How To Make Kitchen Cabinets Taller: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Make Kitchen Cabinets Taller and Add Storage

Are your kitchen cabinets lacking storage space? Are you constantly moving things around to make room for pots and pans? If so, don't worry – you're not alone. Many people find their kitchen cabinets too short.

If you want to make your kitchen cabinets taller, there are a few options that you can choose from. You can either buy taller cabinets, add a cabinet filler or two, or add taller legs to your existing cabinets.

This guide will show you how to make kitchen cabinets taller so you can finally have the storage space you need! Plus, we'll provide tips to maximize your cabinet further.

Why Stacked Cabinets are for You

When it comes to kitchen makeovers, there are several things to consider. One of the most important decisions is whether or not to add stacked cabinets. Upper cabinets can give your kitchen a polished look but can also be painful to install.

Here are some reasons to consider while determining whether stacked cabinets suit you.

Standard Builder's Grade Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets Installation Finished by Professional Cabinet man

The distinction between builder's cabinets and other cabinet profiles is the presence of wall cabinets, usually 36” high. They can be as little as 30” in length. Adding a stack to these cupboards will give them the greatest benefit.

12-24 Inches of Extra Space

Modern kitchen with simple wood cabinets

A stack can bring your cabinet to the ceiling if there is 12” to 24” space between them. Stacking cabinets are at their best during the fall season. Keep in mind that if you add crown molding, you'll have to leave room for it or use larger rails while constructing.

Why Stacked Cabinets are Not for You

Insufficient Space

Insufficient Space in Small Kitchen

Insufficient Space in Small Kitchen - Image by Mydomain

You shouldn't bother with stacks if you don't have at least 12” of room above your cabinets. You won't get much storage out of such a little kitchen cabinet, and it will most likely appear weird.

Instead, you can box out the area and add molding. You can also encase the space and add molding to give the appearance that your cabinets are taller than they are.

Absurdly High Ceiling

Modern kitchen with brown kitchen cabinets

Adding stacks won't make much difference if you already have tall cabinets and high ceilings. For instance, the ceiling in your kitchen is 13 feet high, or you have 48-inch cabinets and a 60-inch vent hood.

You'd never be able to reach the ceiling (or it would take a lot of work), and your cabinets already have enough capacity for your needs. As a result, stacks would not provide enough advantages to be worth your time.

How to Make Kitchen Cabinets Taller

Installation of Kitchen Cabinets

You’ll Need: 

Step 1: Remove the Trim and Add a New Trim

  1. Remove the crown trim from the cabinets first. Then, using a 1 ¼ ′′ brad nailer and wood glue, attach the edge-glued pine cut to the top of the cabinets. Use the Ryobi 18-gauge Brad Nailer to attach it.
  2. After you've attached the base piece, add a tiny trim stick to the front of the cabinets. Do this to hide the spot where you removed the original crown piece. The distance between the cabinet doors and the base piece will determine the trim size you will use.

Step 2: Build the Hood Cabinet

  1. Begin building the center box, often known as the "hood cabinet," after joining the base piece and trim. Cut the hood boards to length, then drill 3/4′′ pocket holes in each support part and the bottom end of each side part.
  2. Then, use 1 ¼ ′′ pocket hole screws and wood glue to attach the supports to the front of the side pieces. When placing the support parts, make sure you refer to the blueprints. This box will replace the dry-walled-over hood vent. If your kitchen lacks this feature, you can install supports on the backside of the hood cabinets.
  3. Once you put the hood together, cut a piece of ¼ ′′ hardwood plywood to size. Attach it to the supports with wood glue and ¾ ′′ staples from our Ryobi 18-gauge stapler.
  4. Then, join the hood face frame pieces to the front of the hood using 1 ¼ ′′ pocket hole screws and wood glue.
  5. Bring the hood cabinet inside, slide it into place, and secure it using 1 ¼ ′′ pocket hole screws and wood glue to the base piece.

Step 3: Construct the Cabinet Shelf Boxes

  1. Then, go to the cabinet shelf boxes. Both are built similarly, but one is longer than the other. Cut the open cabinet parts to size, and drill ¾ ′′ pocket holes into each shelf piece's ends and bottom ends.
  2. Using 1 ¼ ′′ pocket hole screws and wood glue, stick the shelf pieces to the side pieces. The pocket holes on the bottom should be facing down, and the pocket holes on the top should be facing up. Check that the pocket holes on the side pieces are facing in.
  3. Bring the cabinet boxes inside and slide them into place before joining the face from the components. Attach the face frame components with 1 ¼” ′ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Step 4: Sand and Paint 

Once all three boxes are in place, fill all the holes with wood filler. Give it a nice sanding and a couple of coats of paint!

Other Ways to Extend Kitchen Cabinets Height

Adding Crown Molding

Carpenter Nailing Crown Moldings in the Kitchen Cabinets Framing Trim

You may create a sense of height by putting crown molding on your upper cabinets. This carpentry work will give your kitchen cabinets a new style and a bespoke feel. This method is especially effective in more formal, classic residences like Georgians and Colonials.

Remove the current crown molding to complete this project on your own (including caulk and nails). Measure and cut new molding before arranging each piece. Complete the project by nailing, caulking, priming, and painting. 

Crown molding costs between $4 and $15 per linear foot for supplies and labor if you employ a professional.

Create The Illusion of Height with New Paint Color

Woman Painting a Kitchen

Paint your upper cabinets, the wall on which they are mounted, and the ceiling. Using a single color for all three parts will draw attention away from the cabinets and the gap. Then highlight other aspects, such as the island, light fixtures, or backsplash tile, to act as design focal points and complement the new paint hue.

For example, three pendant lights in a vibrant hue (like yellow) over the island, or an interesting tile pattern behind the stovetop, will draw everyone's attention to your wonderful decor.

Add Shelves in Dead Space

White brick kitchen with shelves

Avoid placing regularly used goods above your upper cabinets because they are difficult to access. Instead, adorn the tops of kitchen cabinets. Install shelves and use them to showcase items such as miniature vases or mementos.

Shelves will give your kitchen a more finished look than merely placing decorative pieces on top of cabinets. Make a design statement with distinctive shelves like rustic wood with live edges.

Adding shelves is less expensive than acquiring another layer of wall cabinets. If you have a huge gap, opt for two rows of shelves.

Advantages of Installing Stacked Cabinets

Extra Storage Space

Woman Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

The most obvious functional advantage of stacked cabinets is the additional storage capacity. However, keep in mind that using this place will necessitate a ladder. As a result, it is best suited for seasonal or special occasion items.

High-End Custom Look

Open Concept Elegant and Spacious Kitchen with Marble Countertops

Stacking cabinets will give you an instantly customizable kitchen. Many of you yearn for that beautiful kitchen project. Having such a high-end appearance can also help you improve the sale price of your home if you decide to sell it.

Increases the Ceiling Height

Kitchen with natural wood cabinets

Stacked cabinets can help to raise your way to the ceiling height. Any cabinet that extends below the ceiling will visually divide the wall into sections. As a result, low ceilings appear considerably lower than they are.

On the other hand, stacked cabinets provide the eyes with a continuous surface. It makes the ceiling look higher, and the walls appear longer.

Tips to Maximize Storage Space 

Use Shelf Risers for Kitchen Items

Shelf risers in kitchen cabinet

Shelf risers in kitchen cabinet - Image by Food & Wine Magazines

Consider shelf risers if you have the extra space described above and could benefit from more shelves. They effectively double the amount of functional area on a single shelf.

Install Hooks to Hang Mugs

Mugs Hanging on Kitchen Wall

Mugs are necessary for morning coffee, but they take up shelf space and are difficult to stack. A simple option is to install hooks under a shelf or cupboard and hang mugs by their handles.

Use Cutlery Tray in Existing Cabinets

Cutlery Tray

Why not keep your cooking tools separate from your forks, knives, and spoons? Store spoons, spatulas, and whisks separately in a cutlery tray, so you never have to search through a tangle of utensils to find the proper one.

Install a Pot Rack

Kitchen room with island and hanging pot rack

Use vertical space by installing a pot rack to help store all pans sitting on the stove or taking up room in your cabinets. Consider placing it above the kitchen sink if your ceilings are low.

Bring in Baskets and Bins

Fruit and vegetables in a basket

If you can't keep undesirable things out of sight, use attractive baskets and containers to keep kitchen items from getting jumbled up.

Create a Spice Drawer

Spice drawer

Spice drawer - Image by Pinterest

You've probably got spices all over your kitchen cabinets. Investing in a single drawer to keep them all in one place will make them appear neater and make finding the spice you need considerably easier.

Get Rid of Bulky Packaging

Rustic kitchen food storage arrangement over the kitchen counter

Snacks, such as cereals and chips, are frequently packaged in large, bulky boxes or air-filled bags that take up more room than the contents. Decant them into transparent, space-saving stackable containers to save shelf space while making your sweets appear attractive.

It is recommended to declutter your pantry goods first before you start pulling everything out of your drawers and cabinets. Focus on keeping the necessities and tossing anything expired.

Taller Kitchen Cabinets FAQ

1. What can I use to cover the tops of my upper kitchen cabinets?

    Vases, old letters, and even books look great hung over cabinets. Filling the space with a succession of pitchers filled with fake flowers is also an excellent option.

    2. What causes crown molding to crack?

      This is owing to the excessive humidity and temperature. When it comes to winter, the humidity and temperature levels drop, causing the wood to shrink. As a result, each trim piece separates slightly from its neighbor, splitting the molding, caulking, and paint.

      3. Why don't kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling?

        Ceiling-height cabinets are difficult to access since they are so high up. Because anything at the top of these cabinets is tough to reach, you'll need something to stand on to get to it. As a result, it's critical to keep only kitchen goods that aren't utilized frequently.

        4. Is it possible to build small cabinets on top of existing ones?

          If your ceilings are 8 feet high, you may expand the structure of your present cabinets rather than construct new ones. Once the framework has been stretched to conceal any seams and structural changes, the cabinets become completely new and higher with fresh doors.

          5. Why is there a space between the cabinets?

            It's all about cost and ease of installation. Most kitchen cabinets are produced to standard dimensions. When installed on the wall, they include space above them, allowing the installer some wiggle room while leveling them.


            Consider stacking your cabinets to create more storage capacity and a unique look in your kitchen. It is a DIY project you can complete on the weekend with some basic carpentry skills. But before beginning this kitchen project, measure and plan so that it is completed successfully and safely.

            Have you tried making your kitchen cabinets taller? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

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