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American vs European Kitchen Cabinets: Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, one of the most significant decisions homeowners face is choosing the right type of cabinets. Two of the most popular styles are American and European kitchen cabinets. But what sets them apart, and which one should you choose for your home? Let's dive in.

Categories of American and European Kitchen Cabinets to Consider

When redesigning or setting up a new kitchen, the type of cabinets you choose can make a significant difference in functionality and aesthetics. Here's a more detailed look at the primary categories:

1. Base Kitchen Cabinets

Base cabinets are the workhorses of kitchen cabinetry. Positioned directly on the floor, they form the foundation for kitchen islands and countertops.


  • Depth and Height: Typically, base cabinets have a standard depth of 24 inches and a height of 34.5 inches. However, with countertops, their height usually totals about 36 inches.

  • Storage: They are perfect for storing heavy kitchen items like pots, pans, mixers, and other appliances. Some base cabinets come with built-in dividers or pull-out trays for better organization.

  • Variations: You can find base cabinets with drawers, shelves, or specialized compartments for specific items like trash bins or recycling containers.

2. Wall Kitchen Cabinets

wall kitchen cabinets

Wall cabinets, as the name suggests, are mounted on the wall, freeing up floor space and providing storage at eye level.


  • Depth and Height: Their standard depth is usually 12 inches, but can vary. Heights can range from 12 to 42 inches, depending on ceiling height and preference.

  • Storage: Ideal for storing lighter items like dishes, glasses, and spices. Their elevated position ensures items are easily accessible and safe from potential floor-level disturbances.

  • Design Options: Homeowners can opt for cabinets with glass fronts to display beautiful dishware or keep them opaque to hide the contents. Open shelving is another trendy option, allowing for easy access and a more open feel.

3. Tall Kitchen Cabinets

tall kitchen cabinets

Tall cabinets, often referred to as pantry or utility cabinets, span from the floor to the ceiling, maximizing storage space.


  • Depth and Height: Their standard depth is 12 to 24 inches, and they can range in height from 84 to 96 inches or more.

  • Storage: These cabinets are versatile. They can be used as a pantry to store food items, as a utility closet for cleaning supplies, or even to house ovens or refrigerators for a built-in look.

  • Design Options: Depending on the intended use, they can come with multiple shelves, pull-out trays, or even drawers. Some homeowners opt for a combination, with the upper part used as a pantry and the lower part for larger appliances or storage bins.

Difference Between American & European Kitchen Cabinets

When revamping your kitchen, the cabinet style you choose can dramatically influence the room's ambiance and functionality. Two dominant styles in the world of kitchen design are American and European cabinets. Let's dissect their characteristics to help you make an informed decision:

American Kitchen Cabinets

american kitchen cabinets


  • Classic Appeal: American cabinets exude a timeless charm. Their raised panel doors, ornate designs, and visible frames make them stand out, offering a warm and welcoming vibe to any kitchen.

  • Robust Build: The hallmark of American cabinets is their face frame, which not only adds to their aesthetic but also enhances their sturdiness. This frame provides additional support, ensuring the cabinets can withstand daily wear and tear.

  • Material Advantage: American cabinets are often carved from solid wood, a material renowned for its durability. This ensures they remain in prime condition for years, even with regular use.


  • Storage Quirks: The face frame in American cabinets, while adding to their strength, can slightly eat into the storage space. This might make storing larger items a bit of a challenge.

  • Modern Design Limitations: If you're aiming for an ultra-modern look, American cabinets, with their traditional design elements, might feel a bit out of place. However, they blend seamlessly into classic, rustic, or transitional kitchen designs.

European Kitchen Cabinets

european kitchen cabinets


  • Sleek Design: European cabinets are the epitome of modern design. Their flat panel doors and absence of visible frames give them a clean, streamlined appearance, making them a favorite for contemporary homes.

  • Maximized Storage: The frameless design of European cabinets means there's no inner frame eating into your storage space. This design ensures every inch is utilized, making it easier to store larger pots, pans, and utensils.

  • Versatility: One of the highlights of European cabinets is the vast array of colors and finishes available. Whether you're looking for glossy, matte, or wooden finishes, there's something to match every aesthetic.


  • Durability Concerns: While they're sturdy, European cabinets are often crafted from engineered wood. While this material is resilient, it may not offer the same longevity as solid wood, especially in high-humidity environments.

  • Price Point: The intricate construction techniques and materials used in European cabinets can drive up their cost. Especially when seeking high-quality finishes, you might find them a tad pricier than their American counterparts.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right kitchen cabinets is a blend of aesthetics, functionality, and personal preference. While American cabinets bring a touch of timeless charm and robustness, European kitchen cabinets offer a fresh, modern perspective that aligns with contemporary design trends.

Their sleek design, efficient use of space, and versatile finishes make them a compelling choice for those looking to infuse a touch of modernity into their homes. Ultimately, the best choice is one that resonates with your style and meets your kitchen's needs.

However, if you're leaning towards a design that's both cutting-edge and versatile, European kitchen cabinets might just be the perfect fit for your space.

Discover Half Price Kitchens

At Half Price Kitchens, we understand the allure of European kitchen cabinets. Our expertise in offering top-notch, affordable kitchen solutions ensures you get that sleek European design without compromising on quality. Ready to transform your kitchen? Contact us for a free estimate. And for more invaluable tips and guides, don't forget to like and follow our Facebook page.

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