High faucet with low cabinets - thoughts?

dreamojeanAugust 5, 2013

I need help figuring out what height cabinets to buy for over my sink, which isn't in front of a window or on an island. The faucet I've bought is GORGEOUS but is almost 17" tall, and typically cabinets are 18" from the countertop - too tight! So I'd love feedback on whether to make my 30" over the sink upper cabinet 36" tall for example instead of the 39" that the other cabinets will be, to give 4" between faucet and bottom of cabinets.

The sink I bought is a 30" Kraus KPF-2170 double 60/40 undermount with d-shaped main sink (16.5x17.5x9) and rectangular side sink (10x14x9) and the faucet is KPF2170 and I have not ordered the cabinets yet.

I've got a small urban 12 foot one-wall kitchen with a 5.5-6 foot by 3 foot island and the sink is a foot to the left of the fridge and 2 feet to the right of the stove. So what will "pop" will be the stainless steel fridge and range/otr microwave and the stainless steel sink faucet, otherwise I've got white cabinets and countertop and hardwood floors. And not a lot of cabinet space. But I don't want a claustrophobic sink area as we wash plastic by hand.

Thoughts? Here's a link to the sink: http://www.faucetdirect.com/kraus-kbu21-kpf2170-sd20-30-undermount-60-40-double-bowl-16-gauge-stainless-steel-kitchen-sink-with-pullout-spray-kitchen/p1554101

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Oh do just as you suggest: raise your over the sink cabinet by 6 inches so as to allow for your higher faucet but still keep trim at same eye level. It looks so cool and you won't worry about hitting the cabinet. You might plan for undercabinet lighting there too, so take that into consideration when planning light rail etc.

One other consideration if you raise it up, and have knobs or light rail into which knobs or cabinet door can hit, is Blum hinge restrictors. Many cabinet companies use Blue hinges (just cover with their own name), and if you have "snap in" type, you can typically buy Blum restrictors that cut the swing of the door from 110 to 86". Works like a champ! Just send your hinge pictures to the staff at Blum. Very nice people willing to help you out. Quality stuff, that Blum.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I would remove the upper cabinet over the sink and install a light instead. I don't find it comfortable working at a sink with a cabinet over it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Sparklingwater, are you suggesting raising the entire line of cabinets up a bit higher than 18" including the 30" sink cabinet, or just making the sink upper cabinet 33" tall rather than 39"? I was just at the store today and an employee suggested I raise the line of cabinets up a few inches.

I also checked the next shorter cabinet and it's 30", so I lose 9" of cabinet space if I make the over-the-sink cabinet start higher up than the rest in the line. (although I could probably have a shelf added to bridge the gap)

Rococogurl, I will definitely have an over the sink cabinet, it's just a question of whether it's a bump-up or I raise the whole line a few inches etc. I'm also worried about feeling uncomfortable working at the sink with the cabinet over it, but I think I'd be more uncomfortable losing so much storage space in a low-storage space kitchen... it's not that useful but here's a pick of the temporary version of the kitchen with the temp slop-sink/island

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Here's a photo of how I did mine. It's taken viewing slighting up on the ucl's (under cabinet lights) not straight on:

The uppers are 42" baring the over-the-sink cabinet which is 36". That's a pretty tall faucet I have in there too.

I did raise the entire line of cabinets by 3/4" all the way around the kitchen and eat in pantry, just so my pro-range surface to lateral adjacent cabinet would be at 18" including the light rail. You must have a great KD and clear installation communication on this precise point if you're going to the ceiling with your trim to allow the right height of starting moulding, trim if need be, and crown.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 3:53PM
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There have been many threads on this here, with many creative solutions. I'm linking one thread below, but if you put this search string into google you'll see several others.

no window over sink site:ths.gardenweb.com

Here is a link that might be useful: no window over sink

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Sparklingwater, what faucet is that, please? I like it!

I'm about to buy dh the Blanco culina for his cleanup sink, and IIRC my cabinets will be set 12" higher than the others and be 30" instead of 42" tall.

Dreamojean, I think sparkling's glass fronts are a good idea for above sink cabinets; another option would be to make them shallower.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:12PM
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kksmama, it is the Blanco Culina faucet.

