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A guide to standard kitchen cabinet dimensions

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Whether you use your kitchen for nothing more than to make tea and toast, or are an avid amature chef who can whip up any recipe you read, having a well-planned kitchen is a must. Counters and sinks at the right heights, sufficient lighting for specific tasks areas and ambient comfort, and most importantly, cabinets in the right places, styles and dimensions – these are the hallmarks of functional kitchen design.

While a custom made kitchen can have kitchen cabinet sizes that are built to whatever specifications you choose, modular options come in fixed dimensions – albeit a comprehensive range that are perfectly suited to almost any kitchen set-up that could be required. But knowing the standard kitchen cabinet dimensions is essential if you want to ensure that your kitchen is arranged for optimum efficiency and your personal comfort and preferences.

Well, we all know it can be a little overwhelming to go through a stack of pamphlets – with reams of information and numbers – to properly understand what would work best for your kitchen layout… So, to help you make practical, smart and informed choices, here’s a handy guide, all in one place.

Kitchen Design : The 101 of Cabinets
 

Before you consider standard kitchen cabinet dimensions it’s important to understand the different types of cabinets that are available and how they are categorised. The three basic styles of cabinets are Base Cabinets, Wall or Overhead Cabinets, and Tall Cabinets – each of these three categories have various uses and placements in your kitchen. Most modular kitchens are formed with a mix-and-match of these three types of cabinets; they might come preassembled in set formats or RTA (ready to assemble) according to specific requirements, use-case and kitchen size.

Creating a practical and semi-custom layout with either pre assembled or RTA options is very doable since the 

All white kitchen cabinet design for an elegant kitchen interior - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, KNS Architect

dimension for kitchen cabinet styles has a wide range. Knowing what works best for the layout of your kitchen and for your families needs will ensure you’re making the most of your kitchen space – optimising storage, creating an easy workflow and increasing functionality as a whole.

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Keep in mind that manufacturers don’t usually calculate standard kitchen cabinet sizes in mm but in inches – either way, having a measuring tape handy will help you visualise the sizes better!

Base : Height, Depth & Width Dimensions of Cabinets

Base Cabinets are the cabinets that form the “base” of your kitchen. They’re installed directly into the floor, support your countertop, stove and other heavy appliances, have sinks installed in them, dishwashers and ovens bracketed by them and handle the bulk of your daily kitchen storage needs.

As the workhorse of every kitchen, they are indispensabile and therefore need to be particularly sturdy – this does mean that they’re usually the most expensive style of kitchen cabinet. Making sure you’ve paid attention to cupboard size and have chosen the right cupboard dimensions for your base cabinets will mean you won’t make a costly error that requires fixing later.

Below are the standard kitchen cabinet sizes for base cabinets:

Standard Base Cabinet Dimensions

In Inches

Height without countertop

32 to 34½ inches

Height with countertop

33 to 36 inches

Depth without countertop

22.83 to 24 inches

Depth with countertop

24 to 26 inches

Width

Variable – 9, 12, 18, 24, 20, 33, 36, 48 inches

 

As can be seen above, base kitchen cabinet height (without the countertop) doesn’t have a lot of variability – this is due to the fact that building codes and accessibility requirements have affected general design practices. Depending on the countertop material and thickness, this height does gain slightly more flexibility – custom countertops can be made thicker to further increase the height, but access to base cabinets can be a concern here, and most designers prefer to stick to these standard kitchen cabinet dimensions.

QUICK TIP:

For taller individuals, when it comes to final counter height, standard kitchen cabinet dimensions may seem uncomfortable; raise the height of standard cabinets with a custom box frame. Cover this with a toe kick and moulding to be more unobtrusive.

Measurements to calculate the depth of base cabinets are taken from the wall to their outer front edge – a maximum depth of 24” may not seem like a lot, but deeper might impact usability. Countertops usually overhang the base cabinets at the front; the overall depth varies from 24” to 26” depending on the edge detailing of your counter.

