Just imagine having a sink vanity at 6ft height!! How would it look and who can use it??
After years of research and constant improvements, the mounting heights are being defined by various manufacturers and authorities to help improve our comfort of living. We have attempted to compile and present some useful information here on mounting heights of different elements to be taken care of during construction / renovation. Most of the information below is based on local building code/ ADA, but for a precise detail, latest updated local code shall be referred.
How high should washrooms fixtures and accessories be?
Standard bathroom sink heights range from 29 inches to 36 inches. Ideal height would be 32 inches to 34 inches. For accessible washrooms it should not be more than 34 inches, 29 inches (735 mm) high at the front edge, 27 inches (685 mm) high at a point 8 inches (205 mm) back from the front edge.
Mirror shall be mounted with its bottom edge not more than 39-3/8 inches (1000 mm) above the finished floor or inclined to the vertical to be usable by a person in a wheelchair.
The seat of a water closet above finish floor shall be 17 inches (430 mm) min and 19 inches (485 mm) max measured to the top of the seat. 17 to 19 inches are also referred to as comfort height.
Toilet Paper Dispenser:
Toilet paper dispensers should be installed on the nearest side wall, a minimum of 19 inches above the floor and a maximum of 36 inches from the rear wall. Ideal height is 26 inches (660 mm) above finished floor, on centre. On centre means centre of the holder/ dispenser from floor.
Also, the dispenser should be 7″ min (180 mm) and 9″ max (230 mm) in front of the water closet measured to the centre of the dispenser.
Soap Dispensers, Waste Receptacles, Hand Dryers and Paper Towel Dispensers:
There are factors affecting the height restrictions such as the age range, obstructed reach or unobstructed reach, forward reach or side reach. Below is the guideline for accessible washroom mounting heights of soap dispensers, waste receptacles, hand dryers and paper towel dispensers. This reach ranges are for adult and not for children. Reach ranges for children may vary depending upon the age range.
Having a sink or counter in between is considered obstruction. For obstructed reach with a sink less than 20 inches deep, the dispensers shall not be mounted higher than 48 inches. With a sink of 20 – 25 inches depth, the height restriction is 44 inches.
For the unobstructed reach the height range is 15 inches min to 48 inches max.
Grab bars shall be mounted at 33 inches (840mm) to 36 inches (915 mm) from finished floor.
This is the top of the grab bar from floor. The length should be minimum 42 inches.
How high should be the kitchen countertop and standard appliances heights?
It is very important to keep in mind that the heights discussed are from finished floor. The very first question that should be raised is about the finished floor- are you keeping the same floor or changing the flooring?
If you are purchasing appliances, coordinate the height of the appliances and the countertop height. The countertop standard heights are between 34 inches to 36 inches. Most ready to install cabinets are 34-1/2 inches. 36 inches (915mm) is recommended regular height kitchen counter and max. 34 inches (864 mm) is accessible (ADA) height.
If you are installing new electrical outlets, make sure they are not roughed in too close to the backsplash or counter otherwise the bottom of the cover plate will be clashing with the backsplash and will spoil the look.
Standard Appliance Sizes/ Heights:
If your counter is made accessible (ADA), then your counter itself will be 34 inches high and the appliances are supposed to be ADA compliant one. The sizes mentioned below are standard sizes and not for ADA compliant ones.
You also need to think about space allocations considering appliances with doors / drawers in open position with at least one person standing in front of that appliance!
The standard dishwasher measurements are 24 inches (Width) x 24 inches (Depth) x 35 inches (Height). The legs are adjustable to adjust the height.
The most common stoves are 30 inches (Wide) x 25 inches (Deep) x 36 inches (High). It is important to decide which one you want as the holders in front, drawers at the bottom or back panel may add some more inches to the above size.
Well there are three possible spots for it, On the counter, above the range (in upper cabinets) and in the base / lower cabinets. Most manufacturers suggest a maximum height of top of the microwave to be at 66 inches (1676 mm). The logic is to have the microwave at the eye level of a normal adult so that they can see the controls and item being cooked easily! The other reason is to have the microwave at such a height so that it is easier to handle the hot bowls with a comfortable forward reach.
If you really do not have any space in your upper cabinets and you don’t want to put it on the counter, installing it in lower cabinets should be the last choice as it will mostly help the kids to play with but not you for cooking!! So, try to avoid that kind of design wherever possible.
How high should be the Door Hardware mounted?
Door Handles, Pulls, Latch, Lock:
Comfort height for all this hardware is 34 inches (864 mm) minimum to 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum AFF (Above Finished Floor).
Door Viewer/ Peephole:
Comfort height for a door viewer/ peephole is 58 inches (1473 mm) on centre. On centre meaning centre of the door viewer at 58 inches from finished floor.
How high should be the Electrical accessories?
Recommended Mounting Height- Wall Mounted Light Switch:
The electrical box to shall be positioned at 42 inches (1067 mm) from finished floor to centre of the box-will meet almost any code. Many builders position it at 48 inches (1219 mm) from finish floor to bottom of the box. 35-1/2 inches (900 mm) to 47-1/4 inches (1200 mm) is a standard range of minimum and maximum which can also take care of handicap accessibility.
The bottom of the outlet should be in the range of 12 inches (305 mm) to 16 inches (405 mm) from finished floor. This height is for general purpose outlet. The special purpose let’s say the outlet in the kitchen will have a different height being above the counter within he backsplash area!
Wall Sconce/ Wall Lights:
Design criteria or logic plays a bigger role here. Not all fixtures are same. The basic idea is to keep the bulb inside the fixture little above than your eye level. If the bulb is more than 60 inches (405 mm) high, it is a comfort height for most people and beyond their direct eye sight.
Between 44 inches to 48 inches is the comfort height for door bell. As Door bell is something which requires access for all size of people even people with a wheel chair!
There are few items which may not be included above, but the following questions may help you to figure out what to buy and where to install any item/ accessory/ fixture:
- Who is going to use it? What size/ height of people?
- What position would be ideal to reach that item with maximum comfort?
- Does that item need to be at eye level or above / below the eye level?
- Do you want it out of reach from kids?
- Do you want it accessible for differently able people?
- Are you dealing with existing walls or building components? Is there enough wood blocking or framing at the same mounting location to hold that item-if it is heavy?
Find a pro to help you on your construction or remodeling needs here.