Choosing Upper Cabinets for a 9 Foot Ceiling

Upper cabinet heights that reach the ceiling in a kitchen with a 9′ ceiling can offer a sleek and cohesive look, eliminating the disjointed appearance that can occur with gaps between the cabinets and ceiling. This design creates a sense of continuity and elegance, enhancing the kitchen’s overall aesthetic.

 

This line draws the eye upwards, making the ceiling appear higher and the space more expansive. This streamlined design adds to the kitchen’s visual appeal and creates a modern and sophisticated ambiance. By extending cabinets to the ceiling, homeowners can achieve a custom, built-in look that is stylish and timeless.

Benefits of 9’ Upper Cabinet Height

Increased Storage Space

Maximizing storage space is a critical consideration in kitchen design, and cabinets that extend to the ceiling capitalize on every available inch. This design strategy is especially beneficial in smaller kitchens or for homeowners with a significant amount of kitchenware, as it provides additional shelving and storage solutions that would otherwise be wasted space.

 

The added storage area can be utilized for seldom-used items, seasonal decorations, or bulk purchases. This helps with decluttering the workspace and keeping the kitchen organized. By reaching the ceiling, the cabinets offer a practical solution to storage needs, making the most of the kitchen’s vertical space.

Reduced Dust and Grease Accumulation

One of the practical benefits of having cabinets that reach the ceiling is the reduction of dust and grease accumulation. In kitchens with a gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling, this space often becomes a catch-all for dust, grease, and other kitchen grime, requiring frequent cleaning and maintenance.

 

By eliminating this open space, homeowners significantly reduce the areas where grime can accumulate, making the kitchen easier to clean and maintain. This design choice contributes to the kitchen’s cleanliness. It promotes a healthier living environment by minimizing dust that can trigger allergies and respiratory issues.

Challenges and Considerations for Upper Cabinets for a 9 Foot Ceiling

Can the Height of the Wall Cabinets Make My Kitchen Feel Small?

Upper cabinets that reach a 9′ ceiling can make the space feel smaller or more cramped. This is particularly noticeable in smaller kitchens where the extensive use of upper cabinetry can overwhelm the room, making it feel enclosed.

 

The perception of reduced space is a significant consideration for homeowners, as it can impact the overall feel and functionality of the kitchen. It’s essential to balance the desire for increased storage and a streamlined look with the need to maintain an open, airy environment in the kitchen.

Considering Height of Wall Cabinets for Storage Solutions

Extending cabinets to the ceiling maximizes storage space but raises convenience concerns. The highest shelves in these cabinets can be challenging to reach for many people, requiring a step stool or ladder.

 

This can make accessing items stored in these areas more convenient and safe. Considering this for individuals with mobility issues or households with children is important.

 

Designing a kitchen that is both functional and accessible is crucial, and homeowners must consider the usability of high storage spaces when planning their cabinetry.

Cost Implications of Custom Cabinetry

Opting for upper cabinets that reach the ceiling often involves custom cabinetry. Custom kitchen cabinets can significantly increase a kitchen remodel or build cost. Custom cabinets are designed to fit the kitchen’s exact dimensions, including the ceiling’s height, so they come with a higher price tag than standard off-the-shelf options.

 

Homeowners must weigh floor-to-ceiling cabinets’ aesthetic and functional benefits against the required financial investment. While custom cabinetry offers a tailored look and maximized storage, the cost implications are essential in the decision-making process.

 

Our kitchen designers can help you choose between stock semi custom and custom cabinets.

What Options Do I Have for Upper Cabinet Dimensions

With newer builds, people can play around with the size and placement of cabinets. Ceiling heights are generally higher than the original 8 feet. This shift gives homeowners more countertop space and options to create a functional kitchen. The options have shifted from narrow 24 inch deep cabinets to various upper cabinet height options.

Adapting Cabinet Layouts for Taller Ceilings

Customizing Cabinet Heights: With taller ceilings, homeowners can opt for extended upper cabinets closer to the ceiling. This can maximize storage space without compromising style.

 

This can include full-height cabinets or tiered designs with additional cabinets stacked above the primary row. This offer is a solution for storing less frequently used items.

Innovative Storage Solutions: The added height challenges traditional accessibility but opens the door for creative solutions.

 

Features like pull-down shelves or adjustable interiors make higher cabinets practical, ensuring everyday items remain within reach.

Design Considerations: It is essential to include design elements that complement the room’s height and cabinets. Include storage options that are practical and beautiful and complement the kitchen.

 

This could involve varying cabinet heights to create visual interest. Use decorative molding for a finished look or under-cabinet lighting to enhance functionality and ambiance.

Will my 9’ Ceiling be an Issue When I Select Cabinets?

Traditionally, upper cabinets come in standard heights of 30 inches, 36 inches wide, 42 inches, and 48 inches. Using upper cabinets for 9 foot ceilings often leaves a gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling itself. Most builders counter this by using 42″ upper cabinets and adding 3-6 inches of crown molding to minimize the space. Even so, this approach can still leave a noticeable gap, prompting homeowners to think creatively about their cabinet design.

