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Thread: toe kicks...attached or separate

  1. #1
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    toe kicks...attached or separate

    well, i was checking out doug's montana ent center and in the thread was a mention of using a separate toe kick. something i have thought of doing, but never got the nerve to try on one of my job's.

    i now use "attached" kicks, cut out of the plywood side that runs the full length of the side of the cabinet.

    about 95% of the time i am doing "furniture style" cabinets where the stiles on the ends run to the floor and the kick has a decorative cutout or something.

    so my question is, which do you use when building cabinets, any kind of cabinets, high dollar kitchens or just shop cabs.

    why do you use that style?

    have you tried both and settled on one?

    i'll give my answer in the next post

    chris

  2. #2
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    ok, so as i said i do attached kicks. mainly cause it's all i have ever known.

    does the idea of being able to level a kick section first and not a heavy cabinet sound good to me, heck yes it does. but there are complications for me.

    90% of my cabinets have raised panel ends, i like to run my panels all the way to the floor. and most times the outer stiles run all the way down as well. so how would you handle this with a seperate kick?

    i have never tried it so i can't say i don't like to do it. i have just never gotten past that initial fear of getting halfway through the job and realizing i made more work for myself. which usually happens anyway but i try to avoid it if i can.

    thanks
    chris

  3. #3
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    For kitchen cabinets I've done I've done the same as you and done the cut-out and added a strip in. On the last house we built for my parents we did did some additional drawers in the kickboard space instead as well as reversing the drawers with the cabinet drawers. My mom found it easier to get to the back of the cabinets with the doors being on top. Furniture pieces are usually decorative for me, what ever makes the piece look balanced, which make require a decorative cut-out.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    Guess I should have read Doug's thread first, but sounds like a good idea. Have seen it done on some of the DIY shows. Makes sense to be able to level it , especially if the floor in the back is off by a bit and you have a heavy top to install. Most cabinets I've done just get shimmed on the front and I'll just raise the back as needed and screw it into the studs through the rear top support.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
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    Chris have you ever seen the European styled kitchen cabinets from Ikea?

    They have adjustable legs with an add on "plinth" (aka toe kick) as they call it...

    I've done a few cabs in the past and always used traditional methods, shim the bases and install the kicks last but the adjustable leg sets look kind of interesting
    --------------
    Cheers! - Jim

  6. #6
    Toe kicks are kind of interesting to me in that I really don't like them. The space seems to get all messy and its hard to clean. Even in the best of homes the toe kick area is a place that is within sight, yet so hard to clean that it always looks drabby, dirty and messy. So I don't use them in my cabinets.

    What I do instead is cantilever the counter top out more. This allows two things. First it allows room for the feet along the entire height of the cabinet instead of just a small dingy area at the bottom. And second it allows food and crumbs to be wiped up into the hand and whatnot easily because of the extra room.

    This poses two additional problem however. The first is drawer space when using top drawers (drawers mounted near the work surface). Because the cantilevered counter top sticks out more, this leaves you less room to put your hand into the drawer. You certainly will need full extension slides. The other thing it does it change the cabinet dimensions. You will either have to make non standard with counter tops, or make your cabinets not as deep as standard cabinets.

    When I made my kitchen counter tops (a self-designed timber-frame style for my country style home), I used the cantilevered counter top. I did lose some room getting into my drawers but in 4 years or so it has never been a real issue. The truth is I love not having a small toe kick area space that gets all dirty and nasty. Also, wiping down the counter top surface is easy with so much room out in front in which to place a hand and catch the crumbs and whatnot.

    PS I am not a big fan of upper cabinets either, but that is a separate thread

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
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    darren, where does she store her silverware, surely not on the bottom drawer. i go into my silverware drawer 5 times a day. that's alot of bending over.



    jim, i have seen those and they look cool. but once again i guess i am just stubborn. but i tell ya, when i'm trying to level a set of cabinets in a corner that are 8' long in each direction. i am wishing i wasn't so stubborn.

    travis, i have seen someone recently do what you did but without the counter extension. i guess after awhile i could get used to it like that. it's just one of those things that looks odd to me, not bad mind you, just different, cause i ain't used to it. but i am sure people could say my work looks odd too. i would only do one like that if the customer asked me to.

  8. #8
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    Hi Chris

    I do the separate toe kick because it just seems easier too me. I use pocket screws to fasten them together with shop scrap that's just laying around. It's definitely easier to level them first, then set you boxes on top. I build cabinets as boxes and then use an applied raised panel end too. I have a toe kick on the end of the cabinet as well.

    I'm just getting started on a new job and I will see if I can take some pics of the install. This client wants a euro look and the contractor wants face frames so it will be interesting to design. I think there is only one open end so I will try and show how I handle it.

    Doug

  9. #9
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    doug, i figured that was how you were handling it.

    i wonder, as i do sometimes, if i were to build a cabinet just like normal, but leave the toe kick off, so there is nothing below, keep the raised panel going to the floor, and the stile also, build a separate toe kick, level it, then set the box on top. the panel and stile may not touch the floor if i had to raise the toekick to level it, but then if it was all one unit then it wouldn't touch that way either. this way all shims would be hidden and i wouldn't have to snap them off after leveling.

    i guess it's something to think about. but then i could try those leveling legs too and attach a toe kick after like jim said.

    too many options really. maybe if things slow down i can try something new. maybe i'll try it on some shop cabs, if i ever get to move in

    chris

  10. #10
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    Chris if you ever do any frameless cabinets a separate toe kick works great. Because you build boxes and flush out all the edges ......much easier.

    I was wondering how you worked the finished end panel if you had to shim the cabinets, then you would have a gap. This is something I'm going to figure out on this next job because at the end panel there is wainscoting that has to wrap around the cabinet on a half wall.

    You nailed it when you said," I wonder" Custom cabinets have a huge thought and planning process. It's really hard to just build boxes and go. There are way too many variables to contend with. Each kitchen has different situations that have to be handled separately. The same goes with toe kicks

    Doug

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