Tall Glass Cabinet Doors Might Be a Bad Idea

Hi Everyone,

Today we’re going to be talking about a beautiful interior design trend. It’s one I don’t hear much about. However, I sure do see a lot of tall, glass cabinet doors. And I’ve been seeing them for well over a decade.


In fact, as most of you know, I’m putting a pair of tall glass cabinet doors in my new kitchen.


I just have to interrupt myself to say that the kitchen cabinets being built by Crown Point Cabinetry are in cue to start production next month; they will be delivered at the end of September.

Crown Point has been a joy to work with every step of the way. In addition, I owe thanks to my friend, fantastic kitchen designer Susan Serra, who helped tremendously in the early phases of the design. With both Crown Point and Susan, working with them was 100% long-distance, except for one brief meeting when Mel, my kitchen designer at Crown Point, came over to measure.

Susan told me she loves doing long-distance kitchen consults. I highly recommend contacting her if you need a great kitchen designer.


Laurel, I’m confused. You said in your headline there’s a danger in doing tall glass cabinet doors. Yet, you’re doing them. That better not be clickbait!


Me? Clickbait? haha. I wish it were. And I’m not just talking tall glass cabinet doors; I mean extra-tall.

How tall is extra tall?

Well, anything over 48″ is considered extra tall for a glass kitchen cabinet door.

Here’s the problem.


There’s a chance the extra tall glass cabinet doors could warp.


In fact, there’s a disclaimer on Crown Point’s drawing of the back cabinet. (below)


My tall glass kitchen cabinets - drawing by Crown Point Cabinetry. I highly recommend them!


Oh, hold on, please. Let me make that a little larger so you can see!

Void Warranty on 3 tall glass cabinet doors


Any taller than 48″, and they can’t guarantee the doors won’t warp. That is why you often see tall glass cabinet doors stacked like this. (below)


CScabinetry instagram - @scottdavisphoto - april 20, 2020 - white kitchen

CS Cabinetry


DeVOL kitchens - fitted celadon green wall of cabinetry - classic kitchen



caroline sieber london home kitchen dining area

photo: Oberto Gili

Caroline Sieber London home kitchen dining area

Instead of very tall doors, like below.


photo of stunning white kitchen with super tall glass cabinet doors by Bieke Claessens

This oft-published eye-popping kitchen was photographed over a decade ago by Bieke Claessens.


March 7th kitchen render my new kitchen

My rendering from a few months ago. Does anything look familiar behind the glass doors?



Some of the shelves in my cabinet rendering came from Martha O’Hara’s beautiful design above.


Okay, let’s look at more super tall glass cabinet doors, and then we can dish.



From a job, I did in 2013. And yes, I was inspired by the Beike Claessens photo.


southern living antique kitchen cabinets cremone bolts- photo Laurey W Glenn

Another popular, incredibly amazing cabinet. Photo by Laurey Glenn via Southern Living

I bet they built the entire kitchen around those doors!

Speaking of.


Darryl Carter via instagram - gorgeous tall arched pantry doors

That’s what Darryl Carter did with this cabinet, it looks like.

Please check out my tribute to Darryl Carter’s genius here.


one kings lane_carolyne roehm_BUTLERS PANTRY 4

This is Carolyne Rhoem’s massive and fabulous butler’s pantry.

For more tall glass cabinet doors, please check out this post about pantries.

You will also see that they are historically accurate. For some old brownstone floor plans with pantries, please go to this sister post to the one above.


Laurel, I don’t see a problem with the big glass doors. None of them look warped.


Maybe not. Of course, that’s what duct tape is for. ;] Hell, they might put some temporary small carpenter’s nails in to straighten the doors for the photos. But let’s take a look below at this drop-dead gorgeous vignette below from Madcap Cottage.

You may recall seeing it in the Granny Decor Mistakes You Might Be Making.



The glass door on the left does look a bit warped.


If it does warp, can it be fixed?


I don’t know for sure. Perhaps the warped door(s) would need to come off and be taken to a professional who might get it damp and use clamps or something. I googled that query if you’re interested.

So, why don’t big glass French doors have the same problem? Well, they can warp, too, if the frames are too thin. Plus, the doors we use to close off doorways and closets are thicker.