It is a lovely, utilitarian faucet. The entire faucet/support swings right or left; the faucet head removes its magnet back and then extends via a very easy to use coil spring over the sink and it has a lock on spray. Your husband will love it! The magnet is strong enough that the extended faucet can engage with it since the coil is metal, thus taking pressure off of your arm while you work the water. Kind of hard to explain but I find this an added benefit.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:34PM
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You may be able to just move that over sink cabinet up 3 inches or so. If you are doing crown molding, you should get a bit deeper of a cabinet, so the molding of the other cabinets will end on the sides of the over sink cabinet. The photo below is basically what I am suggesting. This shows over a cooktop, but it is the same principle. I personally like the "cityscape" look to cabinets, which is what we did in our current remodel.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 16:47

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:42PM
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gpraceman, thanks for the suggestion. In the case of my kitchen, the ceilings are so darn high and there's an empty soffit that I preferred to keep for fun and to not lose the existing tin ceiling, so I really prefer the top of the upper cabinets to be one line - I might even add another row of uppers if we end up venting the microwave to the outside of the house later on and/or might add crown molding, but haven't figured that out yet.

So I'm back to same level of bottoms of upper cabinets, possibly raising the entire line of cabs by an inch or three, or making the sink upper 9 inches shorter for more headroom (which the store says is the "old" way of doing it, not unkindly).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 4:52PM
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The problem that I see with raising the uppers significantly is that it makes it harder for someone who is short to access things. Maybe resale is not a worry for you and you won't have any shorter family or friends that will be using or helping out in the kitchen.

Anyways, wouldn't it be easier to select a different faucet? I'm not sure that I would allow a faucet to dictate the design of a kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 5:00PM
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I just checked our current kitchen (the one that tenants will move into in a few weeks), which was a DIY by the former owners and is really unusual and cute, and the distance from countertop (at 36" height, standard, from the floor) to the open shelving above it is 20.5", even 21", not the usual 18". Their kitchen sink is also not on an island or in front of a window but we never noticed it for 7 years since it's open shelving and higher I guess. Their faucet is much lower but even at 16.5" faucet height, if we have cabinets starting at 20" we should be fine.

Now, whether we CAN put the cabinets 2" higher, remains to be seen, and we won't know until we delve in later this month. (there's a soffit along a small section of wall, that might interfere with my plan, high ceilings or not) But I'm going for the slightly (not very) higher cabinets all along the line, probably 20".

And I'm 5'3" tops and my husband is 5'7" or so, and we have a child who's not much more than 4' tall. But we're used to standing on stools for things that are above the bottom shelf anyway and I don't think that 1-3" difference from standard will make or break resale. I just noticed it after 7 years in the context of putting in a kitchen upstairs...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:21PM
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dreamo -- photo says it all. No choice.

If I had your constraints I might consider a few different things. I would not bump up the whole run as that makes it harder to use top shelves.

Do think the bump up in sparkling waters's photo (15:53) is especially useful. That look works plus she was able to incorporate lighting over the sink which I feel is really important, particularly at night.

Alternately, I've seen a plate rack over the sink which provides handy storage. Here is a Clive Christian kitchen with that type of cabinet.

Also, if you can find a 14" tall faucet with pulldown it gives the look without cramping what's above. This KWC Systema if you happen to like it, is a high quality choice with pull down and locking spray plus a high flow rate. I paired it with a 10" deep sink in my apartment kitchen and it was fabulous -- the pullout also reached the counter on both sides which might also be a consideration for you. It let me fill pots without putting them in the sink. Grohe Ladylux Pro is 15-1/4" higher and can be mounted with control to left, right or center.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Thanks rococogurl! The plate rack over the sink is basically what we have now in the kitchen that we leave in a few weeks, the rack itself is more over the dishwasher but in that kitchen the sink is a 33" in a 36" base cabinet with dishwasher to the left and at least an 18" cabinet to the right and shelving over the whole thing.

In our future kitchen, we'll probably have a 30" cab over the 30 base cabinet with the sink.

I meant to mention that the faucet is a combo with the sink, both Kraus, and the faucet is just so pretty that if I can make it work I will. Yes I could return it I suppose but as a combo, I might have to return the sink too which I don't want to do. So that's the downside of buying the two together. And it's so pretty and artistic (and I bought online and hate online returns) that unless it simply doesn't work at all, it's staying.

I love the Clive Christian kitchen sink faucet - all things equal I really like separate hot/cold handles (which is also what we are used to, in a Kohler sink) but went the one-handle route this go-round, and will see how we like it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:01PM
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I had a high goose neck faucet picked out and realized after our cabs were built I had only about 1 - 1 2/2 inch between. ended up going with a Kohler Fairfax faucet. The cab over my sink is the same height but we had it built with a narrow depth stepback. Perfect for glasses.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:44PM
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