How High Should Kitchen Cabinets Be From The Floor And Countertop?

These Heights For Kitchen Cabinets Are The One’s Experts Use In Kitchens Everywhere

Kitchen with white cabinets and brown island

This is one of those little details that many people miss. Height is important because you don’t want to not be able to reach all the things in your cabinets or leave some empty!

In this post, you can find out how high your upper cabinets should be from the floor and counter.

When Height Actually Matters

“I don’t want to not be able to reach the top shelf again,” says Amber firmly.

“That’s right, the cabinets in your parent’s house were too tall for you, short stack,” jokes Justin. “It’s because I’m not related to the Jolly Green Giant like you are,” she jokes back.

“Hahaha, never gets old,” laughs Justin. “Ok, let’s find out how high kitchen cabinets need to be,” he suggests. “You mean, how high should upper cabinets be from the floor?” asks Amber.

“And from the countertop,” answers Justin. He pulls his phone out of his pocket to start looking. “Try that blog where we found out what’s best to know before remodeling kitchen cabinets,” advises Amber.

He does, and here’s what the couple discovers:

How High Should Kitchen Cabinets Be From The Floor?

The height that upper kitchen cabinets should be from the floor is 54 inches, or 4 feet and 6 inches. This means the bottom of the upper cabinets should be this far from the floor. This comes from adding the heights of 34-and-a half-inch base cabinets, a 1-and-a-half inch thick countertop, and an 18-inch backsplash together.

You can change the height to suit the needs of your family. You’ll want to make sure the base of the upper cabinets starts at the combined height of the base cabinets, countertop thickness, and backsplash height.

How High Should Kitchens Cabinets Be From The Countertop?

The standard height to place upper kitchen cabinets from the counter is 18 inches, or 1 foot and 6 inches. They shouldn’t be less than 15 inches high or more than 20 inches high. This means the height to where the bottom of your upper cabinets starts.

This gives enough space to put things like toaster ovens and blenders. It’s also short enough to where the highest shelf of your upper kitchen cabinets is reachable.

Cabinets above stoves and ovens have different height requirements. It’s better to have 30 inches of space for electric stoves and 36 inches for gas stoves. This is to prevent any accidental fires.

You can change the height to suit the needs of your family.

The 5 Main Factors That Can Change The Height Of Upper Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Height of base cabinets. If you move them higher or lower your upper kitchen cabinets need to move with the same distance. This keeps your kitchen looking normal and keeps it easy to use. 
  2. Countertop thickness. You want plenty of space between the countertop and upper cabinet bottom. Even a quarter of an inch can make a difference. You may not be able to store what you want because it doesn’t fit.
  3. Backsplash height. The standard height of a backsplash is 18 inches. You can range it from 15-inch to 20-inch. It depends on the other factors listed here and what you want from your kitchen cabinets.
  4. Cooking ranges (ovens and stoves). Cabinets can catch fire, which is why we want more space here. It also helps keep any finishes from being damaged.
  5. Family needs. People with limited mobility may need shorter upper cabinets. 48 inches, or 4 feet, should work for most people. Taller people may need to adjust the height of their upper cabinets. This is because the base cabinets may be higher off the ground.

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“I can reach that,” says Amber happily. “Ok, now let’s see what else we can find on here. Might as well since we’re on a roll,” she says. Justin nods and goes to see what else they can find.