Floor to Ceiling Cabinets: Maximizing Storage and Style in Your Kitchen

Few dimensions are more critical in kitchen design than ceiling height. And few features are more important in kitchen cabinet design than storage. Kitchen cabinets from floor-to-ceiling can not only look great, but can help keep the organization blues away!

Considering Floor to Ceiling Cabinets?

Do you have a small kitchen footprint? Storage comes at a premium. Do you have a large kitchen footprint that feels underutilized?


Whatever the reason, wall cabinets that go to the ceiling can be a great option. Not only can they improve the functionality of a kitchen, but they can also have a dramatic impact on the aesthetic value of your space.


Gone will be the days of standing on the counter dusting and cleaning whatever that sticky spot is on top of your cabinets. Instead, you’ll welcome more storage space, stretching your money further, and giving your kitchen a more substantial presence.

There are different types and sizes of upper cabinets available, often dependent on whether you are planning for stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets. Your designer will work with your ceiling height, your storage needs, and your aesthetic preference to determine what will look and function best in your space. We also have some helpful tips on keeping your upper cabinets organized and will help you determine the best layout for your new cabinets!

Advantages of Having Kitchen Cabinets to the Ceiling

There are many reasons cabinets to the ceiling are a great choice. Here are a few that stand out:

  • Storage: Unless you live a fully clutter-free life, it’s not uncommon during the holiday season to find the iced tea pitcher you were looking for in June in the back of a base cabinet. The top few shelves of an upper cabinet that goes to the ceiling can be a great place for the smaller items you won’t use year-round. 
  • Prominence: Upper cabinets that reach the ceiling can make a significant difference in how substantial and impressive a kitchen can look. Like tailoring a suit, an effective designer and a talented installer can use upper cabinets and crown moldings to give any kitchen a custom fit.
  • Versatility: For kitchens with taller ceilings, a 2nd tier of cabinets that go to the ceiling is a great option. For example, a 2nd tier of wall cabinets with glass fronts can greatly enhance the design of a kitchen with higher ceilings. For shorter ceilings, full-height upper cabinets can make sure every inch of space is utilized and there is no wasted space.

Types of Floor to Ceiling Cabinets

There is more than one way to reach the ceiling with your cabinets. Stock and semi-custom cabinet manufacturers typically build their cabinet heights and widths in 3”-6” intervals.


Depending on the design you are going for and the cost your budget will afford you, wall cabinets can be a major factor when choosing a cabinet line or moving into custom cabinetry


Wall cabinets often have more options for styling. For example, glass front upper cabinets can be a great way to lighten up a space and provide a heightened level of sophistication.


Wall cabinets that reach from the ceiling to the counter can be a great way to hide countertop appliances and at the same time give your kitchen a custom feel.

Choosing the Right Floor to Ceiling Cabinet

Determining which type of floor to ceiling cabinet is an important detail to discuss with your designer. Wood species, color, stain variation, hardware – all of these details and more can impact the design.


One key consideration will be your cabinet hardware choice. For example, if you like a more modern style and you want 2nd tier cabinets, you may want to consider touch latch hardware. That way, the design does not get too busy with knobs and pulls.


Each detail of your kitchen can affect the cost of cabinetry. Generally speaking, the larger the door, the larger the hardware. The larger the hardware, the higher the cost. Hardware costs can vary greatly. It’s always important to understand how many knobs or pulls you’ll have so you can budget accordingly.

Cabinet Layout and Organization

A well-designed kitchen is equally beautiful and functional. These are not mutually exclusive traits. When planning for a new kitchen, really be intentional with how you and others in your home really use the space.


When planning for floor to ceiling cabinets, accessibility is an essential consideration. Make lists of items by cabinet, type of item, and frequency of use.


Challenge yourself to be creative with your storage habits. When cabinets don’t go to the ceiling, the tops of cabinets can very quickly become a drop zone for large bowl that takes up precious base cabinet space.


Cabinets to the ceiling can help the tops of your cabinets avoid becoming the spare guest room of the kitchen!

Installation of Floor to Ceiling Cabinets

When considering floor to ceiling cabinets, an essential factor to consider is installation. Who will be installing your cabinets? Will it be your contractor, the cabinet maker or provider, yourself,  or a subcontractor? When installing cabinets to the ceiling, there are many factors to consider such as ceiling slope, walls that may not be entirely level, ceiling finish, lighting, and much more. 


You can have a perfect design and drawing, but without a skilled and experienced installer, what’s on paper may not not be what you get. There are often adjustments that need to be made on the job site at the time of installation.


Our professional cabinet installers at Dean Cabinetry have years of experience and are not only skilled in their trade, but are also creative problem solvers and strong communicators. An often-overlooked consideration is the time to full completion of project. This is from the time when installation begins to when we officially close a project. That means no outstanding adjustments, replacements, or repairs are needed. A skilled installer can be the difference between weeks and months.

Design Ideas for Floor to Ceiling Cabinets

Design style can play a big part in your overall design, especially when considering kitchen cabinets that go to the ceiling. Often the heart of the home, a good kitchen design is generally cohesive with the rest of your home. 


You may prefer a more modern, minimalist design. That doesn’t mean cabinets to the ceiling are not an option. You can create an amazing modern look without sacrificing storage!

If you prefer a bolder aesthetic, cabinets to the ceiling are great way to enhance your style. Be bold! Deep, bold colors immediately command attention and are great way to let your home reflect you.

If a farmhouse kitchen design is what you are seeking, you can still achieve a rustic charm without sacrificing tall cabinets.


Tall upper cabinets and glass fronts can really benefit from area that have a lot of natural light. When designed right, cabinets to the ceiling will not overtake focal point windows, they will make it more impressive.

Floor to Ceiling Cabinets vs. Other Storage Options

Being creative with storage is essential to any kitchen design. Particularly in smaller kitchen, cabinets that go to the ceiling can be a game changer. It’s easy to get caught with eyes on the floor when planning a new kitchen. Can’t move that load-bearing wall? Instead of trying to work around it, consider looking at that wall as a blank space bursting with potential. Don’t let the space go to waste. 


Even though you may be adding cabinetry, cabinets to the ceiling can actually make a kitchen feel more streamlined. This especially true with kitchens that have ceilings shorter than 96 inches (which is not uncommon!). In shorter spaces, wall cabinets that leave a gap to ceiling can draw attention to how short the upper cabinets are.


When the cabinets go to the ceiling, the lack of separation between the ceiling and upper cabinets can look a) more natural and b) more custom. Be sure to talk to your designer about crown molding options  and their impact on style.

Ready to Design Your New Kitchen?

Floor to Ceiling Cabinet FAQs

After your cabinets have been installed, the next step is making sure you maintain and clean your cabinets so that you can ensure you are doing all you can to protect your investment and keep your kitchen looking great. View our guide to keeping your cabinets clean and getting the longest life out of your finishes.

A great tip to maintaining your cabinets is to address any hinge issues you may encounter right away. Upon complettion of your cabinet installation, we will make any adjustments necessary to ensure your doors and drawers are in perfect alignment. However, with time and use, they may become out of alignment. If you would like, bookmark our article on how to adjust your cabinet hinges. It’s a great skill to learn!

Floor to ceiling cabinets can work well in many kitchen sizes, but their suitability depends on the available space and the kitchen’s layout, so it’s essential to consider measurements and design to ensure a good fit. Work with a Dean Cabinetry designer to determine if they are a good solution for your new kitchen!