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Old 07-09-2019, 01:26 PM   #1
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Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


I'm building out a new kitchen in a gut renovation. The framing and plumbing has gone up so far. No sheetrock has been installed. I'm working on laying out a kitchen in an area that has 117" walls from subfloor to ceiling.

Finished floor is about 1"
Cabinets are 34 1/2"
Quartz Countertop 1 1/4"
Backsplash is 18"
Upper cabinets are 36"

Total is 90 3/4"

117 - 90 3/4" = 26 1/4"

It would be easy to build a soffit now that the cabinets aren't in my way and I have access to all the studs. But I fear that would leave me in a bind if something is off.


So a few questions:

1. Should I build the soffit after my upper cabinets have been installed? That would mean don't rock the area above and behind the soffit. It would also mean I need to tape and paint after the upper cabinets are up. Sounds like a pain.

OR

Build the soffit now and push the upper cabinets up to the soffit? This sounds easier. Just got to set my laser and get things perfectly level.

2. How much gap space should be left b/w the soffit and the upper cabinets?

3. By how much should the soffit overhang the 12" deep cabinets? The overhang would be a great spot to install some recessed lighting.

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #2
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


Have the cabinets been ordered?

If not, can you order taller ones? The extra height will give you more space to store back stock of things you use more of, like peanut butter, sugar, etc.. so it is close at hand, but out of the way.

Another use for taller cabinets is for decorative purposes. The upper row can have glass doors and be lighted and you can store Pottery, Silver Service Items, etc..

As for how tight the cabinets should be to the soffitt? Personally. I think they should be as tight as possible, other wise the dust bunnies will run rampant. People will tell you that you can store stuff up there and you will at first, but after awhile, the dust collected on it will get to you.

Regarding overhang, it is person preference. Yes, it can be great for recessed lighting, especially for lighting the upper cabinets. But, keep in mind that the closer it is to the cabinets, the more it will bounce off the cabinets when they are closed. So, if they are a dark color, the light bounced off of it will be darker as well.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


Most of the DIY shows are taking soffits down, not putting them up - personal favorite is without leaving open - take that ceiling as high as possible!
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


Quote:
Originally Posted by KPDMinc;
Most of the DIY shows are taking soffits down, not putting them up - personal favorite is without leaving open - take that ceiling as high as possible!

What are they doing with the gap? Crown or just leave it open?

I do see pics of people tiling to the top.



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Old 07-09-2019, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


With few cabinets and 10' high ceilings you should have 42" wall cabinets. Crown and moulding on top depends on the style of cabinet. I haven't seen soffits chosen to be installed in mid-range and up kitchens in a couple decades. With the finishes you've chosen, you should not have a soffit. Lighting above is an option.

If you were to do a soffit, you keep it about 12.5"-13" out. Extending it out to put a light below it creates a bigger hot spot on the cabinet, reduces the throw under the cabinet, and creates a disproportionate "cove" if the kitchen wraps around.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:48 PM   #6
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


Ranch or two story, looking for what is above that kitchen. My advice is the same for either but is an attic is up there drywall before you build the soffit. Same if it is a two story but less of an air leakage problem.

Your drywall is your air barrier and needs to be continuous with the insulation. If that framing remains open (primarily on a ranch) then wall cavity air can pass through the cavity into the attic, called a thermal bypass, and a big one.

Bud
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:44 PM   #7
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


I agree with the others - no soffit.
We ditched our soffits. We only have a 8ft ceiling.

If I had the height you have I would do higher top cabs.
The cabs with the some lighted glass cabinets on top
are gorgeous.
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


In apartments here they drywall the area above and behind the the drop first, with one coat of filler after taping..
Bottom cupboards level is taken from the highest spot in the floor. so all your measurements are taken from that high spot.

Level line around the room from that. Allow for drywall and consider crown molding.
Is it the type that goes above the cupboard or face frame nailed.
For the width of the drop. measure out both ends and snap a line so the drop is straight even if the wall is not, allow one extra inch for plywood and drywall..

Nail a 2x4 above the line on the wall and inside the line on the ceiling.
Cut 1/2" plywood 1/4" short of the height you want and nail that to the 2x4 on the ceiling so it hangs down like a curtain.

Inside that at the bottom nail a 2x4 to it level with the 2x4 on the back wall.

Put a string just below that so you can check for straight and measure for 2x4 blocks between the curtain and the back wall, one block ever 24"



With this you are straight and level whether the ceiling and wall are or not.

After drywall.
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Last edited by Nealtw; 07-09-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:06 PM   #9
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


OMG, for a Canuck, @Nealtw seems to know what he is doing!

And it is even understandable!!

Just kidding Neal, good write up! Short and concise. Much better than I would have done. I can see mine now, going onto another page.....
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:51 AM   #10
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


Ok I'm dropping the soffit idea! Thanks for enlightening me on the modern kitchen looks.

Yeah, maybe i'll increase cabinet height to 42".
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:49 AM   #11
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


Good decision...

check this out ... gazillion ideas for kitchens at Houzz

https://www.houzz.com/photos/kitchen...#viewAllPhotos
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


IMO cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling look better than soffits above the cabinets.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:39 AM   #13
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


I like the look of cabinets that have a shelf over them for kitchen nick-nacks, but I don't think it works with an 8' ceiling.

I /love/ my 42" cabinets for looks and storage space; even if I need a step stool to get to the top shelf. I've only got an 8' ceiling though so they're a hair too close to the countertop for me to fit a coffee maker under em which is a slight bummer. I think I should have gone with the 40" (or maybe it was 38"? been a while) A couple inches doesn't seem like much on paper, but I'm constantly coming up 1 measly inch short on appliances heh

Since you've got 10' ceiling's I'd def. do the 42" though I'd do 18" under them (I have 15"), they're really great for storing odd ball stuff on the top shelf.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:59 AM   #14
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Re: Building a soffit wall above a kitchen


I think a few spaces on kitchen cabinets tops are really nice. Makes the cabinet pop out.
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