Cabinet run above sink - confused!

gothamlSeptember 24, 2013

We are going to have a small L shaped kitchen with an island that opens up to a dining room. Our induction cooktop will be on the island and the sink will be on the long part of the L.

Question: the current design has the uppers in a straight line above the sink, no raised part to give extra head room. Is this an issue? In our current apartment the cabinet above the sink is raised and there is a 6" inch deep shelf for more head cleearence. My husband thinks the new design is fine, but he is so tall that in our current kitchen he does not have any extra space for his head despite the raised cabinet design.

I've looked but I can only find one photo example of a sink with no extra clearence, which happens to be ON MY BLOCK! Crazy.

http://www.houzz.com/photos/1642135/El-Dorado-traditional-kitchen-new-york

http://www.houzz.com/photos/1642132/El-Dorado-traditional-kitchen-new-york

Currently our uppers and lowers don't line up, so adding headroom would require redesign of all the uppers.

What does GW think?

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar set up

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sjhockeyfan325

I just checked this in my new condo - the current set up (to be replaced in a couple of months) has no extra clearance above the sink and it turns out it's fine, so long as your cabinets are standard depth. We're short, so it wouldn't be an issue for us, but I checked and couldn't see bending over that much anyway.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 1:55PM
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debrak2008

I don't think the issue is hitting your head its just had a cabinet in your face. My mother had a house with cabinets 18" above the sink and I hated it so much I avoided using the sink. We took out those cabinets and put in new ones with a higher cabinet over the sink. It made a huge difference in the feel of the room. Can you go to a showroom or somewhere to actually get a first hand feel for it?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:03PM
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jellytoast

I don't even like doing prep in an area with upper cabinets, so I'm sure I wouldn't like them above the sink. I would rather do without that additional storage in order to have an "airier" feel around the sink.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:12PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I also do not like doing prep in an area with upper cabinets, but I don't spend that much time at the sink - it doesn't bother me at all. Obviously, this is an individual thing.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:17PM
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weissman

It doesn't matter either way. I originally wanted to go straight across but my cabinet maker convinced me to have the slightly raised cabinet above the sink - he said it's to simulate there being a window above the sink. We compromised on one that's a little lower than he originally wanted. I have to admit I do like the look better.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:17PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I also do not like doing prep in an area with upper cabinets, but I don't spend that much time at the sink - it doesn't bother me at all. Obviously, this is an individual thing.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:18PM
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OrchidSlayer

I have cabinets above my sink (and a glass block window between the upper and lower cabinets). Other than when we bought the house, I have never really noticed that they are there other than to appreciate having so much cupboard space. There is no more difference in head room than when working anywhere else along the counter and the difference in depth between the lower and upper cupboards gives me enough room to lean over any pots I am trying to scrub. Oh, who am I kidding. I just run stuff through the dishwasher until it is clean. But, I find no negative about the line of cabinets above my sink. I also like the look. it takes away the focus of "here is the sink".

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:22PM
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writersblock

I really hate it when there's no extra height over the sink. I always liked this solution, which gives a much more open feel while keeping storage over the sink. I think it's from a GW kitchen, but I've forgotten whose. Apologies, and if this is yours, stand up and take a bow for it:

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:10PM
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annkh_nd

I think faucet height would have an impact. In the photo writersblock showed, it looks like the tall faucet would hit a cabinet mounted lower.

I would think lighting makes a difference too. Having the cabinet higher allows for more light over the entire sink?

If you need the storage space, go for the cabinet above. If you can raise it a bit, that might be the best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:19PM
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FoxCrane

I'm in a small condo, too, and in my re-design, a fellow GWer suggested to push in the sink cabinet slightly. It's already raised. It came out quite nice and there is plenty of space. I'd hate to have cabinets in my face while standing at the sink.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Fori is not pleased

I had a corner sink with a corner (regular height) cabinet over it with a glass front. It didn't bother me except occasionally I'd bang a pot into the bottom of it. I guess I'd prefer more room to work.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:50PM
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gothaml

Thanks everyone, I will ask the cabinet maker to give a couple of alternates. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:09AM
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pricklypearcactus

My parents kitchen (which is about 30 years old) has a straight run of cabinets across the sink, no extra "head room". Four of us lived in the house (just two living there now) and the sink is used for hand washing every single night. We ranged in heights from 5'1" to 6'1" and no one ever bumped their heads. Think about how you work at a sink; are you really leaned that far forward over the sink? I think functionally, as long as your faucet fits under the cabinet above, it works just fine. Visually of course is a different matter. If it bothers you looking directly at a cabinet, you might prefer to have raised cabinets or open shelving. Personally, in a straight run with no window, I kind of prefer the straight run of cabinets with no change above the sink.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:18AM
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nycbluedevil

I probably live a couple of blocks from you...

We raised the height of the cabinets over the sink by 4" and reduced the depth by about 3". I needed the cabinets to store my drinking glasses but I did not want to feel closed in. We also have an 18" faucet, so that played a part too. If you don't need the storage, then I think shelves would look really nice and provide some functionality. If you need the storage, I think our solution works really well.

I posted my kitchen a while ago--don't know how to link from iPad. If you google "NYC galley calacatta gardenweb" it will come right up.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:34AM
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eandhl

The cab over my sink is the same length but shallow. It is perfect for glasses.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:34AM
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live_wire_oak

You're not going to hit your head, no matter what you choose. As to if you prefer to capture all of that storage space vs. losing some of it for greater visual openness there, only you can answer that question.

I would challenge you to find another location for your cooktop rather than the island though. It's the worst possible location for a cooking zone, as it's difficult to do safely without a lot of room. And it sounds as though you don't have a lot of room. Islands are the best prep spots in kitchens, and it's much more pleasant to face out into the room 70% of the time (prep) than to have your back turned 90% of the time (prep 70% + cleanup 20%).

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:46AM
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gothaml

Live wire oak
Thanks for voicing your concerns, but the island is the only option, and also the largest prep space. I will be doing most of my KP there, except for the actual washing of the veggies.

My current cooking area is a tiny stove in the corner of a galley kitchen next to exposed brick (skinned knuckles). I can wait to have landing space on both sides, and the ovens on the wall.

Due to plumbing we can't have the sink in the island and putting a sink and a cooktop in an 8 foot run of cabinets is what I have currently in my galley kitchen......

DH does most of the dishes ;)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:00PM
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wolverine2

We are just finishing up our kitchen and put a straight run across the sink (with glass doors). It hasn't been a problem at all in terms of hitting our head or feeling like there is enough space, but I do wish that we hadn't done it because I love our faucet and I feel like it doesn't have the space it needs visually to fully appreciate its beauty. :) It was a bit more complicated for us to have had something higher right there due to using IKEA and not having the right sizes we wanted, but if you have the choice, I'd say give it a little room!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:22PM
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angela12345

We have 15" deep uppers over our prep sink (which is the sink I use most of the time anyway), 16" deep including doors. It is 18.25" to the bottom of our light rail (20" to the actual cabinet). I have never had an issue with it hitting my head or otherwise.

I was nervous to do this as well, but went to see a friend in NYC during our build. He had no raised area for head room and there was no issue there either, so that convinced me it would be ok. I don't remember if his were 15" deep, or standard 12" deep.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:09PM
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mrspete

I'm very short, so it's not a practical need, but I definitely want "visual space" above my sink. And above the spot where I prep. This is tremendously important to me!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 4:14PM
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