Design and Decor

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions: Guide To Standard Kitchen Cabinet Sizes

This guide to upper kitchen cabinet dimensions is about standard sizes and dimensions for kitchen cabinets. Renovating your kitchen cabinets is the best home improvement that you can ever do because it not only increases your kitchen’s beauty but it also increases the functionality and value of your home. If you are currently planning to renovate your kitchen or designing a new one from scratch, just like what we did when we bought our fixer upper home, knowing the various standard sizes and dimensions of upper cabinets or also commonly known as wall cabinets aside from what best paint color to use will help you to come up with a cooking space that will serve its full functionality. Your kitchen floor plan is the first thing to consider when you are thinking of remodeling your space or getting a new set of cabinetry. The floor plan will guide you as to what shape and size your cooking area should have in order to maximize the available  space.

There are cases that you might need custom cabinetry especially if there are awkward spaces or dead spaces that you need to fill in or your family has different needs. Each situation may require other dimensions rather than standard kitchen cabinet dimensions. However, if you are lucky enough to have a floor plan that will not need custom cabinetry and the use of standard one will work perfectly for your new cooking area, this means that you do not need to spend more for custom cabinetry. Below is the complete guide to standard upper cabinet dimensions and other information about cabinetry such as the standard base cabinet dimensions, tall pantry cabinet sizes, corner cabinet types and standard kitchen island sizes.

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Standard Dimensions

"Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

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How High To Hang Wall Cabinets?

The bottom edge of the wall cabinets should be 54 inches (standard distance between floor and wall cabinets) from the floor. The 54 inches comes from the sum of the standard height of the base cabinets which is 34.5 inches plus the 1.5 inch standard countertop thickness and the 18 inch backsplash.

How High Should Wall Cabinets Be From The Countertop?

The standard height or distance between the bottom edge of the wall cabinets and the countertop is 18 inches, but it should not be less than 15 inches (minimum distance) and should not be more than 20 inches apart. The 18 inch space between the wall cabinets and the countertop will provide enough space to hold your small kitchen appliances such as a toaster oven, blender and similar items. It is enough distance to allow you to reach the top shelf of your wall cabinets.

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

How High Should Wall Cabinets Be From Stoves And Ovens?

The standard distance between electric stoves and the bottom edge of the wall cabinet is 30 inches while for gas stoves it is 36 inches to prevent a fire accident.

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

How High Should Upper Cabinets Be From The Sink?

Upper cabinets above the sink should be hanged between 24 and 36 inches in order to have enough space for your head to move around as you clean and wash the dishes.

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

To achieve the desired distance between the sink and the bottom of the wall cabinets, you can use stacked glass-front pull up cabinets (type of wall cabinets with different dimensions than a full-height standard wall cabinet) just like the picture above instead of a regular single door wall cabinet. It provides an interesting feature or focal point and at the same time, the top of your wall cabinets above the sink have the same height as the surrounding wall cabinets.

How To Know The Height Of Your Upper Cabinets?

To know the correct height of your wall cabinets, you need to know the height of your ceiling by measuring the distance between the floor and ceiling. Once you know the height of your ceiling, consider the height of your base cabinets which is 36 inches with countertop as well as the height of your backsplash. The recommended distance between the bottom part of your wall cabinets and countertop is 18 inches or between 15 to 20 inches. Then subtract all of these values from the height of your ceiling and what ever the difference is will be the height of your possible upper cabinets. Choose the right height of your upper cabinet that will fit into the available space from the available standard upper cabinet dimensions. Below is the formula to follow to determine the height of your upper cabinets:

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Height of Ceiling in inches minus the base cabinet height minus the height of backsplash = Height of Upper Cabinets

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

However, the use of full-height cabinets which go all the way to the ceiling are gaining in popularity because of their clean look and plus they offer good storage space which makes them an ideal cabinet height for small kitchens The above picture is the before and after picture of our renovated kitchen, we ended up using a 38 inch tall upper cabinets to have cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. We also decided to have white wall cabinets paired with gray based cabinets to add visual interest to the space.

Different Standard Width Of Wall Cabinets

Wall cabinets with standard widths between 9 inches and 21 inches usually have a single door while wall cabinets with standard widths between 24 inches and 48 inches typically have double doors.

Factors Affecting The Height Of Your Wall Cabinets

The height of your wall cabinets can change based on the height of your base cabinets, countertop height or thickness, backsplash height, cooking ranges and of course family needs. If you decide not to use a standard cabinet height such as you opt to use shorter or taller base cabinets because your family has a different needs, your wall cabinets need to be installed keeping the recommended distance between the bottom edge of wall cabinets and countertop which is between 15 to 20 inches. You also need to follow the correct distance between the cooking ranges, electric stove and gas range, and the bottom edge of your wall cabinets which is 30 inches and 36 inches respectively no matter the height of your base cabinets. This is to avoid fire incidents. By doing this, it will keep your cooking area looking normal and most importantly maintaining its functionality.

