Worktops and counter space are an essential part of any tiny house kitchen.
They determine the look and feel of your kitchen, the amount of space you have for food prep and the amount of storage your tiny house kitchen can hold.
You can also consider having countertops outside your tiny home in an outdoor kitchen area, or in the form of kitchen islands indoors. Countertops also allow you to have gorgeous breakfast bars in tiny homes.
We’re here to explain what typical tiny house counter dimensions and depths are, what you should consider when choosing your counter sizes, how you can maximize the space and what materials are available for them (with pros and cons).
How much space do I need for kitchen counters?
What are tiny house countertop dimensions?
Tiny house kitchen counters normally have depths of between 24″ and 25″. However, if you opt for smaller countertop space, you can go as low as 18″ in depth.
If you want more or less overhang from your counter, then the depth can be adjusted by up to 1″.
If you use the top of cabinets to provide your counter space, then the usual height for these are 36″ including the countertop itself (which is between 1″ and 2″ thick).
This should then provide enough space for appliances to fit underneath the counter, such as a refrigerator.
What to consider when choosing your counter dimensions
Countertop shape and design
There are many factors to consider before you decide on the dimensions of your tiny house countertops.
Firstly, it’s helpful to know the dimensions of your kitchen. From there, think about what type of counter space you want in your tiny home.
For example, do you want an L-shaped counter?
Do you want counter space on only one side of your kitchen?
Do you need two separate countertops or just one?
Will you want to add any folding countertop space?
Breakfast bars are also very popular in modern tiny houses. They tend to take advantage of folding or L-shaped countertops.
It’s important to consider whether you want the option to dine in your kitchen and whether space needs to be made for seating around or underneath counters.
After you’ve decided on the sort of countertop design you want, make sure you have a list of all the appliances you need that are either part of your countertop or that will need space on it.
Many tiny house owners choose not to opt for power-draining appliances, mainly because they are not always a good use of energy when off-grid.
You may decide you’re able to do without items such as toasters, food processors, microwaves and other types of ovens.
To help save space on your countertop, consider whether you need these tiny house kitchen essentials.
Here are three questions you can ask to decide whether you need an appliance:
- How many times per month do I cook using this appliance?
- Is it to be kept permanently on my kitchen countertops?
- Can they be built into the counters or another part of my kitchen?
And here’s a list of potential appliances you may want to consider:
- Food processor
- Crockpot/slow cooker
- Knife rack
- Dish rack
- Cutting board
- Dough maker
- Bread box
- Storage tins
- Microwave oven
- Toaster oven
Since the kitchen counter space in your tiny house comes at a premium, make sure to choose appliances carefully. A lot of the appliances you may be used to in a regular kitchen also have smaller variants that work just as well.
The amount of storage you need in your tiny house kitchen can also determine the amount of counter space you require.
Since a lot of storage space in kitchens come from the cabinets under surfaces, meaning generally the more countertop space you have, the more cabinet space as well.
As we described above, tiny house kitchen counter depth is usually around 24″. Any less than this and you’re hampering your ability to include nifty storage designs in your cabinets.
These could include a fold-out tiny pantry, fold-out garbage bins or enough space to fit larger appliances, such as processors and ovens.
One thing every tiny house kitchen should contain is a sink. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your tiny house kitchen sink:
What style of sink do you want in your tiny home?
How large do you need it to be?
Do you want more than one individual sink?
These can easily be answered after you decide what you need to use it for. If you’re not going to be washing dishes in the sink, you may not need a large or deep one.
If you want a large or farmhouse-style sink, for example, your countertop may not be large enough if you make it less than 20″ deep.
Different types of tiny house counter material can determine how your sink is fitted. Concrete counters, for example, must not bear the weight of sinks so they must be installed around the sink with reinforcement. More on this later.
This brings us to the last consideration you need to make when choosing the right tiny house countertop for your kitchen.
After you’ve figured out how much countertop space you must save for certain appliances, a sink and storage you simply need to add how much remaining space you need for food preparation. These answers combined give you how much space you require for your counters.
Food preparation is one of the most crucial steps when it comes to home cooking.
Many tiny house owners love the enjoyment that cooking brings, and that includes the food prep.
Having to chop, dice, roll, whisk, knead and wrap food in a cramped space isn’t fun. Make sure you give yourself enough counter space to actually enjoy food prep.
How can I maximise small kitchen counter space?
Use built-in storage
Some tiny house kitchens feature neat storage solutions built into the countertops, such as knife racks.
As well as in-built solutions, there are smart storage tools you can use to free up countertop space. Even something as small as a drawer for cutlery and random items means you have a place to store unnecessary clutter off your worktops.
- over head cabinets
- wall-mounted dish drainers
- multi-story racks
to your tiny house kitchen. These will all help you free up space for food preparation and make the process much more enjoyable.
Add space to your sink and stove
The next suggestion we have for you to maximize counter space in your tiny home is to take advantage of the additional space your sink and cooktop can provide.
Most stoves come with a protective sheet of glass that is placed on top of them when they are cooled down.
