How to calculate how much plinth, cornice and pelmet are required
One of the questions we’re often asked by customers is ‘How many lengths of plinths/cornice/pelmet will I need?’ This, however, is not as difficult to work out as you might think.
In our experience, it’s always better to order a little more than is actually required (plinths are particularly useful for fillers) but we have a simple calculation to help you when you’re ordering.
Although the calculation for plinth, cornice and pelmet is similar, each product type has its own unique considerations to take in to account, so it’s important that each section of this help guide is read thoroughly before you calculate how much you need.
To calculate plinth lengths
The first thing to do is add up all of the widths of each of your base cabinets, tall units and any integrated appliances (such as a dishwasher), so if you have planned for example, 2×300 wide base unit, 1x 400 base, 3x 500 base, 1x 600 bases and 3x 1000 base, 1×500 tall unit and 1x 600 integrated appliance the total width is 7200mm (600 + 400 + 1500 + 600 + 3000 + 500 + 600 = 7200).
The next thing to calculate is the number of ‘returns’ you will have in your kitchen. A return can be simply described as the end of a run of cabinets, effectively the exposed end panel of the cabinet. We recommend a nominal 600mm is added so in the example above, if you’re kitchen design features two returns, then you will require a further 1200mm (600 + 600 = 1200). If you are using plant-on end panels then you may not require any return plinths as these panels run down to the floor and if you’ve planned some curved cabinets in to your design, then don’t worry about calculating the length of the curved plinth as we supply these manufactured to suit the curve exactly.
Therefore to calculate the total length of plinth required for the example above:
Total Width (7200mm) + Number of Returns (2×600 = 1200mm ) = 8400mm
To calculate the number of plinths you will require for your kitchen then you will need to divide the total length by the length of the plinth available for your range (our plinths are either 2600mm, 2750mm or 3000m long – check what plinth sizes are available with the range you have selected).
So taking our example above with a range using 3000mm plinths the calculation is:
Total length (8400mm) divided by Plinth Length (3000mm) = 2.8
Therefore the requirement in this example is for 3 plinths.
To calculate cornice lengths
The first thing to do is add up all of the widths of each of your wall units, tall units and dresser cabinets, so if you have planned for example, 2x 300 wall cabinets, 4x 500 wall cabinets, 2x 500 dresser cabinets, 3x 800 wall cabinets and 1x 500 tall cabinet then the total width is 6500mm (600 + 2000 + 1000 + 2400 + 500 = 6500mm).
The next thing to calculate is the number of ‘returns’ you will have in your kitchen. A return can be simply described as the end of a run of cabinets, effectively the exposed end panel of the cabinet. As cornice needs to be joined by a mitre at the corner of a return we recommend a nominal 400mm is added. Remember if you’ve included a curve in your design then you don’t need to worry about calculating the cornice for this as we supply curved cornice to suit the curve exactly.
When a tall cabinet is planned (as in this example), if the return is a full one i.e. the entire end of the tall cabinet is exposed, then we recommend adding an additional 650mm per return.
If the return is a half one i.e. the wall cabinets run in to the tall cabinet, then we recommend adding an additional 350mm per half return.
So in the example above, if your design contains one standard return (400mm), one tall cabinet half return (350mm) and one tall cabinet full return (650mm) then you will require and additional 1400mm (400 + 350 + 650 = 1400mm).
Therefore to calculate the total length of cornice required for the example above:
Total Width (6500mm) + Number of Returns/Half Returns (1400mm ) = 7900mm
To calculate the number of lengths of cornice you will require for your kitchen you will need to divide the total length by the length of the cornice available for your range (our cornice are either 2700mm or 3000m long – check what cornice lengths are available with the range you have selected).
So taking our example above with a range using 3000mm cornice the calculation is:
Total length (7900mm) divided by Cornice Length (3000mm) = 2.63 lengths
Therefore the requirement in this example is for 3 lengths of cornice.
