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Room to Move: Kitchen Clearances by Nancy Thomas Cozy kitchens are warm and charming, and evoke emotional responses similar to those elicited by a crackling fire in mid-winter. But coziness is not always welcome; particularly if it means opening the dishwasher into someone's hind quarters or two people colliding while trying to reach a pot that's boiling over. These sort of problems arise when we fail to follow the fundamental rules of layout and clearances. This month, we'll look at the basic clearances to keep in mind when designing a kitchen. First, let's look at counter surface areas. In general, a range or cooktop should have at least 12 inches of counter on each side. This is mainly for safety: a place