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Marcel 06-16-2006 02:53 PM

Oven's sink height input requested
(M) This request may be viewed as "off topic" and if so, I apologize but having contributed 266 posts to date which were on topic, I figure you'll indulge me with a question that's not directly related to oven building:

(M) A few builders wrote that they want to include something like an outdoor kitchen adjacent to their oven. I'm one of those and because my oven is essentailly finished, I'm now in the process of setting up concrete blocks for my outside "kitchen".

(M) I've already provided electrical outlets on one side of my enclosure wall. I also pre-sunk PVC and ABS for a sink drain and water inlet Resp. on that same side. I have a very nice but used porcelain sink whose height when installed will be either higher than standard height, or lower than standard height based upon how many courses of concrete block I choose, with your input, to rest the sink on. The concrete blocks are the nominal 8" x 8" x 16" as used in most of our hearth stands. The sink is about 9 1/2" in depth.

(M) I can support it on 3 courses, bringing the rim to about 34 1/2" (counting a poured 2" concrete counter) or install it on top of a fourth course to bring it to about 42 1/2".

(M) The top of my standard kitchen sink is 36". I'm leaning toward the lower height since that's closer to standard than the 42 1/2", and because it's less likely to splash water on the electrical outlets above.

(M) Would you go with the 34 1/2" _____?

(M) Would you bother trying to build up another 1 1/2" to get to 36" ____ ?

(M) Thanks for your input.



DrakeRemoray 06-16-2006 03:49 PM

Are you very tall? In genral, since you are not going to be standing there doing dished that often, I would not worry about the sink being too low. I might worry about the countertops in general being too low...If you are rolling out dough on those, they may feel too low and make you bend over. If you are over 6' tall, a 42" counter might feel better. A lot of people make a raised section on kitchen counters for a baking workstation...


Marcel 06-16-2006 05:05 PM

Thanks, Drake, for your prompt input.
(M) I'm about 5' 10" so I'm going to count your input as OK for the lower height. No hot water there so I certainly won't be "doing the dishes" outside, though I might be rinsing off tomato sauce. Likewise I'll be doing most of the pizza Prep. inside, plus all the bread Prep.

(M) Hey, what do I need an outdoor kitchen for, anyway? :confused:

(M) I think I'll spend the money instead on a trip to Italy! :)

(M) How high are the stools in Plaza San Marcos? :cool:



dmun 06-16-2006 08:23 PM

American Kitchen counter heights...
were standardized in the 1920's, for women, when people were a couple of inches shorter than they are now because of bad childhood nutrition. In the 1920's of course a man wouldn't be caught dead in a domestic kitchen.

My imput? Kitchen counters are WAY too low, particularly for guys. A good rule of thumb is that your knuckles should touch the bottom of the sink when you're standing straight. I vote for higher counters.

CanuckJim 06-17-2006 03:40 AM

Too Low

I agree entirely with Dmun. Standard counter heights are way too low. I built the counter for my bathroom sink up to over 40 inches so I wouldn't break my back every time I washed my face, and I'm about 5' 11". You could cheat a bit on your mortar joints to get somewhat lower than 42" if you wanted, but it's probably not necessary.


Marcel 06-17-2006 06:52 AM

2 high, one low
(M) Well, I may not get concensus on this issue. I can feel myself leaning toward low despite the advice of two trusted builders. Part of the rationale for low is the roof overhang on the side of the sink to be; during the building process I often hit my head on that roof overhang:

(M) The choices of a steeply pitched roof, with significant overhang on all sides was an aesthetic choice; I like the look but the less peaked roofs with minimal overhang are more practical. I had to place my chimney off center from the ridge beam just because I chose to extend the front roof peak. Now that I've solved those problems, I'm pleased with the result but I wouldn't automatically suggest to a Newbie that s/he do as I did.

(M) Another solution, too late now, would have been to pour a Slab Foundation in an L so that the sink wouldn't need to be situated just under the roof.

(M) It will work out OK irrespective of whether I go high or low but it shows the value of the oft repeated adage: "Plan your work, work your plan.
Fail to plan,..........plan to fail"



christo 07-02-2006 05:16 AM

Oven's sink height - where to drain
I'm making my plan and it includes a sink and a workspace.

The sink will be at the lower height of the workspace as I like to beable to put a little of my body weight into forming dough. Will also put a small fridge in there for drinks and dough.

How important are sinks to the overall outdoor kitchen? I can see a source of water other than the garden hose as attractive - but how useful is the sink?

Never having one outside (sink or kitchen) - I don't know how much I'd use it.

Any idea of how much people are paying to connect an outdoor sink to their septic or sewer system? I cannot see myself allowing my sink to drain out the back of my kitchen - even if it is only water....


Chris :)

Marcel 07-02-2006 07:32 AM

No "septic system connection", just a hole in the earth
(C) "How important are sinks to the overall outdoor kitchen? I can see a source of water other than the garden hose as attractive - but how useful is the sink?"

(M) Probably not of much use but I bought a beauty for only $5 at a recycling center. It's more of a conceit than any practical use though once I start using the outdoor kitchen regularly. I may be glad I have it.

(C) "Any idea of how much people are paying to connect an outdoor sink to their septic or sewer system? I cannot see myself allowing my sink to drain out the back of my kitchen - even if it is only water...."

(M) I live in the country on a 6 acre parcel.I have a septic system but did not hook up into it. Before I poured the slab I dug a deep pit, poured in so gravel, inserted a plastic bucket with drainage holes, and attached an ABS pipe. Since I won't be using any detergent, or even soap, I'm not concerned about rinsing my hands or some tomato sauce off into that sink.

(C) "Will also put a small fridge in there for drinks and dough. "

(M) Now that's an idea I had not considered, and one that is not too late to implement since I have only dry-stacked my concrete blocks. I'll check out the cost of the smallest fridge at Costco. I'll unplug it during the rainy season. "Redbrickneck" has shamed me into protecting the environment better.

(M) I look forward, Christo, to any images that may be offered.



jengineer 07-03-2006 06:58 AM

Marcel - why limit your self to the pad that is aleady poured? Why not make and extension and pour more concrete for the sink. This way you can put the sink at the height you want it. When we visited Jim we had both extremees of heights. I had never been to a sink that wwas at the right height for, shaving, brushing your teeth, being a few inches shorter I did feel as though his sink was a tad too high for washing my hands. It was a great reelive to not have to STOOP over the sink - very bad for the back. Now his kitchen table was another matter. It was at kid height and you could almost bang your knees on it when you sat on the chairs ;-).

CanuckJim 07-04-2006 06:18 AM

Table, for shame
Hey, JE,

That table was built in 1820, when people where a lot shorter than they are now. Just about your height. I'm working on the bake table, really, as soon as I get the planer off the table top.

I determined the height of the bathroom sink, for TALL people, by putting the top on a temporary support which I raised and lowered until it felt comfortable for ME, ME, ME.

A dry well, as Marcel says, will work just fine. Dig a pit, fill with A gravel, run in pipe, voila. Also, if you line the bottom of the pit with brick sand, broken bricks, pieces of concrete block (left overs, essentially), the water will be filtred back into the water table. Makes envrionmental sense, and all that building debris will be put to use and stay out of a landfill. Don't forget to add something that won't rot, that's dated and signed (a brick, perhaps), so the archaelolgists in 500 years can say, "Wow, museum quality artifact."


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