Every home and every kitchen is unique with its story, style and layout. For that reason, it is important to have a good understanding of all key measurements within your kitchen.
In this guide, we will be covering kitchen worktop heights and depths, you will get an understanding of the size of the base units, and the different options you have for your kitchen worktops and breakfast bars.
The height of a kitchen worktop is the combined height of the base unit and the thickness of your worktop, in other words, that is the distance from the floor level to the surface level of your kitchen worktop.
The height of base units, including the plinth, varies between 870mm and 1000mm. The most classic combination is an 870mm base unit with a 40mm kitchen worktop, to give you a 910mm kitchen worktop height.
Why are there different Base Unit heights?
Base Units to Suit Your Height
There rarely ever is such a thing as “one size fits all”. There is a rule of thumb for finding the most comfortable kitchen worktop height for each individual person: the level of the kitchen worktop should be at the level of your wrist bone. This means that, the taller you are, the higher you would need your kitchen worktop to be. For most people, 870mm is the most ergonomic base unit height, however, if you are taller than average, you would need to have a higher base unit to feel comfortable cooking on (between 870mm and 1000mm).
Base Units to Suit Your Kitchen Style
Base unit height variations are not available only to accommodate differences in human height, but also to give you options for the choice of your Kitchen Worktop. As outlined previously, the total kitchen worktop height is a combination of the base unit and the worktop thickness; so if one is changed, the other one can be made to compensate for the difference and bring the total height back to where it is needed, 910mm for example.
1. Contemporary or Moden Kitchen Style
Depending on the style of your kitchen, you will most likely choose worktops of different thicknesses. For instance, a modern, contemporary style kitchen is commonly combined with thinner kitchen worktops such as a 12mm Compact Laminate, a 27mm Wooden Worktop or a 30mm Quartz or Granite worktop. With thinner worktops, higher Base Units (880-900mm) are required to bring the total Kitchen Worktop Height up to the ergonomic standard of 910mm.
2. Traditional or Farmhouse Kitchen Style
Alternatively, if you are going for a farmhouse-styled kitchen, one of the main indicators is an emphasis on natural materials – for kitchen worktops 40mm solid wood worktops are a signature choice. That is the most widely used base unit + kitchen worktop height combination: 870mm + 40mm = 910mm
A suitable alternative in this combination is the standard 38mm Laminate Worktop.
Breakfast Bar and Kitchen Island Height
What is the difference between a Kitchen Island and a Breakfast Bar?
Both are very similar and the difference is implied in the name: a Kitchen Island worktop is like an “island”, it is a standalone countertop, whereas Breakfast bar worktops are attached to a wall or connected to an existing kitchen worktop.
What is the Correct Height for a Kitchen Island?
The average kitchen island height (measuring from the floor to the top of the worktop) is between 890-910mm. But the most important thing which will determine the height of your Kitchen Island is how you want to use it. For someone who wants to cook on the Island, you will need a more ergonomic and functional space, hence the height will have to be identical to the height of the kitchen worktops – around 910mm. However, that height creates limitations for adding seating around the island – it is too low.
Whereas, if you want your island to be more of a feature or a social space, more like a Breakfast Bar, you could raise the height to create an interest in the design. On top of this, when combined with the appropriate height bar stools you will put those seated at the same eye level as the person in the kitchen – hence creating a wonderful social space.
What should the height of a Breakfast Bar with Seating be?
Seating transforms a breakfast bar from a functional space to a social hub where you can eat, have coffee or work from. However, the standard ergonomic height of 910mm will be too low, so you need to explore different heights to accommodate your seating area.
For a breakfast bar with a comfortable seating area and enough knee space, a height of around 1060mm is commonplace. A breakfast bar at that height is usually paired with bar stools between 740mm and 820mm.
Another option which combines the best of both worlds is creating an island which has split levels – a section with the standard ergonomic height of 910mm for food prepping and cooking but also a raised section at around 1060mm that can be used as a breakfast bar and a social spot for the family.
Worktop Widths for Breakfast Bar, Kitchen Island and Kitchen Worktop
Kitchen Worktop Width
The average kitchen worktop width is between 600-650mm, however depending on the depth of your base units you might sometimes need an even wider surface. In House of Worktops, we offer two sizes that are suitable and can be further customised: 620mm and 720mm wide worktops.
Kitchen Island and Breakfast Bar Width
All islands and breakfast bar worktops vary in size and shape, but to create a practical and functional space, we recommend a minimum width of 800mm and an additional 800mm of space around it. In House of Worktops, we offer the following widths that are suitable for this purpose: 930mm, 960mm, and 1240mm and every single size can be further customised to fit the needs of your unique home.
Because Kitchen Islands are significantly wider than Kitchen Worktops, they require professional installation and anchoring. Please refer to our Wood Worktop Installation Guide for additional guidance.
In order to provide additional support, allow for larger overhangs and offset the minimal risk of bowing, we recommend reinforcing your worktops with Steel T-Bar Reinforcements. Please get in touch with our sales team at [email protected] to enquire about our steel reinforcement services.
Bespoke Kitchen Worktops and Kitchen Islands
Every home is unique in its style and layout. Wood worktops are the most versatile and easily customised worktops and we are proud to be offering a wide range of bespoke services to make sure you get a worktop which perfectly fits your needs. Here is a list of the custom features you can choose from:
- 3 Coat Osmo Oiling – A finishing service which allows you to install your worktops and start using them, without the need for further oiling
- T-Bar Steel Reinforcement: Additional support and prevents deformations
- Hob and Sink Cutouts
- Worktop Edge and Corner customisation
- Integrated Wireless Chargers and Pop-up sockets
- Waterfall effect worktops
- End Caps
If you are looking for additional information on our customisations, please visit our easy-to-use
Custom Worktop Builder
Or if you have any questions about anything worktop related, please do not hesitate to
get in touch with us!
You can find us at 01727260688 or [email protected].
We would love to hear from you.
Enjoy your kitchen and worktops!
For additional topics please check the links below:
1) When should I re-oil my worktop?
2) Care & Maintenance Guide for Wood Worktops
3) How to repair a scratch on a Wooden Worktop?
4) A comprehensive comparison of all Wood Worktop Oils.
5) Health benefits of wood worktops.
6) House of Worktops® – How to prepare for your order?
7) How to Oil Your Worktops with Osmo?
8) How to apply Danish Oil on your worktop?