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What is a Toe Kick For?

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Illustration of a base cabinet toe kick.

Illustration of a base cabinet toe kick.

Chris Adams, copyright 2008, Licensed to About.com
Question: What is a Toe Kick For?
Apart from the kitchen work triangle, a toe kick may be the most ergonomic and important element in your kitchen design. Even outside of a kitchen, a toe kick is vital to any cabinet that sits on the floor.
Answer: A toe kick is a recess at the bottom of a base cabinet. It provides a recess for your feet so you can get close to the counter top without losing your balance. If you do not think it is that important try standing with your toes against a wall.

Even if you do not typically put your feet into the toe kicks recess you still need it. After a couple of times bumping into the cabinet without a toe kick you will start standing farther back. That means leaning over more and therefore straining your back, shoulders and arms and generally making things uncomfortable for yourself.

If you need further convincing of the importance of a toe kick, then place a board across or box inside the toe kick in your kitchen or bathroom, thereby eliminating the toe kick. Try it for a week. You will probably take the blocking out within two days.

Even with a toe kick you can still have problems. If your toe kick dimensions are wrong you should consider modifying the cabinets to to fix the situations.

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