When you plan a new kitchen, one of the biggest decisions you need to make is your countertops. After all, your kitchen counters' color and finish make a massive impact on how your new kitchen will look, feel, and how easy it will be to clean. But have you considered their dimensions?
Sure, countertops need to look good, but they also need to fulfill a function: they are a work surface. What are the standard dimensions of kitchen counters? Let’s look at how deep they should be, how thick and what sort of money we are talking about.
What is the standard size of a kitchen countertop?
Standard kitchen countertops are usually sold in lengths of eight feet, ten feet and twelve feet. Should you need a longer run than twelve feet, modern techniques produce nearly invisible joints, so that is not a problem.
You should take care when designing a new kitchen to maximize your workspace. Not only do you need plenty of space for food preparation, but you have to allow for the footprints of your kitchen equipment. Food processors, coffee machines, toasters and the like all take up significant room that will eat into your available countertop space. Of course, if space is at a premium, you could store these items in your cupboards and only bring them out when needed, but that is often not convenient. If you have the typical busy lifestyle that most Americans do in the 21st century, you’ll want your kitchen appliances ready to go.
Kitchens are much more than just places to prepare food. For many, the kitchen is the center of the home. If room size allows, you may want to incorporate areas where you can eat or even where people can work, so countertop space should be a priority.
Thickness varies with countertop material and quality:
- Quartz: The industry standard thickness for a quartz countertop is 3cm or around 1¼ inches. Occasionally quartz countertops are thicker, but in most cases, additional material has been added to the edges to make them appear so. In this case, the main body of the countertop is probably around 2cm thick. Because of the work involved in producing a countertop like this, this design is expensive, so 3cm quartz has become the norm.
- Granite: 3cm is also the standard gauge for countertops made of granite as 2cm thick granite normally needs plywood support on standard kitchen cabinets. Using plywood requires laminate to disguise it, which again adds to the cost.
- Marble: Here, too, 3cm is standard, though thicker marble countertops are by no means rare. Finding stone slabs thicker than 3cm is quite difficult, and that makes them expensive. Even though they may fit better into the overall kitchen design. Most people reserve these thicker slabs for kitchen islands, but you can definitely source them if you have the money to spend.
- Laminate: The thickness of laminate countertops does vary, and though 1½ inches is the most common, 2-inch thick laminate is also readily available. This is the cheapest option.
- Butcher Block Countertops: Butcher block countertops can be made in almost any thickness, depending on the look you want and whether you intend to use the countertop as a cutting board. If so, you’ll want to go for a thicker countertop so you can sand it down.
So that’s the standard kitchen counter dimensions: 24-25 inches deep (from backsplash to edge) and around 2 inches thick.
How big should a kitchen be to fit an island?
Most kitchen islands are fairly deep, so you’re really looking at 4x2ft minimum, ideally more than 2ft wide. You’ll also need sufficient space to move around between, so to fit an island, your kitchen needs to be more than 8x12ft.
How deep are standard kitchen countertops?
The ideal depth of a cabinet is 24 inches. If you have a slight overhang, the standard depth is 25-25½ inches.
An exception to this rule is the kitchen island. If the island contains a sink or stovetop, for example, and perhaps an area for sitting, then you might have a much bigger expanse of countertop.
How do I estimate the cost of countertops?
At the time of writing, granite and quartz are very popular, and costs vary between $55-$95 per square foot. But depending on material, quality and complexity, you may pay anything from $20 - $225 per square foot, or even more. It’s like buying a car. Any new car will get you from A to B, but the more you pay for fit and finish, the more comfortable that journey will be.
The most important factors affecting cost are:
- Size: how much countertop you need for your kitchen plus the depth you choose
- Material: The material you choose, along with its quality, thickness and color will affect the price. Generally, laminate will always be the economical choice, with butcher block in close second. Here’s the average cost by material per square foot:
- Laminate: $8 - $27
- Granite: $15 - $140
- Marble: $15 – $190
- Quartz: $15 - $70
- Glass: $10 - $135
- Butcher Block: $10 - $38
- Stainless Steel: $60 - $100
- Concrete: $50 - $100
- Edge profile: The more elaborate the design of your countertops' edges, the higher will be the final cost.
- Complexity: A straight run of countertop will be considerably less expensive than a design that incorporates inside corners, cutouts, few seams between pieces, and so on. One cut out that you will probably want to factor in is the one for a counter-mounted cooktop range.
- Removal of the old counters: this should be included with the price of your remodel, but if you’re going DIY, then this may cost you something.
As a guide, countertops cost $2,200 on average. Remember that countertops should not be chosen entirely for their appearance, but how they react to wear and tear as well.
How do you measure for a kitchen countertop?
Extremely carefully! If you’re DIYing your kitchen, measure everything at least three times before you write down the figure. Even a couple of millimeters off may spell disaster. If your new countertops will be positioned differently than your current countertops, then it may be a good idea to leave this to the professionals.
If you’re determined to do it yourself, measure from wall to wall in all directions.
If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, why not book us to take your 3D measurements? Just one in-person visit to your kitchen can get all the accurate measurements you need – no tape measure needed!
3 Key Things To Consider For Standard Kitchen Countertop Sizes
- Plan carefully and measure accurately. You need to make the best use of the area available. It is perfectly possible to create a wonderful kitchen in a small space if you take the time to work out what you really need. Measure once, then again. Kitchen measurements must be exact!
- Open countertop space is valuable, especially in small kitchens. You need plenty of room for meal prep, so make the most of open space and consider smart storage solutions instead of full-height cabinets. Consider incorporating things like the microwave into the wall cabinets.
- Also, if space is at a premium, consider using some of your countertop space as a dining area instead of trying to squeeze a dining table in elsewhere.
- Durability is important. Some materials wear better than others, and some are more forgiving. Marble is beautiful, but if it chips, you’ll likely have to replace the whole section. Laminate is cost-effective but will get scratched if you forget to use a chopping board. On the other hand, butcher block can be sanded and refinished, so you need to weigh up your options.
Even if you don’t change the whole kitchen, installing new countertops can give your kitchen a whole new look. There is a wealth of choice out there, and the possibilities are almost endless!
If you’re planning your kitchen renovation, we’re here to help. We can take professional and accurate 3D measurements of your kitchen in just 30 minutes and generate hundreds of kitchen layouts and designs for you based on your criteria. To find out more, click here.