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Knee Space Under Counter Cabinet Drawer Design

January 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

What is the standard height for a knee space? When building cabinets the clearance under the counter depends on the customer. The drawer design needs to be custom fit to the individual that will be using the area the most.

But, is there a standard height that a under counter make-up or desk drawer should be installed at? Yes there is a standard height dimension for this particular area of a vanity cabinet arrangement or office desk cabinetry design.

A standard (or, “normal”) height to the top of a countertop, in either of these areas, can range from thirty to thirty two inches. By leaving no less than twenty four inches clear from the floor to the bottom of the drawer, this should work just about for anyone. But, if you are having a custom fabricated set of office cabinets or a desk built in the kitchen, get your cabinet maker to fabricate the height in accordance with your knee height when you are sitting down.


I always just have the customer sit in a chair and measure the distance from the floor up next to them. Then I ask the customer, who is usually the woman of the family, to decide where they want the bottom of the lap drawer to be. Some people like to leave room in the knee space so that they can cross their legs comfortably. Others really care more about having a larger drawer under the counter for storage rather than a taller area from the floor up for their legs to cross.

In relation to how wide the knee space area should be in a make-up design, we never make this void smaller than twenty four (24”) inches. Thirty six inches in width is the maximum distance that we fabricate these knee space drawers. If the distance from left to right is any smaller than twenty four inches, the lap drawer area has a poor design. The space is just too cramped for any one to use with any comfort at all.

It is paying attention to small design details like these that make a bathroom make-up area more functional. In an office setting, it is important for the cabinet design to be ergonomically correct. The under-counter clearance should always allow for enough of a void so tat the cabinet drawer doesn’t rub on anyone’s knee. The space should always be wide enough for someone to sit for extended periods of time with out feeling really cramped.

Categories: Cabinet Making
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