Why Do Kitchen Cabinets Not Go To The Ceiling?

Of the several choices you have to make when designing or remodeling your kitchen, the height of your kitchen cabinets is one of the most important ones.

You may have noticed that in most kitchen designs, kitchen cabinets do not go all the way to the ceiling.

This doesn’t mean they can’t go all the way to the ceiling but there are some reasons why they don’t reach the ceiling in most cases.

Kitchen cabinets that go to the ceiling have pros and cons, likewise, cabinets that do not go to the ceiling have advantages and disadvantages.

The most important thing is to understand the ideal conditions for any cabinet height before you make a choice.

There are factors that affect how high you kitchen cabinets can go and some of the reason will be discussed.

Also, some of the reasons why they most people choose not to allow them touch the ceiling will be discussed.

However, you should have it at the back of your mind that kitchen cabinets can go all the way up to the ceiling, even though those kind of designs are not so common.

Reasons why kitchen cabinets should not go to the ceiling

why do kitchen cabinets not go to the ceiling

You have a choice when it comes to ceiling-height cabinets.

However, there are some situations in which ceiling-height cabinets are not ideal.

Here are some reasons why kitchen cabinets should not go to the ceiling.

Easy access

While it is true that ceiling-height cabinets will offer more storage space, they can be very hard to access.

Easy access to kitchen cabinets is one thing a lot of people want, and if you also want this, then your cabinets should not go all the way up to the ceiling.

If your cabinets are too high, you will need a ladder to access them; this will be quite stressful and a bit dangerous.

The ample storage space then becomes inefficient when you are not able to access it the way you want.


It is a simple fact; cabinets that reach the ceiling are more expensive when compared to those that do not reach the ceiling.

Cabinets are expensive features on their own, choosing to have high cabinets will mean additional cost.

So, if you are on a budget or you can’t afford to spend as much as these high cabinets cost, you should consider normal and medium-sized cabinets.


Apart from the fact that they cost more, cabinets that go up to the ceiling require more maintenance than those that don’t.

Kitchen cabinets get greasy with time and they require more intense cleaning than countertops.

If accessing high cabinets to store things is hard enough, imagine how hard accessing them to clean them properly would be.

The fact that they are harder to reach makes them very hard to clean and maintain.

Cramped effect

In a kitchen where there is more than enough space, kitchen cabinets can go to the ceiling and still look good.

However, most kitchens are of average size and average height. In these kitchens, high kitchen cabinets will on serve to make the interior space look more cramped.

They may give your kitchen a highly decorative effect but working in a cramped interior is not an easy thing to do.

Some factors that influence the height of kitchen cabinets

These are some important factors and features that affect the height of kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen Size

It is imperative that a kitchen has sufficient storage space, however, the size of any kitchen will affect the space available for storage.

If your kitchen has sufficient space to install a number of cabinets, you have the luxury of choosing if your cabinets will touch the ceiling or not.

On the other hand, if you have a small kitchen and are not able to install as many cabinets, you may have no other choice other than allowing the cabinets to reach the ceiling.

In a small kitchen space, ceiling-height cabinets will cause a cramped effect; if you don’t want this effect, you should avoid these cabinets that go up to the ceiling and make do with the normal sized ones.

Ceiling height

In an interior space with the normal ceiling height of 8 feet, the most common cabinet design is for one of the cabinets to go up to the ceiling while the other will have some distance from the ceiling.

You can choose whichever design you want but if you want the cabinets to touch the ceiling would be the ideal height.

 If your ceilings is 9 feet or higher, it may not be so functional to have your cabinets touch the ceiling; they will cost more and you will find it hard to access the cabinets because of the height.

Ceiling details

Most especially in contemporary designs, there are features that will either allow or disallow ceiling-height cabinets in your kitchen.

For example, there are some ceiling details that won’t allow the cabinets to reach the ceiling.

Details like beams and ceiling decorations will definitely impact how high your kitchen cabinets can go.

Design preference

It may be your choice as a kitchen owner to have your kitchen cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling, regardless of the height.

On the other hand, you may choose not to have them reach the ceiling; it depends on the kind of design you have in mind for your kitchen.

You should be sure how either choice will affect the look of your kitchen.

High kitchen cabinets accentuates ceiling height, but you will most likely need a library ladder to access them.


So, why do kitchen cabinets not go to the ceiling?

Every kitchen interior is peculiar and has different characteristics and features that will influence your choice regarding the height of your cabinets.

Once you take these factors that have been discussed into consideration, you will be able to make a better and more informed decision.

Cabinet height is not the only thing to consider when designing or remodeling your kitchen interior, you should also consider some other important things like durability, finish, and material.

3 thoughts on “Why Do Kitchen Cabinets Not Go To The Ceiling?”

  1. Remodeled my kitchen and put in cabinets that go all the way to my 8 foot high ceilings. Looks great, more storage. Do not need a library ladder, just a small step stool. Best thing I ever did.

    1. Please can I ask where you got the kitchen units from? Looking for ones that go right up to ceiling but can’t find many

  2. I agree with Eileen above. I love when cabinets go to the ceiling. If there is empty space above cabinets, that still needs to be cleaned…and probably more often because it will collect dust (which gets stickier in a kitchen when grease and smoke gets in the air). And many people end up using the space for storage or knickknacks anyway, which usually ends up just looking cluttered. Closed away in a tall cabinet streamlines the look and lessens the clutter.

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