FIND PROFESSIONALS
SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
elyn00

height of cabinets with 8 ft ceiling ,,opinions please

elyn00
14 years ago

I have 8 ft ceilings, I can either do 42 inch cabinets (parkdale km), or 36 inch. i thought I wanted 42 inch up to the ceiling until I found out I would only be able to have a small inch and a half trim on top. If i get the 36 inch cabinets i would be able to have the crown molding trim. Since we are installing ourselves, my husband is not willing to use filler to bring cabinets up to the ceiling height. Any insights or opinions would be helpful!

Comments (35)

  • teedup1
    14 years ago

    Drop those 42" puppies down on the wall a little bit and put a nice crown on cabs. Definitely go to the ceiling! Ya don't need but 16 or so inches between counter top and lower edge of upper cabs. For sure don't make a dust catcher with 36" cabs!

    Fix a nice meat and potatoes dinner and don't complain about another ball game on TV. You'll will, guaranteed!

  • pcjs
    14 years ago

    We used 36 as I was concerned 42 would be too dominating and used a filler and floated the crown to make the ceiling look even. We are DIY on almost everything but we did cheat some and get help hanging the cabinets and doing the ceiling molding as we didn't want it to take months like everything else and the price was reasonable. I much prefer the 36 and the extra 8 inches aren't a huge difference as I can't reach the top two shelves anyway without a chair so it's mainly storage.

  • Related Discussions

    Is a 9 ft ceiling height acceptable with a box beamed ceiling or not really?

    Q

    Comments (8)
    Thanks for the tip on the 8' doors. I would consider our house high end and I absolutely love the box beam ceiling look- we are doing the tray ceiling in our dining room, and we have an open kitchen, breakfast and family room area, so i was thinking of putting the beams in the family room to define the space and give it a nice look (the only other thing we have in the family room is a fireplace and thats where we will be spending most of our time and I would love to make the best out of it). Do you think thats ok or should I do it in the kitchen instead? I just thought thats there is alot going on in the kitchen already with the granite island/white cabinets/stainless steel appliances etc..
    ...See More

    Should we paint the oak ceiling in our kitchen? Ceiling height is 8ft.

    Q

    Comments (49)
    She already painted the ceiling white which looks sooo much better!! nicely done. It sounds like you want a forgiving floor but like the look of tile. Armstrong makes a vinyl tile that is groutable. It is softer than tile of course but extremely durable and can be installed with or without grout. When I saw it for the first time I thought it was tile. Here is a link http://www.armstrong.com/flooring/diy-alterna-tile.html.
    ...See More

    If we have 8ft ceilings should we take all cabinets to the ceiling or

    Q

    Comments (9)
    Yep to the top. Even if you never use them and I don't, looks so much better than soffets or trying to dust on the cab decor. 8' is low already. Maybe do separate smaller cabs near the top like leelee showed.
    ...See More

    8 ft ceilings. should we get 36 inch or 30 inch cabinets?

    Q

    Comments (18)
    I have a 9 ft high ceiling space in the kitchen and 10ft high throughout the house. I made the mistake and ordered 30inch cabinets but, I made the fix by adding a 6inch filler piece with 3 inch crown it came out beautiful. Our shed kitchen was changed over to our main kitchen and kitchen is our breakfast room I did not remove the foundation wall but, I had a 4ft x 4ft cut out counter added with 2 barstoll ans 2 pendant lights. I also added a built in microwave with a seven bottle wine cooler in the breakfast room. The space came out great.
    ...See More
  • teedup1
    14 years ago

    "It's mainly storage"? Don't be so flip. Some, like me, would kill for storage!

  • rhome410
    14 years ago

    I vote with teedup1. Had 42" cabs in our last house (with 7'10" ceilings) and loved them, and definitely needed and used that extra storage.

  • pcjs
    14 years ago

    The extra space would never get used or we'd keep stuff we don't need as we can't reach it so what is the point. We have a basement that will get decked out with cabinets for storage but at this point we have unused space in our tiny kitchen as we gained so much from our apartment and our new layout.

  • weedyacres
    14 years ago

    We just put up KM Parkdale cabinets in our kitchen! We have 9-foot ceilings, bought 42" cabinets, and staggered some 6" higher than that. The photo below can show you the scale of a 42" cabinet (the ones we took out were only 30"!!), and also what it looks like with crown 6" and 12" below the ceiling. Hopefully that can help you visualize at least the portion near the ceiling (the high parts would be like your 36-inchers with crown).

