Extra Tall Base Cabinets/Raised Counters

adh673July 4, 2010

We are almost done with our kitchen design and my husband just mentioned that he'd like higher counters (he's 6'7", however an only occasional cook). So our KD came up wtih the idea of putting some sort of filler on top of the cabinets and putting the granite on that and then covering the space with molding from the cabinets- so in effect all the drawers etc start 1.5 inches below counters.

1. Im not sure how this would look and

2. I'm not sure how this will work with our 36" range. Wont this make the counters go above the range? Or does the range go above the counters?

Anyone who raised your counter height, I'd love to hear what you did and if you were able to use a range with taller counters.

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I'm no expert on this, but I would think you'd want to add inches below the cabinets (e.g., in the toe kick area) rather than on top. Here's a link to an earlier discussion on this general issue that might be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: How do you raise your countertop height?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 6:23PM
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that's my thought too. hopefully i'll be able to add a toekick drawer or the vacuum door to get the extra height i need for my back.
otoh, i really like pull out shelves and cutting boards, those may be an option too.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:40PM
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Remember to continue the platform under the dishwasher - it will need more height than its legs can give.

The range is an issue in either way of raising the cabinets. Check the manufacturers recommendations for height relative to the counter and the maximum height the range can be raised in advance.It might be a good time to investigate casters.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 9:07PM
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"(he's 6'7", however an only occasional cook)"

Then have him get several large cutting boards to put on top of the counters at regular height for when he helps out in the kitchen. Not only will you have problems with appliance fitting, but YOU will have problems with a too tall countertop if you're also not 6'7". Since you are the main cook, your ergonomics rule in the renovation. If he'd spoken up earlier in the design phase, you could have created a raised section of countertop for him, but even then, you wouldn't want to do all your countertops higher.

Live with what your designed and use the cutting boards.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:22AM
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I stand taller than I look - I am all legs, short torso. I also have degenerative disc disease in my neck and my fibromyalgia makes my ribs all cramp when I try to work at regular counters. I bought a used kitchen, however, so cannot get the cabs made higher. I thought about having them sit on a platform, but was also concerned that the shorter cook, DH, who does almost all of the cooking these days, would not like the height. I have a butcherblock island top that came with the kitchen that we decided not to use, however. I am having my contractor cut me a 2ft x 3ft piece. I can then use it if I want to make the counter higher. The same will work for your DH, just like folks said above.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 6:35PM
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If you are the primary cook, the counter height should be set for you.

You should determine your ideal counter height, there are threads here on that. Including the correct sink depth. Then have the cabinets designed and sink chosen accordingly. As live-wire says, a thick butcher block cutting board on feet will add 2'' of height for the occasional cook.

If you do decide to lift the counters, don't forget:
- You will need to raise the upper cabinets, or lose vertical clearance between the counter and the upper cabinet. Less clearance may affect which countertop appliances can be placed where.
- You will also probably want to raise the range, if you are using one. Ideally the top of the burner grates is at the same height as the adjacent counter, so that a heavy pot can be moved from counter to burner with minimal lifting. You'll also want to raise the hood, or lose clearance there too.
- Are there any spots where the counter goes under a windowsill? Will there be enough clearance, how will the back splash be affected, will it look right?
- It is an opportunity for taller cabinet carcasses, thus deeper drawers or more drawers, maybe locating trash under the sink, etc.

Personally, I think 1.5'' of filler molding between the granite slab and the top drawer would look odd, like a bodge. If you end up using a filler, I think tall toe-kicks would look better.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:16PM
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I'm disabled due to a back injury and am doing a complete kitchen renovation to accommodate same. I had to research all the issues associated with taller cabinets. My countertops will be 40'' high. Most cabinet companies make their cabinets taller by making the toekick taller. This doesn't gain you any extra storage space, and IMHO it looks odd. I went with custom cabinets to obtain the height I needed, as well as pullouts to minimize bending.

The stove and DW have to sit on a custom base. Most appliances only permit adjustments of their legs by 1-1.5''
This may require moving your gas or electric outlet.

The bottom of the upper cabinets usually have to be raised which requires custom sizes as well.

You also need to consider the depth of your sink to make sure it will be at an appropriate height.

Windowsills can be problematic, as mentioned above. Besides the appearance of the backsplash, its outlets and light switches need to be relocated upward also to be compliant with building codes...this can add a lot to your electrician's bill.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:36PM
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