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Standard Kitchen Cabinet Size Guide

If you're starting the process of remodeling your kitchen and are exploring various cabinetry styles, you may be looking to get an idea of standard dimensions before you move forward. Along with choosing design elements for your cabinets, you should also stop and think about how much space your new cabinetry will occupy. When it comes to cabinet sizing, there are a multitude of factors that must be taken into account to design the kitchen accurately for the space. Take a look at our guide to standard cabinet sizes for base, wall and tall cabinets so you can properly begin to plan your layout. Whether you're in search of storage-packed deep wall cabinets or want a single-oven base cabinet, this helpful size guide is essential.

Base Cabinet Sizes

This type of cabinetry serves as the base or foundation for countertops and other surfaces. It rests on the floor and typically comes with one drawer and a set of shelves or a handful of drawers stacked on top of one another, depending on your needs and preference. Since base cabinets are installed on the floor, they tend to do all the heavy lifting, with counters and sinks installed on top of them. They also attach to dishwashers, ranges, and other common kitchen appliances. If you are looking to pick and choose which cabinets to install, the base cabinet is one that simply cannot be skipped, since it is essentially the building block upon which everything else is placed.

Standard Base Cabinet Sizes

Typically, standard base cabinets measure 34.5" H and 36" H from the floor to the top of the countertop when a countertop is installed. The toe kick portion of the cabinet is 4.5" H, the standard door height is 24" H and the top drawer height is 6" H (equaling 34.5" H total). Three-drawer base cabinets have a 6" H top drawer and bottom/middle drawer styles are 12" H with a 4.5" H toe kick.

Full Height Base Cabinet Sizes

Full height base cabinets will typically have doors approximately 30" H each. The standard depth for base cabinets is 24" D. For islands and applications where wall obstacles prevent full cabinet depth options, it is common that base cabinets are reduced in 3" intervals down to 12" D, as needed. Standard widths for base cabinets start at 9" W with 3" intervals up to 36" W.

Coastal Cream Base Cabinets

Wall Cabinet Sizes

Wall cabinets are designed to be used to store both kitchen supplies and food items. As compared to base cabinets, wall cabinets offer a lot more diversity in sizing. Choosing the right height for your wall cabinets really comes down to the height of your kitchen ceiling and your personal preferences.

Typically, wall cabinets are available in 30", 36" and 42" in height. 30" tall cabinets will top align at 84" height, 36" height cabinets will top align at 90" H, and 42" H cabinets will top align at 96" H.

For proper installation, please make sure to plan and install your cabinets 54" from the floor to the bottom of the wall cabinet. When subtracting the 36" height of a base cabinet including countertop, this leaves 18" of height. This is the standard height for a backsplash.

It is important to select the correct height wall cabinets for your kitchen design/space, taking into account any crown molding atop of kitchen cabinets:

  • Typically, 30" H cabinets are used if the kitchen has an 8 foot ceiling with a 12" height soffit remaining or for 8 foot ceiling kitchens that prefer the cabinets do not go to the ceiling.
  • Usually, 36" H cabinets are used when you have an 8 foot ceiling and you'd like to use crown molding finished to the ceiling. Please note that since 36" H cabinets top align at 90" H, typically a stacked molding is used to make up the additional 6" — however, other traditional and atypical molding options can be used.
  • Typically, 42" H cabinets are used if the kitchen has a nine foot ceiling, these are the largest size standard height wall cabinets. Please note when using 42" H cabinets in an 8 foot ceiling there will be no room left for a crown molding, only a simple scribe molding can fit at the top. However, if you can, use a small height crown molding and drop the cabinets 1.5-2" H for a crown molding look, but you will sacrifice backsplash height.

Standard cabinet depth is 12" deep, and 24" deep cabinets to be used over the refrigerator are common, which will allow easier access. When designing a kitchen with a staggered height cabinet look, it is very important that when you make cabinets taller, that you also make them 3" deeper to 15" D. This will allow the necessary room for crown moldings of the shorter height cabinets to finish nicely into the side of the cabinet, and not block the door opening of the taller cabinet. When trying to determine the correct height cabinet to use above a range, it is important to take into account the height of the other wall cabinets.

See this handy chart below for more information:

Cabinet Size Table

Standard widths for wall cabinets are the same as base cabinets, they start at 9" W with 3" intervals up to 36" W. Wall cabinets also have flexibility as being used as 12 “ D base cabinets, commonly used for island applications. To use a wall cabinet as a base cabinet, it is necessary to build a 4.5" H toe kick platform and order an additional matching toe kick to finish it. To align at standard base cabinet height, use a 30" H wall cabinet. If you are looking to create a two tier island, use a 36" H wall cabinet for the bar height level. The 36" H wall cabinet with a 4.5" H toe kick and countertop will have a finished bar height of 42" height.

Tall Cabinet Sizes

Tall cabinets consist mostly of pantry cabinets with various storage options and oven cabinets. Tall cabinets are typically 84" H, 90" H, and 96" H. To select the correct pantry for your space, use 84" H pantry with 30" H wall cabinets, 90" H pantry with 36" H wall cabinets, and 96" H pantry with 42" H wall cabinets. Tall pantries are most commonly 24" deep, but 12" deep options are common for tighter spaces. When working with stock cabinet lines, pantry widths are typically limited to 18" wide or 24" wide, however when working with semi-custom cabinet manufacturers pantry cabinets range from 9" W in 3" W intervals up to 36" wide. Tall oven cabinets are typically 30" W to 36" W to fit most standard size single oven widths on the market. Please note that if you are ordering a double oven or oven/microwave combo appliance to carefully check the cut-out dimensions before purchasing the wall oven cabinet. In many cases, for these types of appliances, it's necessary to remove two of the bottom drawers of the tall oven cabinet to allow for the additional height necessary to install the appliance properly inside the cabinet.

Coastal Cream Tall Cabinets

Tall cabinets featured on the left front side of the photo.

If you are about to embark on the process of replacing your cabinets with some fresh and updated models, the staff at Kitchen Cabinet Kings is here to help you. To start, check out our how to measure kitchen guide. Whether you are looking for an in-depth understanding of cabinet dimensions or you want some expert advice when choosing the perfect cabinets for you and your family, we will offer assistance on all these matters and more.

For free 3D kitchen design advice, simply fill out this form and we will help you create the perfect kitchen. If you have designed your own kitchen before, you know nothing beats having a team of kitchen design professionals on your side and at your disposal. When you use our free kitchen design service, we will create a carefully thought out, customized and functional kitchen layout that revolves around your specific room dimensions, preferences and needs. We look forward to helping you find cabinets fit for royalty at a price that everyone can afford.

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