People who spend serious time in the kitchen find it important for everything to be perfect. Counters should be a comfortable height, flooring should be conducive to hours spent standing, and appliances should be conveniently located for food preparation and cooking purposes. Here are ways to make any kitchen more ergonomic.
Step 1: Instead of forcing yourself to adapt to a standard height counter, customize the height. Possibilities include two or more counters installed at varying heights. The lower one can be set to about 34 to 38 inches for food preparation. The other can be set at bar height of 44 to 46 inches for holding items not currently being used during food prep as well as foods that are ready to be served. Kitchens that also serve as a gathering spot should have a bar up to 48 inches high for comfortably socializing with the cook. A rule of thumb when selecting custom heights is to consider countertop height in relation to elbow height.
Step 2: Cork, rubber, and wood, are better floor solutions than ceramic tile, stone, and terra cotta because they have more bounce. An alternative to replacing flooring is to put rag rugs or mats with non-slip pads by the sink, stove, and counter.
Step 3: Drawers are more convenient than doors for storing plates, small appliances, and cookware. You can view and retrieve contents without needing to crawl into the cabinet or duck under the counter. Select models that feature self-closing guides.
Step 4: Consider how cabinets with doors will be used and ensure that the doors open properly. When they open the wrong way, you find yourself ducking or going through extra maneuvers. European-style cabinets with flip-up doors are another option.
Step 5: Use storage racks with multiple tiers, inside-door storage, and Lazy Susans to avoid leaning deep within a high cabinet.
Step 6: Consider installing a series of electrical outlets across the bottom of the upper level of cabinets. This prevents having to lug heavy appliances to an outlet.
Step 7: Have at least one counter-height kitchen stool with a cross-bar on hand at all times. This allows you to sit while preparing food.
Step 8: Anyone who is left handed should focus on appliance placement. The dishwasher should be located to the left of the sink. If cooking utensils are hung on the wall, the stove should be located to the right of this wall so grabbing utensils is easy.