Kitchen Planning: Guidelines, Codes, and Standards

Kitchen planning is a difficult task for commercial and residential kitchens alike. There are numerous codes, guidelines, standards that must be followed to maintain your kitchen’s compliance with the law. Kitchen Planning: Guidelines, Codes & Standards provides commercial kitchen owners with everything they need to know about commercial kitchen design and layout-from floor plans to ventilation requirements.
Guidelines, Codes, and Standards

Basic Kitchen Design Guidelines to Know Before

Basic Kitchen Design Guidelines to Know Before

If you consider remodeling your kitchen, it is important to understand the fundamental guidelines that will help contribute to a well-designed commercial or outdoor kitchen. An experienced commercial contractor can guide how to design an efficient commercial kitchen layout with the necessary components.

This blog post outlines some key considerations when planning for your kitchen, and you can learn more about requirements in building an in-house and outdoor kitchen with detailed technical information about functional elements, including sinks, dishwashers, ovens/ranges, ventilation hoods, and other equipment required by code.

The Principles Behind Kitchen Design

Kitchen planning is essential for commercial kitchen design. The layout of a commercial kitchen can affect both the financial success and safety of an establishment, making it important that you work with experienced professionals in commercial kitchens. Planning ensures that your commercial kitchen design meets all industry guidelines and local codes, standards, and requirements to ensure compliance at every level.

Kitchen Layout Guidelines

The layout of your commercial kitchen is an important consideration when planning for commercial kitchens. Kitchen design layouts are typically determined by the amount and type of equipment needed and how much traffic flow will occur in certain areas throughout the day.

Kitchen Planning Codes & Standards

Kitchen Planning Codes & Standards

Your commercial kitchen designer should be able to provide you with a list of codes and standards that apply to your specific project. Hence, you know exactly what expectations must be met during any construction process. In addition, most local building authorities have many resources available online or from their office, which can help guide you through the entire commercial kitchen planning process.

A kitchen is a complex space, and it needs to be designed according to industry best practices. Here are six kitchen guidelines you should keep in mind as your kitchen design project unfolds:

Designing an outdoor kitchen for the first time? Check out these tips from our experts on how to start planning a backyard or patio cooking area. As with any other commercial-grade kitchen, outdoor spaces need proper layout and ventilation for optimal food preparation results. While there isn’t necessarily one “right” way to layout an outdoor commercial kitchen, here’s what we recommend as general rules of thumb when designing your home grilling station.

● Kitchen Entry Door Openings

Kitchen entry door openings must be a minimum of 20 inches in height by 32 inches with a clear opening width. The kitchen entrance doors should swing out 90 degrees to allow for ease in walking through the doorway and can do so at any point along its path.

● Distance between Work Centers

There are certain standards for designing your kitchen to provide convenience and an organized space where everyone feels comfortable being together or doing their own thing.
The distance between work centers is one of these standards, which will be discussed here along with outdoor kitchens guidelines if you plan to use them and tips on creating guidelines for your unique layout plans based on available space and equipment needs other things.

● Kitchen Work Aisle

A kitchen work aisle is a dedicated area that separates the cooking and prep areas from food storage, dishwashing, and other related activities. This separation minimizes cross-contamination of allergens and prevents accidents such as slipping on water or grease. A well-designed layout will allow for flexibility in use by guests or family members who may not know how to set up the kitchen space properly.

● Seating space in the kitchen

In this section, we will discuss two ways of seating in your kitchen.

1. Outdoor seating: Some outdoor kitchen builders recommend at least 20 inches of space next to and behind the grill for comfort. Not only does this provide a place to sit while cooking, but also it helps avoid dangerous falls from stepping off the deck into nothingness.

2. Indoor seating: While outdoor kitchens can be enjoyed all year long, during winter months, homeowners may prefer an outdoor kitchen that’s functional indoors as well — particularly if they live in colder climates where snowfall is common or lake effect weather brings plenty of wind and precipitation to the region during certain times of the year.

● Working Area for Food Preparations

The working area for food preparation should be located in a physically separated place from your outdoor kitchen’s dining and living areas. Here, the cooking appliances are generally more powerful than those used indoors, resulting in excessive heating or smoke if not contained within the outdoor space.
It’s important to note that there are no strict regulations regarding this division between spaces where you cook versus eating; however, certain standards can help ensure safety during installation and long-term use.

● Dishwasher Placement

When it comes to planning a kitchen, you have many options and considerations. One detail that needs to be pinpointed is the dishwasher’s place in your new kitchen design.
You can decide whether or not your dishwasher will be hidden behind cabinet doors or if its door will need to remain open for access. In both cases, you should know things before making a final decision about this important aspect of your home renovation project.

Outdoor kitchen guidelines

Outdoor kitchen guidelines

There are several outdoor kitchen guidelines to help ensure safety when designing an outdoor kitchen. While it is unnecessary for most areas, some local codes may require you to follow certain outdoor kitchen design standards and regulations.

