Information about accessible kitchen design

 Universal access kitchens


Baby boomers are updating their homes preparing for the challenges of aging or for wheelchair accessibility. With proper planning, implementing Universal Design standards provides accessibility for everyone.

Overall planning
  • Work with a kitchen and bath planner who is familiar with Universal Design and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) guidelines for wheelchair accessibility.
  • Allow for floor space between countertops. Space should range from 48 to 60 inches for wheelchairs.
Cabinetry planning
  • Install cabinetry at multiple heights to accommodate everyone.
  • Choose base cabinets with a higher, deeper toe kick to accommodate wheelchairs.
  • Base cabinets with drawers provides easy access and reduces bending.
  • Add easy access storage features to cabinetry such as roll-out or pull-out trays and rotating shelves.
Appliance planning
  • Look for appliances with accessible front controls.
  • Install the microwave in a base cabinet.
  • Install a lower sink with open space underneath.
    • Insulate exposed pipes for safety.
  • Install an adjustable-height sink that can raise and lower at the push of a button.
  • Raise or lower appliances such as dishwashers, cooktops or wall ovens to accommodate user heights.
  • Choose a side-by-side refrigerator or with a freezer on the bottom.

Did you know?

  • Universal Design involves designing products and spaces that meet the needs of people with varied abilities regardless of age, mobility, visual, auditory or mental ability.

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