Best Kitchen Cabinet Height

Today Karen asks:

I need your advice on buying new kitchen cabinets for my home. I already know that I will be going with new ones instead of resurfacing them. But it’s the height of the ones reaching toward the ceiling that have me concerned. Should I opt for the extra expense of those cabinets going all the way to the ceiling? Maybe instead, I should save the money and simply put stuff on top of them instead? Help, I don’t know what to do!

When you have new kitchen cabinets installed there are many options that come up that you might not have thought about before.  And height has become a big one. But before you decide, it is important to ask yourself three questions:

Best Kitchen Cabinet Height

#1. Can my kitchen ceiling support the extra height? If you are having the cabinets installed for you, then most likely the installer/sales person has already told you yes or no.  However, if you are installing the cabinets yourself, make sure you measure your ceiling height and do the math personally.  It always amazes me how often the height of an object can be ignored.  Most people measure the width, but many forget the height!

#2 Do I need more storage? When it comes to the best kitchen cabinet height of your wall kitchen cabinets, it is all about storage.  Going the extra height of a 42″ wall cabinet will give you more space to store your things.  Be aware that unless you are over 6 feet tall the top shelf is generally unreachable without a step stool.  The top shelf is usually for the items used only rarely or on special occasions.

#3 Does my budget support the higher price tag? Depending on the amount of cabinets you have, the difference in price may be minimal.  But if you have a lot of kitchen cabinets, it may mean you need to sacrifice something else. In this instance, you will have to determine if there are other areas of the budget that can be rearranged and if it is worth it to you.

If your budget is already tight, consider putting a shelf up there instead.  Then store items that are seldom used and nice to look at up top.  This way the space becomes a display area instead of a gap between the cabinets and ceiling.

When selecting upper cabinets, it’s important to measure your ceiling height and workable space. Consider your storage needs and budget before making any decisions!  If you don’t consider all three of these options, you may not get what you need in the long run.  Not only that, but you could be making costly mistakes that could have been avoided just by being in the “measure twice, cut once” mindset!

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog!