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I need advice on installing kithchen cabinets to the ceiling?

I need advice on installing kithchen cabinets to the ceiling?

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  #1  
Old 11-19-19, 10:18 AM
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I need advice on installing kithchen cabinets to the ceiling?

Hello all!
I want to install new kitchen cabinets and being that my kitchen is small I want to put the new cabinets to the ceiling to make use of the extra space. My ceilings are 8 feet. My questions are Is it okay to put the cabinets all the way to the ceiling or will I probably run into ceiling level problems( my home was built in the 1960's)? If I should use molding how close should I place the cabinets to the ceiling for molding? For 8 feet ceilings how tall of cabinets (42,36,etc) should I be looking at? Is it okay to put cabinets up first before counters are installed ? Thanks in advance.
 
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11-19-19, 10:34 AM
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I did that. Yes you can go to the ceiling and yes go with the 42". Get as much storage as you can. And defiantly install the uppers before the lowers. Don't worry about any spacing at the ceiling level, snug the cabinets up tight to the ceiling. Use a large crown molding and it will cover any problem. I emphasis the large vs the small. It will look a lot better. And the section over the refrigerator (if you have that), don't be afraid to have it extend all the way out to the front of the fridge. I can show you pics of what I did and it turned out perfect. We were advised not to extend the fridge cabinet. But we are extremely happy about not following that advice. Yes a stool will be needed to access much of the extra cabinets, but you can fit so much more.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 11-19-19 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 11-19-19, 10:34 AM
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I did that. Yes you can go to the ceiling and yes go with the 42". Get as much storage as you can. And defiantly install the uppers before the lowers. Don't worry about any spacing at the ceiling level, snug the cabinets up tight to the ceiling. Use a large crown molding and it will cover any problem. I emphasis the large vs the small. It will look a lot better. And the section over the refrigerator (if you have that), don't be afraid to have it extend all the way out to the front of the fridge. I can show you pics of what I did and it turned out perfect. We were advised not to extend the fridge cabinet. But we are extremely happy about not following that advice. Yes a stool will be needed to access much of the extra cabinets, but you can fit so much more.
 
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Last edited by Norm201; 11-19-19 at 10:50 AM.
  #3  
Old 11-19-19, 10:58 AM
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Just make sure you are using an appropriate cabinet style. If your cabinets are "traditional" and have exposed frame around the doors it's pretty easy to do. Don't try it with Euro cabinets where the door is the entire face of the cabinet as there is no way to hide minor imperfections in your walls & ceiling.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 11:25 AM
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If you are installing cabinets by yourself consider installing the base cabinets first. Then you can use inexpensive cabinet jacks atop the base cabinets to position the uppers.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 11:37 AM
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I strongly dis-agree (sorry CW). Without the base cabinets in the way you can easily fit the top units without crawling over or damaging lower base units. Make a 2 x 4 brace so that it goes against the back wall and use it to support the back of the cabinet as you lift it to the ceiling. You can if you want, make one for the front but with a helper (my wife helped me) they only need to hold the front end up as you screw the cabinet to the wall. In my case I was able to preserve the tiles back-splash that I had installed several years before the kitchen re-mod. Also if you need to make adjustments, it's a lot easier with out the base cabinets in the way.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 12:22 PM
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You can do it either way... it's a personal preference.

The bottom of upper cabinets is generally a standard 54" from finished floor. If you use 42" cabinets, have a ceiling 96" high and want to install crown moulding, you have to lower the upper wall cabinets to make room for the crown moulding. When the bottom edge of the upper cabinets get much lower than 54", it can get a little awkward. It reduces the clearance between the countertop and cabinet and "could" affect the height of under cabinet microwaves, range hoods, and the amount of room left under the cabinets for a refrigerator.

Most women will also need a step stool to get anything that's up on the top shelf if your cabinets are 42".
 
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Old 11-19-19, 12:40 PM
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Hi Norm201 i would love to see yours pic's when you get a chance. I measured the kitchen area for 42" but where I want them be looks like it would leave me about a 1/2 inch of space from the ceiling.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 12:48 PM
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My other reason I was looking to install the upper cabinets first is we would like will still be using the old kitchen counter meanwhile. I still have the old counter so I guess I can use cwbuff idea too with my the old counter
 
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Old 11-19-19, 12:50 PM
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X ,true it's personal preference. But think about what is happening. You must reach over a cabinet, or crawl over it, possibly damaging it. And it's difficult to push against and up the wall with bottom unit in the way.
I don't understand about your comment on the molding. It will fall where it needs to be. What am I missing? I had no problem with putting cabinet tight against ceiling. And that was use
of the largest crown molding available.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 01:26 PM
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Norm, I guess I have been a carpenter too long. Your points might be valid if you have never installed cabinets before and/or weren't capable of being careful when doing so... If I damaged the things I was installing I wouldn't be much of a carpenter. Being careful is about the first thing a diy'er needs to learn when doing any type of finish work. And no, it's not really difficult to push them up... and I work alone. Although I do take the doors off and shelves out to make them lighter.

