The Simplest Guide to Universal Design Kitchen Remodels

Jan 13, 2019
Remodeling Tips


Welcome to Clauson Construction's comprehensive guide to universal design kitchen remodels. In this article, we will explore the concept of universal design and how it can revolutionize your kitchen, making it accessible and functional for everyone.

What is Universal Design?

Universal design is an approach to creating spaces or products that can be used by people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. It aims to remove barriers and promote inclusivity, ensuring everyone can navigate and utilize the space without difficulty.

When it comes to kitchen remodels, adopting universal design principles means creating a space that can be comfortably used by individuals with varying levels of mobility or sensory limitations. The goal is to enhance accessibility and independence, ultimately improving the overall quality of life for everyone.

Incorporating Universal Design in Your Kitchen

There are several key features and design elements to consider when mapping out a universal design kitchen remodel:

Ergonomic Layouts

Start by designing a kitchen layout that prioritizes functionality and ease of use. Consider the work triangle concept, where the stove, sink, and refrigerator form an efficient, unobstructed path. This layout minimizes unnecessary movement and ensures seamless navigation within the kitchen.

Accessible Countertops

Install countertops at varying heights to accommodate individuals who may use wheelchairs or have limited mobility. This allows for easy access and provides a comfortable working surface for everyone. Additionally, opt for countertops with rounded edges to prevent injuries caused by sharp corners.

Ample Lighting

Good lighting is crucial in any kitchen, but especially in a universal design remodel. Incorporate multiple lighting sources to eliminate dark corners and shadows. Consider task lighting above work surfaces, general ambient lighting for overall illumination, and under-cabinet lighting to enhance visibility. Proper lighting not only aids in safety but also helps individuals with visual impairments navigate the space confidently.

Wide Pathways

Ensure there are ample clear pathways within the kitchen to accommodate mobility aids such as wheelchairs or walkers. Aim for a minimum of 36 inches of clearance between countertops, appliances, and furniture to promote easy movement and navigation.

Accessible Storage

Rethink your kitchen storage solutions to make them more accessible for everyone. Install pull-out shelves or drawers in lower cabinets to eliminate the need for bending or reaching. Consider adjustable height shelves to cater to different storage needs. Include specialized storage options for utensils, cookware, and pantry items to ensure easy access for all.

User-Friendly Controls

Opt for user-friendly appliances with clearly labeled controls and intuitive interfaces. Appliances with tactile indicators or audible signals can aid individuals with visual impairments. Additionally, consider installing touchless faucets and motion-sensor lights for added convenience and hygiene.

Slip-Resistant Flooring

Choose flooring materials that offer slip resistance, reducing the risk of accidents and falls. Avoid glossy or polished surfaces that can be slippery when wet. Instead, opt for textured materials or non-slip mats to provide added traction and stability.


A universal design kitchen remodel can transform your space into a functional and accessible haven for all family members and guests. By incorporating the principles of universal design, you can create a kitchen that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also promotes inclusivity and empowers individuals of all abilities. Reach out to Clauson Construction today to learn more about how we can help you realize your universal design kitchen remodel.