit high for me, but a bit low for my husband.

That said, I think DH and son hit their heads early on, after we first installed the hood (and had been cooking on the stove for a while without a hood). I don't think they've hit their heads recently, so they must have gotten used to it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm tall (ish). (5'9") and my hood drives me crazy! I usually hit my head when I'm cleaning the back or the backsplash, generally not when I'm cooking. I guess I don't lean forward as much while cooking, but I'm always conscious of it. I've been bitter about my hood fan from the beginning, and I think it knows it and deliberately tries to attack me. ;)

I designed my kitchen for the taller than average. My MiL and SiL can't reach the uppermost shelves in my fridge, nor do they have a hope of reaching my top cabinets without a stool. But DH and I can, so I'm happy.

I have taller than average counters in my master bathroom room too, wonderful.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm going with a tall vanity in our master bath too. The current counters are at 32" and it drives me nuts. I told the cabinet maker I vanted the vanity to be 36-38" tall. He convinced me I shouldn't go higher than 36".

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The top of my bathroom counter rises to 37.5". It totally rocks. We intend to be in this house for a while, so we built to our needs. But 36" is probably just fine too. Our powder room sink only rises to 32", it is awful. But it is primarily used by the kids and they'll be short for another few years, so I only went for the high vanity in the master.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have 36" high counters, a 24" deep hood (front-to-back) and the hood is installed 30" above the cooking surface (a flat-top electric cooktop).

I'm 5'10", DD is 5'11", DH is 6'5", and DS is 6'6". We have had no problems with people bumping their heads on the hood...except one time when my DH bumped the back of his head. He was peering up into the hood and when he backed out of the canopy of the hood, he didn't lower his head far enough and backed into the inside front of the hood.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 4:29AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Advice Please, granite overhang
We've been planning on 1.5” granite overhangs --...
Looking for a review of TCE Quartz
Looking to put in a Quartz countertop and was quoted...
Kitchen/House Reveal - DIY with Scherr's RTA. Better late then never
I have been meaning to post here for years but I really...
Help on Cabinet Approach / Selection
Hi, I've actively scoured the forum for useful tidbits...
Cabinet installation cost (not including cabinets themselves)
We are remodeling our kitchen (complete gut and changing...
Sponsored Products
Thirsty Espresso Cup White - Tse & Tse
$22.00 | HORNE
Christopher Knight Home Darby Square Fabric Storage Ottoman
Hampton Bay Pendant Lights 1-Light Brushed Steel Hanging Pendant with Blue
$41.30 | Home Depot
Berry Mouse Wall Plaque/Garden Statue - 552
$36.45 | Hayneedle
Gilda Chair Set of 2 by Domitalia
$498.24 | Lumens
RGB-pixelpro-reel-12 RGB PixelPro LED Strip Light by the reel
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™