To calculate pelmet lengths
The first thing to do is add up all of the widths of each of your wall units, so if you have planned for example, 2x 300 wall cabinets, 4x 500 wall cabinets, 2x 800 wall cabinets and, 3x 1000 wall cabinets then the total width is 6500mm (600 + 2000 + 1600 + 3000 = 7200mm).
The next thing to calculate is the number of ‘returns’ you will have in your kitchen. A return can be simply described as the end of a run of cabinets, effectively the exposed end panel of the cabinet. As pelmet needs to be joined by a mitre at the corner of a return we recommend a nominal 400mm is added. Don’t forget that you will need a return at the either side of a hob area. Remember if you’ve included a curve in your design then you don’t need to worry about calculating the pelmet for this as we supply curved pelmet to suit the curve exactly.
So in the example above, if your kitchen design contains four returns then you will require an additional 1600mm (4x 400mm = 1600mm).
Therefore to calculate the total length of pelmet required for the example above:
Total Width (7200mm) + Number of Returns (1600mm ) = 8800mm
To calculate the number of lengths of pelmet you will require for your kitchen you will need to divide the total length by the length of the pelmet available for your range (our pelmets are either 2700mm or 3000mm long – check what pelmet lengths are available with the range you have selected).
So taking our example above with a range using 2700mm pelmet the calculation is:
Total length (8800mm) divided by Pelmet Length (2700mm) = 3.26 lengths
Therefore the requirement in this example is for 4 lengths of pelmet.
Fitting your own cornice?
If you are planning on fitting your own cornice, then this short video will show you how it is done.
#attaching pelmet #attaching cornice
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I have purchased Linwood Alabaster range of kitchen units. I want to close the gap between the cornice and the ceiling. As I have curved units at the end of tall units and wall units, I am not clear how to close the awkward gaps between the ceiling and the cornice. Should I buy tall end panels or more cornices?
Hi, it’s hard to advise without seeing a plan and knowing how much gap is left to fill. If you could possibly create a support ticket with your plan attached and question, we can then advise further.
I need a smaller size cornice than the one that comes with the Stanbury kitchen (which I would like to order). Will the cornice from the Clayton range fit Stanbury? If not do you have a small height cornice that would fit? thank you.
Hi, the smallest cornice that we can provide is shown here. It can be used with the 25mm or 50mm edges showing.
This seems like a silly question but we have our malton dove grey kitchen and are just adding the final touches with the help of your videos (many many many thanks!) but we are stuck on the pelmets. My father in law reckons they need to be attached with the narrow side facing out so you can screw through to the cupboard…? But the pictures don’t look like that. Can you please advise?
Hi Claire, with the 50 X 3000 X 25MM modern cornice/pelmet, you can fit it either way but people tend to have the 25mm showing with the 50mm slide underneath the units then screwed into. If you need anymore advice on this then our sales team are open until 10pm on 01977 608 418.
Can a longer plinth be made at an extra cost, in door material Luca Matt
Hi Jane, we do not offer any bespoke lengths of plinths so the website 3m would be the longest we could offer.
Should end panels on wall units cover i) cornice and/or ii) pelmets or should they be covered by the a) cornice and b) pelmets?
Hi Craig, this is down to your own personal preference. End panels can either be cut larger, so that they go up & down past the tops and bottoms of the units for the plinth/cornice to run into or you can cut your end panel, so that it fits on the side (the same height as the wall unit) then mitre the plinth/cornice at 90 degree angles, and run it down the sides of the units as well.
I am fitting a new kitchen over an existing partially tiled floor and want to make sure the tile edges will be covered by the plinths. Can you please tell me how far back from the 560mm front edge of a standard base unit the plinth is located. I can’t find this dimension in your information.
Hi, you would need to lay the tiles up to the feet of the units ideally, this is around 8.5cm under the unit, measurement starting from the front of the unit door. See the 2nd image on the page below for a visual interpretation of this.
