The Differences Between Kitchen Cabinets and Bath Cabinets

The differences between kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets are subtle.  A few dimensional differences and configuration options are about it in most cabinet lines.

Bathroom cabinets are a bit shorter (31” rather than 34 1/2”), shallow (21” vs. 24”), and don’t have quite so many options as kitchen cabinets from the same manufacturer. But, being labeled “BATH” cabinets, it’s the section of a catalog many designers flip to when sitting down with a customer to come up with a plan.

Yes, there are specific bath cabinets that don’t have a kitchen counterpart, but often times you can get away with swapping things out, and you may end up with a more functional bathroom in the end. Thinking about this hypothetically…

kitchen cabinets as a bath vanity


Suppose you have a 72” bathroom wall that you need to occupy with cabinets. Also suppose that you already have a closet for clean towels and so forth, so you’re only concerned with space where people can wash up and prepare for the day.  Hypothetically, you want a place for dirty laundry in the center, and a sink on each side.





Scenario 1: Bath Cabinets In the center is a hamper pull out cabinet, 34 1/2H x 18W x 21D. That is the only width these hamper pullouts come in, so if you want something wider, you’re in the “Out of Luck” department, with this manufacturer anyway. On the right and left are sink bases, 34 1/2H x 27W x 21D. They have no drawers (just fake fronts) and no shelves. Being narrow, that’s just how they come.

Scenario 2: Kitchen Cabinets In the center, in place of the bathroom hamper pull-out, is a simple kitchen base cabinet with a roll out tray. It measures 34 1/2H x 24W x 24D, and essentially performing the same function as the hamper pull out. To the right and left are your sink bases, 34 1/2H x 24W x 24D. They’re a little narrower than the bathroom vanity sink bases, but deeper and less expensive.

Using list prices in your hypothetical bathroom, the total for using bathroom cabinets is $1517, and for using kitchen cabinets it’s $1506. What you actually pay in a cabinet shop will vary, but the difference between the two should be proportionate. And while the savings are small, you’ve gained an additional 3.75 cubic feet of storage space The counters will be up a little higher, which you should be used to if you spend any amount of time in your kitchen, and there will be another 3” of depth to them for putting things like toothbrush holders, soap dishes, and so forth.


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