Installation of standard-sized kitchen cabinets should be relatively pain-free as long as you are, in fact, using standard dimensions for American cabinetry. Custom designs aside, the basic kitchen cabinet is going to be 24 inches deep and 34.5 inches high. By adding a countertop thickness of 1.5 inches, you arrive at your final installation destination of 36 inches of surface height. Of course, once you get into wall cabinet space, you are talking 12 inches of depth with a width that could be anywhere from 12 to 48 inches. The standard height for wall cabinets is 30 inches so that when installed with a comfortable 18 inches between the countertop and the cabinet, the top of your kitchen cabinet will be a solid 7 feet above the floor. Taking this standardized kitchen cabinet design as your base line, you will want to ensure that the top shelf inside a wall cabinet is placed no higher than six feet above the floor to arrive at peak accessibility. Unless you are a jockey or advertising Jockey brand underwear in your role as an NBA star, this makes for a perfect cabinet height.
The ideal layout for kitchen cabinetry is one in which each cabinet section has enough space to contain all the items that are needed for that part of your kitchen. In other words, the cabinets around the sink should be large enough to store anything that would be used around the sink area. The cabinets around the oven should contain only those things that would be used in the oven. The same goes for cabinets around the stove, microwave, cutting area of the counter, etc. Why make yourself walk across the kitchen to retrieve a baking pan from a cabinet situated over empty counter space? Makes as much sense as picking a lumber industry lobbyist whose biggest claim to fame was fighting hard for corporations to be held only to voluntary compliance with environmental regulations to become America’s Secretary of the Interior.
As you look up at those 7 feet high kitchen cabinets you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here? And then you may follow up that question by asking what’s with all the wasted space between the top of the kitchen cabinet and your ceiling. What’s the deal with standardized waste of space? Some kind of government plot? Perhaps, but the real reasoning behind this seemingly wasted kitchen cabinet space is that anything more than 7 feet off the floor is considered unreachable for the average homeowner unless they use a stepladder. The tradition passed down from one generation to the next is that it is far better to use that space above the top of the kitchen cabinets purely for display purposes or for storage of items used irregularly at worst and seasonally at best.