Before moving on to where and how to mount the suspension rails, allow me to take a moment to explain what I mean by “available ceiling height.”
If our kitchen rooms were perfect, i.e. the ceilings and floors were horizontal and flat plus all the walls perfectly vertical and flat, I wouldn’t need to use the term “available ceiling height.” No, we would only have to measure the distance from the floor to the ceiling or bulkhead at one location since it would be the same wherever we measure.
With that single measurement, we would know the exact ceiling height, allowing us to plan which cabinets we can install.
However, that is unfortunately not the case. As you have seen in the video above, the ceiling often sags, and the floors aren’t horizontal or perfectly flat, so relying on one single measurement is insufficient.
I wish I could tell you there would be an easy way to measure the “available ceiling,” but I cannot, as it depends on how far from perfect your room is.
As you have seen in the video, the only way to know the available ceiling height is to determine if your floor is horizontal and your ceiling is sagging.
The good news is that we can reduce the importance of the available ceiling height regarding the cabinet choices you want to make since the problem with “restricted ceiling height” is primarily an issue if the distance you measure (from floor to ceiling or bulkhead in several locations) is close to the height (legs inclusive) of the pantry cabinets, which is 84 1/2″ or 94 1/2.
The Ikea SEKTION kitchen cabinet system offers 84 1/2″ or 94 1/2″ (legs included) high cabinets. As you can imagine, having the ceiling height close to these numbers sometimes works with one group of cabinets, and other times not.
All this to say that if your ceiling height is 96″ or more, your ceilings should be sagging a lot more than usual before you will have any restrictions regarding the use of the higher cabinets, i.e. 40″ wall cabinets and 90″ pantry cabinets. The same can be said if your ceiling height is 86″ or a bit more. In that case, you only want to include the shorter cabinet options, i.e. 30″ high wall cabinets and 80″ pantry cabinets. In these situations, you will have no issues with the location of the rail.
Before heading to the guide, please measure the distance from the floor to the ceiling/bulkhead in a few locations where your cabinets will be installed, and proceed with the height you get.