Different Cabinet Sizes: Which is the Right One for You?

When looking at purchasing cabinets, you’ll be determining which ones to get not only to fit in with the dimensions of your kitchen or bathroom, but also how they’ll best suit your individual needs.

 

What height you get will depend on how tall the ceiling is and, for the kitchen, whether you have floor-to-ceiling cabinets for kitchen or prefer to have an open space above your upper cabinetry. Where you’ll have the greatest flexibility is in terms of the width. A wall cabinet, for example, may come in widths ranging from 9 inches to 36 inches. That’s quite a range!

 

The wall cabinet designs you decide on, at least in terms of width, will depend on how you intend to use your cabinets, on the one hand, plus the kind of look you want for your kitchen, on the other. And the two really go hand-in-hand: Do you want a bunch of smaller compartments, or just a few larger ones? Let’s take a look at some uses for the different widths generally available for kitchen wall cabinets and base cabinets:

 

9 inch cabinet: This is usually the narrowest width for kitchen cabinets available (not counting a wall filler, which is generally 3 inches and available in different heights, or a base filler, available in a width of 6 inches and 34.5 inches tall). Some uses for this size include: cookie sheets, cutting boards, plastic/paper bags, trays, and just about anything else you can think of that is relatively flat. The same principle applies to a 9 inch base cabinet: use it to store or stack items that lie flat.

12 to 15 inch cabinet: Kitchen wall cabinets of this width are still relatively narrow and are especially well-suited to creating separate compartments for coffee mugs or food storage, which can come in handy especially if you don’t have a pantry. Wall cabinets of this size offer the perfect kitchen cabinet solutions for extra storage in narrow spaces above the counter, and with multiple shelves, you’ll have a range of options for neatly organizing your smaller items.

18 to 21 inch cabinet: With these more generous widths, you’re looking at room to store your plates and bowls. These are also good sizes for larger areas of food storage – if you want to keep all of your flour, sugar, and other baking supplies in one place, or if you have a collection of cereals or other non-perishables that you like to keep together.

24 to 27 inch cabinet: At these dimensions, cabinets start to have two doors instead of one, so keep this in mind as you’re choosing what will fit in there. For example, for an appliance that is especially wide like a slow cooker or pots and pans with long handles, you might want to consider a smaller width with just one door or step up another size. 24 inch wide cabinets often have two doors, meaning that each compartment is actually 12 inches wide, for example. Two door cabinets are especially great for easy access to a general overview of what you have stored inside, so they work particularly well as pantries. The main difference between wall cabinets and pantries is that a pantry utility cabinet will have an upper and lower door (or upper and lower doors, depending on the model), whereas a wall cabinet’s doors go all the way from the top to the bottom.

30 to 36 inch cabinet: The largest widths are best-suited to broad displays of dining sets and glassware, so if you like to entertain, you may want to consider such dimensions for your wall cabinets. And this is your best bet for consolidating big appliances like mixers, waffle irons, and dehydrators.

 

When in doubt, be sure to check out an online kitchen designer like the one from Nelson Cabinetry, which is easy to use and absolutely free.

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