Kitchen Design 101: Optimizing Distance Between Countertop and Upper Cabinets

For decades kitchen design was simple. Establish your working triangle and space your major appliances appropriately. Done. You have a kitchen.

But kitchens are evolving. They are bigger, store more items, and even serve as the primary eating area in many homes. These changes mean designs can be more flexible. Standard rules may be broken. This is especially true when it comes to the distance between countertop and upper cabinets.

The Standard Kitchen Measurements

The average countertop height is thirty-six inches- thirty-four and one-half inches for the base cabinet and another inch and a half for the counter. This is a hard number to play with as it’s based on the most comfortable working height for the average person. Of course, if necessary this height can be customized to fit the needs of any owner.

Historically, upper cabinets begin around eighteen inches above the counter with a minimum distance of fifteen inches. There are several reasons for this measurement. Small appliances need room to operate without risk of causing fires due to poor ventilation. Also, with the countertop as the only working surface, a low hanging cabinet would make slicing vegetables feel like prepping in a cave.

Modern Kitchens Allow for New Design

But those days are gone. Many kitchens now have peninsulas and islands featuring acres of beautiful materials hand-picked by you to complement your design. Small appliances don’t live on the countertop anymore and as such don’t require room to breathe. Pantries are included in more and more designs, making cabinet storage less of a priority. Basically, your upper cabinets can be wherever you want them to be.

Tall people can now freely move their cabinets higher to make life easier. Want to hide your appliances in a cupboard? Have a cabinet designed to begin flush with your counter. No problem. Want to watch a twenty-four-inch television in the kitchen instead of a tiny tablet? Raise one bank of uppers to fit all your media needs. The distance between countertop and upper cabinets is your playground. Have some fun.

Use All the Space You Have

Being creative with your kitchen design is made even easier with the introduction of higher ceilings and more square feet of floor space in modern home design. With a small kitchen and only eight feet of wall space, the distance between countertop and upper cabinets was set in stone. Given a blank canvas ten or eleven feet high, your designer can perform miracles.

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Quality Kitchen Cabinets of San Francisco is a family owned company working with you to produce the perfect solution to fit your space and budget. Visit our showroom to see fully appointed displays and experience the Quality difference.

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