    It sounds like your choice is between more storage (42" with small crown/cap) and fancier crown. Only you can decide what is more valuable to you.

  • rhome410
    14 years ago

    But teedup1 had a great point that option 3 would be to drop the cabinets 1-2 inches to fit in a deeper molding at the top. You'd probably never notice the difference...unless you have a specific small appliance that needs the full ht between counter and uppers to fit on the counter.

  • alexrander
    14 years ago

    Some cabinet companies make 39". Also, I spoke to a company a while back and they said they could put a 3" or 4" reveal at the top of the 42" cabinets(face frame style). This would allow the uppers to go tight up against the ceiling and still have room for a crown molding.

  • svwillow1
    14 years ago

    IMHO,... (and my opinion is worth about what you pay for it)... using 42" uppers with a ceiling height of 8Â does not allow enough room for a 3" crown. Lowering the uppers does have a negative impact on the available working and storage areas above the countertop. This becomes even more so with the addition of under cabinet lights and/or light moldings. As much as the extra storage may be wanted, I think trying to put 42" uppers on an 8Â high wall, often with just a small cove molding on top, gives a "top heavy" sense to the kitchen. If you can get 39" cabinets, youÂll have a better feel. 36" cabinets with a nice crown on top and light mold on the bottom also works.

    As far trying to scribe the crown tight to the ceiling, you can leave about an 1/8" gap and nobody will ever see it. With only an 8' ceiling, its difficult to drop the cabinets very much at all, but I wouldn't worry about dust.

    Here is a link that might be useful: 36

  • glad
    14 years ago

    i love having 42" cabinets and plan the same for the remodel. i keep taller things like big cereal boxes, blender, paper towels up there; i'm tall enough, though, that i don't need the step stool for most items. i should also caveat that i have a narrow galley, so it would be really hard to notice nice molding up there anyway....

  • patti823
    14 years ago

    I have 8 ft. ceilings also,and I originally wanted 42" cabs. My KD was all set to order them until he measured the distance between the counters and cabs. Code in Illinois says there has to be at least 18" between counter top and cabs, so there wouldn't be enough height for the 42". You might want to check to see if your state has a code also. I ended up getting the 36" with crown moulding and I am happy with how it turned out.

  • beatrix_in_canada
    14 years ago

    Our kitchen has a more contemporary (I prefer to call it "timeless") look so we didn't really want any crown molding. That way our 42" cabinets fit quite nicely under the 8' ceiling. Have to add that we had a professional installer who took quite some time hanging those cabinets. There is a tiny little gap above the cabinet but it's not really visible.

    I don't think the cabinetry is too dominating. Breaking it up with some glass doors can help as well.

    Yes, we probably have more storage space now than we "really" need. However, we used to cram everything into a smaller space and regularly broke stuff coming out when trying to pull something out. I still remember the tears my kids shed when we lost some cereal bowls from a trip to France that way ... Now everything is much more loosely spaced which makes it so much easier to work with.

    I'm 5'7" and it's only the uppermost shelf that I do need a little step stool for. I use that space for seasonal items or those candy the kids are not supposed to find. And guess what: they can most certainly reach there!!!!!!!

    {{gwi:1590596}}

    {{!gwi}}

  • brutuses
    14 years ago

    weedyacres, your new kitchen is looking really good, but I have one question. How do you clean the top of the cabinet that is almost to the ceiling, but not quite there? From the angle in the photo I can't really tell how much space is up there. Thanks

  • amsunshine
    14 years ago

    I have 8 foot ceilings with 42" cabs, and our crown is only 1 1/2 inches. Our kitchen is a very small galley and I sacrificed the aesthetic of having a large crown having much needed storage. I like how it turned out, however, and I got this wonderful stepladder from WS which is lightweight and folds super thin for storage in one side of my pantry -- for those times I need to reach lesser used items on my top shelves.

    I think what you do will ultimately depend on how much storage you want/need. If it's a small kitchen, like mine -- I would go for the 42" cabs. Dropping the cabs down an inch or two for a bigger crown might work, but I think it's better to have the full 18" between counter and uppers to fit some bigger items like coffeemakers and stand up mixers under the upper cabs on the counter. Also, in a small kitchen, having the full 18 inches makes for a more open feeling, IMO.

