What is Cornice, Pelmet & Plinth?


Many people ask the question, what is the difference between pelmet, cornice and plinth?

Well, rather than writing down a few hundred words explaining what each piece is, I decided to make a quick diagram that shows you instead.

Click the image below to see a much bigger version of it.

Cornice pelmet & plinth

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34 thoughts on “What is Cornice, Pelmet & Plinth?”
  • Rebecca says:

    I can see from previous questions that the pelmet on the Clayton can be fitted flat, with 25mm showing and screwed from below in to the carcass. But I can’t work out how you attach it if you want 50mm pelmet. Can you advise please.

    October 10, 2023 at 1:09 am
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi Rebecca, this video may be able to help. If you need any further assistance then please give our aftersales team a call and they will try and assist.

      October 10, 2023 at 11:37 am
  • J says:

    Hi, do you have any photos of shaker kitchens without cornices and pelmets, other than the shown one in the 26th Mar 2021 post? Am looking at Linton and trying to decide whether to go for these or not. I’m not having under cabinet lighting so pelmets wouldn’t be necessary for that purpose, so just deciding which look I prefer. Am going for standard wall unit height rather than the taller ones, so trying to figure out also if it’d end up looking too ‘gappy’ between the top of my wall units and the ceiling, without having cornices. Thanks

    June 20, 2023 at 6:28 pm
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi J, there will be other kitchens but it would be a case of looking through them as we have over 3,000 real customer kitchens here.

      June 21, 2023 at 3:39 pm
  • Nichola says:

    I’m looking at the altino range and in your showroom, all the wall units in this range appear to be boxed in rather that using pelmet. What have you used to frame them? Is it door material?

    February 27, 2023 at 7:33 pm
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi Nichola, with regards to boxing the units in, you can use a combination of door material items such as cut down end panels, cornice, pelmet, plinth & filler panels. We have 4 Altino kitchens in our showroom, which one were you looking at in particular?

      February 28, 2023 at 10:47 am
  • Lee Tapper says:

    Just received my kitchen today and was wondering why the 50x25mm pelmet has a groove in it? Also do you fit the pelmet so it’s flush with the door (which would mean I would need to turn it on the 50mm side and have 25mm pelmet) to make it look inframe or does it go flush with the Carcass? Obviously which ever way I do it will determine the end panel size!

    September 28, 2021 at 9:35 pm
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi, it’s personal preference with the pelmet/cornice but with the groove at the back and the 25mm high pelmet position, the end panels will fit perfectly flush on each side, without having to cut the top or bottom. The groove is to conceal any wires from under unit lighting.

      September 29, 2021 at 6:21 am
  • John Foley says:

    In your customer reviews section: https://www.diy-kitchens.com/customer-reviews/inframe/
    Heather from Hertfordshire has a Helmsley Dove Grey kitchen with a protruding plinth in a similar style to skirting. Is this something you sell?

    July 10, 2021 at 9:44 pm
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi, we only sell the recessed plinth, we don’t sell the skirting board i’m afraid.

      July 12, 2021 at 12:03 pm
  • Barry Fuller says:

    I am fitting a new kitchen and want to fit a double oven. My wife is not tall (5ft) so is it possible to invert the cabinet so that the smaller cupboard is at the bottom

    July 7, 2021 at 8:39 am
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi, i’m afraid they only double oven housing unit configurations that we have are on our main site here.

      July 7, 2021 at 9:04 am
  • Laura says:

    I’m thinking of ordering the Clayton Painted kitchen in Cobham blue, is a cornice and pelmet needed for this style? Are they simply aesthetic or do they serve a purpose? (I wouldn’t be having lighting underneath the wall units)

    March 25, 2021 at 5:24 pm
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi, cornice and pelmet are optional and some people choose not to have it and the end result still looks really good (example below).

      No cornice or pelmet example

      If you are having lighting under your units though then it is recommended to have lighting pelmet, so that the wires, connections and the actual lights underneath the unit, are hidden out of sight. This will give you a clean finish and allow you to see the effect from the lighting, as the light is contained by the pelmet and directed below the units, onto the worktop.

      March 26, 2021 at 5:26 am
  • Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m trying to place my kitchen order but not sure how to choose the cornice and pelmet from the available options. What is an “internal” cornice/pelmet, do I need one of those as well? I’m buying the Helmsley range. Thanks.

