Kitchen window height - distance from floor?

jenswrensNovember 12, 2010

For those of you that have kitchen windows set slightly above the countertop like this (not flush with the counter):

can you tell me how many inches above the floor the bottom of the glass is?

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The edge of our window opening is 50" off the floor (so the actual glass starts closer to 53"). However, we have 9' ceilings and the original moulding (which we're putting back) is 4.5" wide, so that was probably designed to allow the original sink (probably cast iron on legs with a bib) to fit below the moulding. It works nicely for the new kitchen too, though---I think three subway tiles will fit between counter and window apron.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 1:56PM
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anyone else?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 5:51PM
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Well, if the countertops in your picture are the standard 36" high, I would guess the windows start at about 40" to 42" above the floor. Do you want 4" to 6" between the counter and the window?

Nice inspiration picture :)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 6:05PM
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yes, lavender. what i don't want is for it to end up looking like this...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 4:17PM
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You mean the chickens? LOL

Seriously, I think the difference is you have one, continuous backsplash in the first picture (very nice ceramic tile, on an angle, from what I can tell). The second picture has a short backsplash that matches the countertop, with painted wall above it....resulting in a not so attractive line, halfway between the windows and the countertop.

I actually think the second kitchen would look much better, if the same backsplash were used all the way from the countertop to the underside of the upper cabinets.

How are you kitchen plans coming? I'm looking forward to seeing your latest plan. Your inspiration pictures are all so beautiful :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 4:40PM
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When asked separately, our architect and kitchen designer both suggested the rough opening for our new sink windows at 44" AFF ("at finished floor".) I thought that may be standard distance? (Remember still though that is just the rough opening, then you have still have extra inches for window frame & casing so the visible glass is not actually at 44" above the finished floor.)

And I think lavender lass is on to something- if what you don't like is the wall gap between backsplash and window, just run your backsplash up to the window casing no matter the height of the window. Or, as long as it basically coordinates with the rest of the room's moldings, I'd guess you could make your window sill chunkier if you want less wall showing, for example.

I'm linking to a post with several kitchens who treated that backsplash/window sill behind the sink different ways, using a single row of subway tile, matching a countertop to the window sill (I'm not wild about it personally, but just another idea) and my favorite is photo #3-the blogger's own kitchen-with a BEAUTIFUL kitchen sink window with slab marble for the countertop, backsplash, and windowsill. I just LOVE this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cote de Texas blog marble window sill

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 5:33PM
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LOL lavender lass! Not the chickens... rather the height.

And thanks for the photos littlesmokie - very nice!

I agree about the difference in materials in the second photo. However, the real issue is the height of the glass. I'm short (5'1") and I want to make sure that I can stand at the counter and actually see out of the window. :-) In that second picture, I'm not sure I could.

I need to give the contractor a specification (a number) to go in the contract to ensure that the windows are at a height I CAN see out of. I'm just not sure what to specify - how do I know where the rough-in is if I don't have the windows in front of me? The best I can think is tell them where I want the bottom of the glass and hope that they know how to do some basic math!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 9:03PM
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We're in the middle of our remodel and I had my window over my sink enlarged and another window made smaller (now with cabinets underneath) with the goal of them looking like the first photo. I have 8' ceilings and I ordered 44" high windows (4 feet wide each). The rough-in bottom of the windows right now is 38 1/4 from the floor. Countertops will be 36" tall so I should have just a little backsplash there. The windows have not been trimmed out yet. I have told my trim guy that I don't want the trim under the window - just the sill. I think the height is going to be PERFECT. I had a little trouble finding 44 inch windows that were a standard size (not a custom size) which made them more affordable.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:21PM
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Circus Peanut

In my old 1923 bungalow with 8' ceilings, the sill is exactly 39.5" from the floor. Countertops come out at 36 1/4", so that left exactly enough room for one row of 3x6 subways. Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Circus Peanut

PS! I'm reminded that we also have no stool (trim) under that window sill, just a 1" strip of simple trim wood to give it balance. If we had the same stool there as on all the other windows, it would touch the countertop and leave no room for tile. I'm glad; I rather like the tile running there behind the faucets.
So also keep the size of your window trim in mind!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Ever happy to assist another 5'1"-er, I just did a check:

My windows are very comfortable for me to look out of, barefoot, across a counter (not down so much, but out is just fine.) The bottom of the glass is currently 45 1/2" off the floor.

After my floor and under-floor heating system get installed (next week!) the level will be raised by about 2 1/2 inches, which will give a me marginally better view. The plan calls for 36" to the countertop, 4" of backsplash up to the underside of the sill, and then 3" (sill thickness plus the height of the bottom frame of the sash) up to the bottom of the glass.

I can guess that still I'd feel ok with the glass starting slightly higher, perhaps up to 48", but not any higher than that. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:54PM
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You also have to remember top alignment height with the windows for the rest of the home. They have to look like they "belong" with the rest of the house. Your rough opening will also depends on the window trim you plan to use. Circuspeanut shows you that omitting the trim under the window can work, but some people prefer a more uniform look and want all of their windows trimmed out the same way. So, you start with the window trim and figure out how big that is, and where you want that in relationship to the counter. Standard counter height is 36" from the floor, so figure out how much wall you want to show between the trim and the counter and how you want the molding handled, and you've got your height.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 12:50AM
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