Cabinets and Countertops
- Vary the heights of countertops for different tasks. Lower levels allow the ability to sit while preparing and cooking meals. The best height is 28 in. - 32 in.
- Add pullout work surfaces such as counters, breadboards and cutting boards for access from a chair. Drawer storage with fully extendable glides is easier to access and organize.
- Consider the heights of the wall cabinets and the individuals that need to reach them. You can situate some cabinets closer to the countertop than others for ease of access.
- Incorporate bigger, deeper toe kicks and knee spaces under counters.
- Install lazy Susans and pullout shelves.
- Install D-shaped loop handles on cabinet doors and drawers.
- Reduce glare by using low gloss finishes.
- Use contrasting colors to enhance visibility for those with reduced vision.
- Install a sink with a shallow (5 in. - 6 in. deep) basin for easy reach. Use a tub-bend pipe to move the drain closer to the rear of the under counter area to provide knee room.
- Install the sink closer to the front edge of the counter.
- Use a lever- or loop-handled kitchen faucet. Choose faucets with pull out or push-button sprayer controls or consider installing touch technology to eliminate handles altogether.
- Prevent scalding by installing faucets with temperature controls. Insulate hot water pipes under the sink.
- Shop for a side-by-side refrigerator and cooktop with front-mounted controls.
- Place microwave drawer or wall oven 31 in. from the floor for easier access.
- Install dishwasher drawer 6 in. to 8 in. above floor level and make it accessible from the right or left sides.
- Place outlets no lower than 15 in. off the floor.
- Locate light switches and thermostat controls 48 in. above the floor.
Design Tips for Every Room
- A five-foot square of open area to allow a wheelchair user to make a 360 degree turnaround.
- Low-pile carpeting or non-slip flooring.
- Door openings should be 36 in. wide.
- Swing-away hinges on doors to allow full use of the entire door frame width.