There are no building codes that establish a standard upper cabinet height. However, the prevailing “standard” among kitchen remodelers is 54 inches from the floor to the bottom edge of the cabinet. That leaves an 18-inch space between the countertops and the upper cabinets. However, this measurement is average, and may not be the perfect height for everyone.
What Is the Standard Height for Upper Kitchen Cabinets?
How high to hang kitchen cabinets is a personal preference, but most contractors agree that 18″ from countertop to the bottom of the cabinets is best. This is considered an ideal working space. However, older homes often have 16 inches between the countertop and upper cabinets. Overall, no more than 20-22 inches should be the goal. Anything more than that may look good visually if you have tall ceilings, but they become difficult for an average person to reach.
How to Determine the Best Kitchen Cabinet Height For You
In the US, the average person is around 5 feet 8 inches tall, which is why base cabinets are 36 inches tall and countertops are 24 inches deep. The bottom of the upper cabinet is therefore meant to start at mid-chest height. That said, this height does not work for everyone.
In accessible kitchens, for example, cabinet height varies slightly. Most often, the base cabinets of accessible kitchens are 30 inches high, with a larger toe kick of 15 inches or more. The upper cabinets in this case are at the same height of 18 inches from the countertop. In addition, the upper cabinets are shorter as anything higher than 48 inches is difficult for most people to reach from a sitting position.
The upper cabinet height doesn’t always have to be installed “standard”. On average, the space between the countertop and the upper cabinets is between 18-22 inches. Beyond that is usually too far for someone of average height to comfortably reach. For an accessible kitchen, the space between the countertop and upper cabinets is the same. The only difference here is that both the base and upper cabinets are shorter to provide a more comfortable reach for a person in a sitting position.
Envy Home Services is a premier kitchen and bathroom remodeler serving the northern Illinois suburbs. See our work in Arlington Heights, Palatine, Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, and Hoffman Estates. In addition, see our gallery for even more pictures of our work.
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