Still, many fantastic designers like Minnie Peters, below, are doing super tall glass cabinet doors.


minnie peters tall-glass-cabinet-doors-flank-butlers-pantry


Oh, my, and embrasure doors too? Although those are not flush with the wall. But, it’s the same idea.

Below are two more beautiful images of the work of Minnie Peters.


Mini Peters elegant tall glass cabinet doors


minnie peters pilaster under architrave

Please check out more of Minnie Peters’ fantastic work here.


I will finish with two more exquisite examples of designers who’ve created breathtakingly beautiful tall glass cabinet doors.


Amrami Design Group Tall Glass Cabinet Doors

Amrami Design Group

Stunning Tall Glass Cabinet Doors


However, I saved the best for last. Interior Design by Miles Redd.


Miles Redd Stunning eating area kitchen - photo by Ryan Kurtz
Photo by Ryan Kurtz

Miles did glorious fretwork muntins on these elegant tall glass doors. Plus, that’s a most interesting inset on the lower drawers.

There are more images of this astonishing home in Ryan’s portfolio. But, there are even more in the article found in Architectural Digest. Those are some insanely tall ceilings! Plus, you’ll see many of Miles’ signature saturated colors and designs.


So, how do you feel about the tall glass cabinet doors?


If you had the opportunity, would you do them in your kitchen? Or, would you play it safe and do the stacked doors?


Maybe you have some super tall glass doors somewhere in your home.


Mine are going to be 66″ tall. By the way, the drawers are going above the counter, as they are in Crown Point’s drawing. If I didn’t do that, the doors would be 74″ tall. That’s double the height of the counter. That’s a hair’s breadth shorter than Cale. My doors are going to be a hair’s breadth shorter than me. And that’s tall enough!

So, why am I ignoring the advice to do stacked instead?

It’s because I adore the look of the super tall doors. I have admired them for decades. Warping comes when things get humid, then dry out and then get humid again. So, I will try to keep things as stable inside, as possible.



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41 Responses

  1. Well, since I’m an a/c, climate control kind of gal, I think that I would take the chance with the extra tall doors, since (unless there’s a power failure) I don’t see any drastic swings in humidity in my future. I like the look of the unbroken expanse better than the stacked. Although, the stacked does give the opportunity to add a library ladder (if there’s room and the look works with the overall scheme) to replace my random footstool so that I would be able to reach the upper shelves. In any event, the warping would not be a concern for me.

  2. I, too, love the look. You’ve been forewarned so it really comes down to how much of a gambler you are. Crown Point isn’t refusing to make them, so you know warping isn’t a given, just a possibility. If you were advising a client, what would you be saying?

  3. I see the cabinets running from the counter to the ceiling. I just wondered if you decided you didn’t need more countertop space to work. If you did, just having the cabinets start at the level of the first shelf would buy you a lot of extra counter space. But maybe the pull-out boards (? right term?) below the tall cabinets will give you that if needed… It certainly is beautiful to look at, though.

    1. Hi Joan,

      The cabinets are set in stone. I couldn’t be happier. That back cabinet has an interior depth of 12″; the pull-out board is faux, but will look real. If it was real, with the mechanism, I’d only have an extra six inches at the most, and the expense to put it in isn’t worth it, in any case. There is eight feet of counter space which is plenty for me. I’m currently living in a place with three feet of usable counter space. That amount is a little tight, but doable.

  4. Just an extra comment here after reading the suggestion about magnets. We’ve got magnets on nearly all our old doors and on some of the new ones, and this probably helps. But the magnets on the 6.56 foot reclaimed door we used to close a large cupboard built into the stone wall of what is now the dining room haven’t prevented warping over the years — we’ve just decided to live with an imperfectly closing door. If a tall door wants to warp, there isn’t a magnet on earth that will prevent it from doing so — unless the magnet is so strong that you can’t open the door!

  5. another fun interesting post. I have old cabinets not built ins, glass doors are warped, goes with the country look of my kitchen,. in the kitchens shown here, I am sure the owners are able to replace the doors if they do warp. I like the look of the tall glass doors, they look older, they go with the age of your condo and will be beautiful. also, they will be made right to begin with!

