When it comes to storage cabinets in the kitchen, nothing ever seems to be enough. However, floor-to-ceiling cabinets bring with them the promise of extra storage space, especially if your kitchen is small.

Traditionally, kitchen wall cabinets would end just below the ceiling, with the extra space in between the upper cabinet and the ceiling being covered by crown molding. However, with modern architecture being more streamlined and minimalistic, kitchen cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling are not uncommon.

This obviously comes under the purview of custom cabinetry, and that means you will have to build your cabinets to fit the space you have available. If you are handy with carpentry tools, you should be able to build one for your kitchen by yourself. Here are some DIY tips to help you.

The process


cabinet installation

Once you’ve decided where in the kitchen you want to build the cabinet, use a measuring tape and calculate the depth, width, and height of the space you have available. While calculating the depth, remember to remove any wall trim or baseboard that may be there by using a reciprocating saw to cut it and then a pry bar to detach it from the wall.

Primary woodwork

Using a table saw, cut two ¾-inch plywood to the exact width and depth measurements you just took. These will form the top and bottom of the cabinet.

Then, cut out the side panels using two more ¾-inch plywood using the depth and height measurements, minus 1 ½ inch.

Setting up the base and the top of the cabinet

Kitchen base cabinet height

Use a stud finder to locate studs on the floor in the location you want the cabinet. The base should be screwed into the studs using a nail gun.

Then, use the stud finder to locate the corresponding studs on the ceiling, and repeat the process to attach the top of the cabinet.

Attaching side panels

Slide the side panels into place until they are flush with the wall. Then, attach them to the wall studs by using a nail gun to drive nails every six inches along each wall stud.


Depending on the height of the cabinet, calculate how many shelves you want in the cabinet. Once you’ve decided how many shelves you want and at what height, use a pencil to mark out the shelves inside the cabinet.

Then, cut out the shelves using ¾ inch plywood. Your measurements ought to be the width and depth of the cabinet minus 1 ½ inch.

To attach the shelves into place, you need to follow a process called toe nailing. This is a two-person job, so make sure you have help.

While one person holds the shelf in place, the other person drives nails in a downward angle into the wall studs and into the sides of the frames using a nail gun.

Face frames, doors, and hinges

installing kitchen cabinets from floor to ceiling

If you want to attach a face frame to the cabinet, now is the time to glue it into place. Then, get to work cutting the cabinet doors.

If you want a single door that opens only to the left side, cut a ¾ inch of plywood the entire length and width of the cabinet. If you want two doors that open on either side, cut two ¾ inches of plywood measuring half the width and the entire length of the cabinet.

Fasten two hinges on each door, one near the top and the other near the bottom of the door. Make sure to mark and position the hinges at the same level on both doors.

Then mark the positions of the hinges on the side panels of the cabinet, so you know the exact position to screw them on. 

Once the doors have been screwed onto the side panels, attach the door knobs or handles at the center of the face of the door, one inch off the center edge. Then, open and close the doors to make sure they’re working properly. 

Final finishing

Finally, finish your new piece of furniture by painting it. Begin by applying a layer of interior grade latex primer and let it rest until it is completely dry. Then, apply a coat of interior grade latex paint of a color of your choice. This also needs to rest for at least 24 hours before you can use your new cabinet

DIY tips on how to build a floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet was last modified: June 22nd, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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