How to Install Toe Kick on Cabinets: A Step-by-Step Guide


    Installing a toe kick on cabinets is an important step in creating a seamless and finished look in your kitchen or bathroom. Not only does it add a clean appearance, but it also provides protection from dirt and debris that can accumulate under the cabinets. If you’re wondering how to install toe kick on cabinets, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to install toe kick on cabinets, including the tools and materials you’ll need to get the job done right.

    To install toe kicks on cabinets, you will need to follow these steps:

    1. Measure the length of the toe kick area: Use a measuring tape to take the length of the toe kick area that needs to be covered by the toe kick.

    2. Cut the toe kick board: Cut the toe kick board based on the measurement taken in step 1. Use a saw to cut the board at the appropriate length.

    3. Attach the toe kick board: Once the board is cut, attach it to the bottom of the cabinets. Use screws to secure the board to the cabinet.

    4. Align the toe kick board: After attaching the board, make sure it’s in line with the other cabinets. You can use shims to adjust the board if necessary.

    5. Finish the installation: Once everything is lined up and adjusted, finish the installation by applying a paint or finish of your choice.

    By following these steps, you can easily install toe kicks on your cabinets and achieve a seamless, finished look.

    Gather Your Materials

    Before beginning any home improvement project, it’s important to take stock of the materials and tools you’ll need to complete the work. When it comes to installing toe kicks on your kitchen cabinets, there are a few key items you should make sure to have on hand before diving in. From measuring and cutting toe kicks to prepping your work area, this guide will walk you through the necessary materials and tools needed to complete the project with ease.

    What You Will Need

    To install toe kicks on cabinets, you will need the following materials and tools:

    • Toe kick material (MDF, wood, or plastic)
    • Corner brackets
    • Screws
    • Drill
    • Jig saw
    • Tape measure
    • Pencil
    • Sandpaper
    • Paint or stain (optional)
    • It is important to have all of these materials handy before starting the project. Make sure you have enough toe kick material to cover the length of your cabinets, plus a little extra for any cuts you may need to make. You also need to make sure that the corner brackets are the appropriate size and style for the type of toe kick material you are using.

      Measuring and Ordering Toe Kicks

      Before starting the installation process, it’s important to measure the length of the cabinets for accurate ordering of toe kick material. Measure the length of the cabinets where the toe kick will be installed. Keep in mind that the length of the cabinets may vary, so measure each one separately for precision.

      When ordering the toe kick material, make sure to have an additional 2-3 inches added to the total length to cover the corners. It’s better to have extra material than not enough. Additionally, it’s important to order the same height material as the cabinet’s base to maintain a seamless and clean look.

      Here’s a list of the materials needed in this step:

      • Tape measure
      • Pencil
      • Toe kick material
      • Cutting The Toe Kicks

        Once you have measured and ordered the appropriate amount of toe kick material, the next step is cutting the material to the correct size. Follow these steps to ensure a proper fit for your cabinets.

        1. Measure the length and height of your cabinets again to ensure accuracy.
        2. Cut your toe kick material to the measured length using a jig saw. Make sure to use a fine-tooth blade to prevent splintering.
        3. Repeat step 2 for each cabinet, making sure to label each piece as you cut it.
        4. If your cabinets have any uneven areas or angles, use sandpaper to smooth the edges of the toe kick material.
        5. By taking the time to measure and cut your toe kick material accurately, you can ensure that it will fit perfectly against your cabinets.

          Preparing Your Work Area and Cabinets

          Now that you have gathered all the necessary materials and tools, it’s time to prepare the work area and cabinets for installation. Ensuring a clean and organized workspace will not only make the installation process smoother but also provide a better end result. In this section, we will go over some simple steps to prepare your work area and cabinets before installing the toe kicks. From cleaning the area to removing cabinet feet, every detail matters to achieve a flawless finish. Let’s get started!

          Cleaning the Area

          Before installing toe kicks on your kitchen cabinets, it’s essential to prepare the work area properly. Start by cleaning the underside of your cabinets to ensure there’s no dirt, dust, or debris left. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the area thoroughly.

