Should There be a Gap Above Kitchen Cabinets?

Should There be a Gap Above Kitchen Cabinets?

Before now, the standard height of the ceiling was 8 feet; however, advancements in architecture have brought about a gradual change in modern structures. The standard size for ceilings has changed to 9 feet or 10 feet. Is it essential to have a gap between your kitchen cabinet and ceiling?

Whether or not your kitchen cabinet should reach the ceiling is a matter of choice. Determining how high your kitchen cabinet should usually depend on the size of your kitchen cabinet and the height of your kitchen ceiling. Other factors to consider are your budget, design preference, and of course, ceiling height and details.

In this article, you’ll learn about the spacing between a kitchen cabinet and ceiling and how much space should be above the kitchen cabinet. Also, I shall answer some probing questions, such as why do kitchen cabinets not go to the ceiling? And how do you close in above kitchen cabinets?

What is the Space Above the Cabinet Called?

Should There be a Gap Above Kitchen Cabinets?

The space above the cabinet is a soffit; it comes from the French term “soffite,” which means “underside of the ceiling.” A kitchen soffit is a boxy structure used to conceal wiring, pipes, and other mechanicals and to fill the space between the tops of your cabinets and the ceiling. However, it is commonly used as the enclosed space between the tops of the cabinets and the kitchen ceiling.

In the late 1930s, soffits were first used in kitchens. Prior to it, the majority of kitchen furnishings were not built-in. The soffit emerged with the introduction of built-in cabinetry and became a popular kitchen design feature in the 1960s. 

Kitchen designers have modernized the style with curves, ornate molding, and recessed lighting, yet soffits are still popular. 

How Much Space Should be Above Kitchen Cabinets?

Following standards, the bottom border of wall cabinets should be 54 inches above the floor. This implies that an 8-foot-tall ceiling will have 42 inches of usable space for wall cabinets, while a 9-foot-tall ceiling will have 54 inches. However, it is feasible to fill the gap with cabinets by purchasing cabinets that precisely fit the space or installing two rows of wall cabinets covering the entire vertical area.

Why do Some Kitchen Cabinets Not go to the Ceiling?

There is no specific reason why the cabinet shouldn’t reach the ceiling; however, people may not allow it for the following reasons. First, the cabinet may be high in the ceiling and become quite challenging to access. Anything at the top of these cabinets would be challenging to reach, so you’ll need something to step on to get to it.

Also, getting a cabinet that reaches the ceiling could be highly expensive, so some individuals may feel priced out because they are beyond their financial range. Furthermore, fillers are required for these cabinets to make the uppers appear comparatively even. Although, this may help fix any ceiling areas that don’t seem to be flush.

However, they limit you if you want to use some crown building for decorative purposes. Here is why, if you’d like some crown molding for aesthetic purposes, you will have to lower the kitchen cabinets for a crown molding to be feasible, and most people are usually not ready to make this compromise.

Why do Kitchen Cabinets go to the Ceiling?

Most people like 42-inch tall upper cabinets because they provide a lot more space while also touching the ceiling. Asides from that, it makes the room feel bigger; this area may be used for storage much more easily than the restricted space available in cabinets that do not reach the ceiling.

Kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling are attractive too. In contrast to working with the open space directly above the cabinets, you can choose to install lights in the front cabinets to give them a more modern appearance.

While some people may choose to have extra cabinetry to ensure the cabinet reach all the way to the ceiling, others may prefer to leave the space right above the upper cabinets open. If you’re later, you can choose to have some plants installed on such spot; thus, it is entirely a matter of personal preference.

Furthermore, ceiling cabinets have a really nice and consistent appearance, however, they can be considered highly luxurious and expensive. If purchasing a cabinet that goes up to the ceiling is an unnecessary luxury for you, you should stick with a simple cabinet that is within your budget.

Lastly, you may decide to go with a cabinet that has space between the cabinet and ceiling top because it’s more convenient and easier to maintain. You wouldn’t have to bother about cleaning the cabinet’s top of dust or trying to grab something that’s out of your reach.

How do You Close in Above Kitchen Cabinets?

Should There be a Gap Above Kitchen Cabinets?

If you have a space above your cabinet, there are several ways through which you can close the gap. You may decide to use your kitchen cabinet tops as a space to keep things you have no room for, like picnic baskets, decorative objects, or different cutting boards.

Adding some extra lighting to the top of your cabinet would help brighten up the kitchen and give it an enthusiastic atmosphere. You can also keep your cookbooks off your living room shelves and store them where you need them.

If you are a lover of art, you may also decide to fill up the space with some of your favorite art pieces. You can arrange various artworks ranging from painting to sculptures to beautify and enhance your kitchen environment. Alternatively, you may decide to cover the whole space with fancy wallpapers.

Installing crown molding along the tops of the cabinets is a popular solution for dealing with open soffits on wall cabinets. Crown molding on kitchen wall cabinets is a simple way to liven up your kitchen. You can add rope lights behind the crown molding to create a luminous glow at night.

Gui Hadlich

Hi there! I'm Gui. I've had to move 12 times in the last 6 years, and I've learned a thing or two about moving, decorating, and buying and selling furniture. I've started Budget Friendly Furnishing with the intent of helping people furnish their homes in style without having to break the bank!

Recent Posts