Published on March 17, 2021

A few inches can make or break a kitchen renovation, which is why the first thing you should do before you even look at door samples or countertop slabs is nail down your measurements. One of those key details is how deep your upper and lower cabinets are. While there are some standard suggestions out there, you’ve also got to pick what’s best for your room’s layout and size. To answer all our essential questions on the matter, we tapped Lowe’s expert Brian Levy for a breakdown on what to expect when you’re mapping out your space. 

The Basic Dimensions

Generally the average depth of a base stock kitchen cabinet is 24 inches. (Note: This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule if you’re going custom, because then you make them any size that works for your space.) Cut that number in half for the uppers, which are traditionally 12 inches deep. “They’re narrower to allow for more optimal use of countertop space,” Levy points out. However, deep ones are useful above a stand-alone refrigerator, where you’re more likely to store holiday-themed platters and picnic baskets and not everyday drinking glasses. 

There Is Such a Thing as Too Deep

Any more than 24 inches and you’ll find yourself crawling inside your cabinets to get that one lonely cutting board way in the back. If you’ve got a lot of square footage to work with and don’t want to waste a bit by not going super-deep, Levy recommends pull-out drawers instead of shelves so that items are easier to access.

Factor in Pricey Appliances Beforehand

Unless you are full-on type A, you probably haven’t thought this far ahead yet, but you should if you know that you’re going to end up wanting higher-end appliances. You don’t want to spend $10,000-plus on a luxurious French range or high-tech freezer drawer down the road only to realize it doesn’t line up with your cabinets. If you are picking standard midrange appliances (around $2,000), you should be in the clear (an oven in that price range, for instance, will likely measure 25 inches deep). Pass the measuring tape. 

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