Buying Prefabricated Cabinets

There are some basic rules tobe aware of and follow when buying prefabricated cabinets for any room in your home, not just kitchen prefabricated cabinets. There was a time when prefabricated cabinets were considered inferior to custom built ones.

Fortunately, today prefabricated ones can, and indeed are, built to very high standards and can be completely indiscernible from custom built ones. The real secret, especially in a kitchen or bedroom, is in the care and quality that is taken over their installation, making them fit seamlessly to one another.

The fact that you’re going for prefabricated cabinets means that they are not custom built for your home. However, by being quite specific in what you’re looking for and careful as to exactly what you order, there is no reason at all why the cabinets can’t look as if they’ve been custom built on-site to your exact specifications.

Dimensions for Prefabricated Cabinets

One thing to be careful of when ordering prefabricated cabinets is to ensure that they were designed for a North American/Canadian market. Prefabricated cabinets made for, say, an Asian market, will be differently dimensioned to those for the home market. So you don’t want to be constantly bending or indeed overstretching to reach things in the cabinets.

With that in mind the following are some ‘rule of thumb’ dimensions to consider. Don’t have any shelves above 1.8m to 2m high as most people won’t be able to reach them. An ‘eye-level shelf needs to be at the 1.5m to 1.7m height, so that no one has to peer up towards the shelf.

For a shelf above a work-top, especially in a kitchen, have it no more than 900mm above the work-top; this avoids having to over-stretch across the work-top. Similarly don’t have a shelf over a work-top less than 450mm above it, any lower than 450mm and it will obscure your view to the back of the work-top when working on it.

The same is true for the height of cabinets above a work-top, don’t fit them less than 450mm above the work-top. Whilst we’re talking about work-tops - a standard work-top is 900mm off the floor and 600mm deep. One thing you might want to consider with the height and depth of the work-top is any ‘white goods’, dishwashers etc, you might want to fit in a kitchen or utility area, especially if they are old and non-uniform sizes. The optimum depth for a wall cabinet over a work-top is 300mm. Drawers in a kitchen are rarely more than 425mm wide, whereas in another room they are often 500mm or more wide.

Hanging Space for Clothes Storage

Please remember the following should be considered as average dimensions only, if you or your family are particularly larger or smaller than average then you should look to have these adjusted. Allow up to 1.6m for hanging long coats or dresses, 850mm for jackets and 600m drops for most other clothes that will be hung from a rail.

In confined kitchens or room spaces there are some minimum dimensions you should consider for being able to access your cabinets. Allow 1m to crouch down to see into a floor mounted cabinet and 1.25m to kneel down looking into a draw in a floor mounted cabinet. However, and most importantly, in a confined kitchen space allow at least 900mm between cabinets as a corridor to walk down.