30 vs 36 Inch Cabinets: Choosing the Right Size for Your Kitchen

30 vs 36 Inch Cabinets: Choosing the Right Size for Your Kitchen


When renovating or designing your kitchen, one important decision you’ll have to make is choosing the size of your cabinets. Two popular options are 30-inch and 36-inch cabinets. Both have their advantages and are suitable for different kitchen layouts and needs. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two cabinet sizes and help you make an informed decision that best fits your kitchen requirements.

1. Understanding Cabinet Height: 30 Inches

30-inch cabinets are a standard height for kitchen base cabinets. They offer a perfect balance between storage space and ergonomic design. The height is ideal for average-sized individuals and ensures easy access to items without straining. If you have a small kitchen with limited vertical space, 30-inch cabinets might be the better choice.

2. Embracing Cabinet Height: 36 Inches

36-inch cabinets are taller and provide more storage space compared to their 30-inch counterparts. The extra height can be advantageous for those who are taller or for kitchens with high ceilings. It also means you can fit larger appliances underneath the cabinets without sacrificing storage. However, shorter individuals may find it challenging to reach the top shelves comfortably.

3. Space Considerations

Consider the available space in your kitchen when choosing between 30-inch and 36-inch cabinets. If you have a compact kitchen, 30-inch cabinets can create a sense of openness and prevent the room from feeling cramped. On the other hand, if you have a spacious kitchen, 36-inch cabinets can fill up the vertical space and create a more grandiose appearance.

4. Storage Capacity

The primary difference between these two cabinet sizes is the storage capacity they offer. 36-inch cabinets provide approximately 15% more storage space than 30-inch cabinets. If you have a large family or love to cook and entertain frequently, the extra storage space can be a significant advantage.

5. Cost Considerations

Cost is an essential factor to consider during any kitchen renovation. Generally, 36-inch cabinets are more expensive than 30-inch ones due to the extra materials required to construct them. Additionally, the installation costs might be higher as they might need custom fittings in some cases. If budget is a concern, 30-inch cabinets can be a more economical option.

6. Aesthetic Appeal

The aesthetic aspect of your kitchen should not be overlooked. The cabinet size you choose can impact the overall look and feel of your kitchen. 30-inch cabinets are often considered more traditional, while 36-inch cabinets can lend a contemporary and luxurious vibe to the kitchen. Consider your personal style and the overall theme of your kitchen before making a decision.

7. Accessibility and Universal Design

If accessibility is a concern, 30-inch cabinets are generally easier to reach for individuals with mobility challenges. For a kitchen that needs to comply with universal design principles, 30-inch cabinets are often recommended as they offer better access for people of all abilities.

8. Installing Appliances

When planning your kitchen layout, consider the appliances you intend to install. Larger appliances like double ovens or built-in microwaves might require the additional height provided by 36-inch cabinets. Ensure that your chosen cabinet size can accommodate your appliances seamlessly.

9. Resale Value

If you are considering the long-term value of your kitchen renovation, take into account the impact of cabinet size on the resale value of your home. While personal preference is crucial, a well-designed kitchen with the right cabinet size can increase the appeal and value of your property.

10. Seeking Professional Advice

Before making a final decision, it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice from kitchen designers or contractors. They can provide valuable insights based on your specific kitchen layout, needs, and budget.


Choosing between 30-inch and 36-inch cabinets for your kitchen is a significant decision that will impact both the functionality and aesthetics of the space. Consider factors such as your kitchen’s size, your personal preferences, accessibility needs, and budget before making your choice. Both cabinet sizes have their merits, so there’s no definitive right or wrong answer. Assess your requirements and style to make the best decision for your dream kitchen.


1. Can I mix both 30-inch and 36-inch cabinets in my kitchen?

Absolutely! If you have varying storage needs or want to create an interesting visual contrast, you can combine both 30-inch and 36-inch cabinets in your kitchen.

2. Are 36-inch cabinets suitable for shorter individuals?

While 36-inch cabinets can be challenging to reach for shorter individuals, they can install pull-out shelves or use step stools to make the top shelves more accessible.

3. Do 30-inch cabinets cost significantly less than 36-inch cabinets?

The cost difference between the two cabinet sizes can vary depending on the brand and materials used, but generally, 30-inch cabinets are more budget-friendly.

4. Which cabinet size is better for a kitchen with low ceilings?

For kitchens with low ceilings, 30-inch cabinets can create a more proportionate and visually balanced look.

5. Can I add crown molding to 36-inch cabinets to make them look taller?

Yes, crown molding can be added to 36-inch cabinets to give them a more sophisticated and taller appearance.

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