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Gets tips and information from Jaycox Electrical.

Are You Designing a Kitchen or Another Renovation?

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Do you know how far apart your various electrical fixtures should be in your kitchen? 

There are actually some standard measurements that tell you where and how far apart your electrical fixtures should be.    Some of these measurements are actually required by building codes, and others are just what is ideal.  This saves you a lot of trial and error and makes sure that your new renovation works the absolute best possible for you.

Here are some common items you'll need to plan for:

How far should a pendant light be from the counter?

Pendant lights should hang 28 to 34 inches above the countertop (measuring to the very bottom of the light), or 72 inches above the floor (also measuring to the bottom of the light). 

How far should a chandelier be from the table?

The bottom of your chandelier should hang approximately 30 to 34 inches over your table if you have an 8-foot ceiling.  If your ceiling is higher, the rule is generally an extra 3 inches higher per foot of ceiling over 8 feet.

How far apart should electrical outlets be along the kitchen counter?

With so many appliances used in kitchens today, no space along the counter should be more than 0.9 meters away from an outlet.   And if you have any smaller counters, counters 0.3 meters (~1 foot) or longer require an outlet.

When you're planning and measuring this spacing, don't include the space that the kitchen sink or the range takes, just measure from each side of them. 

And how far up from the counter should electrical outlets be? 

Usually, approximately 0.20 (~8 inches) meters from the top of the countertop to the center of the electrical outlet is a good height.    This will usually keep your outlet out of the way of any backsplash you might add (which are usually 0.10 meters or so high (~4 inches) and below any cupboards.  you are installing.  If your backsplash is higher, you can either install them higher or incorporate them into the backsplash.    

How far apart and how high should the rest of the outlets in the kitchen be?

The electrical outlets that are along the walls in the rest of the kitchen are required to be such that at no point along the wall is the distance to the nearest electrical outlet more than 1.8 meters (~6 feet).  Closer is fine.    Usually they are placed one foot from the floor, if you measure to the center of the electrical outlet but they can be placed higher or lower dependant on the tastes of the homeowner and the designer.   

The measurements of lights and receptacles in the kitchen are highly variable and may be dictated by the configuration or architecture of the kitchen.  It is best to have a kitchen design completed before setting the position or elevation of receptacles, lights, and switches. Your electrician will be well versed in the electrical code and is a great resource when you are designing your renovation for tips on what is common and practical, as well as pitfalls to avoid.