odd-shaped cabinet into a
house. A cabinet that is near
ceiling height cannot be tipped
into position with a toe kick.
However, with the toe kick off,
you can bring it in, stand it up
and place it on the toe kick.
Some kitchen base cabinets
can make it through the door
only with the toe kick off. This is
often the case with kitchen corner cabinets housing lazy
When it comes to the construction of a toe kick, there are
a couple size considerations.
The height is usually about 3
inches, which allows enough
room for toes to fit under. The
toe kick must be shallower than
the cabinet— 3 inches of set-back for base cabinets and less
for shallow cabinets. A bookcase, for example, may be only
3/4-inch recessed to provide
We attached the toe kicks to the
cabinets with screws through the
BACK PANEL ADVICE
It’s much more common to use a thinner piece of material for a cabinet back panel for a couple of reasons. For
example, thin plywood is less expensive and takes up less storage space on the interior of the cabinet.
However, there are advantages to using 3/4-inch thick material as the cabinet backs. Thick plywood eliminates the
need to make rabbet cuts in the side, top and bottom panels. These are necessary for thin backs because they cannot
be nailed through the edges. The thicker back panels allowed us to use the cabinets out in an open room as room
dividers. Additionally, the use of 3/4-inch back panels meant we could eliminate cabinet strong-backs or cleats to
anchor the cabinets to wall studs.
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