  6. I have a 54 inch glass door in my kitchen. I’ve made it out of an old living room window from my house. I grew up and I have never had a problem with it .. I used it in my old house, in Norther California, which had quite quite a bit of moisture changes, and it never warped —and I’ve had it down here in San Diego for five years and it hasn’t warped…, so I say go for the glass doors. !!! The look is amazing. My shelves don’t line up with my mullions, but I use my shelves for my every day dishes, so I had to be practical and make everything fit. I still love it, though.! Can’t wait to see your cabinets – they are going to be beautiful.

  7. Laurel, You and I have loved the Bieke Claessens glass cabinet doors for SO long I would not give up on that look. I do think it might be wise to use Cremona bolts. I love the way they look although I love the white ones, but could love unpainted metal, too.

  8. Just back from Paris where I was reminded how beautiful and classic black and white floors are. At Versailles I taught my granddaughter the term enfilade, which I learned from you.

    Your kitchen is going to be gorgeous.

  9. Could the tall glass doors be made from MDF or HDF? I believe these won’t warp and when painted look the same as painted wood. On the other hand the character (including warping) that come with real wood totally fits with the age of your home. Looking forward to seeing your beautiful kitchen come to life.

  10. Our new home has very tall ceilings (14′) and the kitchen, butler pantry and laundry all have very tall cabinet doors; some with glass. We had several warp after they were put in, but luckily before we moved in. The cabinet maker replaced about 3 or 4. When the fifth one started warping he asked if he could try something different. He put a magnet at the top corner of the door where it closes. All of my doors have the soft-close feature. So, on this one door, you start the close, it pulls itself in, and then you hear a click at the top, It worked and I didn’t mind it. All of the other doors have remained straight and un-warped.

  11. All lovely examples of tall glass doors, except the one (from Southern Living) where the shelves do not line up directly behind the muntins – that drives me crazy.

  12. I have had tall glass door cabinets in my brownstone kitchen nearly 30 yrs now with no real warping but they do stick from time to time in especially humid weather. Have always gotten a lot of compliments as the rear wall of the room is large mullioned windows with transoms, so the room is very bright and reflective. Very pretty. Had large heavy tall glass doors in a pantry in an old summer house years ago. Those warped but we were on the ocean.

  13. Hi Laurel,

    I love the rendition of your new kitchen. I would also love that the kitchen cabinet manufacturer gave a warranty on their product! Honestly, I don’t think I would notice if the doors were “stacked” so that you would still get the warranty–to me you would still get the effect of a bank of glass cabinets. I live in a humid place and the central air conditioning helps control humidity. I am not sure if you have central air? If it were me, I would prefer to have something more stable as built than have to worry about controlling something that might be difficult to control. Also, maybe you could ask if you did go with the larger, nonwarranty doors and needed to change them out, would you be able to do that easily with the existing cabinet structure. In which case, if you were willing to buy new doors and reconfigure if you had to, then go ahead!

    1. Hi GGG,

      I definitely considered it. However, having the single tall doors is something I’ve loved for a long time and feel is more in keeping with the “unkitchen” look I’m striving for. Yes, if worse came to worse and I was willing to shell out thousands more, they could be replaced. However, I would try some other remedy first.

  14. Wondering if it would help any to have at least 2 roller type cabinet latches or something similar to help hold the doors tighter to the frame. This may already be in the works, but multiple seems like a better idea that just one. I had to look up what to call those latches!

  15. Does it help if you have muntins or some time of other structure on the doors? Or if you make tall glass cabinet doors with window panes?

  16. Hi Laurel,
    Beautiful cabinets!!!
    If the doors have cremone bolts don’t you think they might not wrap?
    Your kitchen will be awesome!
    Carolina VG

    1. Hi Carolina,

      My KD at Crown Point has suggested them. I would need three of them. However, I would prefer if they were painted like in the Bieke Claessens image. Yes, all of the hardware is painted white in that kitchen, and it is obviously old. I just think on relatively narrow glass doors painted white; when I see the cremone bolts, I feel they overwhelm the door. A French door is going to be substantially taller and wider with a much wider stile, so the bolts aren’t as prominent.

  17. I put a glass door in a bathroom that isn’t terribly large. I use it as a linen closet and for storage of some of my beauty products. The door is 58″ tall and it gets lots of moisture in that bathroom. That door has been there for six years without a problem.