    {{!gwi}}

    Here is a link that might be useful: Williams-sonoma stepladder

  • monroviamom
    14 years ago

    I too vote for the taller cabinets -- We have 8 foot ceilings with cabinets that go all the way up -- not only great storage, but we love the visual impact. Now, we are a family of amazons (I'm 5'10" & my hubby is over 6') so I only need to pull out the stepladder to get to the back of that top cabinet (which isn't too often).

    Choices, choices, choices... good luck to you!

  • alku05
    14 years ago

    We chose the 36" cabinets with a small filler and crown molding. In order for us to go with the 42" cabinets we would only have room for a small 1" cove molding on top, which was a more modern look than we wanted.

    Yes, you can hang the 42" cabinets lower, but remember if you're planning on UC lights and light rail, that will further decrease the clearance under you cabinets. We have only 16" clearance as is, and we only have a very small filler piece between the crown and the cabinet.

  • weedyacres
    14 years ago

    brutuses: Clean? Why bother if no one can see it? Seriously, I imagine a once-a-year on a ladder with a shop vac will get the dust out. There's about 3" of clearance between the top of the crown & the ceiling.

  • rhome410
    14 years ago

    Here are our 42" cabinets with a little over an inch of molding at the top...We had 94-95" ceilings. The cabinets were about 15" deep, too, but I never felt that they limited my working space at the counter by being 15-16" from the counter. Yes, if you want to add under-counter lighting and such, that would make a difference.

  • inmydreams
    14 years ago

    We also went with 39" cabinets similar to jmfromil above. Having no moulding in our old kitchen, it was important to me to have crown moulding. Our cabinets are 16" off the counter and will probably have no strip to hide the under cab lighting - there's a 1" recess in the cabinet that may be sufficient. At any rate - I can decide on that when it's completed.

    alku05 - I LOVE your moulding! I think if I had seen yours, I may have rethought the 39" and gone with 36".

  • silvia_2007
    14 years ago

    I just had my cabinets installed. On two sides of my wall, I have 42 inch cabinets with a simple crown molding which goes to the ceiling height of 8 feet. It looks great. On the 3rd side of my wall, there is a beam which holds up the house so the crown molding can't go up to the ceiling. I have 30 inch cabinet height with crown molding that is about a foot from the ceiling. This looks great too.
    I am only 5 feet tall so taller cabinets work better for me.

  • alku05
    14 years ago

    Inmydreams, it's funny that you say that, b/c the only reason we didn't do 39" cabinets with a thinner crown was b/c the cabinet line we picked didn't offer them!

  • friedajune
    14 years ago

    In my previous apartment, I had 8' ceilings and 42" cabinets to the ceiling. (My current home has 9' ceilings, and I have still gone to the ceiling by stacking a row of cabinets on top of 42" ones). I favor 42" cabinets. For one thing, you can never have too much storage. Truly. As to needing a step ladder, well, I need a stepladder for anything above the second shelf regardless of whether the cabinets would be 36" or 42" so it wouldn't be part of this decision. Also, I am one of those people who are uncomfortable with the grime that would collect in the space above a 36" cabinet, even though it's out of sight. Also--in my area at least--42" cabinetry is hailed by realtors as being more "high-end" kitchen (whether that's true or not), so you'll see 42" cabinetry in the real estate listings as a selling point.

    As to what Patti823 said about Code - I live in Illinois too. It wasn't an issue for me and my 42" cabs because I chose to have a smaller crown. I wanted a smaller crown cause while I like large crowns in libraries and living rooms, IMHO, it's too fussy for a kitchen. And for those posters in this thread who also have smaller crowns, I love that clean kitchen-y look. I think that the crown molding is the crux of the decision for the OP. If she is set on the big crown moldings no matter what, then 42" cabs will be hard to accomplish. But I think foregoing a thick crown molding is SO much easier than to give up that 6" of cabinetry all around the kitchen! And in the end, she may find she likes the thinner crown molding after all.

  • alwaysfixin
    14 years ago

    Another vote for 42" cabinets with a minimal crown molding. I was going for an elegant look in my small kitchen (not to mention needing the storage), and to me, the taller cabinets have a slim elegance to them, like you'd see in those butler's pantries in mansions - those butler's pantries always have tall cabinets to the ceiling. I think the thick crown molding somehow seems chunky and heavy or weighty (I am sorry to those who have them--it's what makes this Forum great that we can all share our different opinions!).

