Specifications for Kitchen Cabinets

Manufacturers of kitchen cabinets use standardized sizing for kitchen cabinets, which simplifies designing kitchens for homes and apartments. Architects and builders can use the standards to make the most efficient use of the space dedicated to the kitchen.


Standard specifications for kitchen cabinets exist.

Cabinet standards help reduce the cost of designing kitchens or replacing worn kitchen cabinets. As a rule, mass produced cabinets are less expensive than custom-made cabinets.


The typical lower or base cabinet is 34.5 inches tall and 24 inches deep. The upper cabinets are 30 inches to 42 inches tall, except over the stove and refrigerator. The standard depth for upper cabinets is 12 inches. The width of kitchen cabinets starts at 9 inches and widens in 3 inch increments. The maximum width for standard kitchen cabinets is 48 inches. Counter tops bring the total height of base cabinets to 36 inches.


While the height, depth and width follow standards, the features inside the cabinets vary somewhat. Some cabinets have fixed shelves, while others have adjustable shelves. Some cabinets have built in lazy Susans (rotating shelves) providing easy access to everything inside the cabinet. Some cabinets have the same size shelves inside them, while others divide the cabinet in half and the upper shelf is narrower than the lower, providing space below for tall objects like cereal boxes.


Just as cabinets vary in the materials from which they are made, so do the counter tops. Laminate counter tops are the most common, but ceramic tile, granite, solid wood, or cement also make usable surfaces for counters. Although cabinet sizes have standard sizes, the door sizes vary based on how much of the cabinet frame they cover.

About the Author

Jackie Johnson is a published writer and professional blogger, and has a degree in English from Arizona State University. Her background in real estate analysis prepared her for objective thinking, researching and writing.