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Why Do Kitchen Cabinets Not Go To The Ceiling? [Explained]

You may have noticed that most kitchen cabinets don’t go to the ceiling. It’s quite natural to have questions about this. 

Actually, kitchen cabinets do reach up to the ceiling. Some modern designed kitchens have long cabinets that go up to the top. It provides more space and a better outlook. 

The question arises, why do kitchen cabinets not go to the ceiling in most houses? 

Cabinets that are higher than 32-36 inches might be hard to access and riskier too. Moreover, all kinds of kitchen structures don’t allow this type. Cost and maintenance need to be considered as well. Lastly, it might interrupt the natural aesthetic, so it’s avoided by many. 

Let’s not waste more time and go straight to the in-depth discussion.

4 Reasons for Kitchen Cabinets Not Reaching up to the Ceiling

As we know, cabinets can touch the ceiling. For more storing places and a compact kitchen design, it can be preferred. The gap between the ceiling and the cabinet looks weird too. So, avoiding it will look fine. 

Then why most of them don’t go up to that level? Obviously, there are reasons that refrain most homeowners from having ceiling-level cabinets. 

What are they? Well, to ensure a full functioning kitchen, builders avoid the higher height. Other considerations are the cost and outer look. Basically, everyone chooses the style that gives them the highest level of working comfort.

But there’s more to it. You need to know them in detail. Here, we’ve listed some of the top reasons for cabinets not reaching the ceiling. They are-

Reason 1 of 4: Accessibility 

Everything in your kitchen should be placed in a way that provides the highest accessibility. For instance, you must maintain the optimum distance between the dishwasher and countertop. The same goes for others as well.

The whole point of having a kitchen cabinet is to make your kitchen space more functional. If you can’t work there freely, your kitchen design has failed to serve the purpose. 

Normally cabinets are 32-36 inches tall. So there remains a gap of 1-2 inches between the cabinet and the ceiling. So, people need other help like a ladder to reach the top.

Even though some people argue that a taller cabinet provides more space. But when you need a ladder to reach the upper portion of your cabinet. That makes it hard to use and risky as well. 

The trade-off doesn’t seem worth it due to the serious consequences of ladder accidents. Therefore, people avoid stressful situations to access the top layer of ceiling-high cabinets. 

Reason 2 of 4: All Kitchen Spaces Aren’t Perfect for this Cabinet 

You should never install ceiling height cabinets in a small kitchen. Because it has high chances of resulting in a cramped area.

Well, this needs to be elaborated a bit. Kitchen spaces that are more than or around 100 square feet can allocate ceiling cabinets. 

But in the case of small kitchens that are around 70 square feet large, the scenario is different. The long cabinet will look cramped in such kitchens. The congested look won’t give you a comforting vibe at all.

Reason 3 of 4: High Cost and Maintenance of Long Cabinets

Obviously, it’s possible to install kitchen cabinets that reach the ceiling level. But one of the main constraints is the cost. Just like you estimate the cost of furnishing your 2000sq feet house.

Similarly, you must consider the cost of ceiling touching cabinets as well. So, why is it so expensive? Because you need to set it with your ceiling. The whole installation process will cost you higher than usual. 

Moreover, these types of cabinets are high maintenance. Generally, kitchen cabinets get greasy easily and need more cleaning. Taller cabinets are tougher to keep clean and well maintained. 

Reaching up to that height and cleaning it is both tiring and costly. At times, the homeowner might even need to take professional help in this cleansing. 

The total cost rises which makes most refrain from installing higher cabinets.

Reason 4 of 4: Outlook of the Kitchen

Maintaining a good kitchen outlook is much necessary. You must maintain the height and positioning of the appliances with utmost care. Similar to maintaining microwave outlet height in your kitchen. 

A similar concern regarding positioning goes for the cabinets as well. This type of cabinet covers the beams and ceiling details. So, people prefer to exhibit the detailed designs of their ceiling rather than the cabinet.  

These are the reasons that refrain homeowners from installing cabinets that reach the ceiling. Consider these points before choosing your kitchen cabinets. 


Question: What is the bulkhead above kitchen cabinets?
Answer: The space between the kitchen cabinet and the ceiling is the bulkhead. This is commonly known as the soffit. This is a box-like portion on top of the kitchen cabinet. They can be used to hide wiring and mechanical components between the cabinet and ceiling. 

Question: What colors make a kitchen look bigger?
Answer: White and Neutral colors make any room look bigger than usual. Basic colors serve this purpose too. If you have a small kitchen you can go with white color which has a widening effect. It reflects light and increases the sense of space. Other soft basic colors work in this way too. 

Question: How do you fix the gap between cabinets and ceilings?
Answer: As kitchen cabinets can reach up to the ceiling. So, you can install ceiling-touching kitchen cabinets. But this is not a budget-friendly option. You can just keep the place open that’ll cost you zero expense. Another way is making a soffit on top of your cabinet.

Take Away

Now you have an answer to “why do kitchens cabinets not go to the ceiling?”.

As you know the reasons already, decide whether you should install a ceiling cabinet or not. Choose the one that fulfills your kitchen cabinet goals. 

Wishing you a happy home experience! Best of luck with your new kitchen look.