Do your kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling

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Posted by lolauren (My Page) on

Tue, Feb 9, 10 at 0:17

Do your kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling?

If so, can you post a photo and let us know what your ceiling height is? THANK YOU!

Follow-Up Postings:
In general, I am of the opinion that cabinets should go all the way to the ceiling if low, and soffits if high. The reason is that the tops will collect dirt and dust, and realistically, how many people will ever get a ladder and wipe the tops of the cabinets? One idea is to put glass fronts on a second bank of really high cabinets and use them as displays.

Personally, I don't like the look of soffits. Makes the kitchen look 70s-ish, plus makes the kitchen look smaller. But that's just my opinion.

If you can afford to make your cabs go up to the ceiling, that'd be ideal. If not (and I couldn't), leave it and put something decorative on top of the cabs. I dislike dusting the tops of cabs but if it'll save me lots of money, I can deal with it.

Do you mean the cabinets themselves or cabinets + crown molding?

I hate soffits--all except one example on GW, where the GWer made them look like paneled cabinetry! That was AWESOME!

Um. I clean the tops of my cabinets regularly. The tops of med cabs and door frames, too.

If the ceiling is 9' or less, I say go to it! If it's more, I'd leave it open.

I have low ceilings. I had not other choice but to go all the way to the ceiling.

Here is a link that might be useful: cabinets/ceiling height

I used to be anti-soffits, but I've seen several examples here that look terrific. I think it's the 1970s-style soffits that make kitchens look 1970s. If you go with a modern take on it, it can actually be a great way to get some color up there or have cabinets within reach. Our 75-year-old cabinets have wooden soffits that are just an additional foot extension of the cabinet frame, and I actually think that looks fine too except for the gingerbread trim they put on it back then. :) I've seen a couple of GW kitchens that used crown moulding there instead and it's perfect.

No way would I ever want to dust up there, though! (Someone in another thread quipped that if she doesn't dust where she CAN reach, how will she ever dust where she can't?!? Yup, my thoughts exactly!)

I have 9' ceilings and my cabinets go all the way up, except for a very short, plain molding. The molding allows the doors to open freely, and makes it easier to fit to the ceiling when the cabinets are built in the shop, rather than individually measured on site. The ceiling was then feathered to meet the top of the molding cleanly. Sorry I don't have a picture for you.

Here was the kitchen with soffits:

Here are my cabinets to the ceiling with the soffits removed. My ceilings are 8.5 feet high.

I have 8' ceilings and my uppers are about 41.5 inches high and go all the way up. They look like 39s but the face frame is wider at the top to accommodate the crown molding.

New kitchen 3

idrive65 -- could you tell me what your pendants are?

sorry for the highjack . . .

Here are mine - the ceiling height varies from 98.5" to 99.5". We had to order the cabinets without toekicks so they could be raised into place. There are formulas out there to help with figuring out how much clearance you need if you are not using a KD.


Our ceilings are 8' so we went all the way up.

Pre-reno: cabinets went to the ceiling but no crown moulding. The doors were so close to the ceiling it was nearly impossible to clean the tops of the doors:
Before Kitchen 1

After reno with crowing moulding - much better!
After 3 kitchen

idrive65 -- could you tell me what your pendants are?

Sure, they are from Seagull Lighting, mini pendants from the Highlands line, in the palladium finish.

"Do you mean the cabinets themselves or cabinets + crown molding?"

Personally, I want both... and will have a 9' ceiling. I'm just trying to picture it :) Also, I can't tell in some photos how high the ceiling is!

I have 8' ceilings and plan to have only a narrow molding at the top. My cabinets will be natural oak, and some of my uppers will be only 12'' wide. Do you think they will look too tall and skinny in either a Shaker or beadboard style? Most of the pictures in this thread seem to have raised panel doors.

we have a 9ft ceiling

Oh my gosh, mairin, your kitchen is a showstopper! How have I missed this one? Absolutely breathtaking!

Sorry for the derail.

