How narrow can a kitchen cabinet be? - Kitchen Seer (2023)

You want to fill your kitchen with cabinets for storage, but you're short on space. You're looking for details on how narrow or small a kitchen cabinet can be. There are different types of kitchen cabinets and some useful space saving techniques. In this post, you will learn all about narrow kitchen cabinets and other ways to save space in your kitchen. Read on to find out more.

Kitchen cabinets can be as narrow as nine inches. This is commonly used as a spice rack or for storing baking sheet pans. Cabinets are typically made in increments up to 36 inches wide. The cabinet depth can range from 12 to 24 inches while the height can range from 12 to 42 inches.

Now that you know the common sizes and the narrowest kitchen cabinet sizes available, you probably want more ideas for designing your space. Narrow kitchen cabinets can serve many purposes, but you can design your cabinets to fit your lifestyle. This post will give you some ideas on how to organize deep, narrow closets and what you can do with the space between a closet and a refrigerator. Read on to find all the answers to your questions.

How narrow can a kitchen cabinet be? - Kitchen Seer (1)

How narrow can a kitchen cabinet be?

Kitchen cabinets come in different dimensions for width, height and depth. The narrowest kitchen cabinet is nine inches, which you can often use as a pull-out spice rack.

It's a great way to utilize small spaces that a normal sized closet couldn't fill. These narrow cabinets can also be used to store long utensils that don't otherwise fit in drawers or cookie baking sheets.

What is the smallest depth of a kitchen cabinet?

The depth of the kitchen cabinet can be up to 12 inches. The standard kitchen cabinet depth is 24 inches or two feet. This accommodates a 1" overhang with a standard 25" deep countertop.

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This also corresponds to the standard depths for ovens and dishwashers. Because of this, most people in the kitchen will have no use for a shallower base cabinet. Upper cabinets are typically 12" deep, giving you plenty of counter space without banging your head on the cabinet.

What is the shortest height of a kitchen cabinet?

The height of a kitchen base cabinet is 34.5 inches. A standard countertop brings the height to 36 inches, which is the same height as the standard range. If a different height is required, cabinets must be custom made.

It is standard to have 36 inch high countertops with 18 inch backsplash before the wall units begin. The size of the upper cabinets depends on the space available from above to the bulkhead to the ceiling.

How narrow can a kitchen cabinet be? - Kitchen Seer (2)

How narrow can a pantry be?

A walk-in pantry should have a walking surface that is at least 36 inches wide. This is also the size of a standard door. If the pantry is too narrow, you will have trouble getting in and unloading heavy groceries. Ideally, there is enough shelving on two sides to prevent you from putting things on the bottom of the pantry floor.

Pantry cabinets can be made as narrow as any other kitchen cabinet, including as small as nine inches. This is useful for small kitchen spaces and can provide plenty of extra storage for groceries or dishes. A typical pantry is about 6 feet tall with enough room for at least four 15-inch shelves.

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What sizes are there kitchen cabinets?

Top standard kitchen cabinets are 12 inches deep but can go as deep as 18 inches. The height varies depending on the room, kitchen design and ceiling height. They can be anywhere from 12 inches to 42 inches tall, with increments of three to five inches in between. The width of the kitchen cabinets ranges from 9 inches to 48 inches.

Standard base cabinets are manufactured to match the height and depth of the oven and dishwasher appliances. The cabinets are 34.5 inches high, so the countertop typically measures 36 inches off the floor. The depth of a base cabinet is 24 inches. The width of the base cabinets is 9 to 48 inches.

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How do you organize deep, narrow kitchen cabinets?

Deep kitchen cabinets have a lot of storage space but need to be organized to best suit your needs. The first step is to have categories for each shelf or section of a shelf.

Anything that shouldn't be easily accessible to your children should be placed on higher shelves. Anything you use more frequently can be placed between eye and hand level for easy access.

Combine similar foods in baskets and clearly label them. Put new foods at the back and older foods at the front so you can use them before they expire.

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If you have family members who access the same things frequently, you can even combine those things in the same shopping cart. As more people access a pantry, things become more likely to be moved to other locations and become disorganized over time.

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How much space between cabinets and appliances?

A little space must be left around the refrigerator for ventilation. The recommended amount varies by manufacturer. Whirlpool recommends leaving 1/4" of space on the sides, back and top of the refrigerator for ventilation.

Samsung says to leave 50 millimeters or about two inches on each side, including the back. Samsung says to leave 100 millimeters or about 4 inches at the top for ventilation.

The cooker and dishwasher can be placed next to cupboards without any gaps between them. For safety reasons, you should leave at least 24 inches of space between the top of your oven and the bottom of the overhead cabinet.

You should also place your microwave oven at least 18 inches above the stovetop. For more information on clearance between an oven and surrounding cabinets, see this post: "How much space between stove and cupboard?"

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What do you do with space between the closet and the fridge?

If you only have a small gap between the fridge and cabinets on each side, you can use a gap filler to fill the gaps. These fill gaps between cabinets, counters and appliances such as ovens or refrigerators. You can also use a trim kit to fill in the gap around the fridge.

If you have a little extra space on top of your fridge, consider adding a wine rack, small shelf, or platter that matches your cabinet color. It depends if you want a functional space or you prefer a clean, seamless look in your kitchen. Small gaps should be filled with a fairing kit or gap filler.

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How should I coordinate kitchen cabinet colors?

There are many colors that you need to coordinate when designing your kitchen. The knobs and handles on your kitchen cabinets should be a similar color to your appliances, but they don't have to match.

Keep this in mind when choosing your kitchen appliances and the hardware that goes with your cabinets. For more information on customizing your cabinets to match your devices, see this post »Should kitchen cabinet hardware match appliances?"

You can match the color of your kitchen walls with the color of your cabinets. This is not necessary as sometimes contrasting colors can be attractive.

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When designing your kitchen, you should look at some color examples before making your decision. Light and dark contrasts in cabinets, floors, walls and appliances can create an elegant kitchen when done right.

For more information on matching the color of your cabinets to the kitchen walls, see this post: "Should the wall color match the kitchen cabinets?"


Kitchen cabinets can be as narrow as nine inches. This type of cabinet works great as a pull-out spice rack or as a place to store your flat cookware and baking sheets. Closets can be up to 48 inches wide. They can be from 12 inches tall to 42 inches. The standard depth of kitchen cabinets is 24 inches for base cabinets and 12 inches for wall cabinets. There is a wide range of cabinets on the market to suit your specific design needs.


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