Other Important Items To Consider When Choosing Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Crown Molding – The crown molding should be considered if you want to have a crown molding finish when determining the height of your upper cabinets. If you have a 9-foot ceiling kitchen, use 42 inch upper cabinets because it will give you enough space between the top of the cabinet and ceiling for crown molding. If you have an 8 foot ceiling, use 36 inch high upper cabinets.

Base Cabinet Standard Measurements

The standard base cabinet depth is 24 inches and the standard height of 34.5 inches (height from floor to the top of the cabinet box) with a toe kick part of 4.5 inches. These are designed to hold a lot of weight and should be very sturdy to hold a countertop.

upper kitchen cabinet dimensions

Deciding the placement of the base cabinets should be based upon the work triangle method. The work triangle will guide you on where you should position the  range, sink and refrigerator to create not only a space that is aesthetically beautiful but most importantly a more functional and efficient kitchen.

The base cabinet design may have single or double doors, have a series of drawers or have a combination of doors and drawers, which is basically dependent on your personal preference, storage needs and design style.

  • Base Cabinet Height – 34.5 inches ( 35 to 36 inches with countertop)
  • Base Cabinet Depth – 21 to 24 inches
  • Base Corner Cabinet With Lazy Susan – 33 and 36 inches
  • Base Corner Cabinet Depth Lazy Susan – 24 inches without countertop overhang.
  • Base Cabinet Width – 12, 18, 18, 21, 24, 26, 25,27, 30, 33, 36, 39, and 42 inches
  • Base Cabinet Filler Width – 6 and 9 inches

Part of the base cabinets is the intersection of two cabinets. This creates a corner cabinet or a blind corner cabinet with a hidden area which makes the space hard to utilize. Fortunately, there is a thing called a lazy susan and other organizing products that you can install inside the corner cabinet to help you to use the storage space effectively. Below are the different types of corner cabinets according to

Base Corner Cabinet – This usually comes with bifold doors connected by a knuckle hinge and also come with different sizes but the most common base corner cabinet dimensions are 33 inches width 1, 36 inches width 2 and 39 inches depth. On the hinged side, the doors swing open and lay flat.

Base Blind Corner – This is the type that we used for our corner cabinet. It usually comes with 1 full height cabinet also known as 1 door or it comes with a combination of 1 door and 1 drawer. It’s left or right-hinged which opens 95 degrees and the blind panel usually matches the cabinet door. 39″, 42″, 45″, and 48″ are common cabinet sizes. This type of corner cabinet is what we have.

Corner Drawers – These come in 36″ and 42″ three-drawer configurations and are considered to be one of the most innovative changes to ever happen to corner cabinets.

Base Angle Corner – This comes with 1 door or comes with a combination of 1 door and 1 drawer, left or right hinged and opens 95 degrees.

Void Corner – If you want to have a larger drawer that can be used for pots and pans storage, the void corner might be the best option for you. However, you will need to close up the hidden space for good.

Base Cabinets Sizes For Kitchen Island

Best Blue Gray Paint Colors For Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen island size should be in proportion to the size of your entire cooking space. If you have a large cooking area, one big large island or combination of two smaller islands, is a great design for you. However, if you have a small kitchen, the minimum size of an island is 2 feet by 4 feet long. You need to leave at least 4 feet between the perimeter counters to the island countertop to provide a way to work around the kitchen with ease and always follow the work triangle concept to have an efficient traffic flow.

There are two options that you can choose from when it comes to your island cabinet heights. Use 36 inches cabinets high (from floor to the counter) if you want to have a counter height island but use a 42 inch cabinet high if you prefer to have a high bar height island.

Tall Cabinets Standard Dimensions

Tall cabinets usually serve as pantry cabinets and oven cabinets. Pantry cabinets usually come in dimensions of 12 to 30 inches wide while the oven cabinets come in 30 to 33 inches wide to fit in most of the oven sizes and are usually incorporated with pull-out drawers.

  • Tall Cabinet Height – 84, 90 and 96 inches
  • Tall Cabinet Depth – 24 inches
  • Tall Cabinet Width – 12, 18, 24, 30, and 33 inches.

upper kitchen cabinet dimensions

In our renovated kitchen, we included tall cabinets with a 12 inch width beside the refrigerator’s width. This provided us with a good storage solution for our pantry essentials aside from improving the aesthetic of our cooking area. The 12 inch wide tall cabinets helped use to fully utilize the narrow space beside our refrigerator.

