Why Don’t Most Kitchen Cabinets Touch The Ceiling?

You might notice kitchen cabinets don’t touch the ceiling only when you install them in your kitchen. This is normal as most kitchen cabinets don’t touch the ceiling.

There are cumulative reasons why most kitchen cabinets don’t touch the ceiling. Practical reasons prevent users to reach very high. Standard ceiling height regulation that prevents low ceilings is also a determining factor.

Here are a few common reasons why kitchen cabinets don’t touch the ceiling in most kitchens.

Standard 40” cabinets can be too high

Standard 40” and 36” cabinets don’t touch the ceiling as they need to be lowered for easy access. The higher portion of a cabinet is sometimes not reachable without climbing a chair which means cabinets don’t need to be as high as the ceiling itself.

Kitchen cabinets don’t touch the ceiling in 10ft ceiling rooms

It’s very common for high ceiling homes to have kitchen cabinets that don’t touch the ceiling. This wasn’t always the case. Old homes were routinely made with 8ft ceiling which means most kitchen cabinets were touching the ceiling.

Current regulation prevents these low ceiling homes to be constructed today. Cabinets have remained relatively similar to how they used to be in the past when they were constructed for 8” ceilings.

This is not to say custom-made cabinets haven’t changed a kitchen layout. However, it goes to show there are historic reasons why kitchen cabinets might not be reaching up to the ceiling.

Most plywood is 4 x 8 feet

Most plywood sheets used to make kitchen cabinets are of 4 x 8 feet. This means cabinet makers rarely go overboard when it comes to building even taller kitchen cabinets. It’s best to be realistic about what you can achieve with these plywood sheets yourself when building from scratch.

Crown molding is often added to standard kitchen cabinets

Crown molding is frequent on kitchen cabinets. Some people like it while others don’t.

There’s even a segment of homeowners who think crown molding is completely outdated. However, ti still exists.

If your kitchen cabinets aren’t as high as the ceiling you might be looking towards some type of crown molding design.

These designs eliminate the wasted space above cabinets and it also prevents thick dust build-up that’s also very common on top of kitchen cabinets that don’t reach the ceiling.

Kitchen cabinets can touch the ceiling in 8ft high kitchen

Kitchen cabinets might easily reach the ceiling whenever you have a lowered ceiling or if your kitchen is located in an old house.

8ft ceilings are very common for cabinets to reach. These can be true 8ft ceilings or lowered 8ft ceilings.

Most importantly, you might notice low ceiling kitchen spaces aren’t ideal for countertop cooking space. The lower the standard kitchen cabinet is the less space you’ll have above the counter to either cook or to use for kitchen appliances. This essentially makes the entire kitchen feel crammed.


Kitchen cabinets don’t go up to the ceiling as they would be too difficult to reach. They rarely touch the ceiling of standard 9ft and 10ft ceiling homes.

You can eliminate the wasted space above the ceiling by using crown molding. This space can also be left empty if you like the idea of a spacious kitchen.