I'm really sorry to jump in ; but reyesuela please could you share the pics of where they GWers had paneled the soffits to look like a cabinet ? In fact we are in the same situation too
thanks much

In the first renovation of our kitchen by the previous owners they had an interesting problem where they had to have soffits. I do not like sofits but they were able to build what looks like a recess in the center of the kitchen to disguise the soffits. My cabinets go up to the ceiling. When I renovated I added beadboard and moulding and lights to this recess. It turned out very pretty and not soffit-ish. Here is the link - scroll down for before and after photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinets to Ceiling with hidden Soffits

I have 9' ceilings w/cabinets/moulding to the the top:

and soffit at about 8' (hiding HVAC and pumbling)

Main kitchen area

Appliance Wall 2

Some photos I kept for inspiration on what to do with soffits:

soffit 3

soffit 2

Soffit 1


Ack! Um. I have it bookmarked on a computer that's being repaired right now.

Can anyone else help?

They are dark stained wood cabinets with a wood floor and wood trim with an oriental rug in the center. There is a gyroscopic fan and 10' ceilings with soffits that look like paneled wood. Anyone? Help?

YES! That's it--the last one! Isn't that awesome? Anyhow, she responded as I was trying to find it again....

My ceilings are 9'
Having trouble posting photos today. Hopefully this link will work.

Here is a link that might be useful: dotcomgone kitchen

Our ceilings are around 9 feet (old house, uneven ceiling!).

We have 60 inches of cabinets stacked on the countertop, and 4"-6" of molding to take them all the way to the ceiling. We're still under construction, but here's where we are so far:

Oh, my, Brickmanhouse....Gorgeous!!!

We have 9 ft ceilings and at present, our cabinets (uppers are 48") end about 6 inches from the ceiling. Molding to fill to the ceiling have been planned. I was beginning to think I liked the look of the 6" gap, but when I did a thorough cabinet cleaning last week, I changed my mind, and can't wait til the trim is finished and there is no more dust-catching space. There was SO much up there!

How it looks now, followed by a rendering of how it's supposed to look when finished:



I will still have those cabinets by the stove that don't go to the ceiling...My one concession to looks over function in this regard, but I think I can deal with that little bit of dust, compared to a kitchen full.

I have 12 ft ceilings and am renovating my kitchen currently. The ceiling had been dropped to 8 ft by a previous 60s or 70s era remodel and we got rid of the dropped ceiling to discover that the ceiling in the kitchen is 12 ft like the rest of the house! Yay Victorians! My upper cabs will not extend to the ceiling. It's just too high. As it is I have a 42" upper cabinet with an 18" cabinet stacked on top of that, plus crown molding on top of the 18" cabinet, and it still won't reach to the ceiling. I'll deal with the dust. The 18" cabinet doors will be glass and I'll just use them to store decorative items (and keep a step ladder in the pantry!). No photos yet, we are just getting ready to sheetrock next week.

gorgeous photos and also very helpful. thanks everyone :)

I have 8' ceilings and most of my cabinets + crown molding go to the ceiling. We removed most of our soffits with the remodel b/c (1) I don't like soffits and (2) they take up valuable storage space!

I do have one "mini soffit" left, but it's much better than what I had!

Two cabinets do not go to the ceiling. To help w/the cleaning issue, "line" the top of your cabinets with paper towels or newspapers. It's easy to remove the dusty paper and replace with clean.

View looking "down" the center of the kitchen:

View of Sink wall:

View of Cooktop wall:

Ours go all the way up to the ceiling, which I am assuming is a standard 8' (though I've never measured - we haven't lived in this house a year yet). The ceiling is, surprisingly, wood, but it's gorgeous (we thought it would be weird, but it's not).

Here are some pictures:



Sorry for the quality - they were taken shortly after we moved and I haven't taken better ones since. We're in the process of refinishing the cabinets, since it's clear they haven't had any love in over 20 years.

I'm one of the people with the soffits made to look like cabinets. (I used Ikea cabinets with custom doors, and couldn't make the numbers work out to get real cabinets up there. Plus, my budget was tight, and cabinets would have added extra cost.)

Our ceilings are 9' tall. The functional cabinets go up 39", the soffit "cabinets" are 12" tall, and the molding is 2-3".

