Counter height - too high?

blackchamoisDecember 4, 2012

My cabinets are partially installed and although the counters are not down yet, I am wondering if the base cabs are too high.

They have put sheets of wood down on top of the bases ... I'm assuming this will stay to support the countertop material.

I've measured from the floor to the top of the wood and it's at 36". When the counters are installed, won't that be too high?

What is standard?

I am 5'3" so maybe it's "just me".


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The top of my counters are 37". I'm 5'5". It is normal. :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Mine are at 36", top of counter. My guess is they will remove the wood toppers, as the granite should go down right onto the bases. Often the installers put plywood on the bases for convenience.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 8:26AM
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I believe 36" including countertop is standard. I lowered mine b/c I am short. My island is finished at 34 1/2" and my baking center is about 33 1/2".

The L is 36" though b/c of the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:04AM
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Thank you all. The guy is coming today to template so I will ask him. My concern is at 37" it will be uncomfortable. As it is, I think my uppers are too high as well :(

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:43AM
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My uppers felt high at first too. I believe we develop "muscle memory" from habitual movements. After a few days, all was well.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:54AM
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someone posted this a while ago...scroll down to the section on counter height

Here is a link that might be useful: ergonomics

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:00AM
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How thick is your floor going to be? If you are putting in 3/4 inch flooring that will take up some space.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:03PM
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I don't know where BlackChamois lives, but here in the Bay Area they use a 5/8-inch plywood base under the counter. So it's possible it's not coming off.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:36PM
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My Carrara perimeter measures 36.5" off the ground, and my walnut island measures 36" off the ground. It did take me a several days to get used to the new height as my old kitchen was 34" or so. Same with the uppers--my in old kitchen they were too low to scoot the KA mixer under all the way. Now that my uppers are of standard height, my mixer fits with sufficient clearance. I really like both new heights.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Your counters sound too high for you. Based on others from GW, I asked for lower "finished height" on my main prep/ cooking counter run and I am glad I did. In my earlier kitchen with 37" finished counter height, I had to be on tippy toes to peer into the pot and pull out the step stool to even reach the second shelf. My back was killing me. I even had kitchen platform heels. If your toe kick is tall enough, they may be able to lower it. Speak up now.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 1:00PM
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Wear heels.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 1:07PM
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camphappy - My floors are already in. The cabs were installed on top.

linelle - I am in So Cal. I will ask the GC when he comes today.

breezy - But are you short like me? :)

latlitha - Thanks. I will ask about that!

oceangirl - :) Heals - good for work, going out ... just don't want them to be a requirement in my kitchen/

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I always wear shoes from a "comfort line" in the kitchen that get me a couple more inches. Standard counter tops are okay I guess, but cooking on the gas range, whose burners are pretty tall, is very uncomfortable when shoeless. I'm 5'3". At least my head doesn't hit the 27" deep range hood, which happens to my 6'1" DH.

Do they make platform Crocs?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:01PM
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How thick is your stone?

If it's 2cm, the plywood subtop will stay to provide extra support for the stone.

If it's 3cm, you do not need the subtop.

In general (in the USA) - west coast has 2cm stone, the rest of the country has 3cm stone. Yes, there are exceptions.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:45PM
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I'm 5'5" and my bathroom vanity is 36 or 37". Its actually pretty perfect. So much so that I am raising the counters a bit in the kitchen to be a final 37" or so. I personally hate leaning over my chopping board. Hurts my back and its just not right!

We decided the height by me standing and going through motions of routine tasks (make-up, flat iron, teeth, etc .yes we are silly gooses!!!) Took a couple measurements and viola! Yes it's way taller than my mothers 1980's vanities but oh so much better.

Do not panic! it will be ok. Maybe even better than ok :)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:00PM
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drbeanie - I'll have to look into some comfortable platforms! I do have some platform Teva's :)

buehl - My stone will be Caesarstone Raven which is I think 3/4" thick. The counter guy said I do need the plywood. I asked if a slightly thinner piece of plywood could work and he said yes, but then he would have to reduce the overhang on the edge from 1.5" to 1.25" so that it would not interfere with the cabinet doors/drawers. My GC also came out today and said that there was nothing he could do with the cabinets (everything - the bases, cabs, and plywood were all the required height). In the end, I decided to keep as is. And I think it will be okay.

favaunt - Not silly gooses ... sounds like a great idea. Donaleen also posted something on ergonomics that was a good reference. Thanks for your encouraging words. I am feeling a bit better about things now.

Thank you all for your comments, advice, feedback!!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:36PM
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