A Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions


Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Installing kitchen cabinets is something many homeowners may deal with in life. For either simple renovations or large-scale remodeling, knowing the dimensions of kitchen cabinets is important. There are certain specifications that specific kitchen cabinets will have and it is good to be aware of them when considering a kitchen renovation or remodel. 

Not all kitchen cabinets are the same. As you will see, the dimensions of a kitchen cabinet depend upon its model and intended use. This guide will help you understand the dimensions of different kitchen cabinets so you are better prepared for your next home project. Pay close attention to the specs of the listed cabinets, as little details matter in this case.

Base Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Base kitchen cabinets are the support beams of the kitchen. These are the cabinets you see holding up countertops and other kitchen appliances such as sinks for example. Base kitchen cabinets generally hold the following dimensions:

34 ½ inches Height with no countertop
35-36 inchesHeight with a countertop
24 inches Depth with no countertop
25-26 inches Depth with a countertop
12-48 inchesStandard widths

It is helpful to know the general specifications of base kitchen cabinets. It is also helpful to break down the specs to know their range and other factors involved in their determination.

Height of Base Kitchen Cabinets

For standard base kitchen cabinets, they all generally are made with the same height dimension; 34 ½ inches. This is primarily due to building code and the need for accessibility. When installing a base kitchen cabinet, keep the following in mind about its height dimensions:

  • Base kitchen cabinets on their own will be 34 ½ inches, yet adding a countertop will raise its overall height.
  • Once a countertop has been added, it will usually raise the overall base cabinet height an extra one or two inches. 
  • There are underlays that can be added to adjust the height of a base as needed, as well as customized heights already built in.

The key takeaway here is that base kitchen cabinet heights are generally standard. There are additions and customizations that can be made to base cabinets to fit client needs, however. In this case, it is best to research the specs you need and order a base cabinet customized to those specs. 

Countertops have to be built with a client’s needs and limitations in mind. The base cabinets will also have to be adjusted to fit these needs and limitations. Make sure to research your needs and incorporate that into the height of your base kitchen cabinet.

Depth of Base Kitchen Cabinets

The depth of base kitchen cabinets, much like height, is fairly standardized. The standard depth of a base kitchen cabinet is 24 inches, and this is for a good reason. The standard depths of base kitchen cabinets are set this way due to the following:

  • Deeper base cabinets make it harder to reach plug outlets for appliances
  • “Blind Corners” (two cabinets connect at their right angle) make it hard to reach any items tucked away there
  • Once a countertop has been added, an extra one to two inches of depth will be added which will make cabinets deeper than 24 inches even more difficult to use

While the standard depth of a base kitchen cabinet is usually 24 inches, there are some exceptions. There are base kitchen cabinet models that are built with 12-18 inch depths, though these are much rarer to find. These specifications are usually for niche clients and therefore many manufacturers will not carry base cabinets with those depths.

It is important to note the standardized dimensions in this case. If you have needs or limitations that require a cabinet with deeper (or less deep) dimensions then you will probably have to custom order it. This is not impossible to accomplish yet can be harder to find and may cost more overall.

Width of Base Kitchen Cabinets

Unlike the height and depth of base cabinets, widths tend to be much more varied. Widths are usually specified for individuals and their needs. Widths vary from 12 to 48 inches and will be adjusted based on your desires. Widths are also made for specific uses.

Dimension (Inches)Cabinet Type
12-24 inch widthsDesigned for rolling racks and pullout shelves for grabbing pans and baking sheets
30-inch widthsDesigned for holding single-set kitchen sinks
33-inch widthsDesigned for double-set kitchen sinks (usually with offset sinks)
36-inch widthsDesigned for double-set sinks that are not offset
48-inch widthsStandardized for multipurpose uses

As mentioned, the reason that widths are so varied is the cabinets will usually be built for specific uses and client needs. Widths have to be adaptable to different circumstances and consumer demands. There is a standard range of width dimensions rather than a single standard size in this case.

Make sure you pay attention to the specific widths of the base cabinets you are considering. The widths of a base cabinet can make or break what it can be used for. You should always do your homework to get the maximum utility possible out of your cabinets.

