Top 5 measuring mistakes for kitchen cabinets

Have you have ever measured anything before? How about for installing cabinets? Then you know accuracy seems to be a relative word, depending on who is doing the measuring. “Is that 1/16th or 1/32nd? Does a 1/8th of an inch really matter?” Yes. Yes, it does.

With kitchen cabinets, there are other factors to consider as well. Wall space, appliance location, vents, plugs, etc. So, what to do? Prepare ahead of time and make a plan.

Below we have listed the top five mistakes when measuring for kitchen cabinets.

Make your DIY kitchen remodel a success by considering these common mistakes. Read on…


Inaccurate measurements. Yes, an 1/8th inch can make a difference, especially if you keep rounding the results so that your final error can be an inch or more. They add up and can be very costly mistakes. Measure accurately.

Trim. Don’t forget to subtract your trim sizes around windows and doors. Unless you are going to custom cut your trim pieces (not recommended), you need to make sure you are subtracting the trim size from your usable wall space for cabinets.


Appliances. As above, you need to take into account your appliances. The dimensions of most appliances are on their packaging. If buying online, make sure you know the outside dimensions, so you can subtract that from your available wall space. Leave tolerances.


Ceiling height. Wall cabinets come in different heights because kitchens have varying ceiling heights. If you order a utility cabinet that won’t fit, you will be a very unhappy camper. Conversely, wall cabinets generally sit 18″ above the countertop, so make sure to consider that as well.


Plumbing and Receptacles. Plumbing and electrical receptacles need to be accounted for to accommodate appliances like dishwashers, trash compactors, and refrigerators, as well as sinks and faucets. Make sure your cabinet placement accommodates these.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list by any means, and you’ll no doubt encounter other considerations as well. Always have a good set of plans to start with, or, if you are retrofitting new cabinets in an old space, measure accurately. Sometimes it is a good idea to tape out the cabinet widths on the floor to make sure you like the layout.

NOTE: If you are uncomfortable with measuring for cabinets, there are plenty of handyman services that will do it for you.

There are also plenty of online kitchen design software programs to help layout your kitchen cabinets, or, maybe use good old-fashioned grid paper. However you choose to do it, make sure your measure, measure, measure… until you know your numbers are accurate. Now that you are ready, go order your cabinets!