How High Should A Window Be Above A Kitchen Sink?

Are you planning a remodel of your kitchen, or maybe you want to add a window behind the sink to let in a little more light? If so, you may be wondering how high to place a window behind the kitchen sink. We’ve researched it for you, and we have some answers.

There are no specific building codes that define the height of a window behind a kitchen sink. You only need to be sure your window meets the requirements that codes set out for how far any typical interior window must sit above the floor. The main priority for most designers is that the window sits at least high enough to clear the top of the countertop, and most will allow space for the window frame and a small amount of backsplash as well.

In this guide, we'll discuss kitchen window heights in more detail. What can you put on your kitchen windowsill? Should your kitchen windows have curtains? For the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.

Kitchen interior with sink, How High Should A Window Be Above A Kitchen Sink?

Window Height Behind A Kitchen Sink

While most building codes are very thorough and cover many parts of a home, not many specify anything for the height of a window behind a kitchen sink. Any requirements laid out in codes for standard residential windows apply, as they do in every other room, but there are usually no additional requirements given.

For some people, this lack of guidance may make them feel lost with no direction. But in reality, it just frees you to set your windows to the proper height for your kitchen design. So what is the common height, then? That varies, as well. The only things most designers seem to agree on is that the window should sit above the countertop and that it shouldn’t be so high that the average person can’t easily see out of it. In some cases, even those general rules are broken.

Since there is typically around 36 inches from the floor to the top of a common countertop, this is a place to start. Depending on your design, you could add several inches for a backsplash or window frame. The amount is up to you and your design choices.

Kitchen Window Height Examples

Here is an example of a fairly typical situation:

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Beautiful modern kitchen interior with sink, cabinets, stainless steel faucet in new luxury home

You can see that in the kitchen shown they placed the sink several inches above the height of the countertop. This is pretty common, but there are many other options that can work very well.

Here is another example of a window with a common frame trim, but this one is much closer to the counter:

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Wood table top on blur kitchen room background

As you can see, in this kitchen it works well. It’s a different, but still very effective design.

You can also go to the extreme, placing your window very low to the countertop, like this one:

In this kitchen, they really deemphasized any window trim and backsplash, making the entire wall in that area seem like a window. It is very effective at drawing your eye through the window into what lays beyond, and it can make your kitchen seem larger and less closed in.

In the kitchen below, they have a farm sink with a high built-in backsplash. They placed their window quite a bit above the countertop, making plenty of room for this taller sink below it.

Kitchen interior with sink

As you can see with all the various designs above, there really aren’t too many rules that you need to worry about. You can set your windows where they work best for you and you won’t go wrong.

What Can You Put On Your Kitchen Windowsill?

A kitchen windowsill is a great spot to place small pots containing fresh herbs. They will grow great with a little light and in a small space. You don’t need a lot of room to keep a little basil and mint, or a handful of whatever your favorites are.

Modern kitchen stainless steal faucet with water running into sink

A lot of people like flowers. The right selection of flowers can brighten up your kitchen, and some smaller vases fit well on your windowsill, like this:

Flowers in vases on windowsill

It’s also a great location for decorative jars, candles, small lamps, small statues, or any other decoration you can fit. It’s a great place for family pictures, a small clock,  or your favorite cookbook.

Should Kitchen Windows Have Curtains?

The kitchen is one room in your home where curtains are becoming optional. Many homes you see no longer have them, but a lot of people still prefer to have at least a valance or pull-down shade.

The advantages of curtains are many, not the least of which is the ability to control light. If your window allows the sun to send its blinding rays through for part of the day, a light curtain or sheer panel will help. They can also be a way to define your space and accent any other decorations you may have in the room.

If you are leaning away from getting curtains for your kitchen, but still aren’t sure, you could consider a simple pull-down blind, like this:

Cordless Light Filtering Shade

Click here to see this shade on Amazon.

A shade like this is minimal and non-obtrusive when up, and it won’t detract from your existing decor.

Don’t be afraid to look around at the types of curtains available and try them out in your kitchen. Whether it’s a cafe curtain or a full-length set, you might just find one you like. And if none of those work out for you, don’t be afraid to go without. If there are no privacy concerns, then this is one room that curtains are not absolutely necessary, and no-one will think it strange that they are missing.

For more curtain ideas, check out our post: 10 Types Of Kitchen Curtains You Should Know.

What Can You Put Above A Kitchen Sink With No Windows?

If your kitchen doesn’t have a window behind the sink, that big chunk of open wall space can be a bit boring and drab. You don’t need a window to decorate that drab space, though, because we have some ideas for you.

Decorative Backsplash

Use patterned tile to create a nice decorative backsplash. This can add a little style to your room and add class, all while filling blank space.


Adding a mirror can not only erase a drab space, but it can make the room feel lighter and larger. On top of that, if you spend a lot of time at the sink, it can make it easier to see guests you are conversing with or see what your children are up to.


If you want to fill that blank space above your sink, what better way than art? This can be something inspiration, something bright and colorful, or even family photos.


This is also a great place to add some shelves. These shelves could be a great place for decorative items, like small vases or jars. You could also use it as added space for things like bowls and other dishes.

Drain Rack

If you want to keep the space functional, you could use a multipurpose drain and storage rack, like this one:

Loyalfire Over Sink Drying & Storage Rack

Click here to see this rack on Amazon.

Free your imagination and you will find the right decoration for you. Maybe that’s a beautiful clock, kitchen tools, or even hanging plants.

In Closing

There are no set rules for the height of a window above a kitchen window. As we’ve discussed, most people place the window several inches above the countertop height, but many others break that standard and move the window up or down to fit their kitchen design. Wherever you place your window, as long as it matches your kitchen design, it will be great.

You may also like the following posts:

Kitchen Curtains Above The Sink [Pictures And Design Tips]

14 Awesome Wall Decor Ideas For Your Kitchen

How To Decorate Kitchen Counters [14 Actionable Ideas]

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