Wall Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Wall cabinets are just that; cabinets that attach to walls. For the purpose of a kitchen cabinet, they would be used for storing food goods and dishware. These are usually set against studs in the wall and screwed (sometimes hung) in place. The standard dimensions of a kitchen wall cabinet are as follows:

  • The standard heights of most wall kitchen cabinets are between 12-42 inches
  • The standard depths of most wall kitchen cabinets are between 12-24 inches
  • The standard widths of most wall kitchen cabinets are between 12-48 inches

Wall kitchen cabinets are not only designed for utility but for esthetics as well. Wall cabinets are usually centerpieces that add a decorative touch to the kitchen. Unlike base cabinets, wall cabinets should have a design to them that ties the kitchen together.

In this case, it is wise to try to save much of your potential funds on the wall cabinets. Base cabinets can be simple designs without much need for flair, which will ultimately make them cheaper. Wall cabinets should have some touches to them that ties the kitchen space together. 

Wall kitchen cabinets tend to be more expensive on average due to the fact they are often decorated or designed for esthetic appeal. Their dimensions are also something to keep in mind also, as they tend to be more diverse in size, which can add to overall costs.

Height of Wall Kitchen Cabinets

The height of most kitchen wall cabinets is limited due to the limited spaces in most home kitchens. There are a finite amount of spaces between a ceiling and countertops and wall cabinets in kitchens have to work around those limitations. In general, it is good to know the following specifications:

  • Most wall cabinet height dimensions fall between 12-42 inches. Many manufacturers will have standards between 30-36 inches in height to fit most homes. 
  • Wall cabinets that need to reach the ceiling usually are around 48 inches in height. There are variations to this, but this is generally the recommended height in this case.
  • If you are interested in wall cabinets positioned above a microwave or refrigerator, 12-15 inches in height is recommended.

The height of a wall kitchen cabinet depends upon where it will be positioned. Its overall esthetic to the kitchen also matters here. Keep in mind that you want the wall cabinet to fit neatly and serve a useful utility. Just keep in mind these factors when choosing wall kitchen cabinets. 

There are limits to how tall a wall kitchen cabinet can be made. Kitchens and their sizes vary from home to home, and wall cabinets have to fit neatly to make the esthetic of the kitchen work. The cabinets should also serve their basic utility without hindrance. This limits wall cabinet heights in many ways.

Depth of Wall Kitchen Cabinets

The depth of wall kitchen cabinets is usually limited. The challenge of depth when it comes to the dimensions of wall kitchen cabinets is that it cannot be deeper than the base kitchen cabinet. This is for obvious reasons, of course. Keep the following in mind about the depth of wall kitchen cabinets:

  • The deepest a wall kitchen cabinet can be is around 24 inches. This is to prevent it from hanging too close to the countertop.
  • While 24 inches is the maximum depth of wall kitchen cabinets, most models have dimensions smaller than that.
  • The most common depth of wall kitchen cabinets is around 12 inches to balance out useful storage space and workable space on your countertops.
  • 15-18 inches are the recommended depth for wall cabinets over a microwave or refrigerator.

Much like its height, the depth of wall kitchen cabinets are limited due to the finite spaces available in most home kitchens. There are niche cases where certain customizations can be made, yet most manufacturers are against recommending this.

Width of Wall Kitchen Cabinets

The width of wall kitchen cabinets is technically more varied than its potential height or depth. While the width can potentially be varied, they tend not to exceed certain dimensions on the general market. Pay attention to the following when considering the width of wall kitchen cabinets:

  • Wall kitchen cabinets can be anywhere from 9 to 48 inches in width, set in increments of about three inches. 
  • Most wall kitchen cabinets do not exceed 30-36 inches in width, however.
  • A common width is around 30 inches for single or double-door wall cabinets.

In theory, the width of a wall kitchen cabinet can stretch anywhere from 9 to 48 inches, yet the average tends to be around 30-36 inches maximum. This is primarily due to the need for wall cabinets to fit a certain esthetic flow for the kitchen. Reality often limits theory when application is concerned. This is especially true in regards to construction projects like kitchen renovation or remodeling.