          After cleaning the area, you’ll want to ensure it is dry before continuing with the installation process. Use a dry cloth to wipe the area down or let it air dry for a few minutes. Any excess moisture can affect the adhesive’s effectiveness, which will prevent the toe kick from staying in place.

          Here are the steps for cleaning the area:

          • Gather a damp cloth or sponge.
          • Clean the underside of your cabinets thoroughly.
          • Wipe the area dry with a clean cloth or let it air dry for a few minutes.
          • Cleaning your work area before installation can prevent any complications and make for a smoother installation process.

            Removing Cabinet Feet

            To install toe kicks on kitchen cabinets, you need to remove the cabinet feet first. This will not only provide a level surface but also give a cleaner look to the bottom of the cabinets. Here are the steps to removing cabinet feet:

            1. Locate the cabinet feet and use a screwdriver or drill to remove the screws that attach them to the cabinets.
            2. Gently lift each cabinet by the bottom and remove the feet one by one.
            3. Once all feet are removed, place the cabinets back in their original position.
            4. Removing cabinet feet is a simple task that can be done in a matter of minutes. It will provide a more streamlined look to the kitchen cabinets and improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the kitchen.

              Installation Process

              Now that you have gathered your materials and prepared your work area, it’s time to move on to the installation process of toe kicks on your kitchen cabinets. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the measuring and marking of the area, installing corner brackets, and attaching the toe kick. With careful attention to detail and a steady hand, you can quickly and easily give your kitchen cabinets a finished look that will make a big difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen. So, let’s get started!

              Measuring and Marking the Area

              To ensure a flawless installation process, accurately measuring and marking the area where the toe kick will go is crucial. Here are the steps to follow:

              1. Measure the width of the cabinet, and subtract 1/8″ to allow for expansion of the toe kick material.

              2. Mark the center of the cabinet with a pencil, and use a level to create a straight line across the cabinet base where the toe kick will be installed.

              3. Mark the location for the corner brackets based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, these are installed about 3 inches from the corners of the cabinet, and approximately every 24 inches along the length of the cabinet.

              4. Double-check your measurements and markings before proceeding to the installation process.

              With these steps, you can be sure that your toe kick will fit perfectly and look professional.

              Installing Corner Brackets

              Once you have measured and marked the area, it’s time to install the corner brackets. Follow these steps:

              • Use a drill to make a pilot hole for each bracket on the marked locations.
              • Attach the brackets to the cabinet using screws.
              • Ensure that the brackets are level and secure. Adjust if necessary.
              • Make sure to double-check the measurements and bracket locations before installing to ensure accurate placement.

                After installing corner brackets, it’s time to attach the toe kick. Here’s how to do it:

                • Place the toe kick material in front of the cabinet with the label facing down.
                • Align the toe kick with the edge of the cabinet and press it firmly against the corner brackets.
                • Use screws to attach the toe kick to the corner brackets, leaving room for expansion and contraction.
                • Repeat the process for each cabinet.
                • Ensure that the toe kick is securely attached, and make sure that it fits snugly against the corner brackets to avoid any gaps.

                  Attaching Toe Kick

                  1. Align the toe kick with the cabinet edge and corner brackets, making sure it fits securely over the brackets.

                  2. Pre-drill holes through the toe kick into the bracket using a drill and a bit the same size as the screws.

                  3. Secure the toe kick with screws, starting in the middle and working your way out to the ends.

                  4. Make sure the screws are flush with the surface of the toe kick.

                  It’s important to note that you should leave a small gap at each end of the toe kick to allow for expansion. This gap can be filled with a flexible caulk or trim once the installation is complete.

                  Finishing Touches

                  Now that your toe kicks are installed, it’s time to add those final touches that will make your kitchen look polished and professional. These finishing steps not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your new toe kicks, but they also protect the underlying materials from wear and tear. Here’s what you need to know about trimming and sanding the toe kicks, as well as painting or staining them to match your kitchen’s style.

