Creating a good plan is vital for a successful remodel.
For many people, the hardest part of planning a kitchen or bath is trying to visualize the possibilities for the new space. A great technique for getting a picture of how your ideas will look is to literally sketch them out.
Measure your space carefully, including window and door openings, projecting radiators, and the like, and use those measurements to draw your kitchen or bath and all its architectural elements onto graph paper. Each segment of the grid should be equal to 3 inches.
Now comes the fun part: placing the templates onto the grid. Play with as many layouts as you can imagine, rearranging fixtures, cabinets, and interior walls however you like. You may find that all of the elements you’d hoped to include just won’t fit. Don’t worry. A skilled architect or Certified Kitchen or Bath Designer can often “find” space you didn’t know you had. This plan is, after all, only preliminary — one you will use later with your team of professionals to develop an actual design.
When you sketch out a preliminary design for your kitchen or bath, don’t forget to plan for adequate elbowroom. The National Kitchen & Bath Association offers the following space planning guidelines on their website, www.nkba.com.
- Doorways should be at least 32 inches wide in order to pass through comfortably.
- Paths between objects deeper than 24 inches, one of which is a counter or appliance, should be at least 36 inches wide.
- Work aisles between objects deeper than 24 inches, both of which are work counters or appliances, should be at least 42 inches wide.
- Kitchens smaller than 150 square feet, allow at least 144 inches of wall cabinet frontage, with cabinets at least 12 inches deep and a minimum of 30 inches high (or equivalent). Difficult-to-reach cabinets above the hood, oven, or refrigerator do not count.
- Kitchens larger than 150 square feet, allow at least 186 inches of wall cabinet frontage, with cabinets at least 12 inches deep and a minimum of 30 inches high (or equivalent). Again, difficult-to-reach cabinets above the hood, oven, or refrigerator do not count.
- The sink should have at least 3 inches of counter space on one side at least 18 inches on the other.
- The edge of the primary dishwasher should be within 36 inches of the edge of one sink.
- The cook top should have at least 9 inches of counter space on one side, 15 inches on the other.
- Provide a clear floor space of 30-by-48 inches in front of the sink, dishwasher, cooktop, oven, and refrigerator. These spaces may overlap.
- In a seating area, allow 36 inches of clearance from the edge of the counter or table to any wall or obstruction behind it, if no traffic will pass behind a seated diner. If there is a walkway behind the seating area, allow for 65 inches of clearance, including the walkway, between the seating area, and any wall or obstruction.
- You should allow a 30-by-48 inch clear floor space parallel or perpendicular to the lavatory.
- Plan 48-by-48 inches of clear space in front of the toilet, and 16 inches of clear space to each side, measuring from the fixture’s centerline.
- Allow a clear space of 60-by-30 inches for a parallel approach to the bathtub, and 60-by-48 inches for a perpendicular approach.
- The minimum clearance between two bowls in a lavatory is 30 inches from the centerline of each fixture.
- The interior dimensions of an enclosed shower should measure at least 34-by-34 inches.