Do you know how many square feet of countertop an average kitchen has? The answer? It’s 30 square feet. To help give you an accurate estimate of possible additional costs, the total area of 30 square feet is 5.48” x 5.48.” The interior design community, will, of course, have a wide-ranging set of opinions but after much research, I’ve arrived at some high-level baseline measurements, in square inches, to consider depending on the size of your home.
Did you know? According to Statista, 40% of homeowners in the United States favored countertops made from engineered quartz countertops. Granite comes second while butcher block or wood slab comes third in the national kitchen of American homeowners. The base cabinet height is about 25-36 inches with countertops and there is very little room for this to vary widely.
The average cost of kitchen countertops has varied over the years due to labor, construction techniques, and materials but you can expect to pay anywhere between $1500 to $4500 for material and labor costs. Materials can be about $15-$80 per square feet while labor can change depending on conditions in your region, the overall economy, but we’ve seen this range from $25 to as high as $150 per square foot. The largest portion of the total cost will be driven by labor and your home size.
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This size of a countertop is not too large but is only a typical size. Since this is only an average, you have to remember that this particular square footage is not something that will work for all types of kitchens or in tiny homes.
If you have a galley kitchen, the galley layout and counter space on opposing ends should have a minimum of 3 feet between them but this is considered a bare minimum for a single resident (apartment, tiny kitchen, etc). If you have more people in the home and especially a disabled resident, you want to strive for optimal cooking space of between 4 to 5 feet, which can be considered the industry standard. This should be enough space for the average home, proving access to storage space, wall cabinets, or any stock cabinets. The bottom of the upper cabinets in most kitchens should be 54 inches from the ground.
Read on below to know more about the standard sizes for kitchen countertops from countertop width, standard countertop depth, and standard countertop height (in other words, standard countertop dimensions – multiply length times width). This will help you understand what works best for large kitchens and even a small kitchen.
Table of Contents
- Average Depth of Kitchen Countertops
- Average Height of Kitchen Countertops
- Average Countertop Height for Breakfast Bars
- Average Countertop Height for Kitchen Islands
- Measurement of Overhang of Kitchen Countertops
- Measurement of Kitchen Counter Overlay
- Average Height of Kitchen Counter Outlet
- Average Spacing of Kitchen Counter Outlet
- Circulation Space for Kitchen Counters
- Recommended Kitchen Work Triangle Sizing
- Stoveside Countertop Space
- Upper Shelving or Cabinet Clearance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Average Depth of Kitchen Countertops
The depth of your kitchen quartz countertops relates to the size of the kitchen or the distance that the kitchen countermeasures from the back to the front. For most kitchens, the depth of the countertop measures the distance where the countertop sticks out from the wall. However, it may also pertain to the measurement of the space of a freestanding countertop section.
A typical kitchen countertop depth measures approximately 24 inches. As stated earlier, however, this measurement is only the standard and you can change it depending on your specific needs.
The specific measurements you need are dependent on different factors in your new kitchen, including the amount of required kitchen base cabinets space, the backsplash details, and the size of kitchen appliances you have.
You’ll want to consider a counter-depth refrigerator that matches your kitchen counter dimensions. Traditional refrigerators are likely to match the standard kitchen counter depth compared to the newer stainless steel refrigerators (typically with French doors which open out and a freezer at the bottom) which may have less depth, providing more kitchen space that can accommodate the average size of a kitchen island, for example.
Average Height of Kitchen Countertops
As far as the right height for your kitchen countertop is concerned, the average measurement is around 34 inches to 35 inches. But once again, it is not a hard and fast or exact measurement.
You might not find this height comfortable if you are shorter or taller than average. If this is the case, the measurement can be adjusted to ensure that your kitchen will fit you just right.
Every time you stand at the kitchen counter, you must have around 3 to 4 inches below your elbow height for your food preparation surfaces.
When there is a cooking surface on your counter, you might want to increase this gap to 5 to 6 inches. It will also protect your face from splashing oil, for example. When you require a surface for a low-level preparation, the counter can be dropped down to 8 inches under your bent elbow. It is a great way if ever you need a place where you have to roll dough or knead bread often. This can also be helpful based on the individual needs of wheelchair users, for example.
Average Countertop Height for Breakfast Bars
Most kitchen island countertops are higher compared to the standard sizes. A good example of this is if you have a kitchen island breakfast bar, which is a specific space, that you use for eat-in dining and additional seating. You will want this to be taller than the average counter.
Functional kitchen island breakfast bars have an average countertop height of 36 (or 3 linear feet as a typical linear foot is 12 inches long) to 42 inches.
Average Countertop Height for Kitchen Islands
You have several options when it comes to the height of kitchen island counters. For example, there are homeowners who prefer the height of their kitchen island countertop to match that of their standard countertop. A standard kitchen island countertop has a standard height of 34 to 36 inches. You should keep this in mind if your kitchen island will have bar stools, making sure they’re aligned with the standard kitchen counter height to ensure comfort and avoid back pain.
