KITCHENS: STANDARDS, SIZING & MATERIALITY
Kitchens regulation effecting layout
Kitchen benchtops need to comply with Australian Standard (AS4386 2018).
- 450mm between the Benchtop and underside of wall cabinets.
- 600mm between the top of burner and underside of rangehood or exhaust fan.
- 50-90mm behind overhead cabinet over oven for ventilation.
- Refer to ovens’ product specification for additional ventilation requirements.
- Power points must not be positioned behind oven
While rapid computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) has largely allowed for personalised dimensional customisation of cabinetry, appliance sizes and averaged anthropometry proportions (people sizes) encourage some standardisation in sizing.
This could be marginally increased or decreased as necessary to accommodate narrow access or oversized appliances.
Island benches, or benches accessed from both sides are commonly increased to 800 - 900mm to allow for stool seating. Some islands may be as deep as 1,200mm allowing for under-bench cupboards on both sides.
Bench Overhang (Nosing):
0 – 100mm (300 – 500mm for stools)
This is largely dependant on style. A recessed kickboard is commonly more important for ease of use than bench nosing.
150mm high, 50mm deep
While a kickboard is not essential, its inclusion aids in cleaning and prevents toes from getting jammed under doors and drawers.
This could be commonly be decreased to 850mm, or increased to 1,050mm to suit shorter or taller users.
33 - 40mm
While commonly dependant on the thickness of the surface material used, many people desire a thicker look.
Laminated particleboard = approx. 33mm
Stone / Timber = 20mm – 40mm (with thickened edge)
Cabinet door width:
While it is possible to manufacture a hinged door wider, its ease of use & hinged strength will hindered.
900mm or 1200mm max.
This is largely dependant on manufacturer’s warranty & the performance of the sliding mechanisms.
300mm wide, 1450-1600mm base, 2100mm top
More than perhaps any other element in the kitchen, these sizes are largely based on the head height and reach capability of the user.
Kitchen Benchtop Materials
Available in a wide range of colours and patterns that often imitate more expensive options at a fraction of the price. Laminate is also hardwearing, and requires little maintenance.
Natural stone reconstituted with a resin binder, engineered stone products are commonly created to look like monolithic marble slabs, are available in a wide range of colours, and very durable as well as easy to clean.
While often porous, prone to damage, and commonly the most expensive option, many people view a solid Marble or Granite bench top as the epitome of style and quality. If properly maintained, it will likely remain indefinitely fashionable.
Synonyms with commercial quality or an industrial style, stainless steel is popular with professionals for good reason. While requiring the occasional polish, it is exceptional hardwearing, heat resistant & versatile.
In either an engineered or slab format, a real timber top provides a naturally warm surface like no other. However, timber required regular maintenance, as it is susceptible to UV degradation, damage, heat, and spills.
Burnished or Honed concrete is a popular alternative to stainless steel if an industrial style is desired. As with its use as flooring, it needs to be sealed and requires significant structural reinforcement.
A cost effective alternative to engineered stone, with a wide range of colours and patterns available. It is highly resistant to heat, scratches and stains.
Moulded acrylic / resin bench tops allow for seamless integration of sinks and dish drainers, offering a highly editable minimalistic solution. They also allow for spot repairs, and are very similar to a laminated surface for low maintenance.
Kitchen Cabinet materials
Particleboard (Low density Fibreboard)
Usually finished with a melamine veneer bonded to both sides, its moisture resistance and cost effectiveness makes it a common choice for the less visible cabinetry carcasses.
Cabinet doors can be faced with an appearance grade laminate or veneer and edging bead to match.
MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)
A smooth surface engineered composite timber and resin product – Often finished in a seamless glossy polyurethane or matte painted finish.
Face grade veneer or marine ply is an environmentally friendly, engineered timber product, offering a minimalist chic or industrial style where the cross-laminated edge is often left exposed as a feature.
If you are after a traditional or natural timber look, solid timber is luxurious, highly durable, VOC (volatile organic compounds) free, and can easily be refinished with a sand & oil or paint for a new look.