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Old 10-14-2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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Kitchen walkway Design question

I am merging the kitchen and dining room to double the size of the kitchen. A new island with stove is being added.

One question I have is that I see recommended walkway space to be 36 inches. If it falls just under 36 inches, is that considered a code violation? Or are we dealing with rules of thumb?

I planned for 36 inches between base cabinet and island cabinets, but wanted 1 inch overlap of countertop on each. That would take it to 34 inches. Also the island stove extends out further than the cabinets on the wall taking the distance an inch or so more.

Please help advise. Your answer may require moving the island, which is being built now. We have not yet put down the tile, but are ready to do so when the island is done.


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Old 10-14-2008, 11:02 AM   #2
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Kind of a gray area...Definately subject to the interpretation of your local code official.

The International Residential Code requires hallways to be a minimum of 36" wide, but goes no further. However, I would definately differentiate between a hallway and portions of a kitchen. A hallway is most logically defined as a connective space dedicated for conveyance between different parts of a residence, and I think it would be incorrect to apply that requirement in a kitchen. For instance, there is not a door size requirement in a kitchen or any other room of a house, so I see no reason that walking paths within those rooms can't be constricted to the limits of the door...Provided a 36" path to egress is available (normally via the front door or another exterior door that meets the 36" egress requirement).

The 36" requirement for hallways is based on facilitating egress from the building, and to allow ease of getting furniture in the adjoining spaces.


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