Measurement of Overhang of Kitchen Countertops
The overhang of kitchen countertops is basically the counter lip extending beyond the base where the cabinets are located. The measurement for this is approximately one inch and a half for an average kitchen.
But keep in mind that it is only considered as the standard measurements. The measurement can be adjusted according to your personal tastes and preferences. For instance, you might prefer an overhang that is a little bit bigger if you are planning to keep some tools under it.
It is typical for kitchen island counters to have a longer overhang. The overhang of these kitchen island counters can have a standard measurement of 12 inches. Also known as linear feet, it represents measurements that are 12 inches or one foot long ins a straight line.
Measurement of Kitchen Counter Overlay
The kitchen counter overlay is the large slab that is placed on top of the countertop. Overlays are beneficial for homeowners since these usually cost less compared to custom countertops. These are often available in several common countertop materials including engineered and natural stone, concrete, and granite countertops. That said, laminate countertops (popular in the 50s and 60s) remain popular for homes, apartments, and condos because they are affordable, non-porous, and easier to clean.
There are also different sizes available for overlaying whole slabs. The thickness of an average slab is around 2 to 18 inches, with a standard width of approximately 16 to 18 inches, and a depth of 26 to 26.5 inches.
Average Height of Kitchen Counter Outlet
There are numerous kitchen appliances that you need for the plugin. These include your blender, mixer, and other large appliances like coffee makers, toasters, and microwaves. This is the reason why you have to make sure that your outlets are accessible and easy to reach.
Standard outlets in kitchens are located at about 44 to 48 inches from the floor to the upper part of the outlet box. It is usually around 8 to 12 inches from the work surface of new countertops.
Since the outlets can be quite visible, it will be a good idea that you take extra care to ensure that all the outlets in your kitchen are placed at an equal height. Doing this will help you achieve a clean and symmetrical appearance.
Average Spacing of Kitchen Counter Outlet
It is also important for you to pay extra attention to the spacing of your kitchen outlets. As stated above, it is best to evenly position your outlets for a cleaner and more symmetrical look.
You might also want to ensure that your outlets are positioned at no more than 48 inches apart. The measurement should come from the length of the cord of most kitchen appliances.
When the space between the outlets is further apart than this, it might form a gap in the kitchen counter where you cannot reach easily to plug in any of your appliances.
Circulation Space for Kitchen Counters
If you have a U-shaped kitchen, an island, or a galley island, the circulation space between your countertops must be at a minimum of 48 inches. It will give you more room to let you open your cabinet doors, refrigerator, or oven. However, the space between your counters should never be more than 64 inches, or else, it will end up too big that can make things less efficient when preparing your meals.
Recommended Kitchen Work Triangle Sizing
The kitchen work triangle is the kitchen design concept that helps create more efficient use of the workspaces in your kitchen. The main idea here is that the line drawn to your range, sink, and refrigerator must form a triangle with even sides within which all the major activities in the kitchen take place.
This triangle layout lessens unnecessary movements in the kitchen to make it more efficient to use the countertop surface. For maximum efficiency, the total sum of the three sides must not be more than 276 inches.
Stoveside Countertop Space
You should try a minimum of 12 inches of countertop space on at least one part of the stovetop. The same thing applies to your refrigerator on the door’s open side if possible. It will give you room where you can put tools and ingredients while working.
Upper Shelving or Cabinet Clearance
The distance from your countertop to the lower part of your upper shelves or kitchen cabinets must be 15 to 30 inches. If you go lower than this, it might affect your workspace and you might have a hard time looking for a spot to place your blender or coffee maker, for example. But if you go higher, you might struggle to reach the uppermost shelves.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Average Square Footage of a Countertop?
The average measurement for kitchen countertops is 30 square feet. But there is a vast variation when it comes to different kitchen designs. Some kitchens may have countertops that can measure significantly larger or smaller than this. The average kitchen size will depend on your floorplan as well as the counterspace you need for your kitchen design.
What is the Standard Length and Depth for Kitchen Countertops?
The standard depth for countertops and cabinets is approximately 25 inches. This means that 30 square feet average will assume a total counter length of around 14 feet. But you can alter the square footage and profile of your countertop by opting to make it narrower for the slimmer counter. You can also shorten the kitchen countertop dimensions to have a little more visible wall.
How do you Measure your Backsplashes?
Aside from calculating the square footage of your countertop, you might also want to add a small backsplash backing your countertop along the wall. When calculating the backsplash, get the total length of every backsplash section. You should multiply the combined length with the height of the backsplash you plan to install. It will create the width and length of extra slab pieces required to complete the countertop design.
What is the Standard Counter Height for Bathroom Countertops?
The bathroom vanity with bathroom counters has a standard height of 32 inches. To avoid not having too much space, the bathroom countertops have a width that varies between 19.5 to 22.5 inches.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation. To see the entire team at Evolutdesign.com, visit Our Team page.