Why Cabinets to the Ceiling Are a Good Idea

Efficiency Meets Elegance

You’ve seen it all over Pinterest and Instagram: cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. Is this just a passing fad? Is it one of those things that influencers do but isn’t really relevant to your remodel?

Nope! Cabinets to the ceiling is a good idea and totally doable for many kitchens. They are a great use of space and add lots of storage to your kitchen, so why hasn’t everyone been doing this all along?

White and marble kitchen with blue Shaker cabinets and beige accents.
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Why Is There a Gap above the Cabinets Anyway? 

Traditionally, many homes constructed over the past half-century featured kitchen cabinets measuring 32 or 36 inches in height, leaving a generous 1 to 2 feet of empty space between the cabinet tops and the ceiling. This design choice is simply about placing the cabinets within reach of most individuals, whether standing on the floor or utilizing a short stepladder. 

That’s right, that gap is simply a matter of convenience, nothing more. On the other hand, there are several reasons why you might consider installing kitchen cabinets that reach the ceiling. Explore with us why cabinets to the ceiling are a good idea. 

Rendered illustration of a kitchen layout with gray Shaker cabinets and black countertops.

Increased Storage Space 

Extending the cabinets to the ceiling allows you to maximize your storage capacity. The additional upper cabinet space can be used to store items that are not frequently used or seasonal kitchenware, reducing clutter and keeping your countertops clear. 

Aesthetic Appeal

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets can create a visually pleasing and cohesive look in the kitchen. They provide a sense of continuity and make the space appear more streamlined and organized. This design choice can also make the room feel taller and more spacious. 

Utilization of Vertical Space

Kitchen cabinets that go up to the ceiling take advantage of the often-underutilized vertical space. This is especially beneficial in kitchens with limited square footage. By using the entire height of the room, you maximize the storage potential without sacrificing valuable floor area. 

Large kitchen with beige shaker cabinets, light wood floors and black accents.
Weston Sand Shaker Cabinets

Reduced Dust & Cleaning

That gap between the cabinets and ceiling gets dirty. And because it’s out of sight, it’s also out of mind—meaning you probably don’t clean it as much as you should. By eliminating the open space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling, you minimize the accumulation of dust and grime in that hard-to-reach area. Cleaning becomes easier since you don’t have to worry about dusting or maintaining the cabinet tops. 

Display Opportunities

With the extra height provided by floor-to-ceiling cabinets, you have the option to incorporate open shelving or glass-front cabinets in the upper sections. This allows you to showcase decorative items, glassware, or stylish kitchenware, adding visual interest and personalizing the space. Add some lighting to draw more attention to these spaces and add some ambiance to the kitchen. 

Cabinet Configuration Flexibility

Extending cabinets to the ceiling offers customization opportunities. You can choose various cabinet configurations, incorporate built-in appliances, or include decorative crown molding on top for an elegant finish. It provides flexibility to design your kitchen according to your specific needs and aesthetic preferences. 

You might choose to get an extra tall cabinet, or you could use the standard size then add a shorter cabinet on top. Maybe you’ll go for a glass front cabinet on top or a different style cabinet, like a flat front. The possibilities are wide open. 

Things to Consider

White Shaker cabinets with white countertops and marble subway tile backsplash.
Weston White Shaker Cabinets

Making It Fit

The tricky thing about cabinets to the ceiling is making them fit appropriately. Cabinets come in standard heights and it can be a bit of a math game to find the right combination to fit your space.  

Ceilings are generally eight or nine feet. Cabinets should generally be mounted 54 inches above the floor. The configuration of cabinets you decide on will depend on the height of your ceilings.  

You may find that you can’t make the cabinets fit in the space perfectly but that’s ok. Use moldings and trims to fill leftover space but still get the “all the way to the ceiling” look.  

Other difficulties you might run into are non-plumb walls, not straight walls, or uneven floors. All of these present challenges to making cabinets fit. It’s important to measure carefully and thoroughly so you know exactly what you’re dealing with before you start making decisions about your cabinet configuration. Once again, using trims and moldings are great tools to make up the difference.  

Spacious kitchen with rustic wood accents, white Shaker cabinets, and blue subway tile backsplash.


Taking cabinets all the way to the ceiling will add to your budget. That’s simply because you’ll be using more cabinets. If you love the look but the cost is too great, enclose the gap with a soffit and cover with cabinet door panels. This false front approach will give you the look for less. 

Ceiling Drama

Some ceilings feature architectural elements that you might need to take into consideration when planning for cabinets that go to the ceiling.  

Beams, trays, coffered ceilings, crown moldings, and others may impact cabinets that go to the ceiling. Some things are decorative and can be removed, like crown molding. Other items are structural support and cannot be removed, like beams. Coffered and tray ceilings are architectural elements that are built into the ceiling. They usually can be removed but do require additional work by a carpenter. 

Cabinets that go to the ceiling are a great idea! They are the crossroads between elegance and efficiency delivering the best of both worlds in one. Consider them for your kitchen or other space today! 

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