How High Upper Cabinets Should Be From Your Floor And Countertop

This Is A Height Almost Everybody Can Easily Manage To Reach

Measuring wall for kitchen upper kitchen cabinet height

This is one of those little details that many people miss, so if you’re here, congratulations! We wrote this post for people who love knowing the details.

In this post, you can find out how high your upper cabinets should be from the floor and counter. This applies to both kitchens and bathrooms.

Height Matters

“I don’t want to not be able to reach the top shelf again,” says Brittany firmly.

“That’s right, the cabinets in your parent’s house were too tall for you, short stack,” jokes Nick. “It’s because I’m not related to the Jolly Green Giant like you are,” she jokes back.

“Hahaha, never gets old,” laughs Nick. “Ok, since your parent’s cabinets obviously weren’t standard height, let’s find out what is,” he suggests. “You mean, how high should upper cabinets be from the floor?” asks Brittany.

“And from the countertop,” answers Nick. He pulls his phone out of his pocket to start looking. “Try that blog where we found out how long it takes to get kitchen cabinets,” advises Brittany.

He does, and here’s what the couple discovers: 

How High Upper Cabinets Should Be From The Floor

Beautiful brown kitchen cabinets

The standard height for upper cabinets from the floor is 54 inches, or 4 feet and 6 inches. This means the bottom of the upper cabinets should be this far from the floor. This comes from the sum of 34-and-a half-inch base cabinets, a 1-and-a-half inch thick countertop, and an 18-inch backsplash.

You can change the height to suit the needs of yourself and your family. Make sure the base of the upper cabinets starts at the combined height of the base cabinets, countertop thickness, and backsplash height.

How High Upper Cabinets Should Be From The Counter

Upper cabinets and backsplash

The standard height for upper cabinets from the counter is 18 inches, or 1 foot and 6 inches. They shouldn’t be less than 15 inches away or more than 20 inches away. This also means the height to where the bottom of your upper cabinets starts.

This gives enough space to put things like toaster ovens and blenders. It’s also short enough to where the highest shelf of your upper kitchen cabinets is reachable.

For cabinets above stoves and ovens, the height requirements are different. You want 30 inches of space for electric stoves and 36 inches for gas stoves. This is to prevent any accidental fires.

You can change the height to suit the needs of yourself and your family.

What Can Change The Height Of Upper Cabinets

Upper cabinets at a taller height due to a taller backsplash

Height of base cabinets. If you move them higher or lower your upper cabinets need to move with the same distance. This keeps your kitchen looking, well, normal, and keeps it easy to use. Having only a foot of space between the countertop and upper cabinets just isn’t enough.

Countertop thickness. Here, even a quarter of an inch can make a difference. You still want plenty of space between the countertop and upper cabinet bottom.

Backsplash height. The standard height of a backsplash is 18 inches. You may want one that falls outside of this standard. This is why we have the 15-inch to 20-inch range.

Cooking ranges (ovens and stoves). Cabinets can catch fire, which is why we want more space here.

Family needs. People with limited mobility may need shorter upper cabinets. 48 inches, or 4 feet, should work for most people. Taller people may need to adjust the height of their upper cabinets because the base cabinets may be higher off the ground too.

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“I can reach that,” says Brittany happily. “Ok, now let’s see what else we can find on here. Might as well since we’re on a roll,” she says. Nick nods and goes to see what else they can find.