  18. Hi Laurel. I love the tall glass doors but, like Mary, wouldn’t do them in a small kitchen. Too much unsightly stuff that needs to be tucked away. However, Mules Redd had those fabulous doors with the opaque inserts. That would work. I’d probably go with stacked though just cause I’m too darned practical. LOVE your final designs. The place is going to be gorgeous.

    1. Hi Gail,

      The unsightly stuff will go in the closed cabinetry, of which there is much more than I need. I considered opaque or mirrored doors, but in the end, I wanted glass.

  19. Carpe diem!

    And to quote a poem of Shskespeare that I learned in college (and dearly love):

    “In delay there lies no plenty,
    Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty,

    Youth’s the stuff ’twill not endure.”

    Enjoy those doors!!!

  20. I love the tall cabinet doors but looking at your examples many of them had mullions which “might” help with warping or rackingI have a cabinet from 1800’s, one of the first flat packs used to go west in covered wagons with only 36” x 16” glass in a wood frame no millions and they warp seasonally

  21. Laurel,
    What beautiful kitchens in today’s post. I know yours will be a showstopper! I noticed in a few pictures a locking mechanism that anchors one of the cabinet doors….. is that functional as an “anchor” or for display. Seems like that would limit door warping?

  22. I love the rendering of your new kitchen. I don’t blame you for wanting the big glass doors.
    For me personally, I wouldn’t do it. But only because I don’t want my things on display. The items behind my cabinet doors aren’t stylish but they are functional.
    Don’t get me wrong, glass cabinet doors are beautiful. If my kitchen had plenty of storage I would go crazy buying vintage serving pieces just so I could display them.

  23. Hello Laurel, If the doors are going to be painted, couldn’t the thin frames be machined from aluminum, or will that not work with the natural movement of the wooden cabinets? Or would metal glazed cabinet doors have problems of their own?

  24. I wonder if anyone does a metal frame for glass doors instead of wood. If painted, they would look the same?

  25. I was so panicked when I read your headline! I’m just about to sign off on kitchen drawings with 66” tall glass cabinets. So happy to read that if you do your best to keep the humidity stable you can avoid warping.
    Honestly, I just love the look of tall glass cabinets. They are so gorgeous – I’m following through with my design and throwing caution to the wind!

  26. Warping doors are a problem, especially for tall ones. That’s one reason for the use of the crémone fittings on some of the doors you show: the iron bar keeps things rigid, provided you keep the doors closed. With our experience of old doors and new doors in an old house, I can tell you that very tall doors reclaimed from old building sites will warp as they dry out in modern conditions (and even an old low cupboard door has done so, it’s impossible to tell in advance if a door will warp or not — it’s one of three that has done this), that repeated damping and clamping will help a little but not completely, and that a thin door won’t warp, contrary to a thick one (but maybe that’s just luck). All doors will tend to shrink — one door will no longer close because it’s now too small for the frame!
    Modern hollow-core doors won’t warp, but one new oak door, intended for a front door but used here for the upstairs loo (that’s a long story, involving me knocking a hole in the original door with a sledgehammer one Sunday morning) has begun to warp at the bottom in the insanely dry conditions last year, plus underfloor central heating doesn’t help. Our pine outer doors, including the enormous garage doors, have never warped because of the diagonal braces across the exterior slat construction. But we’ve had to have the front door shaved down a bit because of the movement of the house: last year’s drought was a disaster for the stability of a stone house with no foundations. It won’t fall down, but there’s definitely been movement in the walls. More re-plastering to do soon — but I was right to wait, some of the gaps have closed again of their own accord, and are now invisible.
    Verdict: it’s unpredictable. The best you can do is never leave a door open for any length of time if it’s one you normally want to be closed, and if it’s an external door with a 3 or 5 point closing mechanism, keep that working all the time instead of just leaving the door on the latch. That gives the door less of a chance to warp.

  27. Hi Laurel,
    I love the the tall glass doors. They are perfect for your home. I would put them in for the very reason, you have always wanted them and now you can. Just do it! Love your home:) I have enjoyed watching you work so hard to complete your dream home in your city of choice! Live to LOVE!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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