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Cabinets to Ceiling: Yes or No?


In recent years we’ve seen a return to wall cabinets that run all the way up to the ceiling. They provide more storage space and can work in both traditional and modern kitchen styles. Whether your kitchen cabinets should go all the way up to the ceiling depends on the size of your wall cabinets and the height of your ceiling. The standard ceiling height is 8 feet, but it can reach up to 9 or even 10 feet. Since this leaves bigger spaces between the ceiling and the cabinets, the question is whether to leave the space between the cabinets open or to add additional cabinetry. Read on about three factors to consider before making this decision.

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Personal preference

This is the first question you should ask yourself. What’s your preference? If you like the smooth look of the cabinets that run-up to the ceiling and this works for you on a functional level as well, then there’s no point in digging any deeper into the question. You can like the look or the functionality. Do you like the extra storage space or the fact they do not have surfaces where dirt or dust can collect easily? It makes cabinet maintenance easier. But at the same time, be aware that the cabinets up to the ceiling are not very accessible. The closer to the ceiling your storage space is, the more difficult that space will be to access. On that note, you’ll probably need a step stool to get to those things. Note: Use those upper areas to store items that are used rarely like seasonal items and dishes.


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Your budget

We all know that cabinetry is already the most expensive component of a kitchen remodel. Buying extra-tall cabinets or adding a second row of cabinets can increase your costs by about 15%. Cabinets to the ceiling won’t fit into every budget, so if your budget is tight, think of other options. For instance, you could frame the ceiling down or use finish soffits.


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Ceiling height

As we mentioned, most kitchens have ceilings that are 8 feet or 9 feet high, and if this is the case for you, there are a few options:

Keep in mind that many cabinetry makers offer wall cabinets that are 12, 15, 18, 24, 30, 33, 36, and 42” tall.


→ For 8-foot-tall ceilings, 42” tall wall cabinets will fit perfectly.


→ For 9-foot-tall ceilings, there are several possibilities. Since there will be 54” of wall space left to fill in, versus the 42″ with an 8-foot-ceiling, you can fill that space with one row of 36” cabinets and 18” cabinets above them. Also, you could use 12” cabinets above the 42” ones and then fill the gaps with crown moldings or other decorative work.


→ For 10-foot-tall ceilings, the best option would be to have cabinetry makers build the custom cabinets to fit the space perfectly.


→ Floor-to-ceiling cabinets aren’t great in kitchen that have ceilings higher than 10 feet.  It’s not practical or visually appealing.


Image Source: Pinterest


There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on your personal preference. Calculate all the advantages and disadvantages to find the right combination.


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Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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