A kitchen cabinet consists of a plywood box that has a door on it. If you were to put this cabinet directly on the floor, you can imagine that the door might scrape across the floor. If your house is anything like mine, it would also be picking up mass amounts of dog hair along the way!
A toe kick covers the space that exists between the bottom of the cabinets and the floor. It usually matches the materials of your kitchen cabinets and acts as a filler piece covering the cabinet supports.
It is called a base cabinet “toe kick” because people think that this is the space for your toes to sit when you are standing at a cabinet because they are usually recessed (or set back slightly) from the front face of the cabinet.
I do not think that most people’s toes actually sit in that toe kick when standing at the counter. I have never found that my foot hits the cabinet, but more on that later!
What are the standard dimensions and height of a toe kick?
Most kitchen toe kicks are about 4” – 4.5” tall, but they can vary. In general, standard kitchen boxes are 30” tall, and a standard kitchen counter height is 36”. If the countertop material is about 1-1/2” that leaves about 4.5” for toe kick.
When we were considering our cabinetry design, the cabinet company that we used supplied 4.5” high toe kick material so that is what we based our height on.
What are the different options for toe kick designs for your kitchen design?
There are generally two ways to install toe kicks, either recessed or flush.
Recessed toe kicks are set back about 3″ inches from the cabinet face. This is the most standard style of toe kicks and one you will see most often in kitchens.
Why is this the most common type of toe kick? I believe this is because it is the easiest to install and the most forgiving, so, therefore, the least expensive. A poor fit on recessed toe kicks does not really show under the overhang of the cabinets.