Show me how you cover up your kickplates on paneled appliances

athensmomof3August 25, 2011

We are paneling many of our appliances. Some are fully integrated like the SZ fridge, others are panel ready (like the KA dishwashers that we are deepening the counters to make flush, the KA fridge/freezer drawers, and the icemaker). I presume the KA fridge and freezer have a vent in the kickplate. I don't think the dishwasher does but not sure.

We talked today about making the toe kick removable on the runs where the appliances are integrated (like using velcro or something), and either routing in a vent or doing something like the below link, where it looks like a KA fridge drawer vent was made using radiator covering recessed into the toe kick.

Any other options?

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You will want to be careful to ensure adequate airflow if you replace the stock kickplate vent or cover it with another layer. The vents in the picture actually look a little constricted to me. Theoretically, if the fridge breaks for lack of ventilation they could refuse to warrant it if the vents are too small...though I suppose you could always remove the extra layer before the repairman comes and plead ignorance.

Anyway, two other options: (1) I don't know whether the Kitchenaid grills are metal or plastic, but either way they are usually paintable to match the other areas of the toekick. It would still be obviously a grill, however, and the knob would be visable. (2) You can retain (and possibly paint) the original grill, and at the front of the toekick put in fake furniture-style legs and optionally a partial plinth (attached with velcro). Since it's going to look a little different whatever you do, this can make a lot of sense. With the partial plinth and legs in front, most people won't notice the grill unless they are on floor level (especially if it is painted to match the floor, rather than the rest of the toekick). I did a quick search for picture of this approach, and found one in the attached recentish post from gardenweb member jm_seattle.

Of course, if you want to avoid the issue entirely you can get the Subzero drawers instead - they don't have a visible grill at all, looks like the rest of your toekick.

For the dishwasher, you don't need a vent but most will leave a small gap at the bottom just so any leak is caught quickly - instead of building up and causing damage hidden behind the toekick, it would theoretically run out the gap and you would notice it sooner. Other than that, I think pretty much everybody just uses a piece of matching toekick trim velcroed on.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fake Legs Toekick w/ vent

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:45PM
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Fori is not pleased

Doesn't help since you've got a different dishwasher, but mine has (oops, had--I moved...) a matching cabinetry toekick. It's a F&P drawer dishwasher and the toekick comes out with the lower drawer so there is a seam/crack on both sides. Some folks just velcro on a toekick. I'm surprised integrated appliances don't have accommodations for toekick matching.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:01PM
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That is the problem fori - we are doing panel ready appliances for the most part. The only really integrated one is the SZ fridge. We decided against the fully integrated dishwashers for several reasons (expense, non standard size (as relates to Bosch), concerns because I have never had one before, etc.). We also need 2 dishwashers, so the expense is doubled. We are doing a high end KA and a mid range KA for quite a bit less (the dealer cut a bunch of money off the retail for the KA) than a low range and mid range Bosch. The Mieles were out of budget as we are refusing to go over budget intentionally in any area and that would have kicked us over. Same with the SZ drawers - over budget. Our builder swears he has fully integrated KA dishwashers multiple times - just takes extremely close attention to detail to be sure the countertops are made deep enough to accomodate the dishwasher and panel so the panel is flush. The toe kick he said he has routed out air vents in the past but I don't think that looks as nice, and the fridge drawers are in a pretty visible place (icemaker and dishwasher are either on the back of the island or hidden by the island on either side of the sink).

The panel ready stuff does not have an integrated toe kick but the picture I posted shows it can be made to be integrated.

jsceva - I had saved that picture for another reason (hiding a toekick vent) but that wouldn't work on our dishwashers as they are on either side of our sink which will be bumped out with furniture legs. It might work on the KA fridge/freezer drawers but I think you can overdo those sorts of legs so I was trying to use them only on the bumped out rangetop area and the sink area.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:11AM
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Fori is not pleased

Is the kitchen arranged in such a manner that the toekicks will even show? I had a black one on my white dishwasher for some time awaiting adjustments and nobody could tell because it was a galley kitchen and you'd have to sit on the floor to view it. In general, even in a more open kitchen, they aren't that obvious.

Is your cabinetry painted or stained? Could they just be painted to match? Kitchen style matters too--the grill on the photo above looks very nice but would look silly in a modern kitchen.

I fear you may have to give in and let your appliances be appliances.... :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:37AM
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