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Kitchen worktop space - how much have you got and is it enough?

(23 Posts)
said Thu 02-Jun-11 17:00:10

Currently planning new kitchen. Old one had virtually no worktop space at all, really tight and badly designed. So, how much is enough??

tyler80 Thu 02-Jun-11 17:20:14

We currently have 5 and a half 'units' of worktop space

It's not enough but mainly because of the layout - 4 'chunks'

Themumsnot Thu 02-Jun-11 17:20:16

I had a galley kitchen with 600mm on each side of the hob and a run of 1.8m on the other side. Barely adequate. Right now however I have nothing at all as it was all ripped out this week and it will be at least a couple of months - I am planning for about 2.4m plus a large island.

said Thu 02-Jun-11 17:22:57

We have one unit of workspace plus the corner cupboard bit so useless. yours all sound vast to me

DisparityCausesInstability Thu 02-Jun-11 17:38:36

I need around 1000mm for food prep. The gadgets you like to store on the surface need to be limited. Then there's also the area around the sink - I think you need at least about 500mm to the side of the sink for dirty dishes. And you need to think where you'd deposit something that comes hot out of the oven.

Currently living in a property with a small badly organised kitchen and it almost puts me off cooking.

DisparityCausesInstability Thu 02-Jun-11 17:40:42

You can do clever things with your work surface - you could get a sink with a chopping board and use a removable draining board to increase your working space.

said Thu 02-Jun-11 18:36:29

Good points Disparity

wednesday13 Thu 02-Jun-11 20:36:09

I think the layout is the main thing. Our kitchen is an L with the range on the short end, then the drainer and sink, then about 2 metres of worktop that just accumulates washing up because it's in the wrong place. We have another section on the opposite wall that has kettle, toaster and breadbin on it.

I think you need, 1000-1200mm of straight worktop between sink and hob, the lack of this drives me nuts. Plus a bit of serving up area next to the cooker, a place to stack the washing up and ideally a spot for making tea and coffee separately. Which is pretty well what Disparity said. That could add up to say 5 units or 3 metres.

I can't believe how many kitchens you see that don't have working space next to the hob, and as for those ones where the hob/range is hemmed in by a false wall to make it look like a chimney breast confused style over function.

Putthatbookdown Thu 02-Jun-11 22:05:13

Poxy w/space too -just two bits either side of the cooker . I thought it was bad enough TILL I ASKED FOR AKITCHEN REDESIGN-what a shock.we got! The new built in ovens all measure 60cms wide and so we would actually lose 5 cms of our precious w/top ascurrent freestanding cooker is only 55cm wide . You really need to watch -these "new"ovens are not such a good deal after all if you lose the liitle w/top you have . A single square sink as opposed to a sinkand a half might free up a bit more

said Thu 02-Jun-11 22:10:16

Yes, good point about built-in ovens. I should say, this is for a new kitchen after an extension so we have a bit more space to play with. I would prefer a built-in oven (bad back) but am so conscious of not losing worktop space that may have to dump that.

said Thu 02-Jun-11 22:14:41

Thanks for the breakdown there wednesday. Initial plan shows 3 metres altogether.

GrendelsMum Thu 02-Jun-11 22:16:32

We've got a galley kitchen, and the one good thing about it is that we have huge amounts of work space. I'd say we've got about 6m, in 3 chunks, which are dedicated for food preparation, washing up, and putting finished dishes out of the way (only needed for large events).

said Thu 02-Jun-11 22:25:52


SomersetBelle Thu 02-Jun-11 22:39:56

Not the question you asked but have you thought about depth? We've just done ours and I can really recommend an extra deep worktop - ours are 720 compared to a standard 600. Means you can get toaster, bread bin etc on worktop but not lose as much work space.

We have a U shaped kitchen and prob about 6 units length of worktop.

said Thu 02-Jun-11 22:43:50

Yes, I have. One of the tips I have gleaned from mn is depth. Thanks

ChristinedePizan Thu 02-Jun-11 22:44:51

yy to depth. Although I have about 2.5m of counter top, it's a bespoke one to fit above what I think is a haberdashers shop unit and it's ridiculously shallow. I've not lived here long and it drives me insane. You cannot roll out pastry on it!

In my old place, I had a plinth running round the base of the kitchen so all the units had to sit in front of that. I had my counter tops made especially and they were 750mm deep. Absolutely wonderful.

