3 Things to Beware of When Customizing a Kitchen for Shorter People

Posted on: 5 June 2015


If you struggle to reach the second shelf in wall cabinets and suffer from back and shoulder fatigue when chopping on a standard counter top, you may decide it is worth it to customize your kitchen to accommodate your height. While a customization project can make your kitchen more user friendly and improve your experience in your home, there are a few things you should be aware of. 

Lack of Toe Space 

Some contractors will perform customization of standard cabinets by taking height off of the bottom of the cabinet. If you only need to lower your counter top by an inch, this might not be a problem. However, if you are significantly lowering your counter top, you should look for someone that will leave the toe kick, also known as a kick board, in tact. The indentation at the base of your cabinets is important for allowing you to use your counter top without having to turn your feet sideways or accidentally kicking your toe against the cabinet. 

Sinks That Are Too Deep 

Deep sinks are great for containing large pots and pans that need to be washed. Unfortunately, they can create problems if you have to stoop to reach the bottom of your sink. If you are shorter than average, you may find a deep sink in a standard counter top is perfect. When you lower your counter tops, however, the deep sink may make your back ache. It is important that you can easily touch the bottom of your sink without bending, so you may need to purchase a shallow sink basin to go with your lowered counter tops. 

Inadequate Space for Standard Appliances 

If you are lowering your wall cabinets more than you are lowering your counter tops, you may not be able to use standard counter top appliances such as blenders and bread machines beneath the wall cabinets. A simple solution for this problem is to increase your counter space or decrease the amount of wall cabinets you use. Leave the area above one section of your counter bare or only put a half cabinet at the height of the second shelf over it to leave room for appliances. 

If you find you have no room for a standard dishwasher beneath your lowered counter tops, you may need to think about installing various levels to your counter tops. One shorter section and one standard section will allow people of varying heights to work at your counters while providing an area for standard appliances.

Customizing your kitchen can change the way you feel about preparing food and increase your quality of life. However, it is important to thoroughly discuss your project with a contractor like MCK Kitchen & Bath to avoid making costly customization mistakes.