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cabinet height - how did you decide?

Posted by coco99 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 14:19

we're planning a kitchen reno - relatively small kitchen (u-shaped) but 9ft ceilings. i'm torn between staggered height cabs with moulding or stacking cabs so they go all the way to the ceiling. what factors did you consider in choosing the cabinet height or was it just based on your personal preferences for appearance?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

In my last remodel, we had soffits..that we did not remove..around 2 sides of the kitchen. We extended the wall behind the fridge and added cabs around it..the cabinets are the same height as the soffit sides.

In my current kitchen the cabinets are ceiling height...and I feel like they are looming over me..plus the top shelf is useless to me at 5'4".
The ceilings are only 8ft like the last house.

When we replace these cabs, I will get shorter cabinets and molding or stacked with 12" and glass plus lighting for display.

For me, it's what makes me feel comfortable..and to ceiling cabinets are not it.

I also do not like staggered cabinet heights.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

One important factor for me was that when we were selling the last kitchen (sniff) a common comment was, "we wish the cabinets went to the ceiling". That house had 8' ceilings.

This house has 9' ceilings and the ding-dong kd that we were sent to by the builder insisted I was ridiculous for wanting my cabinets to the ceiling. I told him I did not want wasted space above them. He tried to get me to do the staggered cabinets, which in my opinion, were looking dated. I know that they are still a great option for people especially if you have very very tall ceilings and want to add interest, but that was not the case. This was just a case of a kd who tried to bully me into his idea.

I told the builder I would not use him due to his many belittling comments. Turned around and got Dutch Wood onboard. My cabinets are to the 9' ceiling and I would not do it any other way. Even if those shelves way at the top are hard to get to, they are easier to access than having to go to the basement to retrieve seasonal items.

And what is interesting is everyone who comes in and sees the kitchen makes the comment that "it just makes sense to have them go all the way up".


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Not only that - no dust and grime on the cabinet tops!


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

We have 8' ceilings and purchased 36" wall cabinets that go almost to ceiling, with remaining gap to be covered by crown molding. Here is pic of mid-installation; crown molding not installed yet.

We used to have wall cabinets that were shorter and left a good foot or so between top and ceiling. As PP said, just collected dust and useless space.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Beekeeper, your kitchen is huge..it definately needs the ceiling height cabs.

In my 9x10 U they just feel looming.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

I am looking forward to my 40" uppers in a 8ft ceiling small scale kitchen. If I had more space, I would have considered stacking cabinets with display pieces in the higher sections but I don't have that luxury. There is no wrong answer-only what you like best. Look at pictures in Houzz to get a feel for what you gravitate towards.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Go all the way to the ceiling. This will provide you with additional storage, and you will never have to clean up there.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

I'm tired of the artificial ivy, wicker baskets, and filth. I'm going all the way to the 8 foot ceiling. Then I will have a place to store all the the stuff that I should pitch.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

We have nine foot ceilings and went all the way to the ceiling with a combination of stacked and 48" uppers. It looks amazing but this petite girl needs to find a good step ladder!


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

In particular with 9 foot ceilings it becomes an a aesthetic choice that has a lot to do with the space.
Usually I'll show clients all options that make sense or that they ask for (even if they don't). In a small kitchen you need to judge the "looming" effect.

Similarly, staggered heights often look forced or dated in small kitchens where the runs are too short for it to be effective.

As to open tops and gunk on top-if you have adequate venting at the range,that you use, and don't live next to a coal mine, quarry or in NY that shouldn't be an issue.
If it is an appropriate option and a client is concerned we have a meeting in my kitchen and I take out the step stool so they can see for themselves. I have exceptionally low ceilings and have some to the ceiling but two long runs that ar open to fool the eye.
Bottom line- zero grease, very little dust after 9 years. ( I leave the dust for demonstration purposes, maybe will clean one run next year and the other in 5 or so:)


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Our ceiling is a little more than 8 ft in the kitchen. We got 42" to go all the way up with very little molding. Shaker cabinets that we're hoping will look transitional/a bit modern. Our current kitchen (being demo'd in two days) has one wall to the ceiling and everything else not. Dust city. While the top of the cabinets are not easily accessible to me at 5'2" even with my normal kitchen step stool, they're still storage. (DH is a foot taller, so he's kind of handy).

I did worry a bit that they may loom, but we're losing an upper cabinet between two windows in favor of floating shelves and we're also losing a tall 80" cabinet in one corner. So I feel the kitchen should be a bit more open overall.

I lied, all of our cabinets won't go to the ceiling, the utility cabinet stands alone, it's the only thing on that wall besides a door, window, and the ends of two cabinet runs. We initially planned it full height, but THAT the KD and I agreed would be too tall, thin, and looming. It's 84". Only one dust catcher for me. (And the floating shelves, but they're worth it, I hope.)


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

We went all the way to the ceiling with stacked cabinets precisely because it was a small space and we wanted the extra storage. Plus, 9' ceilings are almost calling for it. :)

We finished three years ago and *finally* got a stepladder that reaches all the way last month...ridiculous, I know! (Before that we had an old one that would work but wasn't fun, and a full-sized ladder we lugged up from our basement a few times a year when needed.) I remember looking at the time and not seeing anything reasonably priced that was tall and narrow enough, but this time when I looked, up popped the perfect thing--affordable, narrow, and just the right height to get everything from the top shelf of the top cabinet (and also change the light bulbs in the ceiling fixtures!)


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

We have a large kitchen with 8' ceilings. We did not go all the way to the ceiling because aesthetically, I do not prefer the look of a "cabinet heavy" kitchen. If storage was a consideration, I might have felt differently.

I'm not a fan of staggered height cabinets.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Hands down all the way to the ceiling. I think its a cleaner look and gives you more storage.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

We had very adequate venting in our previous home, lived in a strictly residential suburban neighborhood, and the tops were still gross.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Originally had soffits, got rid of them and did the ivy thing above cabinets for 20 years. Looked briefly this time at staggered height cabs since I badly needed storage. Realized symmetry was a requirement so staggered was out. Small kitchen space, went all the way up with 9' of cabs and 12" crown moldings. I thought it would feel overpowering but it doesn't. Top stack has glass for display. It worked best for my space and needs.


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RE: cabinet height - how did you decide?

Agreed! Rip out the soffits and take em to the ceiling. Not only do you not have to clean up there, it gives you more storage and a grander sense of the space in the room. Also agree the staggered heights will look dated.


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