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A good overall description of the issues involving measurements in a work space, in this case the kitchen. There is useful ergonomic data about critical dimensions for every day use. Of course these depend on the height of the user but the average range for the most useful ergonomic ease of access is between 600mm from the floor to 1500mm above the floor. The other issue is reach and the maximum average comfortable reach at bench level is 700mm. Other critical dimensions are the distance from an oven to the bench at the rear to ensure safe access to a hot oven and that is 1200mm.

Another issue is the age and dexterity of the kitchen user. As we get older it becomes harder to reach above shoulder level and therefor overhead cupboards can be pretty useless to an older person. They can also have problems reaching to the back of the bottom shelf of an overhead cupboard so put everything to the front of the shelf and not use the back.

The space between benches with cupboards/drawers or usable space under can also be influenced by whether it is a walk through space as well as a working space, as a galley kitchen or even if more than one person is using it and they may need to pass eachother. The gap in this case betwen benches should be an absolute minimum of 1200mm but more ideally 1500mm to avoid accidents.

Finally there is an argument for bench heights to be different in the kitchen. Agreed, the ideal counter working height will be from 880mm to 950. But if you are working using a piece of equipment as in a mixer or even wisking in a deep saucepan, then the functional work height is really the top of the bowl and it is easier to work if the mixer or pan etc is mounted on a lower bench. An example of more comfortable work height can be if you whisk cream or mashed potato with the pan in the bottom of the sink. Uneven bench heights of course will upset the streamlined look of the contemporary kitchen but it can certainly make it less stressful to use.

So much to think about!

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Lynne McNeill

I’m getting the run around with my kitchen Installer /designer . I’m feel like they want the money and give no service .

I have 2.4 ceiling’s. The ducting for the range hood is 150 mm dia The installer put the cabinets in over the stove and left 90 mm for bulk head

I told him the ducting is 150. He advised talk to the designer (won’t name him)

He advised may need to put through cabinets ( which will reduce my storage )
I advised I didn’t want that .

I asked originally for higher bench top as I’m tall and got another 40mm

What is the ruling on range hoods to electric stove tops in victoria

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I'm 183cm tall and considering 950mm tall benches in our future kitchen so that shorter family members can use them too. However, if the range hood can only be 750mm above the benchtop, then I'm still going to be banging my head on it as I do in our current kitchen. It hurts! What can I do?


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