I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

new kitchen cabinets

Standard Dimensions of Kitchen Cabinets You Should Know

Kitchen cabinets are in all kitchens today, yet most people know next to nothing about the technical side of it. In most cases, it might not seem important to you when you think about replacing your kitchen cabinets. Your contractor or remodeling company will probably handle the details for you.

That said, it does help to have some idea of the standard dimensions for kitchen cabinets when planning a remodel. Kitchen cabinets have a big effect on design, and that means you need to know how much space you need for just the right amount of storage you want. This is especially true if you have custom cabinets and plan to put stock or RTA cabinets in its place.
Kitchen cabinets may be a base, wall, or tall cabinet. Here are the standard dimensions for each one of them.

Base kitchen cabinets

base cabinet diagram
No modern kitchen can function well without at least one set of base cabinets. Some kitchens may have open shelves in lieu of wall cabinets, and there is actually a trend in that. You can actually do the same with base cabinets, but a bare frame and support structure would not be ideal for most kitchens.

Base cabinets do the bulk of the work in the kitchens. Not only do they provide storage space, they also provide support for kitchen countertops and sinks, and framework for appliances. You can also only put kitchen drawers in base cabinets, usually top drawers that are 6 inches in height, or a set of three drawers, with the two bottom drawers about 12 inches each.
In many cases, they also house the plumbing and some of the electrical wires that powers your kitchen. They need to be quite sturdy to serve all these functions effectively.

Cabinetmakers typically make stock or RTA cabinets 34 ½ inches high from the floor. This does not include countertops, which is usually 1½ inches, raising the total height to about 36 inches. You also have to option to choose base cabinets with a top drawer, usually 6 inches in height, or a set of drawers, with a top rawer of 6 inches, and two bottom drawers of 12 inches each.

This is the recommended height for workspaces for most people, although you might need something a little higher or lower, depending on your own height. Fortunately, some cabinetmakers offer base cabinets ranging from 32 to 38 inches in height, including the countertop.
You should also not neglect the importance of toe kicks, which are the spaces provided by cabinetmakers at the bottom of the base cabinets to accommodate feet when working in close quarters on the countertop or stovetop. The standard height of a toe kick is 3½ inches and a depth of three inches. It slightly decreases the storage capacity of base cabinets, but they are often quite necessary. This is even more so when the kitchen user requires a wheelchair.

The width of base cabinets vary much more than the height as it may be anywhere between 12 and 48 inches. The width you should choose will depend largely on what you want to put in them. Narrower cabinets (between 12 and 24 inches) are filler cabinets, usually with pullouts, and ideal for storing cleaning supplies, spices, pots, and pans. To accommodate a sink, you need at least a 30-inch wide cabinet for a single sink and a 33-inch one for a double sink. Ultra-wide cabinets (48 inches) may be the ideal choice if you only have space for one set of cabinets. This will make the most of the space for storage.

While the height and width of base cabinets may vary, the depth is typically 24 inches. This makes most of the interior of the base cabinet accessible for most people. Any deeper and it would be hard to reach the contents at the very back.
Kitchen countertops will also have some effect on the depth. A typical countertop will push you out one or two inches away from the interior, making the effective depth between 25 and 26 inches.

Wall kitchen cabinets

wall cabinet diagram
Wall cabinets are lightweights in the kitchen. Because they have to hang on the wall, it cannot handle as much weight as base cabinets, which sit squarely on the floor. In most cases, you use wall cabinets for food, some kitchen tools, glasses, plates, and decorative items.
That said, wall cabinets tend to hog the limelight in terms of design because they are at eye level, serving as the focus of the room. This is the reason most people choose fancy wall cabinets and plain base cabinets.
Dimension wise, wall cabinets tend to vary much more than base cabinets. The ones you choose will depend on the height of your kitchen and the available wall space.

Standard kitchen ceiling heights is 8 feet (96 inches). Since the bottom of your wall cabinet should be at least 18 inches from the countertop, you need to add that to the height of your cabinet to find out the ideal height of your wall cabinet. For example, if you have a 36-inch high base cabinet, the maximum height of your wall cabinet is 42 inches if the kitchen floor-to-ceiling height of 8 feet.
Standard heights for wall cabinets are 12 inches (for going over wall ovens or microwave ovens) and 36 to 48 inches (for kitchens with higher-than-standard ceilings). The width is between 12 and 36 inches, although the standard is 30 inches, which might have one or two doors. The depth cannot be more than 24 inches to keep it accessible, but it can be as shallow as 12 inches.

Tall cabinets

pantry cabinet
Tall cabinets are great space savers if you do not mind giving up some countertop space. These are basically base cabinets that go from the floor to the ceiling.

They come in 84-inch and 96-inch variants, where the shorter ones allow for about 12 inches of open space at the top if you have a standard kitchen ceiling height. The 96-inch tall cabinet will have no such space. The width can be anywhere from 12 to 36 inches, while the depth is between 12 and 24 inches. The ones you choose will depend on your available space.
Most people use tall cabinets as a pantry or utility cabinet. You might want to choose a shallow cabinet (12 inches) for storing food, so that you can easily see what you have, although you can get deeper ones to make it more multi-purpose, and just use pullouts for foodstuff.

Conclusion

Knowing the standard dimensions of kitchen cabinets can help you choose the right ones for your kitchen design. Fairfax Kitchen Bath can help you love it for life as well.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in supplying and installing kitchen cabinets to specifications, in budget and on time.

We carry the products you need for your kitchen remodel, from cabinets to natural and engineered stone slabs, including shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only top brand products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.

Contact us today to get a free quote for your trendy kitchen remodeling project.