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SMART APPLIANCE PLACEMENT can reduce back pain, save steps, and increase safety. Follow these National Kitchen and Bath Association guidelines based on ergonomics, counter space, and the distance between appliances.

Elevate this kitchen workhorse 12—18 inches to minimize stooping and bending as yon load and unload. Because most dishwashers occupy the space of a standard 24-inch-wide cabinet, it is simple to adapt wall oven cabinetry for this purpose. Remember to allow at least 18 inches of cleanup counter space between the sink and
raised dishwasher.
Whether or not you elevate the dishwasher, make sure it can be reached from more than one side to accommodate helpers. Though the sink doesn’t need to be adjacent to the dishwasher, it should be within 36 inches of it. If you have counters, appliances, and/or cabinets placed at a right angle to the dishwasher, leave at least 21 inches of clear floor space between them.
Wall ovens and microwave ovens
A wall oven is used only 15 percent of the time in meal preparation. If space is limited, consider placing it outside the work core. A microwave oven, however, is one of the most used appliances and should be placed within or as close as possible to the main work area.
A single wall oven should be installed at countertop level, or about 36 inches above the floor. For safety and convenience, find a height that puts the open oven door about 3 inches below your bent elbow Also make sure the open oven door will not block the way of passersby. If you have double wall ovens, install one just above countertop height and the other just below.
Find a spot for the microwave oven within the work triangle and at a safe height for all family members to use. A microwave oven placed at the end of an island counter is convenient for children who are old enough to heat items themselves. (However, a microwave oven at this height can also be a danger to toddlers.) Regardless of the location, you’ll need a spot to set cooked dishes beside, above, or below the microwave oven. The counter should be at least 15 inches wide and 16 inches deep.

The refrigerator should be placed near the sink, cook top, and oven. You’ll need at least 15 inches of counter space near the refrigerator as a landing spot for food. The latch side of the refrigerator is the best location, or choose either side of a side-by-side refrigerator. If adjacent counter space is nonexistent, locate 15 inches of counter space no more than 48 inches across from the refrigerator.



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