This allows tiny house owners to use the cooktop to place small items such as kettles, for example.
Sinks too in tiny houses can be used to provide additional countertop space. Using an under-mount sink means there is room to place a lid over the top of it.
This essentially means you can place an additional counter block over the whole sink basin and use this for food preparation.
Take advantage of appliances
Our last quick tip is to make sure you take advantage of any additional space that your appliances provide.
Perhaps your refrigerator is stored underneath your staircase, which is common in many tiny homes. You can use space by the side of your fridge and on top of it for storage.
Alternatively, if your fridge or any other appliance, such as a dishwasher is kept parallel to your countertops, you can even use the top of it as a worktop if you ensure it is protected.
What materials can I use for tiny house countertops?
Concrete countertops can make your tiny house kitchen look modern and stylish. Some people love the aesthetic they provide.
There are pros and cons to consider when deciding if concrete counters are the best fit for your tiny home.
Rather than just grey slabs that you may imagine, concrete actually allows a lot of customization. You can pick and choose different styles and colors, as well as the exact dimensions you want.
The material itself is very durable and hard to scratch or stain. It’s resistant to heat too.
However, the creation, installation and maintenance of concrete countertops in tiny houses is difficult for the average DIY’er.
When the counters are installed, extra care must be taken around the sink and cabinets.
The counter must be attached to the top of the cabinets securely and it must not be holding the weight of the sink – proper reinforcement is required.
Concrete is usually protected with a water-based wax sealer and this must be repaired at least annually.
Lastly, you must consider the weight it will add to your tiny house kitchen. Concrete is a very heavy material and may put pressure on your cabinets, floor and base. You must also consider this when you move your tiny house on wheels.
- Very durable material
- Allows for a lot of customization
- Brings a certain aesthetic that is unique
- More than likely requires expert installation and maintenance
- Expensive option compared to other materials
- Must be regularly sealed to avoid damage
- Adds a lot of weight to your tiny home
Wooden countertops are a very popular choice in tiny kitchens.
A good reason for this is the amount of customization they offer. Of course there are many different varieties to choose from.
The Farmhouse by Liberation Tiny Homes features a solid oak butcher block.
These butcher block style countertops are made from assembled wood and, in other tiny homes, can be made from maple, birch, walnut or other species of trees.
Most wooden countertops in tiny homes are also covered with a protective coating.
One disadvantage is that most wooden countertops can be marked by flames or hot items and stained by chemicals.
Their natural color may start to fade as it is exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.
However, these may not be a problem for you as wood is one of the best materials to choose from if you’re creating and maintaining your own tiny house kitchen counters.
If you experience decoloration or staining on your countertop, you have the ability to sand down and refinish parts of your counter if needed.
You can opt for a thicker wooden counter to make sure you can sand it down many times before it needs replacing completely. Many DIY tiny homeowners build their wooden kitchen cabinets from scratch, which also involves carving the countertop too, of course.
- Lighter material than other options on this list
- Can be shaped and customized easily to your specifications
- Has the ability to be maintained by the tiny homeowner, rather than buying a new counter every time
- Is liable to potentially discolor or fade if exposed to sunlight
- Can be damaged by heat and chemicals
Stone countertops are another option for tiny houses.
One great advantage is that these counters are very heat resistant, so you wouldn’t have to worry about hot items marking the stone.
They can also provide a premium feel to your kitchen and great durability.
Many people love the look and feel of stone worktops, however, there are some rather glaring problems with them.
Stone can be stained and is also liable to fading if it does not have a proper sealer applied and is left exposed to sunlight. It can also be scratched easily if mistreated.
However, the main issue with stone countertops in tiny houses especially, is that they will add a ton of weight to your home.
This is all well and good if you live in a tiny house that is stationary and on-grid permanently and your base is strong enough to handle it.
But if you need to move your tiny home around, as many do, you must check to make sure your trailer can support the potential weight increase.
- Very durable material
- Heat resistant
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Customizable – choose from many different stones and patterns
- Can be scratched easily
- Can fade in sunlight if not properly protected
- Adds a lot of weight to your tiny house – you must make sure it can handle the extra pounds
Laminate countertops are the most affordable option on this list.
If you choose to build your own kitchen cabinets with a laminate countertop, it could cost you as little as $5 per square foot if you buy raw laminate in bulk.
Most people opt for post-form countertops that have been shaped and fabricated ready for use. These can be picked up from general home improvement stores at a low price and usually come in different patterns.
As for their durability, in return, it does not compare to the other materials on our list.
They can be scratched or chipped more easily than other counters, and can experience delamination if exposed to strong UV light or water infiltrates the seams.
Usually, it is not worth repairing and you may want to replace the entire counter if one part is damaged.
One benefit to their laminate coating is that stains can be dealt with easily by washing the surface as soon as they occur.
- Can be made to look like wood or stone finish
- Very customizable
- The most affordable option for tiny house counters
- Can be damaged if exposed to very high temperatures
- The material can be warped if exposed to long periods of sunlight
- One of the least durable options on this list