You do realize cove and crown mouldings come in all sorts of sizes, right? From 3/4" up to 5 1/4" or so. The bigger the moulding, the lower the wall cabinet has to be installed. The cabinet type and door overlay is also a factor. Face frame or Euro cabinets / full and partial overlay or inset. Enough about that. Crown molding also doesn't cover ANY problem. In some cases, such as tapers, it will exaggerate the problem and can actually make it look worse. But yes, moldings can hide gaps, but it still helps when that gap is straight. And straight ceilings are a rarity, especially when remodelling.

At any rate, this is about the op's project. As cwbuff mentioned, you can use cabinet jacks, or just build a box to put on the countertop to temporarily set them on, and use tapered cedar shims to shim them up off the box as needed to get them the right height.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 02:54 PM
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Pics as requested by the OP

This first pics shows the extended cabinet over the fridge. We were advised not to do it. But it was the best decision we made with the install. We were told we needed support on both sides. But just to be sure I added screws above.



This pic shows the shelving that was suggested to us by the dealer. HD told us we could not have this type of thing. It's on both sides of the window (next pic). Since the window does not fall perfectly in the middle of this run, the shelving gave us just enough wiggle room to adjust and it's not noticeable. I also wanted to show how my backsplash that I installed several years prior, fell into place very nicely. Several contractors told us we would need to rip it out.


This pic I wanted to show the crown molding and how precise it fell into place. But it was challenge since it was my first shot at it. I only used a radial arm saw. But I managed not to waste single strip of molding. (Damn stuff is expensive!)






X, True enough. I was very fortunate that my house has very straight and square walls. When we did my son's kitchen, the walls were not as square, but again we had no problem with fitting them in. If walls are not straight or square then remedial action is required. When I said I used the biggest crown molding, I should've qualified it as the biggest available from Kitchen Maid at that time and for that model cabinet.

I'll boast a bit and brag, this was my very first remodel (and some areas included tear down to the studs), and I must say that even a professional could not have down a better job. The remodel included ceiling, flooring, plumbing, electrical, cabinets, doors, and paint. The remodel also included a large movable center cabinet. Again HD told us it was not possible and it would fall through the floor. Our dealer assured us that would not happen.The only thing I cold not handle was the install of the granite counter tops.

I did have a major guide. The place I bought the cabinets from doubled checked my measurements and gave us many helps and hints of what we could or could not do. Some of his advice we took and some we did not. But we are absolutely happy with the results.

PS...you may have noticed we did not install handles on the doors/draws. We like the clean look. Although the doors and draws do not have hand holds we don't experience any problem with opening them.

My upstairs bath remodel is a close second to this in terms of quality. Even the counter top installers were amazed. Made me feel real good.

In closing, since I'm not a professional, much of my advice and comments are based on my experience or what I have helped other do. So, yes X, I understand what you're saying.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 04:10 PM
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Norm - a couple of things to consider. As XSleeper said it is sometimes a matter of personal preference but I'll add this.

I did my kitchen on my own - wife was at work. I installed the base cabinets first. That allowed me to rest the uppers on the base tops (plywood, granite wasn't installed yet) from there I could slide the cabinets up against the wall until they were high enough to rest the cabinets on the jacks. The jacks allowed me to tweak the cabinets to my level line with no sweat involved. Sounds like the more experienced XSleeper does the same thing using shims. No cleat involved. In the end it comes down to Chevy vs Ford or tomAto vs tomahto.

A little care (I used a quilt over the bases) prevents any damage.
 
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Old 11-19-19, 04:15 PM
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"If I damaged the things I was installing I wouldn't be much of a carpenter. "

Not to mention affecting your bottom line. )
 
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Old 11-19-19, 04:26 PM
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Yea, but it's always the unexpected that haunts me. A dropped wrench, an awl with the point facing down, a slipped screwdriver that passes through the skin of you finger only to add insult to injury when it mars the surface of the work piece. All fun and games.

I think the best mess up was when I use to watch my old man work on something like a toilet. Invariably, he would drop a screw down the pipe or his glasses or GOD forbid his false teeth. But to be fair at that point in time he was getting old and wasn't nearly as concerned about perfection or looks as he once was. In fact I was quite surprised at some of the things he did that I thought were hired out. I learned these things from my older siblings since I was a "mistake" years later.
 
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