Deeper kitchen cabinets anyone?

enidangelAugust 5, 2014

I am considering using deeper base cabinets (30-inch) and deeper wall cabinets (15 inch). The object is to increase counter space. Has anyone experience with this?

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Fori is not pleased

Yeah. It's great. I did it in my last remodel and will do it in the upcoming one. DO have drawers that go all the way back if you can too.

I DID do 18" uppers (so I could reach the same amount of cabinet as with a normal setup) and they were great too.

Bonus: regular free standing fridge becomes a counter-depth one...that holds more.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:05PM
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I have 30" deep lower and 15" deep upper on my baking counter. I would never do less than that after working with this for 7 yrs. I have full depth drawers which is essential. Here is a pic:

I also have exceptionally tall area between countertop and bottom of uppers...I LOVE IT !! so much room for appliances...would encourage you to look at that measurement also as you are developing a plan. c

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:49PM
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I did 36" base on my peninsula. That's my prep area; the extra space makes it ideal.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Yes we made our base cabinets 30" (actually 30" to edge of countertop- so cabinets are 28.5") and uppers 15". We are almost done the kitchen now, and the dimensions seem great- LOTS of storage space!! Another plus is that the uppers will fit aluminum foil boxes, 9x13 pans etc. lengthwise for better storage. I got this idea from this forum and am so glad that we made our cabinets that way!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:15PM
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When we redid our kitchen, it never occurred to me to measure the depth of the cabinets - just assumed they would be the same as the old ones (didn't discover this forum until after they were ordered). I remember trying to fit my dishes into the upper cabs and couldn't believe how shallow they were. But the worst was losing the inch on the counter. I kept shoving things into the wall when I was trying to prep. So short answer is yes, go deep (unless you are uber short and it would difficult to reach).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:22PM
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"I also have exceptionally tall area between countertop and bottom of uppers.."

trailrunner- could you share those dimensions? I am planning 21 and may go to 22.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Some of my first wish list items for the (future) kitchen remodel were wide counters and wider uppers. The existing wider counter is, unfortunately, not currently in my prep area, but it sure let me know that wide is so much more useful!

gemcap beat me to asking about your spacing, trailrunner, but I would be interested, too. I may not be able to do that extra spacing in many areas of my kitchen, as I am not tall enough to reach some of the middle cabinet items as it is, and the ceilings may not be high enough to accommodate that placement of the upper cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:24AM
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I'm planning to do a 5' run of extra-deep counters -- not in the "main kitchen work area" but on the small run across from it. This area'll be dish and glass storage, and it'll hold the microwave. The biggest reason to do the deeper cabinets, though, is that it'll make them "match" the refrigerator, which will be set into this part of the kitchen.

I'm thinking it'll be something very like TrailRunner's picture . . . but with a refrigerator at the end. And since I'm not quite 5' tall, I won't be making the upper cabinets extra-high. I live with that now, and it's a poor fit for my size.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:55AM
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i to wanted to do a wall of deeper cabinets at my baking area where the frig is. the problem was that i was doing my reno on a budget and the medallion silverline base cabs can't get deeper if you are doing drawers. so it will depend on your cabinet brand and how much you want to spend.
my uppers are quite narrow, really only 11 1/2 " on the inside so a little tricky for certain things. i didn't realize at the time that a 12" cabinet was the outside not the inside!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:09PM
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It probably also depends on how tall you are, and how long your arms are: shallower cabinets might work better for smaller people, I suspect.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:11PM
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I would discourage this if you're talking about any food cabinets. I have a pantry-type cabinet that is 18" deep and I never lose food, which I always did in the 24"-deep ones.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:13PM
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I would have done this if I had room, but my 10'-wide U-shaped kitchen didn't allow for it.

If you have room, go for it!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:21PM
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Fori is not pleased

I"m 5'1" which is why I did 18" over 30". When mounted at standard heights, it allows one to reach the exact same amount of cabinetry as if the cabs were "standard". (Plus my cabinet guy didn't charge extra for materials since it still added up to a sheet of plywood. I'm sure the drawers were extra though!)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:28PM
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The standard distance between countertop and the bottom of the uppers is 18" and we did 20". I have read others on the forum doing as much as 22". We modeled the different heights and found 20" to be enough to fit vitamix etc. underneath the cabinets, while not too much to make it difficult to reach the shelves in the uppers.

One note about the fridge in deeper cabinets- you still won't really get a 'built-in' look because of the way standard fridge hinges are designed. We did 30" deep countertops and the fridge still has to stick out 5 to 6" past the countertop or the doors won't open properly. The built in refrigerators must have different door/hinge mechanisms to make a truly flush install... BUT I'm still glad we went with the fridge we did because we didn't want to spend the money for a built in one.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:54PM
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The baking area has 24 " between the counter and the edge of the uppers. I know this seems like a lot but as you see in the pic we have very high ceilings...over 11 ft and I use the uppers for dish storage with the lowest 2 shelves the most used things. I am only 5'2" and I have a step stool but I can easily reach the bottom shelf and the front of the 2nd. I like the way the proportions work in our space. My Frigidaire Twins are around the corner from the baking area in the pic so I use the deep counter above the microwave as a landing space as well as for the Miele ovens across from it. It gets a TON of use !

In the coffee area linked in the pic below it is 18" so appliances fit there and it is proportional for that side of the kitchen. Over the sink area the shelves with the most used items are 16" above the countertop. It is all such an individual decision. I would be glad to supply anymore info that would be useful.

left area in pic below is coffee/breakfast area:

sink area :

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Thanks for the details trailrunner; your kitchen's personality is so very calming :-) I was planning 21, may go to 22. KD suggests 24 though with 9 feet ceilings, 24 looks a waste of space. What are your tallest appliances and how tall are they if I may ask.

OP - Go for it. You'll never regret having more space - you will regret having less space.

My uppers range from 16 - 18 inches and my deepest lowers from 22- 29 inches.

To avoid the problem of non reachability sjerin mentions, all my lowers are drawers so nothing will get lost. For uppers, I am planning the first shelf to be a flat shelf and all the others (measured carefully to fit various items ) to be roll out trays (1 inch height on sides and a maxi of 4 inches at the back to prevent things from tumbling over) and D shaped Lazy Susans. (Check a very informative recent post on this by Bellsmom).

On another note, I learnt a new term today, "Backsplash acne"! Refers to cuts in pretty looking backsplashes to accommodate plugs and switches. Today's discovery to explore - Angled UnderCabinet Plugs and Plugmolds.

This post was edited by gemcap on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 13:33

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:19PM
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Beware Medallion does not honor their warranty! We purchased $18,000 of cabinets from them. Not one single cabinet out of the box is good. Open miters on every door & drawer front, cracks all over the place gaps inside the cabinets, and the stacked cabinets don't match up at all. The range hood is cracked and scratched so badly we didn't even take it out of the box all the way. They are only offering us $5,000 credit towards a new set of cabinets. #medallionfailsoncraftmanship

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Are the measurements folks are posting (such as 30" deep lower and 15" deep upper cabinets) the inside measurements of the cabinets, or the outside measurements? Does it include the countertop for lower cabinets?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 2:38PM
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I am considering 14 inch uppers over 24 counters in a small L shaped kitchen with a peninsula. Will this create a problem with counter space? I will have 18 inches between uppers and counters. Do 14 inch uppers feel heavier than the 12? I feel I need the extra space for dishes and glasses.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2015 at 5:53PM
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