    October 6, 2019 at 10:16 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi, internal curved items are only needed if using corner units with curved doors. If you are just using normal corner units, the you just need the straight runs of the cornice/pelmet/plinth.

      October 7, 2019 at 9:51 am
  • Charlie Buckley says:

    Is it possible to use a pelmet as a cornice as well, rather than having the ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ cornice types (not sure if there is a difference?) as I find them quite harsh and would prefer something almost like just a cover panel to finish the top?
    This would also be over a curved larder unit, so I would rather use pelmet as you are then able to buy the curved type rather than buy an end panel and have to cut it accurately? If there is another better way to do this I’d be interested to know please!


    May 13, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi Charlie, the modern looking pelmet can be used as cornice as well, there are also curves available in the modern style as well.

      May 13, 2019 at 3:26 pm
      • charlie says:

        Do you have any photo examples of the different options in a real kitchen? thanks

        May 13, 2019 at 5:12 pm
      • Diy Kitchens says:

        Hi Charlie, there are 4 links to examples below, of modern cornice/pelmet being used in customers’ Linwood kitchens. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4

        May 14, 2019 at 9:44 am
      • Charlie Buckley says:

        Hi , the photos you sent don’t look like the pelmet is 50mm high either in pelmet position, or as cornice. Can it therefore be used either way up so the 25mm depth is facing? Sorry for not understanding! Assume its the ‘Linwood Alabaster – Pelmet – 50 x 3000 x 25mm’ that is used?

        September 2, 2019 at 2:59 pm
      • Diy Kitchens says:

        Hi, the modern Linwood alabaster cornice/pelmet is 50 x 3000 x 25mm and can be used with either the 50mm side showing or the 25mm side showing, depending on your preference. For a nice smooth finish, some people put the cornice/pelmet on the front and then put end panels on the side, covering the sides of the cornice/pelmet for a nice smooth, clean finish. Again, this is personal preference. I hope this helps.

        September 3, 2019 at 6:51 am
  • Claire says:

    Should the amount of cornice and pelmet be the same? From what I can see it is the same calculation therefore the quantity needed for both should be the same, however, after using the online planner, I can see that in the order details I have 2 lengths of cornice but only 1 of pelmet. I can’t see why that would be the case and want to make sure I am not missing something before I order.

    September 2, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi Claire, unless you have a flyover, over the oven area where more cornice would be need, the amounts needed would usually be about the same. If you have any questions, the sales team will be able to help on 01977 608 418.

      September 3, 2018 at 7:55 am
  • sana says:

    do you only offer recessed plinths? i was looking to use non recessed plinths (flush) to create more of a freestanding furniture look to our kitchen island.

    April 17, 2018 at 12:52 am
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi Sana, all plinth has the effect of being recessed as the legs are set back on the units to support them. There is no way for us to make this any differently.

      April 17, 2018 at 6:48 am
  • Mike says:

    Hi there. I bought cornice and pelmet for my Luca high gloss kitchen in white. I also bought the curved wall end units, which came with separate curved pelmet and cornice, but was wondering how I attach these to the regular straight cornice without leaving a visible line. I can’t mitre it, should I just glue it and fill the gap? What do you recommend so that I can’t see that join.

    April 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi Mike, unfortunately you will always be able to see the slight joint as this is a separate piece of cornice / pelmet. You would just need to ensure both edges are as straight as possible to give a closer fit.

      April 11, 2018 at 2:16 pm
  • E wilson says:

    I want to buy a pelmet it seems impossible to get to that possibility on this site.

    August 9, 2017 at 1:02 am
  • Simon says:

    I bought the Cornell Classic units, almost everything has been fitted but cornice panels. Could you advise us please, how the cornice panels should be properly fitted. How to do it? Is any video on your website or pictures with instructions or guides?

    July 16, 2015 at 9:50 am
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      There are different style of cornice. Basically they need securing with screws. On the traditional style of cornice there is a flat lip that sits on top of the wall units that you screw through from above. if you do not have enough room at the top of your units to screw down then you can screw up through the carcase but you will see the screw head when opening the cupboard, so be discreet with the screws. An experienced kitchen installer will be able to offer alternative advice depending on your requirements.

      July 16, 2015 at 9:50 am
  • Matt says:

    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?

    July 16, 2015 at 9:40 am
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      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.

      July 16, 2015 at 9:40 am
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