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Wall Cabinet Height?

I have been working on my kitchen. We tore out the plaster ceiling and replaced it with drywall and installed recessed lights.  My next project is new cabinets. I was wondering if there is a set distance between the counter top and the wall cabinets. 

The old cabinets were set really close and didn't seem right. They were approximately 10 inches above the counter top. Any info would be appreciated. 

Thanks again, Gary

The standard height for wall cabinets is to place the tops at 7 feet above the finished floor, or 84 inches. This is for normal cabinets, which are at most 30 inches tall. There are also 42 inch tall wall cabinets, which would be placed with their tops at 8 feet.

This practice puts the bottom of the tallest cabinets at 54 inches above the finished floor. Since the normal height of a base cabinet plus counter top is around 36 inches, that leaves 18 inches of space. Ten inches is not enough.

Note that building codes these days may require exactly 18 inches between the counter and bottom of the wall cabinets.

My kitchen (somebody else's work) has almost 22 inches from the counter to the bottom of the wall cabinets. They look a little too high, but not bad either.

Light switches and outlets are normally placed with their centers around 44 to 48 inches off the floor, so the 54 inch bottom height will clear them okay.


Bruce W. Maki, Editor.


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Copyright 2001

Compiled August 31, 2001