Tall Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Aside from base and wall cabinets, many home kitchens may have a standalone tall cabinet that is useful for storing many items. Many of these tall kitchen cabinets can be used as mini pantries to store a variety of food goods and other kitchen products. In general, the common dimensions of a tall kitchen cabinet are as follows:

  • Tall kitchen cabinets range between 84-96 inches in height
  • Tall kitchen cabinets range between 12-24 inches in depth
  • Tall kitchen cabinets range between 12-36 inches in width

As mentioned, tall kitchen cabinets tend to be used as pantries in most home kitchens. They can also be utilized as broom closets, also storage for other kitchen and cleaning materials. They tend to be much taller and wider than base or wall kitchen cabinets for the reasons of their use.

Tall kitchen cabinets are made for maximum storage. They also are usually designed to store various goods and products for a kitchen. Due to this, they tend to be large and designed to fit within one particular space in a kitchen. This limits where they can be placed, of course.

Height of Tall Kitchen Cabinets

The height of a tall kitchen cabinet is usually limited by the space between the floor and ceiling. Different homes will have varied spaces in their kitchens, of course. In general, keep the following in mind when considering the height of a tall kitchen cabinet:

  • The average height of tall kitchen cabinets ranges between 84-96 inches, depending on the space available in a given kitchen. 
  • A 96 inch tall kitchen cabinet can go from the floor to the ceiling in an eight-foot kitchen. 
  • An 84 inch tall kitchen cabinet will usually leave some space between the cabinet and ceiling.

The main takeaway here is that tall kitchen cabinets are limited in their height depending on the space available in a particular kitchen. Research the spaces that a tall kitchen cabinet could fit to decide how high it should go. You should also consider its utility and esthetic connection to other wall cabinets around it. 

Depth of Tall Kitchen Cabinets

Much like its height, tall kitchen cabinets tend to be limited in terms of their depth. This is for similar reasons that their height is limited; space within a kitchen. It is good to consider the following when looking at the depth dimensions of a tall kitchen cabinet:

  • Tall kitchen cabinets generally come in either 12 or 24 inches of depth, with minor variances for custom designs.
  • A depth of 12 inches is recommended for those interested in using their tall kitchen cabinet to store food goods such as cans or boxed and bagged items. 
  • A depth of 24 inches is recommended for those interested in the cabinet acting as a utility closet to store brooms, mops and other household items. 

The important factor to note here is what is the intended use of the tall kitchen cabinet in question. If it is mainly used to store food items, then it is likely only a 12 inch depth will be needed. If you desire the cabinet to act as a utility closet, then 24 inch depths are recommended in this case. 

Width of Tall Kitchen Cabinets

Tall kitchen cabinets have more variance in their widths. Much like other kitchen cabinets, their width is only limited by the available space in the kitchen. Tall kitchen cabinets usually have the following width specifications:

  • 12 inch widths are good for a general food pantry for cans and other boxed and bagged goods.
  • 24 inch widths are good for those with more diversity in what they can store in the cabinet.
  • 36 inch widths are good for maximum storage for general utility purposes, as well as pull out storage if needed.

As mentioned, the width of a tall kitchen cabinet is usually hampered by the available space around it in a kitchen. Make sure to research the surroundings of your potential tall kitchen cabinet, so that the desired dimensions can fit properly. You should also consider the overall esthetic placement of the cabinet.

Are All Kitchen Cabinets the Same Depth?

There is no straightforward answer to whether or not all kitchen cabinets have the same depth. In general, no, not all kitchen cabinets will be built with the same depths. Specified depths usually depend upon the client. There are some factors to keep in mind here, however:

  • Most standard kitchen cabinets cannot exceed 24 inches in depth, for various reasons.
  • Wall cabinets have to leave enough countertop space to work with and base cabinets are limited by utility.
  • Tall kitchen cabinets are limited by the space between the floor and ceiling.

While kitchen cabinets can be modified and designed for specific depths, most manufacturers stick with standard depth dimensions for the general market. The depths can be custom made yet there will be many factors (such as the many listed here) that hamper how deep a cabinet can be built. 

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