    I also like that I can keep taller items like tall beer glasses, vases, candlesticks in my cabinets. If I had the 36" cabs, I'd have to take out a shelf to fit the tall items, or find another place for these things.

    Also, I admit that I am a neat-freak--so that the grime collecting on top of the space of the 36" cabs makes me squirmy--but I recognize I am weird that way!

  • sue36
    14 years ago

    I have 8'3" ceilings and did 39" cabinets (with 18" spacing between counter and cabinet) and a 4" crown.

    I don't think you can do 42" upper and a 3"+ crown.

    If you can't get 39" cabinets I would do the 36" and fill the rest with filler/crown.

  • patti823
    14 years ago

    To clarify my previous post, I wasn't concerned if I had a crown or not, but the base cabinets are 36" tall + 18" from countertop to upper cabs + 42" upper cabs = 96". I only had 95 1/2 " from floor to ceiling, so it didn't work out. Otherwise I would have loved to have the 42" cabs.

  • brutuses
    14 years ago

    Thanks for answering. You see in the photo it doesn't look like even that much. That's funny, out of sight, out of mind. HA!

  • zelmar
    14 years ago

    Our ceilings are 8'4" so we lucked out with cabinet sizes. Before the remodel we had no upper cabinets, just open shelves along the walls. After putting in cabinets to the ceiling I was amazed at how much bigger the room felt (even though the cabinets are medium/dark.) I really like the feeling of vertical space. And I find plenty of rarely-needed items to place on the upper shelves. And like alwaysfixin, I appreciate having a space for tall items without eating into prime easily-reached space. If I had to make a choice, I would go for less of a molding and go for as much cabinet space as possible.

  • dcwesley
    14 years ago

    Our ceilings are 7'8". We want our upper cabinets to go to the ceiling. Am I computing the following correctly?

    7'8" ceiling = 92"
    Lower cabinets 36"
    Space above counter 16" (is that enough?)
    Leaves 40" - so gives us room for 39" uppers plus a 1" molding?

    Does a 1" molding make sense, or is it better to have no molding? Is th answer different if we have unframed vs. framed cabinets? I have not checked, but based on other measurements in our house I would guess there is a decent variation in ceiling height around the room.

  • napagirl
    14 years ago

    One way to gain more storage is to add another shelf to the cabinet, making the first shelf 6" off the bottom (perfect for mugs). That way you can have the 36" cab with the useable space of a 42" cab.

    weedyacres:
    Do you have indirect lighting between your cabinets and the ceiling? I noticed a "glow" above the corner cabinet and thought perhaps you had added lighting. If so, how much space is there between the cabinet and the ceiling, and does it work well for you?

  • jt562
    14 years ago

    We went through h@ll getting our soffets removed to put in cabinets to the ceiling. Was it worth it? Heck yeah! So, here is another 8' ceiling with 42" cabinets & 4 1/2" crown molding. Due to the angle of the molding, it only needed 2" of space above the cabinets. Maybe look into various styles of molding to fit some into your design?? BTW, our cabinets came with smaller molding, but we opted to get larger molding & stain it to match ourselves. I think DH did a pretty good job! ~ for an accountant ;-)

    Please disregard the mess...it is still a work in progress.

  • pupwhipped
    14 years ago

    I've got this dilema, too, in a lake home we are remodeling. Have 8 ft. ceilings and KD is suggesting that cabinets NOT go to the top. He says it gives kitchen a closed in look. HUH? I haven't made up my mind yet. My current home has 10 ft ceilings and I have an 18 inch space above cabinets and I have that crammed with all kinds of decorative items. I love that look. But, in lake house, space above cabinets will be 12 inches or maybe less, and I wonder if that will be kinda squatty for decorative items. What to do, what to do. I would love to see more pics if anyone has the time. TIA

  • svwillow1
    14 years ago

    Keep in mind that if you choose a full overlay style cabinet, you will need a spacer or moulding of some sort between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling or the doors might hit.

  • dt516
    last year

    Boy this thread is 14 years old but if anyone is still around...for those of you who did 42” uppers did you also use 96” tall cabinets? How did you fit into 8’ ceiling?