Many consider the kitchen to be the heart of one’s home and at Kitchen Capital, we couldn’t agree more! This is why it’s so important to make your kitchen more accessible for everyone who needs to use it.
There are many great ways to make a kitchen more wheel-chair friendly.
From the layout to benchtops with space underneath and moving shelves, there are various ways to design a wheelchair-friendly kitchen.
Traditional kitchens tend to have surfaces, benchtops, cabinets and even appliances that can make it difficult to use for someone with disabilities. So, it’s important to understand and consider each aspect and how it can be adjusted to suit those with disabilities.
At Kitchen Capital, we have been designing beautiful, functional kitchens since 1997. We know all the ins and outs of kitchen design and truly take the time to understand each clients’ specific needs and requirements.
The Kitchen Capital team can turn any kitchen space into an area that is disabled-friendly yet stylish so that you can thrive in the heart of your home!
Get In Touch With Kitchen Capital For A Professionally-Designed Wheelchair-Friendly Kitchen
If you’re looking for an experienced, trustworthy kitchen designer to help you create the perfect accessible kitchen, then look no further. At Kitchen Capital, we have been designing custom kitchens to suit clients needs for many years.
Designing A Wheelchair-Friendly Kitchen
Designing a wheelchair-friendly kitchen may seem daunting, but we are here to help. While there are many considerations to take into account when designing a wheelchair-friendly kitchen, here are some of the basics to consider:
Wheelchair accessible benchtops and cabinets
Usually, benchtops and surfaces sit at a height of just under a meter. This height typically accommodates the average, able-bodied user, but not those in wheelchairs. This height can prove especially difficult and challenging for disabled users. To have a disabled-friendly kitchen, the benchtops should rest much lower.
What’s more, they should also have space underneath the benchtops instead of cabinets. This ensures that wheelchair users can move around easily. The space under the benchtops will let them get much closer to the work surface than they could if there were closed cabinets underneath.
Modern kitchen benchtops can also be height-adjustable if there are users who have different needs in the household.
In many kitchens, you will find overhead cabinets placed on the walls above the benchtops. While this is a standard kitchen design, it’s impossible for wheelchair users to access these cabinets.
When designing a wheelchair-friendly kitchen, it’s important to position cabinets so that they are reachable for disabled persons. They shouldn’t have to strain themselves to reach the cabinets. So, it’s important to either make the cabinets height-adjustable. Or, you could design the kitchen so that the cabinets are lower down and easily within reach of wheelchair users.
Something that will also be quite useful in a disabled-friendly kitchen is to have touch-release drawers and doors. This makes it much easier to open cabinet doors.
Appliances, ovens and stoves
Appliances and their positioning are one of the most important aspects of accessible kitchen design. To accommodate independent living, wheelchair users must be able to reach and use all kitchen appliances with ease.
So, it’s important to place ovens and stoves at an optimal height for wheelchair users. For ovens, side-opening oven doors are much better than standard-opening ovens. Standard ovens would be awkward for those in wheelchairs as they would need to strain and reach over to place things in the oven or take things out.
For stoves, there should be a lot of space around them so that wheelchair users can manoeuvre around them safely. Having a stove with heat controls at the front is best. This way, you don’t need to reach across hot burners to get to the controls.
When it comes to refrigerators, having a bottom-drawer freezer style refrigerator is more suitable for your disabled-friendly kitchen. It enables easy access to the freezer.
Generally, you need to bend down to put things in your dishwasher. However, this can be uncomfortable for disabled individuals as certain areas of the dishwasher may be out of reach. As such, you should position your dishwasher a bit higher up for easier packing and unpacking.
Wheelchair-friendly kitchen sinks
For kitchen sinks, it’s important that there is empty space underneath the sink for legroom. Sinks should also have an adequate height, width and depth for wheelchair users. The great thing about disabled-friendly sinks is that many adjustable countertops come with built-in sinks. So, you can also adjust the height of the sink to suit your preferences as well.
It is also important to remember that faucet and tap controls should be easily reachable as well. For faucet handles, lever type or touch control devices are much better than knob type handles.
Flooring and layout
The floors of a wheelchair-friendly kitchen should have a good amount of slip-resistance to prevent any falls. These floors should also have low-level resistance to the wheels of a wheelchair to promote easy movement.
Ceramic tiles and hardwood floors can be a good choice as they are smooth and thus have low resistance. However, these floors can be slippery especially when wet! To improve the traction, you can paint the floors with a non-slip finish. Doing this would reduce how slippery the tiles would be.
Having vinyl tiles is also a good option as they are less slippery. But, they can have slightly more resistance to the wheels of wheelchairs.
In terms of the layout, there should be enough room in the kitchen to allow wheelchair users to manoeuvre around comfortably. Doors and entryways should also be wide enough to allow easy entrance and exit for wheelchair users.
Book in your free Wheelchair-Friendly Kitchen consultation
We will take the time to listen to your needs and come up with the perfect design solutions to make navigating your kitchen a dream!
We’ll design a kitchen to meet all your requirements to make it wheelchair friendly but also modern and aesthetically pleasing. So, if you need a wheelchair-friendly kitchen that has everything you need and more, give Kitchen Capital a call today