How to Install a Toe Kick to Kitchen Cabinets

Updated February 21, 2017

A toe kick or a toe kick plate protects the bottom edges of your cabinets from scuffs or kicks when people are working near them. It fits in the area between the bottom of your cabinets and the kitchen floor and can match your cabinets or counters. Some cabinet manufacturers will supply stock toe kick plate that you cut to fit your toe kick area. Installing a toe kick to kitchen cabinets is fairly straightforward and takes a couple hours.

Measure the toe kick runs if the manufacturer included them with your cabinets. Measure the toe kick area between the bottom of your kitchen cabinets and the floor, and note where the toe kick will have to be cut down or caulked up to fit the area.

Use a radial arm saw to cut the longer runs of toe kick from the supply that came with your cabinets. Then cut any shorter runs of toe kick that you may need. You also can buy 1/4-inch plywood and cut and stain it to fit the toe kick area.

Dry fit the toe kick pieces to the toe kick area beneath the cabinets to check their fit. Scribe them or cut them down with a router to fit the toe kick area if they do not fit properly.

Snip open a tube of coloured cabinet caulking and load it into a caulking gun. Apply caulking to the cabinet runner area and press the toe kick into place. Fill any gaps with caulking.

Install any other toe kick trim pieces, such as L-mouldings, by applying caulking to the trim area and pushing the trim pieces into place.


You will not need to nail the toe kick in place if you have measured and cut it correctly; the caulking should be enough to hold it in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Radial arm saw
  • Router
  • Scissors
  • Coloured cabinet caulking
  • Caulking gun
  • L-mouldings
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About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.