deeper than standard upper cabinets, in your face?

polieFebruary 16, 2012

For those who went the custom cabinet route, did you choose upper cabinets deeper than the standard 12 inches to go over 24 inch deep base cabinets? If so, how deep and do you find it uncomfortable to work at the countertop with the deep upper cabs facing you? Thank you.

(I did a search on key words: depth upper cabinets and didn't come up with much. Apologies if my search skills are not up to snuff. I know that it can be frustrating for some to see posts on the same topic.)

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Polie --> There are several threads on deeper uppers. I think many people have 15". I am planning this however over 30" base cabinets.. but I do not think that is a requirement. Some even have deeper.
15" uppers

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:35PM
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We have 15'' uppers, and 24'' lowers, pulled out the right amount. (Funny how quickly the details disappear...). Like them very much.

Lalitha - just something to think about with your 30" base cabinets. Consider carefully placement of light switches. I have 30'' countertops along one wall, and find I really have to reach more than is comfortable to get to the dimmers and light switches on the back wall. (I'm 5'3'') I don't mind the plugs because those are more permanent but find it irritating to have to reach so far. My pot filler, for example, (when we finally install it) will be built out from the back wall.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Just did the complicated math. That would be.... 24'' lowers pulled out 6'' for a total of 30''. :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:45PM
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It depends on your goals... as to how deep to go.

realistically, why do you want deeper cabinets?

my custom guy doesn't go by "standard" he builds to 12 inch+ inside dimensions. basically to fit a full sized plate. it makes it probably like 13-14 inches which wasn't noticable.

not sure i'd want deeper

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Fori is not pleased

You can mock it up by taping a shoebox or something to your current cabinets.

If it's not in your face, I recommend it. :) I used 18" uppers over 30" lowers and the storage was wonderful. I am 5'1" so I wanted to keep the standard stretch of a 12" setback (people who do 15s over 30s are probably taller than I am).

SO, no, I'm not answering your question. Just saying do it if you can.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 3:56PM
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oh fori, I knew it was an old timer suggesting the cardboard mock up. Those were the good old days...

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I have 30 inch cabs on the wall that has 15 inch uppers. No sink window so we decreased the depth a few inches. Perfect size for glasses and it isn't in my face.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 5:44PM
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I'm planning to have 30'' deep counters so I'm building the base cabinets 28.5 inches deep. The overlay doors/ drawers add .75'' leaving you with about .75'' of counter overhang past the front of the cabs w/ installed doors/ drawers.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Fori is not pleased

15 over 30 is actually less in your face than standard. The standard difference is about 12" ish.

I would find 15 over 30 to be too much of a stretch--the normal stretch is pushing it!
Now I'm thinking 15 over 24 might be perfect if I don't have room to do 30" lowers. :)

I betcha nobody notices 15s unless they're putting stuff inside them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Lalitha, when I clicked on the hyperlink to the 15" uppers, I got a Whoops! error message from GW. Could that be why my search didn't find anything?

Thanks very much for the responses. Actually, I may very well try taping a cardboard box to my current 12" uppers to create the effect of working with deeper than standard uppers. Sometimes, the old way IS the best way.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:08PM
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On our bar sink area we have 16" uppers on 25.5" lowers and it's not a problem at all. We make sandwiches there, make and butter toast, use the blender for smoothies, fix coffee, etc. And in fact I just had to walk over there to check what it "felt" like because I've never even thought about it until now. So I'm sure you'd be fine with 15 over 24, or 14 over 24, etc.

BTW, on our range run we have only 13" uppers and they're over 26.5 lowers. Just thinking about this now, intellectually I'd have thought there might be a difference in usability between our two counters -- but I've never actually noticed a difference at all. I guess we just adapt spatially or through peripheral vision or something to whatever the immediate environment is, as long as it's not crazy out of whack.

So I'm sure your deep uppers will be just fine based on that completely non-scientific and totally anecdotal evidence . :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:30PM
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fori- I'm 5'2" and you've already done what I've planned for a 36" wide space next to my refrigerator - I'm having 18" uppers and 30" deep lowers - hopefully that will not only give extra space but allow the refrigerator to look more built-in or at least less obtrusive.... on my other wall I'm making the cabinets 15" deep over the standard 24" base.