We have gone with the walk in larder in Linwood but noticed that it is 30mm lower than the tall units, one of which we intended to stand next to it. How do you therefore get the cornice to sit level if there is 30mm height difference? We came up to your showroom and saw this larder with a tall cupboard next to it and they appeared the same height.
All our tall units are the same size, either 1970 plus 150 for the legs or 2150 plus 150 for the legs. As long as you order the correct sized wall units then they will line up fine, so will the cornice.
Do you have any photos of the Livorna kitchen with and without the pelmet/cornice please? I just want to see what the difference is and whether the cupboards look ok without a pelmet/cornice. Thanks
There are 2 pictures below that give a glimpse of some kitchens with no cornice/pelmet, but these are all we have.
All these pictures can be seen on the page below.
Here is an example of some other units without cornice & pelmets.
I’m looking to buy the Milbourne chalk style kitchen. I will have 720mm high and 300mm deep wall units either side of the cooker hood. I think I require 2 end panels that match the door style for these should I choose “Milbourne Chalk Wall/Dresser End Panel Profiled Front Edge”? The height of the end panel is 1560 which seems a lot as we will be using the lighting pelmet both as the pelmet and cornice to have a more modern/sleek look. How will this affect the installation? Thank you
If you are using 720 high wall units, you would purchase the 1560 panel and cut it in half to do the two exposed sides.
The panel does have a profile on the front edge but this can still be butted up alongside a light pelmet and will not affect the installation. Alternatively the panel is finished on the back edge with a straight edge, so you could cut the panel on the profiled front and use that as the back meaning the front will be straight edged.
I’m looking to buy the Carrera Painted Alabaster kitchen. I see the cornice and pelmet are the same. I’m thinking whether I need it though as the photos on your website don’t snow any cornice or pelmet? However, I would like to have lighting under the wall units so perhaps some pelmet would be good to hide the light fittings?
Hi, using cornice and pelmet is optional for the design of your kitchen. If you are having lighting underneath your wall units though then pelmet would do a really good job of hiding it from sight. Using cornice at the top would then balance the wall units out to create a nice framed look to the units.
If I have two returns at the end of my wall units, where there will be an oven hood above the hob, in addition to cornice and pelmet will I also need 2 end panels? I am planning on only having a very small gap between each side of the hood and the units. Kitchen is Avant alabaster.
Yes you would require end panels so that it would match the door.
Type of unit Eden Classic
We want to incorporate curved wall units but the height of the curved cornice is 37mm high and the height of the straight cornice is 69mm. How do the two match up?. We need a narrow cornice as the kitchen has a low ceiling.+
It is a typing error on the website the curved cornice is also 69mm when fitted.
Hi – I am looking at the Milbourne Alabaster kitchen. Is it possible to use the lighting pelmet as a cornice to give a more modern look at the top of the cabinets rather than having the angled cornice? I seem to remember this is what we did with our existing kitchen. Thanks
Yes, it is possible to use pelmet as cornice in the Milbourne Alabaster style.
Is this the same answer for the Clayton Alabaster range? I understand that the pelmet is fitted between the two end panels but when fitting pelmet above the cabinet is it mitred or will it also fit between the two end panels if I use the 25mm side? And is the 25mm pelmet sufficient to hide the under unit lighting?
I cant find any close up pictures
Hi, yes it is possible to use the modern square cornice/pelmet in the Clayton range. The length of pelmet needs to be cut to size, so no mitre is on the piece or needs to be cut, just straight cuts, to allow the pelmet to butt up to the end panel.
Hi we are fitting altino white kitchen ,when fitting end base panel’s do we take them to the floor or allow for the Plinth to be fitted Thanks for any Help
Hi, the end panels usually go to the floor.
in the Abbey range of kitchen units, is it necessary to buy the cornice corner pieces for returns on top of the units, or can the cornicing be mitred instead?
In answer to your question, you could mitre the cornice but you would get a rather square/pointed looking corner rather than the rounded corner that you would get with the Abbey cornice corner block.