SomersetBelle Fri 03-Jun-11 07:31:35

Oops. Sorry for repetition. Good luck with your kitchen said

CarGirl Fri 03-Jun-11 07:37:54

We are getting a 3 in a row hob from Ikea and having it fitted to the rear of the worktop so we can dish up in front of it. We will also be sticking with a hob kettle again to free up work top space and a built in water filter instead of a jug. Also getting an induction hob because it's so flat and doesn't get hot so acts like extra work top space.

I have had to settle for an under counter fridge and freezer in order to preserve the amount of work top we have!

Fizzylemonade Fri 03-Jun-11 08:05:44

Our kitchen is tiny, only wide enough for units in L shape. We have been granted permission to extend by 3m, now we are saving like crazy people.

The worktop is separated by everything so incredibly crap. On the short wall we have a 60cm wide bit of worktop (have microwave on that) then the sink with drainer. That is it for that wall. On the long part of the L, we have 60cm of worktop then the hob then 60cm (have kettle and toaster here) That is it.

I prep food on the 60cm next to the corner. Shoved into the corner is my breadmaker which I use 3-4 times a week. Any rolling out of pastry is done on the dining table. I balance plates on the hob and the draining board to dish up food.

In my last house I had a full 2m of straight worktop down one side of the kitchen and I loved it. I miss my children standing next to me helping out and they miss it too.

I have a utility which is an insult to utility rooms. This houses the washing machine with the tumble drier stacked on top and we put in a massive 80cm wide larder unit due to the kitchen being 1/3 of the size of my last one that I filled. So no worktop there either.

Roll on 2013 when we can extend and have oodles of straight worktop space grin

said Fri 03-Jun-11 17:47:43

SomersetBelle - no, I'm glad you made the point again as I would forget.

Fizzy - yours sounds like our current kitchen, can't roll out pastry either.

GrendelsMum Fri 03-Jun-11 21:49:01

Cargill makes a really good point - we too have an under-counter fridge and a built in water filter to free up more workspace, plus a lot of stuff that DH would like to keep on the worktop, I make live in cupboards.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Fri 03-Jun-11 22:01:48

We only have about 60cm width part that is actually used for food prep, it is between the freestanding cooker and fridge freezer, it is tight but it is brilliant having the cooker and fridge either side of your workspace. Our cooker has a glass lid so when you aren't using the hob you can use that as extra surface, especially handy for baking. Our sink is on the other side, opposite the hob, with the DW next to it (therefore opposite where you stand to cook). We have got other sections of worktop for keeping equipment etc on and next to the sink, even if they were empty they wouldn't be very hand for food prep, but you can stick dirty dishes on them and use them for plating up etc. Although it is all a bit too small, the layout is brilliant, you never have to take more than 2 or 3 steps from your position to reach everything you need to cook with. The lack of space forces you to tidy up as you go which is no bad thing, also I can stand both DCs on stools next to each other in the 60cm space and I stand beside them in front of the cooker so we can do cooking together.

Gentleness Sun 05-Jun-11 23:05:13

I spent many, many ocd hours on our kitchen layout and ended up ignoring loads of advice about layouts and runs of worktop space in order to get something designed for exactly how I use space. I love it and it totally works for us - gets great comments from visitors too.

For example, lots of advice says to have a long run of worktop where possible. I chose instead to go for discrete areas, so there is an 80cm area where the kettle & drink making area is, and that is opposite the fridge and not near my food prep area. This means dh doesn't get under my feet and his coffee-making detritus doesn't spread everywhere and we can share a kitchen without risking unauthorised use of the knives.

I also know that I tend to clutter up space but work well with tight boundaries. I can keep each "everyday" space clear well with our layout, but I know a long stretch would end up getting squeezed down to a tiny one by stuff accumulating. So my kitchen might not work for anyone else at all!

We have on one side an extra deep worktop (on mumsnet advice) with:
80cm for drinking making, getting stuff out of the microwave etc.
100cm between the sink and the hob for food prep and dirty dishes.
50cm on the other side of the hob for serving up (this is a bit tight, but is right next to the table anyway).
This side is always clear if I am not ill or giving birth or such. Dh doesn't DO clearing up because he doesn't apparently SEE mess. (rant over)

On the other side:
180cm normal depth beside the built in oven - mainly is my baking area - space to do pastry, get gadgets out etc. Also gives home to the toaster and fruitbowl. This gets more cluttered but doesn't affect churning the meals out as much so I can cope.

Also, 120cm narrow worktop over a floor-level wall unit which is for post, filing, whiteboard & calendar over it, radio, chargers for phones etc. This also is cluttered at the moment and useless because dh didn't realise that looking after the house while I was very pg, giving birth and struggling with breastfeeding also meant looking after the paperwork... When we're on top of that, it is a REALLY useful space.

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