Width of base cabinets is the most flexible dimension since this will differ depending on the size of your kitchen and the type of storage (pull-outs, drawers, shelving, etc.), fittings or appliances the cabinets need to accommodate. Individual cabinet widths have absolutely no impact on overall kitchen counter widths and can be practically anything you choose.
 

Overhead kitchen cabinet & right cabinet sizes for your kitchen interiors - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, ADND

Overhead : Height, Depth & Width Dimensions of Cabinets

Overhead or wall cabinets are mounted on the wall and in some cases suspended from the ceiling – for example when installed as a bank of cabinets above a peninsula or island. They tend to be used for less heavy storage, such as glassware, recipe books, lightweight kitchen implements and so on.

Since these cabinets are usually the most visible, being at a kitchen cabinet height that’s almost at eye level, making sure you’re choosing the right size of cabinet to create a symmetrical and attractive look, is important.

 

Below are the standard overhead kitchen cabinet measurements:

Standard Overhead Cabinet Dimensions

In Inches

Height

24 inches

Depth

14 inches

Width

18 & 24 inches

 

For height, standard kitchen cabinet dimensions are limited here by ceiling height and clearance from countertop – the distance between the bottom of your overhead cabinets and countertop should ideally be between 15” - 20” to give you a comfortable workspace.

As for the depth of kitchen cabinets, the standard set for wall cabinets is based on the design principle of not exceeding the depth of your base cabinets. While a shallower cabinet can be a practical choice, overhead cabinets that are deeper than base cabinets would be dysfunctional, awkward to use and unattractive.

When it comes to a standard width dimension for kitchen cabinet styles that are wall mounted, these usually run in multiples of three and can be anywhere between 9” - 48”. Most cabinets in the range of 9” - 21” usually have a single door while those measuring 24” or more have double doors.
 

Tall : Height, Depth & Width Dimensions of Cabinets

Tall cabinets, sometimes known as pantry cabinets or utility cabinets, are extra-tall, vertical kitchen units that can be fit into narrow spaces and alcoves. When making the most of space in a kitchen, tall unit size allows for a lot more flexibility and increased storage. Despite being slightly uncommon, given that these cabinets have no actual restriction on kitchen cabinet height, they are invaluable for adding an extra touch of functionality to your design.

Brown & beige kitchen cabinet for your modern kitchen interior - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, ADND

Below are the standard tall kitchen cabinet measurements:

Standard Tall Cabinet Dimensions

In Inches

Height

83 inches

Depth

22.83 inches

Width

24 inches

 

For tall kitchen cabinet measurements, a height of 83” - 84” can look more aligned with your other cabinetry and is a good choice, but even going with a floor to ceiling cabinet of about 96” is possible if that suits your use-case.

As with wall units, for tall units the depth of kitchen cabinets is restricted by your base cabinet depth and should not exceed 24”. While a happy medium is the standard, shallower 12” options exist for storing pantry foods, and with the addition of pull-outs or slider hardware, a deeper 24” option can provide a great deal of organisational functionality.

And finally, for width, 24” is typical, but 12” and 36” are also considered standard kitchen cabinet sizes. The main advantage to this, is that if your kitchen has unusual dimensions, these cabinets allow you to make use of narrow, oft-neglected spaces or awkwardly shaped alcoves for the optimum layout and design.
 

Wooden kitchen cabinet for your kitchen interiors - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, KNS Architect

Now that you have the standard kitchen cabinet dimensions at your fingertips, we hope you’re feeling more ready to make those decisions about your kitchen.

If you still have questions or are just eager to get started in creating your dream kitchen, then why not get in touch with our team? Here at Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints, we’ll partner with you to make sure you’re getting a kitchen that’s not only beautifully planned but that the end result is just what you’ve imagined! Whether it’s assisting you with flawless installation and all the design decisions, or helping you to source the latest fittings, home accessories and décor styles from our curated collection, we’re here for you, every step of the way.


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