Install base cabinets away from wall, to gain counter space?

mdlnMay 12, 2014

Am thinking of instaling base cabinets 4-6'' away from wall, to gain extra counter space.

I have plenty of walkway space, but am short on countertop space.


This post was edited by mdln on Tue, May 13, 14 at 15:11

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We had to do that in a condo that we owned because there was a long metal gas pipe that stuck out several inches from the wall. We used stock cabinets but needed to buy a bigger end panel to cover the gap at the end of the cabinet run. Our countertop ended up being aound 30 inches deep. If you do pull out the base cabinets you might also want to think about having 15 inch deep uppers instead of the standard 12 inch deep. It works out very nice.

Here is a shot of what we had

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Definitely do it if you have enough aisle room.

I pulled my DW/sink/DW out for more countertop and as focal point.
We put in ?bracket/braces between cabinet and wall since I wanted to make sure there's enough support for the marble countertop.

If countertop is in front of window, make sure you test that you can still reach window. Mine's fine for DH but a bit tough for me since I'm short, but I have other windows I can open.

picture = right after countertop install.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:25AM
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We always pull the cabs out off the wall if we can to give deeper counter....make sure you get the uppers deeper to compensate the difference, or at least block them off the wall to make them seem deeper and ease of access. If you do block them off the wall make sure you get deeper end panels

Keep in mind the counter will be more money, and the install may be more expensive as they may need additional guys to get the 30" top into the house

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:42AM
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I remodeled an oceanfront condo last year and had to pull the cabinets forward to accommodate a drain line and cover the full size wash machine next to the sink. It worked out fine.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:42AM
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If your prep area will be on that run of counter, the extra space is perfect for creating an in counter knife holder - a block of wood inset into the back of the counter with a long slot to insert knives into. Great function and out of the reach of little ones

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:41AM
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I agree with making the cabinets full depth if budget allows (and if the design is all drawers)...keep in mind though that each drawer is going to be significantly more money if made at 27"...I just looked up my cost on the slides, for a standard blum undermount with blumotion is approx $22, for a heavy duty 27" (over 21" they only offer HD) my cost is approx $55

And of course the wood drawer itself will cost more due to using more material...

Remember also that all the other pull outs, trash bins etc are meant to fit into a standard 24"...going deeper does not give you more storage

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 11:22AM
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I wish I could have made my perimeter cabinets 30" deep, but the perimeter forms an L and I would have lost too much of my limited drawer space--about 6" on each leg of the L. I could not afford to lose what amounted to 6" out of the center of drawer stacks on each leg. I would have done it in a heartbeat if the cabs had been a straight run.

If you go for extra-deep counters, I absolutely endorse the 15" deep uppers, which I do have over my standard depth cabs. I love them. And I endorse full-depth drawers, which I do NOT have, in any cabinet. It really irritates me that standard cabinet drawers are inches shorter than the cabinets themselves. One of the things I did not know when I ordered the cabs. It would have been worth the cost to me to gain all that drawer space.

Incidentally, be sure to order at least one extra shelf in each upper cabinet. This allows MUCH more efficient use of storage space.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 12:17PM
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THANY YOU everyone for your encourgement and great suggestions.

Very much appreciate it, and love how I can get many expert opinions so quickly.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:36PM
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I second Bellsmom's recommendation for extra shelves. I did this, and it's wonderful, especially for us short people who want more shelf space within reach.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:53PM
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I love love love histokitch's kitchen with the deep counters. In the finished kitchen thread: "The ledge is 6" deep behind the range and the counters on that side are 30" deep. The cabinets are standard 24" and we just set them out and put some 2x4s back there."

My one main regret on my tiny kitchen remodel is that I DID NOT pull out my cabs. Listened to DH and GC and not my intuition. grrr We are finally getting ready to install "real" counters and I am looking into seeing how much of a nightmare it would be to pull out the all ready installed cabs. Shhh...

Here is a link that might be useful: histokitch's kitchen

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:31PM
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Would recommend going for it, even with regular depth cabinets. So luxurious to have the depth of counter (that is, if your floor space and clearances are good). We did this for the space along the fridge wall, which helped to make a regular depth fridge look counter-depth and more built in. Had to get a deeper gable panel though.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:52PM
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I wish the space in my little kitchen would have allowed for this but alas... go for it if you can.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:44AM
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Another advantage of deeper cabinets is that you can get a standard-depth refrigerator and it will look counter-depth!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:10AM
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Buehl, we pulled out our cabinets on one wall to make our fridge look as flush as possible. I was worried but love the final look!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:17AM
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As I type this, the contractors are downstairs framing the north wall of our galley layout so that the counters will be 4" deeper. They will be 2" taller on both sides. We are doing what Co-Co has done -- which I am glad to see, because a couple of the contractors we interviewed thought it was just too weird. Our kitchen is 10' wide -- just wide enough that you'd almost want an island but there's really no room for it. Making the counters the same depth as the refrigerator also allows us to repair the walls from the previous remodel where they'd cut out several studs to run plumbing.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:48PM
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Here is another advantage of deep countertops. The 31" countertops shown allow the installation of 12" appliance garages and still leaves 19" of working surface in front of the garages.

This is an adequate depth for working space.

With standard 25" countertops, the working space would be just 13" which is cramped.

They also allow extra deep upper cabinets, in this case 15" deep wall cabinets. 16" woul have been possible.

By increasing the depth of the cabinets in this kitchen, we were able to ad 27% more storage in the same footprint.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:29PM
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Lotsa eye candy in this one.
I love these kitchens!

I just realized I'm going to have extra counter space by only about 1.5", but it'll be there. I'm attaching a face frame to the bottom cabinets. Beaded inset. The cabinets were too new and nice to discard, but I can dress 'em up. This means the cabinets will be 25.5" deep. I already knew I had to add another row to my butcher block I made, but 'eh so what!?

I'm sure I'll love that 1.5 inches. Yeah baby, I will.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 3:24PM
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