Choose Kitchen Appliances First For Best Functionkitchen appliances must be chosen first, because your kitchen is planned around them

Why choose kitchen appliances first? It’s human nature to focus on cabinets and countertops, when you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, because you’re concerned about how the new kitchen will look, unless a high-priority item is a commercial cooktop or range and large hood as a focal point. This will ultimately lead to frustration, and possible expensive mistakes. You can avoid problems, if you select your appliances first (unless you’re including new doors and windows), then move on to other kitchen features.

Standard Appliance Dimensions

Everything in your kitchen fits around your appliances. Appliances have to fit your space; they’re large! And there should be ample circulation between your appliances (also known as the “working triangle”). Here are average dimensions for standard kitchen appliances, and the amount of floor space needed:

  • Refrigerator: 36″W x 67″T x 33″D (8.25 sq.ft.)
  • Range: 30″W x 36″T x 25″D (5.21 sq.ft.)
  • Cooktop: 30″W x 4″T x 22″D [requires a 36″ x 24″ base cabinet] (6 sq.ft.)
  • Updraft hood: 36″W x 9″T x 22″D (microwave-hoods NOT recommended)
  • Double ovens: 30″W x   T x 24″D [requires a 33″ x 24″ tall cabinet] (5.5 sq.ft.)
  • Dishwasher: 24″W x 34-1/2″T x 24″D (4 sq.ft.)
  • Microwave oven: 24″W x 14″T x 18″D [may be in a cabinet or on the countertop] (3 sq.ft.)

If an average kitchen is 125 square feet (10′ x 12′-6″), and the Homeowners want a refrigerator, cooktop, double ovens, dishwasher, and a microwave in a dedicated cabinet, they’ll have 98.75 sq.ft. left for circulation space and cabinets (sink, drawers, base storage). It can be done, but it must be carefully planned!

Colors and Finishes

Remember the 1960s and 1970s kitchen color scheme — the “earth tones” avocado, harvest gold and coppertone? Since then, manufacturers have tried to entice consumers with red and almond, and variations of silver, but Homeowners keep returning to white, black, or stainless steel finishes. Refrigerator and dishwasher manufacturers make it possible to have these appliances match your cabinets. A word of caution about refrigerator panels, from personal experience: The door hinges must be strong enough to support the weight of a large raised-panel door. I’ve seen several refrigerators with doors that sagged because of the additional weight.

After choosing your kitchen appliances, the order of selection is:

  1. Plumbing [sink and faucet] (36″ x 24″ cabinet, 6 sq.ft.)
  2. Cabinets
  3. Countertop and backsplash
  4. Flooring
  5. Lighting and electrical

Professional kitchen designers understand all the in’s and out’s of arranging appliances and creating a kitchen that’s functional, safe, and looks the way you want it to. Contact the National Kitchen & Bath Association to get names of kitchen designers in your area. In the long run, you’ll have fewer hassles, you’ll get what you want, and you’ll probably save money!

See before and after photos and descriptions of the featured project.

 “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”

Read about Diane Plesset — her career, philosophy, and hobbies

© 2016 D. P. Design – All Rights Reserved