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FAQ: Aisle Widths, Walkways, Seating Overhangs, Work/Landing Space etc

last year
last modified: last year

Included in this FAQ:

  • Aisle Widths
  • Counter Overhangs
  • Walkways
  • Seating Overhangs
  • Seating Spacing
  • Work Zones -- workspace & landing space



Aisle Widths


Aisles widths...are determined by measuring to/from the items sticking out into the aisle the farthest -- usually counter edges, appliance doors/handles, and, in the case of a tall pantry or utility cabinet, knobs/pulls.

  • Aisles are not measured cabinet-to-cabinet. Cabinet depths (usually 24" for base cabs) only include the boxes, not the doors or drawer fronts or hardware.
  • Counter overhangs are usually 1.5" past cabinet boxes.
  • Doors on a tall pantry or utility cabinet extend approx. 1" beyond the cabinet boxes (not counting knobs/pulls)
  • For appliance doors & handles, check the specs of your chosen appliance. Don't forget to include clearance behind the appliance, if needed – in particular, refrigerators and freezers.

The width of a work aisle should be at least:

  • 42" for a one-person work aisle
  • Note: If a DW is on the aisle, then I recommend the aisle be at least 45" wide to allow someone to pass between an open DW door and the item across from the DW
  • 48" for more than one person working on the aisle

The width of an aisle with seating should be at least:

  • 32" if no traffic passes behind the seat (i.e., a "dead end")
  • 36" to edge past a seated diner if traffic passes behind the seat
  • 44" to walk past a seated diner if light traffic passes behind the seat
  • 48" to walk past a seated diner if the aisle behind the seat is busy
  • If the aisle is also a work aisle or has an appliance (e.g., refrigerator) or cabinetry (e.g., pantry cabinet), add another 12 to 15 inches to the aisle behind the seat.

Note: There should be no seating directly across from a range/cooktop/rangetop or DW.


Counter overhangs...Counters usually have an overhang of 1.5" beyond a cabinet box.

This overhang is designed to protect cabinets, doors/drawer fronts, and the inside of drawers/cabinets from spills on the counter. By extending past the cabinet & doors, spills are directed away from the cabinet boxes/doors/drawer fronts/insides. 1" of that 1.5" overhang is to cover the doors & drawer fronts and protects the insides of the drawers & cabinets; the other 1/2" extends past the surfaces of the doors & drawer fronts & protects them from spills.


Walkways....The width of a walkway (not a work aisle and no seating) should be at least 36”.



Note: Due to the size limitations imposed by Houzz, this FAQ will span several posts in this thread.

+++++ Please do not bump -- this thread is replacing the FAQ and will be referenced from the "Read Me" thread. +++++

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