Should Kitchen Cabinets Reach the Ceiling or Not?

A common question asked when installing kitchen cabinets is whether or not they should reach the ceiling or have a space left in between. While there’s no right or wrong way to do this, there are some things you may want to consider when choosing. Knowing some factors may help you decide.

The first thing to consider is how high your ceiling is. This has a major impact on whether you take the cabinets ceiling high as well as what size cabinets you need. If you choose 30 inch wall cabinets and want to use the standard of 19 ½ inches between the base and cabinets, you have to have 84 inches in height minimum. For 42 inch cabinets you need 96 inches minimum. To add crown molding or leave a space impacts the size of cabinets you can select and how you can install it.

Everyone may believe that a ceiling is totally level but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Ceilings, just like floors, have some differences in height no matter how new the building. You may not know just from looking at your ceiling how level it is.

Therefore, installing cabinets all the way up to the ceiling can cause some significant challenges. Kitchen cabinets need to be level no matter what kind of condition your ceiling is in. This is the main reason that most people choose to leave space between the cabinets and the ceiling.

You can choose to add crown molding or trim above your kitchen cabinets for decorative purposes or to hide any places not level. If you decide to do this, be aware that it will impact how you decide to install your cabinets. You can make it work, though.

Something else to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets is the style. European and newer styles come with full overlay doors. This means there’s almost no room between the door and cabinet top. If you choose these styles, you probably won’t be able to install the cabinet reaching the ceiling.

You can see that there are several things to consider when you’re shopping for kitchen cabinets. The same apply when shopping for bathroom cabinets.

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