Do you LOVE your cabinets at the 18"? It sounds like it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Four of our upper cabs are 15" deep - all over standard-depth base cabinets/counters (24" deep cabs, 25.5" deep counters). I do not find the cabs to be "in my face". I wish all my uppers were 15" deep!

We are a tall family, FWIW (I'm the shortest at 5'10".)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I have 12" uppers over 21" base cabinets in a small section of my kitchen. We did it to give more area in front of the basement door. No issues with the cabinets that much closer. We use this area almost every day to make lunches.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:12PM
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I am short as well. My counter is 33 inches high but 30 inches deep base cabs and 15" uppers. I had not thought of 18" uppers - do you think that would be better? Do you have any photos we can see how the 18" uppers look like?

Oldbat -- I do have my light switches on the wall but I will need to consider the potfiller.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 12:38AM
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We did wider uppers on one section because it seems that dinner plates are bigger than they used to be. I measured some at Pottery Barn to confirm this.

Then I came up with the dimension of the interior of the cabinet I wanted and said to my cabinet maker "it needs to be this wide inside."

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 3:06AM
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I found it's not so much the cabinets, but the doors, mostly if you have wider cabinets.

We don't have this problem in the kitchen, but do in the shop where DH wanted deeper upper cabinets. What he finds is he opens the door and has to move back a step to clear his face. Then he steps forward to get something out, sets it down on the counter and reaches up to swing the door closed, and he's caught himself in the side of the head more then once.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:20AM
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We actually have 18'' uppers not 15''s, just measured. (Details, details....)

I can store my big platters in here (still figuring out organization).

One more comment about the light switches and 30'' CTs, remember they will be 31 1/2'', if you use a 1 1/2'' overhang.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:48AM
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Fori is not pleased

I only did it on one wall of my galley. And I don't live there anymore. I miss it! The 18s were great. I could use all the bottom shelf and the front of the next two (I got a lot of shelves) without stretching. The 30" bottoms of course were even better...

No important switches on that wall--just the one for the sink and undercab lights I think. You'll want an air switch for the disposal.

No good photos of course. People didn't really notice that the two sides were different depths. Guess I only had 2 uppers. I fit all my dishes and glassware and mugs and stuff in one.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is that these photos are from MY perspective. People of standard height did not see the undercabinet shelving while standing. Oops? (I'd do it again.) So you can hide things in plain sight from adults but kids will see them.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 11:03AM
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I am considering an 27" wide 18" deep upper microwave cabinet but worried that it would stick out too much and I wouldn't be able to use that counter for much. I hadn't planned to pull out the bottom counter on that side, but maybe that would be a solution.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:05PM
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In our last home we had 15" uppers over standard 24" bases and the cabinets were not in my face... I couldn't tell the difference from before the remodel when we had 12" uppers, except for the roominess inside! :-)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:19PM
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We have the base cabs pulled out to approz 27" on our sink wall and our micro is on a shelf over that counter. The micro is a large model, so it is much further out than an upper cab would be. It is over our toaster, so there is a decent amount of prep time with the micro right there and it is not a bother at all. Our only issue is if the door needs to be opened wide and someone else is in front. I guess one might do narrower cabs if they are extra deep to avoid the big door problem.
We actually don't have any upper cabs over the counters in our kitchen and I love how much more spacious it feels. I'd do the deeper if I needed the storage and was working with a limited space, but going topless is even better (or with open shelves). I esp love having nothing over the sink.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Fori, what did you hide??? Please tell!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:47PM
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One thing to remember when making base cabinets 30" deep is the cost of countertop. If you are going granite or quartz it can add a chunk to the cost. I have 30" countertop over my washer and dryer and 15" deep cabinets above. I am only 5" 2" so reaching the back of the counter is impossible for me without a step stool. As for plates, you could also use plate drawers or a "French" rack for dishes. In our old house I had floor to ceiling cabinets that were 24: deep and that was really nice for large platters, but too deep for small items. I was always searching behind stuff. Depends how you are going to use the cabinets as to depth etc. Good luck and show us pictures of the finished project!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 11:41AM
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