                  Trimming and Sanding the Toe Kick

                  After attaching the toe kick to your kitchen cabinets, it’s time to trim and sand it. Trimming the toe kick will give it a sleek and uniform look, while sanding will help to remove rough edges and ensure a smooth finish.

                  To trim the toe kick, mark the excess material with a pencil and cut along the line with a jigsaw. Sand the edges with sandpaper to smooth any rough spots or uneven areas.

                  When sanding the toe kick, it’s important to start with a coarse-grit sandpaper and work your way to a finer grit. This will help to remove any imperfections or rough spots in the wood. Wipe the toe kick with a clean cloth to remove any dust or debris before proceeding to the next step.

                  Trimming and sanding the toe kick may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen cabinets. With these simple steps, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will last for years to come.

                  Painting or Staining

                  Painting or Staining

                  Giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint or stain can make them look brand new. Here are the steps to follow for a successful painting or staining project:

                  • Sand the surface of the toe kick with fine-grit sandpaper.
                  • Use a clean cloth to remove any dust particles after sanding.
                  • Apply a coat of primer and let it dry completely before painting. If you’re staining, skip this step.
                  • Apply paint or stain using a brush or roller. Two coats are usually sufficient but add more if needed.
                  • Let the paint/stain dry completely before adding a second coat.
                  • Finish off with a clear coat of polyurethane to protect the surface and boost its luster and durability.

                  Remember to choose a paint/stain that’s compatible with the material used for the toe kick in your kitchen. For example, oil-based paints work well on wood but not on metals or laminates.


                  Do you install toe kicks before or after flooring?

                  It is recommended to install toe kicks before flooring. This allows for a clean and seamless finish between your flooring and cabinets. It also ensures that your flooring is properly installed all the way up to the bottom of your cabinets.

                  Do you glue or nail toe kicks?

                  Both options are available, but gluing is the most common method used for toe kicks installation. Glue is applied to the back of the toe kick, and it is pressed firmly against the cabinet base. A few finish nails can also be used to reinforce the joint.

                  How do you attach kickboards to cabinets?

                  There are a few steps to attaching kickboards to cabinets, but it is a fairly simple process. You will need a drill, screws, and measuring tape. Here’s how to do it:

                  1. Measure the length between the two front corners of the cabinets where the kickboard will be attached.

                  2. Cut the kickboard to the measured length using a saw.

                  3. Place the kickboard in front of the cabinets and align it with the two front corners.

                  4. Drill a hole in each corner of the kickboard using the drill.

                  5. Insert a screw into each hole and tighten them with a screwdriver.

                  6. Continue adding screws down the length of the kickboard, spacing them out evenly.

                  7. Trim any excess material from the sides of the kickboard if necessary.

                  And that’s it! Your kickboard is now securely attached to your cabinets.

                  How do you install a toe kick on European cabinets?

                  To install a toe kick on European cabinets, you will need a few tools including a level, measuring tape, drill with drill bits, screws, and brackets or clips.

                  1. Measure the length of the base cabinet and cut the toe kick to the appropriate length.

                  2. Hold the toe kick up to the cabinet and mark where the brackets or clips will go.

                  3. Pre-drill holes into the cabinet and attach brackets or clips according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

                  4. Hold the toe kick in place and screw into the brackets or clips.

                  5. Adjust the toe kick as needed to ensure it is level and secure.


                  In conclusion, installing toe kicks on kitchen cabinets is a simple DIY project that can enhance the appearance of your kitchen. Gathering the necessary materials and tools, measuring and ordering toe kicks, cutting the material, preparing the work area and cabinets, installing the brackets, and attaching the toe kick are the steps involved in completing this project. With careful attention to detail and accurate measurements, you can achieve a sleek and modern look for your kitchen cabinets.

                  Once you have completed the installation process of the toe kicks, it is time for the finishing touches. Trimming and sanding the toe kicks is necessary to remove rough spots and create a professional-looking finish. Painting or staining the toe kicks is a great way to match the kitchen’s style, and the clear coat of polyurethane ensures durability. Overall, this project gives a polished look to your kitchen cabinets and enhances the beauty of your home. We hope this guide helps you install toe kicks on cabinets effortlessly.