What You Need To Know When Designing Your Kitchen Aside From Upper Cabinet Dimensions

Consider Counter Space

The kitchen’s primary purpose is for food preparation and cleaning and having an adequate amount of counter space will help you to achieve its purpose efficiently. Therefore, the depth of walll cabinets should be less than the depth of your base or lower cabinets. Standard depth of wall cabinets are12 inches deep while base cabinets are 24 inches deep.

Do Not Install Upper Cabinets Alone

Base cabinets aside from providing storage space for your cooking essentials provide a hiding spot for plumbing, a holding area for your countertops, sink, microwave oven and stove and last but not the least, it protects you and your loved ones heads from hitting the wall cabinets. Besides that, seeing a line up of wall cabinets without base cabinets will definitely create an add look.

Upper Cabinets Design: Staggered Vs. Straight

(Image Source Pinterest: – Kitchen with a straight row of cabinets.

Straight row upper cabinets are row of wall cabinets that hung at the same the same height with have the same depth.. Cabinet tops and bottoms are parallel. This gives you a minimalist, clean and functional style. However, with upper cabinets using various heights and depths this is considered staggered cabinets. The staggered cabinet is usually an ideal upper cabinet design for kitchens with high ceilings because it gives your high ceiling good emphasis without overwhelming the space with lots of tall cabinets.


If you are leaning toward having staggered cabinets, the wall cabinet should consist of different cabinet dimension like the cabinet height should have at least 3 inch difference or to intersperse taller and shorter cabinets to create an intentional staggered cabinet design. The greater the differences in height will provide a more dramatic look for your kitchen however, it can also create an awkward look if the height difference between your wall cabinets is too big.

What Are Different Types Of Cabinets?

Custom Cabinetry – These are specially made to perfectly fit your space and your style. This is the type of cabinet that usually needs the involvement of a professional kitchen designer to complete the whole process. The designer will examine your space and your style to come up with cabinetry that are perfect for you. Custom cabinetrys may be necessary to utilize the space effectively especially if you live in a home with an odd layout or your family has different needs like you need a cooking area that is wheelchair user friendly or similar situations. This is the most expensive cabinet type.

Semi-Stock Cabinets – These will not be tailored to your space as much as custom cabinetry, but offer many custom features such as decorative additions, custom finishes, and dimension changes. However, you can request to make a few changes such as the addition of drawers, customize cabinet depth and door fronts.

Stock Cabinets – This is the most economical option among the cabinet types. These are cabinets that come with standard dimensions.

What Are The Different Types Of  Cabinet Styles?

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Shaker-Style Cabinets – These are the most popular cabinet styles because they have a classic look and work with almost any kitchen style such as farmhouse, modern, bohemian or an industrial design. These type of cabinets are also popular for laundry and bathroom cabinetry. They have a flat surface with recessed panel in the middle.

upper kitchen cabinet dimensions

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Raised Panel Cabinets – Also one of the popular cabinetry styles because of their timeless beauty and the fact that they work well with a traditional kitchen design. The center panel of the cabinet doors is slightly raised that gives a 3 dimensional structure to the cabinet doors.

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Slab Kitchen Cabinets – These are also known as a flat-front cabinets. They have the simplest design style, they’re easy to maintain and most importantly come with a lower price tag. This type of cabinet style is good if you are leaning towards a modern kitchen with a minimalist look.

Glass-Front Cabinets – This type provides storage space while showing your collection of unique plates and other collections behind glass-front cabinets. These type of cabinets are usually used for certain parts of your kitchen to just elevate that particular space.

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Beadboard Cabinets – This cabinet style is usually popular if you want to have a Scandinavian atmosphere in your kitchen. The cabinet fronts come with vertical slats which definitely help to add a cottage or rustic feel into your space.

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Inset Cabinets – These cabinet doors fit flush with the face frame for a clean look. They can be very expensive because of the difficulty to install them. However, a well installed inset cabinet will look beautiful in a modern or a farmhouse kitchen.

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Plywood Cabinets – These type of cabinetry are gaining in popularity because of the durability of the material. This cabinet style works well with a minimalist, Scandinavian, or Bohemian style cookimg space.

upper kitchen cabinet dimensions

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Louvered Cabinets – This type of cabinetry is great to add an Asian zen, coastal or Bohemian style . Louvered doors are a great way to add an interesting and unique look to your space. Louvered cabinet doors have horizontal layers that create the illusion of space and definitely grab anyone’s attention.

I hope that my guide to upper kitchen cabinet dimensions helps you to learn the basic information that you need to know to help you make the right decision when choosing your cabinets.

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