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Closet Rod & Shelf Height: a Complete Guide?

A closet is a piece of furniture for day-to-day needs. From a tiny house to a big one, you must have a closet so that you can keep your home tidy, clean and picture-perfect. 

However, if you are building one for yourself you may require instructions and measurements for giving the perfect shape to your decor. The wrong measurement may lead to many complications. 

So, if you are looking for a complete guideline for building a closet, here’s how you can measure the height of the rod and shelves

Closet rod & shelf height

A standard closet may include two levels of hanging rods. As a general guideline, the top rod should be 80 to 82 inches, the lower rod should be around 40 inches and the single rod should be 60 inches up from the ground. The shelf height of a closet should be around 72 to 87 inches above the ground.

Let’s find out the rod and shelf height of the following closets –

Single closet rod height:

Generally a closet shelf is about 72 to 87 inches above the floor. The height may vary according to the users’ preference. The appropriate closet rod height is determined by how you intend to organize this important storage space. 

There are options for choosing single closets or more than one closet. If you may go with a single closet, that would contain a single-rod system with only one tier of hanging space and shoe racks laid over the floor.

For such a closet, 60 inches height is considered suitable for hanging all kinds of attire such as blazers, coats, midi dresses, blouses etc.

Single closet shelf height:

The optimal height for a closet shelf allows you to store anything you need while remaining sufficient to allow you to conveniently reach those items. 

Installing a shelf at a height that requires you to find a step stool or solid chair every time you need a book or your favorite accessory would be troublesome. 

This brings the recommended shelf height between 84 and 87 inches off the ground. This standard height goes with the single closet shelf as well.

Double closet rod height:

Single rod closet often leaves so many unused places in the closet. In this regard, a double rod closet might be useful. 

If you choose to use a double-rod closet system, the height of the rod will vary compared to the single rod system.

In a double rod closet, Install the upper rod 80 inches above the floor and the lower rod 40 inches above the floor. 

This configuration allows you to hang everyday shirts, blouses, blazers, shorts, and folded pants on the lower bar while saving the top rod for less commonly worn long coats and skirts.

Double closet shelf height:

Closet shelf heights are almost similar for all kinds of closets. Around 90 inches above the floor and at least 12 inches below the ceiling is considered standard. 

For two or more shelves, 12 inches differences are standard and the bottom shelf should be at least 16 inches apart from the floor. 

The standard height for closet rod & shelf

Heights for closet rods and shelves vary according to the requirements. If you prefer a single rod closet, the rod is usually mounted around 60 inches above the floor. At such a height, you can hang your short, mid or long-length attire easily. 

But, in a single rod closet, so many places are left unused. In this regard, double rod closets are considered better. In a double rod closet, the upper rod is installed about 80 inches above the floor and the lower rod is installed approximately 40 inches above the floor. 

You can hang everyday shirts, blouses, blazers, shorts, and folded pants in the lower closets and leave your upper closet for long dresses and hardly used clothes. You can also arrange boxes in the higher closet. 

However, the height of the shelf is usually similar for both single and double-rod closets. The height varies according to some factors. Height should be as minimum as you can reach the top of the closet. 

You should also consider the height of the ceiling. Leaving 12 inches below the ceiling is required for better functioning. Inner shelves should be 12 inches apart from each other. 

Two factors that determine closet rod & shelf height

The height of a closet depends on some affecting factors. Users’ comfort and the gap between the floor and ceiling are the most concerning factors to determine closet rod and shelf height. 

Users’ preference and physical attributes: 

The first and foremost factor to determine closet rod and shelf height is the preference of users’. There are people of different heights and they may require closets according to their height. Tall people would prefer higher closets to the short ones. 

Besides, users may have different requirements based on their usage. They may be comfortable using lower closets and vice versa. So, the heights of closets may also vary in this regard. 

Moreover, they may like to use rods in the lower portion of the closets and shelves on the upper side. Rod and shelf height will vary for such preferences.

Therefore, users’ preferences and physical attributes affect the height of the closet rod and shelf.

Height of the ceiling: 

The height of any closet also depends on the height of the ceiling. Low height ceiling can not accommodate a high closet. You need to consider your ceiling height before installing any closet. 

A shelf can be built right above the rod in smaller closets with lower ceilings. This rod is typically installed 68 inches above the floor, therefore the shelf must be installed above that with enough space to fit your clothes while also allowing for easy removal.

So, determine your closet shelves and rod height keeping in mind the height of your ceiling.

How far should the closet rod be from the shelf?

If the shelf in your closet creates an obstruction for the placement of rods, the functionality of the closet will reduce immensely. So, the placement of the closet rod and shelf should be practical to make them more functional. 

There should be no obstacles in accessing the rod and shelves. The arrangements of clothes should be easy and the clothes kept should be taken away easily. Also, the purpose of using the rod should be served well. 

Clothes in the closet should be clean, blemished, and need less ironing.

However, a minimum distance of two inches from the bottom of the shelf to the top of the rod is proven practical for easy keeping and removal of clothes. Without this gap between the shelf and the rod, it will be hard to operate hangers and keep garments in order. 

How to measure closet rod & shelf height? 

For the perfect fitting of the closet in your room, proper measurement is required. As mentioned earlier, 72 to 87 inches are considered the standard height of a closet shelf. 

The rod height varies according to its usage, a single rod closet requires 60 inches and a double rod closet requires 80 inches in total above the ground. 

However, the following procedures should be followed to measure the closet rod and shelf height-

Measure the depth: 

To begin, lay your tape measure horizontally and measure 12 inches from the back wall. This is the closet rod’s optimal depth.

Measure rod height: 

Next, measure 60 inches from the ground up to determine the optimal closet rod height in a single rod closet. For a double rod closet, measure up to 80 inches above the ground for the upper rod and 40 inches above the ground for the lower rod.

The point at which these two measures (12-inch depth and 60/80/40-inch height) connect indicates where the rod should be installed.

Make the alignment: 

Plan to align the bottom of the closet rod with the 60/80/40-inch marking when mounting the rod—this means there should be a full 60/80/40 inches between the rod and the floor once you’ve installed it.

Measure the shelf height: 

Make decisions on the number of shelves and heights. Keeping the shelves 12 inches apart is a standard size. If you want bigger shelves, then adjust the height according to your requirements.

Final Thoughts 

Closet rod and shelf height should be measured cautiously, as it would define the ergonomics around it. The top rod can be located at 82 inches and the lower one can be as low as 40 inches. Shelf height also needs to be between 72 to 87 inches for perfect balance.