The quality of kitchen cabinets plays a huge role in determining the usefulness of a kitchen. For instance, having cabinets that are not easily accessible might make it more difficult for people to use the kitchen. In a few other cases, it might even make it a more dangerous place. To make kitchen cabinets more accessible, a few variables need to be taken into consideration during the installation process. Some of these include:
Don’t make any assumptions regarding height
When you are installing kitchen cabinets, make sure that they are at the correct height. This is especially so for the overhead types. This involves figuring out the average heights of the people who will be using the kitchen most, and then installing cabinets at a height they can reach. This might seem trivial, but many who ignore it usually have to revise the installation at some point in time.
Picture your ergonomics when designing the kitchen
When thinking of where to place the cabinets, always try to have a vision of the ergonomics that the kitchen will have. Most authorities advocate for a tight working space. This means that the cabinets, the stove, the sink and the refrigerator should be within a reasonable distance of each other, but with enough counter space for you to work. The logic here is to reduce the amount of walking that one would need to do when cooking. In an ideal kitchen, it is possible for the cook to keep an eye on the stove and sink while working on the counter without moving more than one or two steps. This increases the safety and efficiency of the kitchen.
Get motorized cabinets
Motorized cabinets are designed with a motor that allows them to be moved up and down at will. They are ideal for instances where installing the cabinets down low is not feasible, but when access to cabinets that are too high is also not possible. These types of cabinets are usually preferred by people who are wheelchair bound, but virtually anyone can order them.
Some people are apprehensive about getting motorized cabinets. In such cases, another alternative would be to install the cabinets on the countertop surface. This drastically improves accessibility at a low price, but at the risk of losing part of the countertop working surface.
Get cabinets with C-shaped or D-shaped handles
It’s easy to take the types of handles on the cabinets for granted, but they make a huge difference in some scenarios. People with very low upper arm strength usually find it more difficult to open cabinets that have knob-shaped handles compared to those that are shaped as a C or D. This is a minor modification that can make a huge difference.
In case you are interested in using cabinets with gliding mechanisms, make sure that they are rated for the type of use you are interested in using them for. Storing very heavy cutlery in a cabinet that has gliders that are not meant for bearing such weight will only increase wear and tear on the sliding mechanism. Opting for well-known cabinet brands helps avoid this problem.
Buy easy-glide and self-closing cabinets
Easy-glide mechanisms are designed such that any surfaces that have to glide in and out (such as the shelves in the cabinets) do so with very little resistance. This makes them easy to use. The self-closing cabinets have a spring mechanism that closes the door automatically once you open it. Both of these features come in handy for people who might be weak.
Putting all the above in place will make it much easier for anyone to use the cabinet, even if they have mild physical disabilities.