Careful planning will prevent issues with your city council after installing the outdoor kitchen, leading to costly repairs down the road if modifications need to be made. Some considerations include location on the property, height above grade level for electrical wiring, placement of cooking appliances near water sources (to avoid any potential gas leaks), proper ventilation techniques around heaters/flame producing devices, etc…

Placement on Property

When deciding on the outdoor kitchen area, it is important to consider how close your outdoor kitchen is to your home.

If you do not plan on organizing many outdoor gatherings or parties, then it might suffice to just having an outdoor grill and sink at a separate table outside of the house near your patio.

However, if you are interested in hosting small socials with family and friends and giving yourself enough room for entertaining guests indoors and outdoors, this would require much more planning and design.

In these scenarios where there will be high traffic flow through that part of the property from both people coming out from inside the house to those passing by from outside, consideration should also be given to safety measures such as fencing.

Water Supply Availability

The first thing to check is whether or not your outdoor kitchen will be plumbed for water. If you are just adding a sink, it might only require an outdoor faucet and the indoor plumbing system hook up (for example, if there is already an outdoor spigot).

However, a full outdoor kitchen with a dishwasher usually requires both hot and cold water lines to be brought out to the unit. For this reason, make sure that your project budget includes these expenses as well before moving forward on anything else!

Ventilation Techniques Around Heaters
One of the most common questions that homeowners have is if their outdoor kitchen has enough ventilation. The answer to this question varies depending on where you live and how your outdoor kitchen design plans are laid out. Whatever type of outdoor cooking appliance or grill you use, it can be helpful to understand some basic principles about proper ventilation techniques around heaters.

In outdoor kitchen designs, the most common heaters are gas-fired grills and built-in electric or propane units. Gas cooking appliances emit smoke from burning food particles on the grill surface while cooking meats and vegetables.

The best outdoor ventilation techniques can help remove these fumes from your outdoor kitchen space so that they do not affect other areas around it, such as patios, decks, and porches.

In high humidity conditions, more steam is produced by boiling water in pots for preparing food items like pasta or soups, which adds additional moisture into the air inside your outdoor kitchen area.

As you might imagine, this makes breathing difficult for anyone who spends time near an outside heating source without proper ventilation techniques being applied.


When it comes to kitchen planning, cabinetry is one of the most important aspects. The style and material you choose will greatly impact your outdoor space’s function and final aesthetic appearance. Kitchen cabinets can be made from a wide variety of materials such as:

wood (cedar, pine, or redwood)
● metal
● rigid plastic (HDPE recycled plastics)
● fiberglass reinforced composites

Lighting for outdoor kitchen

Lighting for outdoor kitchens must be bright enough to cook during the evening. The outdoor kitchen should have more lighting than a traditional indoor one because of its size and location outdoors, rather than indoors.

Lighting can be installed under cupboards or shelves to avoid direct glare on food preparation areas.

Some people also like to install overhead lights, often pendant-style track fixtures, but this is not always practical due to rain and snow accessibility issues and insects attracted by light sources at night.

For these reasons, it is recommended that you go with low voltage LED strip lighting instead (undercabinet).


Must-know Factors for an In-house Kitchen?

Must-know Factors for an In-house Kitchen

The kitchen should be planned well – to suit your needs and preferences. The kitchen planning starts with a good idea, after which you must design/layout it on paper first and then start executing it in real life. After designing the house plan for outdoor kitchens, few things need to be kept in mind:

– Keep everything within reach & easy access so as not to inconvenience yourself while cooking or preparing food items.

– Do not place any obstructions such as appliances etc., near doors or exits leading out of the room because this could cause accidents by blocking exit paths when needed most. Also, keep all electrical points close by ensuring they do not pose an entanglement hazard during movement around corners.

Seating Area in Kitchen

A kitchen should have a seating area so that your family and friends can gather in the space. However, the outdoor kitchen guidelines should not seat more than 14 people at one time because it will be too crowded, especially when food is being served.

Sink Area in Kitchen
When it comes to kitchen planning, the sink area is one of the most important elements. Make sure there’s enough space around your sink so you can move freely and easily. The same holds for countertops surrounding the kitchen sink – they should be wide enough for a large chopping board or utensils that need to soak in water.
Kitchen Counters
Kitchen counters are an important part of your outdoor kitchen. It’s where you will be prepping all the food that goes into it, so they need to be designed with prep space in mind. The standard height for countertops is 36 inches above ground level (though this does vary by region).


We hope this article has helped provide you with some kitchen planning and guidelines. Remember, if you are looking for more information on commercial kitchens or outdoor kitchens, be sure to check out our blog page. If you have any questions about kitchen layout guidelines or how to design a functional yet beautiful kitchen simultaneously, feel free to comment below.

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