Why Do Kitchen Cabinets Not Reach The Ceiling?

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When remodeling your home kitchen, there are a variety of factors that you need to consider such as the layout, budget, construction materials, and aesthetic preferences. One of the major decisions that will affect the final look of your kitchen design is the height of your cabinetry. While you’d naturally choose to have ceiling-high cabinets for extra storage space, some kitchen designers would recommend doing otherwise.

So what are the reasons for leaving some space between cabinets and the ceiling? The majority of kitchens don’t have ceiling-height cabinets because they can be too high to access for some people. They’re also more difficult to maintain and the cost of installing taller cabinets can be expensive. Additionally, not all kitchen sizes and ceiling heights can accommodate full-rise cabinets.

4 Reasons Why Most Kitchen Cabinets Don’t Touch The Top Of The Ceiling

There’s nothing wrong with going for a modern kitchen design with high ceiling wall cabinets. At the end of the day, the aesthetic appearance of your cabinetry will depend on your personal preferences. However, there are several reasons why home design experts don’t recommend ceiling-touching kitchen cabinets.

Read on below to know why upper cabinet boxes aren’t usually installed to the top of the ceiling:

1. Accessibility purposes

The purpose of installing upper cabinets is to organize your cooking supplies, pots, pans, and foods in one convenient and easily accessible space. While high kitchen cabinets provide ample storage space, they’re not at all efficient, especially if you need to use a chair or ladder to reach your supplies and equipment.

If you’re thinking of installing ceiling height cabinetry, make sure to also consider how tall the members of your family are. The cabinetry doors should be within reach so they can access what they need without difficulty. There are also some safety concerns when you have to use a step stool or library ladder.

2. Extra tall cabinets are high maintenance

Compared to shorter cabinets, continuous wall cabinets that don’t leave a space between the ceiling will require more maintenance. Since the kitchen is a busy place for cooking, it’s normal that some grease and water spills will accumulate on the cabinet surfaces.

It can be a bit of a hassle to remove the dirt, especially when the cabinets are hard to reach because of their height. Moreover, you may have a hard time during general kitchen cleaning and decluttering if you can’t easily access the row of cabinets on your wall.

3. They’re an expensive investment

Standard cabinets are already costly on their own but if you choose to get ceiling-level cabinet style, you may expect to go over your allocated budget. Stock cabinets with standard height normally cost around $60 to $200 per linear foot while the price for custom cabinets ranges between $500 to $1000 per linear foot.

On the other hand, the average cost for taller kitchen cabinets can vary between $1000 to $1200. This only covers the cost of the cabinet unit, and it can still go up when you factor in the additional cost for labor, installation, and delivery. You can save more on standard height cabinets compared to extended cabinets.

4. Some kitchen ceilings have an average height

The most important factor you have to consider is that your cabinets properly fit in your kitchen. If you’re using extended wall cabinets but you have limited space, your kitchen will appear too cramped. High kitchen cabinets can be used in houses with at least 100 square feet for a more comfortable design.

Advantages of Kitchen Cabinets That Don’t Go Up To The Ceiling

There are more factors that can influence your kitchen cabinet decisions such as your design preference and ceiling details. If you have a built-up crown molding, coffered ceiling, ceiling beams, or other architectural details that will need to be removed to give way for the tall cabinets, you may need to settle for standard sizes so as not to further complicate your kitchen remodeling.

Using standard height kitchen cabinetry also has its own set of advantages such as:

  • Kitchen supplies and items are easier to access
  • No need to use a step ladder to reach the top shelves
  • They are more cost-effective and helps you save on your budget for kitchen upgrades
  • Your kitchen space will not appear tight or cramped
  • You can use the extra space between the ceiling and cabinets for decorative items and seasonal items

What Is The Ideal Height For Installing Kitchen Cabinets?

There is a large array of sizes available for corner base cabinets, tall cabinets, and wall cabinetry, and it’s up to your personal choices on how high you want your cabinets to go.

However, you should consider that its height won’t block your countertop or limit your access to your supplies.

Here’s a guide on the recommended heights for installing ceiling kitchen cabinets:

  • As a rule of thumb, you should leave at least 54 inches of space between the bottom edge of the wall cabinet and the floor.
  • Wall cabinets need to be able to fit between the counter and ceiling. The standard heights for common cabinet design are 12, 36, and 42 inches tall. Other cabinet brands offer 18-inch cabinets, 24-inch cabinets, 30-inch cabinets.
  • If you want your cabinets to touch the ceiling height, you need to consider the actual size of your kitchen. You can buy 42-inch-tall wide cabinets for your 8-foot-tall ceiling or use 36-inch-tall cabinets for a kitchen space with a 9-foot-tall ceiling.
  • If you have a kitchen with 10 foot ceilings or higher, it’s best to go with customized cabinets but you should still leave a gap in between.

What To Do If You Don’t Like The Space Between The Cabinet and Ceiling

The space between the cabinetry and the ceiling is commonly called drywall bulkhead or soffit. It’s usually a boxy shape and it’s used to all hide electrical wirings and pipes that run on your kitchen ceiling. If you’re not a fan of seeing that gap between the ceiling and cabinet, here are some cabinetry ideas to cover it up:

  • Standard cabinets may look less appealing but you can fix this by styling it with glass doors
  • You can also choose to remove cabinet doors and go for an open shelving concept
  • The extra space can be decorated with trim or decorative crown molding
  • You also have the choice to put a row of additional cabinets for more storage

Get Expert Help For Kitchen Cabinet Installations With Zothex Flooring

Kitchen cabinets should be functional, efficient, and accessible. These are why they’re not usually installed to reach the top of the ceiling. If you don’t like the empty space above your current cabinets, you can add a second row of cabinetry, put decorative items, or trim it with molding.

At Zothex Flooring, we can help customize your wall cabinetry designs and assist you in choosing between installing them to touch the ceiling or going for the shorter options. We also have a wide range of kitchen cabinet products that come in different styles with premium features suited for different types of kitchens. Contact us now at (916) 925 - 1958 to talk with our professional designers or browse our website to look through our cabinet stocks.

Read More: How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Kitchen Cabinets

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