 

With a 9-foot ceiling, you have 54 inches of vertical space to plan your upper cabinets. This extra height can maximize storage and enhance the kitchen’s aesthetic appeal. Options to consider include:

 

  • Extending cabinet heights to close the gap.
  • Using tiered designs for added visual interest.
  • Utilizing innovative storage solutions to make the most of the available space.

This adjustment in ceiling heights calls for a more customized approach to kitchen design. We encourage homeowners to explore beyond standard kitchen cabinet sizes and configurations. 

 

Several options are available to balance functionality and style. One is to choose taller cabinets, another is to add crown molding, and finally, you can opt for custom-made cabinetry that fits the space well. 

 

While a 9-foot ceiling may present an initial challenge when selecting cabinets, it ultimately offers a unique opportunity to customize your kitchen space more thoughtfully and creatively. When selecting upper cabinets, think through standard base cabinet heights and widths. Including these sizes, base cabinet depths, and pantry cabinets will help your design process.

Can I Install Standard Cabinets with Crown Molding to the Ceiling?

Extending standard cabinets to the ceiling using crown molding is a practical design solution suitable for professional kitchen layouts. This is particularly true in spaces with higher ceilings. This enhances the kitchen’s aesthetic and elegance and maximizes the functional use of space.

 

Designers can create a seamless transition by carefully selecting and installing crown molding that complements upper cabinet dimensions. This offers an upscale appearance of custom cabinets at a fraction of the cost. It’s an approach that balances visual appeal with practicality, making it an attractive option for residential and commercial applications.

Precision in execution is paramount when adopting this strategy. The inherent irregularities of wall and ceiling surfaces necessitate meticulous planning and adjustment during installation to ensure a perfect fit and finish. 


Properly executed, crown molding addresses storage and cleanliness concerns by eliminating dust-gathering gaps. It elevates the overall design, creating a more polished and cohesive kitchen environment. This method underscores a designer’s attention to detail and commitment to maximizing both form and function within the kitchen space.

Choosing the Right Crown Molding for Your Upper Cabinets

For 9′ ceilings, the amount of crown molding needed depends on the height of your upper cabinets to ensure they meet the ceiling gracefully:

With these, there’s a 12″ gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. To fill this gap, your designer will need 12 inches of crown molding along your kitchen wall cabinets. This option is famous for its balance between functionality and aesthetics, making it a common choice for 9′ ceilings.

Choosing 36″ cabinets leaves an 18″ gap. Tall cabinet widths can fill this gap by 18 inches of crown molding. However, such a wide molding span can be challenging to integrate without any issues. The size of this trim is often more suitable for higher, 10’+ ceilings to help with proportion and visual balance issues.

It’s typically only advised to use this cabinet size for 9′ ceilings if a second layer of cabinets is incorporated. The 24″ space between the cabinets and the ceiling is too large for crown molding to adequately cover without seeming out of proportion.

Staggering upper cabinets at heights of 30″, 36″, and even 42″ around different kitchen areas like the cooktop and refrigerator offers a dynamic and visually appealing solution. This approach not only addresses the ceiling height but also adds visual interest. Using crown molding on these tiered cabinets enhances the kitchen’s overall elegance.

With cabinetry available in various heights, a second tier of cabinets is a viable and attractive option for reaching 9′ ceilings. This layout allows for additional storage or display areas, especially with glass doors and lighting, for an aesthetically pleasing effect. Whether you opt for stock or semi-custom cabinets will depend on your budget and the available sizes.

Selecting the right cabinet height for wall cabinets and crown molding is crucial for achieving a cohesive look that complements the ceiling height, enhancing functionality and the kitchen’s visual appeal.

What if I Have a Soffit?

Soffits, often considered an eyesore by homeowners, are typically removed in the remodeling process to pave the way for new cabinetry installations. However, if removal isn’t feasible, aligning your cabinets flush with the soffits presents a visually appealing solution. This strategy minimizes the soffit’s prominence, integrating it into the kitchen design.

 

Enhancing this approach with crown molding that extends from the top of the cabinets to the ceiling effectively encases the soffit, allowing it to blend seamlessly with your cabinetry. This technique camouflages the soffit and creates a cohesive and polished kitchen aesthetic. It’s a practical workaround that addresses the challenge of existing soffits, transforming a potential design flaw into a feature that enhances the room’s finished look.

What Should I Do If I Have Extra Space Between My Cabinets and Ceiling?

You could end up with several inches or a couple of feet between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.

  • Here are a few ideas to dress this space up:
  • Add lighting above your cabinets, hidden behind the crown molding.
  • Add decorative wood beams to your ceiling above your cabinets for a rustic look.
  • Add thicker crown molding around the top of your ceiling above your cabinets.
  • You could add plants or decorations such as vases or pottery.
  • Your designer and kitchen cabinet partner will help design your cabinetry layout and display your options for 9’ ceilings.

Save inspirational photos from sites like Pinterest to get an idea of your design style. Share pictures of your inspiration with your cabinet professionals. Your team of designers will help you create a beautiful and functional kitchen that will look lovely with your 9-foot ceilings for years of enjoyment!

Ready to Build Your Dream Kitchen?