When you get new cabinets installed in your kitchen, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Are they going to match the aesthetics of the kitchen? Will they look good with your kitchen countertops, no matter if it is granite, quartz, wood, or laminate? Will they fit the space well? One thing that will ensure that your cabinets look great is having them properly installed; it is the difference between a job looking amateur and one that looks professionals. Cabinet height is a big factor in this.
So what height should cabinets be installed at?
Base cabinets come in two different varieties: standard base cabinets and special base cabinets. Standard base cabinets come in heights of 34.5 to 35 inches tall. This is without the addition of a countertop. You have to take into account, however, that a perfectly level floor is a rarity – adjustments will need to be made so that the countertop and the cabinets are level. If you do not do this, then the cabinets will follow whatever slopes and curves that the floor has and the countertops will end up uneven. To level, shims are used under the cabinets to keep everything flat.
There are cases where taller and shorter cabinets are needed. An example of this is wheelchair accessible countertops. These countertops need to be around 28 inches high, depending on the person. Cabinets, then, are shortened. Some people also have conditions where bending forward is too much of a strain. In this case, a base cabinet would be raised to their elbow height so that they will not have to bend down to use the countertop.
Upper cabinets need to be low enough for most people to reach the first and second shelf yet high enough up so that the counter is accessible and can have items placed underneath it. This space is around 18 inches, but in kitchens that are built with accessibility in mind, they are around 15 inches. One of the biggest factors in upper cabinets is if they reach all the way to the ceiling or not. Most cabinets, even if they appear to reach the ceiling, do not. Instead, a “flush look” – which is when the cabinet appears to be flush against the ceiling – is achieved by using trim moulding. This moulding covers the space between the upper cabinet and the ceiling.
In kitchens with vaulted ceilings, or at special request, installers can create and put in special cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling, giving more storage for less often used products. Some cabinets also need to be custom made small. This includes cabinets that go above the refrigerator, the range, or the sink. These cabinets all have to align with the top of standard cabinets in the room so that they all sit at the same height.