floor to ceiling cabinets
Home Improvement

Tips for Installing Floor to Ceiling Cabinets in Your Kitchen

Fred Bahnson 

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, one decision you’ll need to make is whether to install upper cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling or to leave a gap above them. Most modern kitchens have cabinets that are 32 or 36 inches tall, leaving a gap of one to two feet between the cabinets and the ceiling. However, many homeowners are opting for floor-to-ceiling cabinetry for both functional and aesthetic reasons.

Before you make a decision, consider the following factors:

Design Preferences

Start by asking yourself whether you like the look of cabinets that extend to the ceiling. Some people prefer the smooth, continuous look that this style provides, while others prefer the functionality of the additional storage space. Keep in mind that the upper shelves will be less accessible, so you may want to consider using a rolling library ladder to help you reach them.

Ceiling Height

The height of your ceiling will play a role in determining whether floor-to-ceiling cabinets are a good option for your kitchen. Most kitchens have ceilings that are 8 or 9 feet high, which leaves about 42 to 54 inches of available space for wall cabinets. Many manufacturers offer stock cabinets in a range of heights, so you can choose the height that works best for your space. If you have an unusual ceiling height, custom cabinetry may be the best solution.


Installing floor-to-ceiling cabinets is more expensive than leaving a gap above the cabinets, as it requires more cabinetry and possibly additional framing work. If cost is a concern, consider installing false cabinet panels that extend to the ceiling or lowering the ceiling above the cabinets.

Ceiling Details

Architectural features such as beams and crown moldings can also affect your decision. Cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling may look awkward next to decorative beams, and built-up crown moldings may need to be removed to install the cabinetry. Consider what features are most important to you and how they will affect the overall look of your kitchen.

When deciding whether to install floor-to-ceiling cabinets in your kitchen, there is no right or wrong answer. Consider your personal preferences, ceiling height, budget, and ceiling details to determine what will work best for your space.