Designing Accessible Cabinets For Your Kitchen

21 November 2014
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Whether you are tall, short or in a wheelchair, you should have cabinets that you can access at all times. With some planning, you can create ones that allow you to access the upper and lower cabinets without having to strain your back or arms to do so. Looking into some of the alternative designs and products you can use is the best method for obtaining this goal.

Cabinet Options for Taller People

If your cabinets are not the right height, accessing plates, cups, and food in your kitchen can be difficult. The average height for lower cabinets is typically 36 inches from the ground, which includes the countertop as well. Then there is normally an 18-inch space in between the countertop and the upper cabinets.

For taller people, it is better to increase the height of your lower cabinets by two inches, which will help reduce back strain when preparing food on your countertop. You can also choose to increase the distance between the countertop and the upper cabinets to make the height difference of the lower cabinets less noticeable.

Shorter Cabinet Options

On the other hand, average-sized cabinets can be too tall for some people. If this is your situation, it is better to decrease the height of your cabinets instead.

One option is to install base cabinets that are 30 to 32 inches. This height works well for short people that have a difficult time with the higher cabinet options. Choosing this height is also a better option if you require a wheelchair to move around your home.

Another option for shorter people is to purchase adjustable upper cabinets that use an electronic system. This system allows the cabinets to slide up and down with a push of a button, so that each person can get what they need from the cabinets without having to ask for help. This can be helpful addition if you have family members that are tall, short or require a wheelchair to get around.

Alternative Design Options

If you want deep cabinets but reaching into them will be difficult, there are other ways to make them more accessible. One option is to choose shelves that slide out, so you can reach any item you need.

When the cabinet will be deep but not very wide, you can choose a design where all of the shelves are attached to the door. When you open this type of cabinet, the shelves come out at the same time, which gives you access to everything you need from that cabinet.

No matter your height or physical capabilities, you want kitchen cabinets that suit your needs. It will take some time and planning to design the right cabinets, but it is worth the effort to have cabinets that are suitable for your personal situation.