Guide to Standard Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

Leveling Kitchen Countertop
Leveling Kitchen Countertop. Getty/BanksPhotos

Unless you are dealing with custom kitchen cabinetry--which can have any dimensions--you will find better prices and predictable sizing with stock or semi-custom kitchen cabinets

While not an exhaustive guide, this does cover a substantial majority of standard cabinet dimensions.

1.  Base Cabinets: Height, Depth, and Representative Widths

Base cabinets are the workhorse of kitchen designBase kitchen cabinets are installed directly on the floor.

Counters are laid on them, sinks installed within them, dishwashers and ranges bracketed by them, and pots and pans are stored within them.  In other words, kitchen base cabinets are the most expensive, and for good reason:  we ask a lot of them.

It is possible to build a kitchen without wall cabinets, but it is impossible to do so without base cabinets.  With no base cabinets there would be no countertops.  This is a quick guide, with details provided below the chart:

Dimension (Inches)Factor
34.5Height, No Counters
35 to 36Height, With Counters
24Depth, No Counters
25 to 26Depth, With Counters
12, 18, 24, 30, 33, 36, 48Standard Widths

 

Height (Without Countertops):  34.5"

Base cabinet height is the one that is the least variable.  Building codes and accepted design practices like to stress accessibility, and the wrong height is the one aspect that can make a base cabinet inaccessible.

Raw base cabinets start at 34.5" high, without any kind of countertop or substrate.

Height (With Countertops):  35" to 36"

After adding a countertop, the eventual height is between 35" and 36".  

Height is flexible.  For example, Dupont allows for direct installation of 1/2" Corian directly onto a supportive framework, without a continuous underlayment.  Adding an underlay might add another 1/2" to the height.

 

It is often said that "countertops should fit the user."  Due to individual needs, countertops sometimes go as low as 32" and as high as 38".

Depth (Without Countertops):  24"

Base cabinet depth is the distance from the outer edge of the cabinet itself to the wall behind it.  

Base cabinets tend to be limited to 24". Deeper base cabinets make it difficult for you to reach the back of the counter or to plug in appliances.

If you have ever had difficulty reaching items in a blind corner (where two sets of cabinets meet at a right angle), you will know how distances beyond 24" quickly become difficult.

Depth (With Countertops):  25" to 26"

Countertops usually overhang on the front to hide the top edge of the base cabinets.  Depending on countertop edge details, this overhang may add another inch or two.

Widths:  12" to 48"

Base cabinet width is the great variable, and each cabinet tends to be aimed toward certain uses.  A few of the most common examples:

Dimension (Inches)Cabinet Type
12, 18, 24Filler cabinets can accommodate pull-outs, those narrow rolling racks which are great for storing baking pans or spices.
30Single basin sink
33Double-basin, offset sink
36Double-basin sink
48Largest base cabinet size commonly found in kitchens.

2. Wall Cabinet Sizes: Height, Depth, Widths

Wall cabinets are used for storing food and lightweight kitchen implements. They are attached directly to the wall studs with screws.

They are also the showpiece of your kitchen.  While base cabinets tend to hide down below the countertop, well below eye level, wall cabinets are at height level and announce themselves right away.  One tip with kitchen cabinets for saving money is to purchase basic base cabinets but splurge more on wall cabinets with accessories you may enjoy, like glass inserts on in-cabinet lighting.

Dimension (Inches)Factor
12 to 48Height
12 to 24Depth
12 to 36Width

Height:  12" to 48"

Height tends to be limited, since the cabinets need to fit between the counter and the ceiling. Common wall cabinet heights are 12", 36", and 48". The 12" cabinets fit neatly over fridges.

Depth:  12" to 24"

Maximum depth for wall cabinets is 24" because it cannot exceed the depth of base cabinets.

Width:  12" to 36"

A standard, single- or double-door wall cabinet width is 30". Cabinets can run as narrow as 12" or 15". Cabinets wider than 36" are generally not used.

3. Tall Cabinet Sizes: Height, Depth, Width

Tall kitchen cabinets may be called pantry cabinets or utility cabinets. As befits the name, tall kitchen cabinets can even extend from floor to ceiling.

Dimension (Inches)Factor
84 and 96Height
12 and 24Depth
12 to 36Width

Height:  84" and 96"

Those 96" cabinets touch the ceiling (if you have standard 8' ceilings). The 84" tall cabinets give you one foot of breathing room above the cabinet--entirely aesthetic.

Depth:  12" and 24"

The reason behind these 12" deep pantry cabinets is because they are used for storing food.  If the cabinets were any deeper, you would lose food in the dark regions in back.  

Pull-outs and sliders give greater functionality to the deep, 24" deep tall cabinets.

Widths:  12" to 36"

  • 12": Narrow pantry cabinets hold far more food than you might think. Plus, they can fit in otherwise-neglected spaces.
  • 24":  A good middle-of-the-road option that fits many homes.  
  • 36": If you want pull-outs and storage on the doors, you'll need a wider pantry cabinet.