Here's a picture I took tonight.

joann --- that's very clever....... good idea.

neumamom -- what size is your island??

we are in process of putting new cabs in our 9' kitchen. the they will be 42" leaving 9 or so " above to ceiling.

the KD said he will install a "cabinet board" slightly over the face of the cabinet that will extend to almost the ceiling. I suppose the bottom edge of the board will have a sculpted edge. then he will use 4" crown molding at top. He also wanted to install small trim mid way up to "break up the blandness of the panel to ceiling" as he put it.

I have never seen it done like this, all Ive seen is people installing the board FLUSH with cabinet face at top, then using small piece of trim to cover the seam.

The KD says his method of putting the board on top of the cabinet face will add depth and make it look more interesting.

Has anyone seen this ? If so, can you post a close up picture ? I would love to see it, it sounds interesting, but I hope it doesnt look like a board sitting out from cabinet face.


I would ask for a copy of layouts and elevations before agreeing to it, they help alot for visuals.

OK I just spoke with the KD again.

He explained that the panel going above the cabinet to ceiling will indeed sit ON the cabinet face, not flush with cabinet face. It will have a finished edge with a square cut. He says this is the nicest way to do it. He cannot supply a picture.

Wont this look just like a board sitting on top of a cabinet ?? I sure would love to see a picture of this before agreeing to $1500 extra for this.

We have 9' ceilings so we did a stacked cabinet (18" on top of 36" maybe?) topped with a thick 2 piece crown. Love them and we use the upper-uppers for our seldom used items - seasonal things, bakeware, etc. It makes our ceilings seem even higher and our kitchen bigger.

Would that be an option?

We remodeled a old kitchen with large soffits. I didn't need the extra cabinet space and had to cut money somewhere after we decided on soapstone for our countertop choice. We used two pieces of crown molding (one turned upside down) and made the soffits look like part of our cabinets to the ceiling. We really love them and saved a lot of money. Here's a picture during construction and before the cabinet doors were installed.

Go here to read another thread on soffits.

Here is a link that might be useful: older thread on soffits

imaly - is there any chance you have the item/product numbers for the molding pieces you used? I would love to see how you built this up. Thanks!

Sorry, Ellen. I don't have the model numbers. I bought a bunch of different pieces at Lowes, one each. Then I brought them home and we played with them against the top of the soffits to see what worked and then returned the ones we didn't use. I think it was the bottom piece that we turned upside down to make it work.

the KD said he will install a "cabinet board" slightly over the face of the cabinet that will extend to almost the ceiling. I suppose the bottom edge of the board will have a sculpted edge. then he will use 4" crown molding at top. He also wanted to install small trim mid way up to "break up the blandness of the panel to ceiling" as he put it. ...
Has anyone seen this ? If so, can you post a close up picture ?

It sounds somewhat similar to what we did with the 9" space above our cabs ... fascia with rope trim partway up, then the molding to ceiling. These pics might help you with the idea, although your taste may run more simply vs the rope molding (personally I love it and it was one of my must haves :))

 photo DSCN3904_zps6ea1c6f8.jpg

 photo DSCN3913_zps0b191d8b.jpg

 photo ropemolding.jpg

We have 9 ft ceilings and didn't take our cabinets all of the way to the ceiling. Some of that was due to cost. We ended up with plenty of storage space, so stacking cabinets to fill that space would have been a big waste of money for us. Not to mention that DW at 5'3" really didn't want to be storing stuff that high.

We also didn't like the look of the tall board and molding above the cabinets as a filler. That is just a dressed up soffit.

We actually went for the staggered height look and love it. It adds character to the kitchen and it doesn't bother us to dust above the cabinets (once every blue moon).

Our builder wants to charge $3600 for an upgrade on cabinets going to ceiling. The upper cabinets would most of them have glass and lights. It's done in the model but not in most of the spec homes we've seen. is this too much to pay? We have Maple Praline cabinets going in. 42" cabinets. I would say we have about 20 linear feet of cabinets

We staggered and altered depth to make it interesting with our 9 ft ceilings

 photo kitch15_zps3d7fd589.jpg

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