Toekick advice needed

drybeanFebruary 20, 2013

Things are finally coming together in a way that we can see!

Island was put together yesterday, and I'm not sure about what to do here.
This is the side of island, with drawer stack facing out. DW is on the left of cab, at a 90 degree turn.

My gut tells me that the toe kick should be flush with end panel, but DH is worried it will get beat up from not being recessed as a toe kick should.

What do you guys think?

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I think your instinct is right. Where in your layout does this end fall? Is this in the middle of a busy aisle way with lots of corner turning in a shoes-on-from-the-garden house?

I have end panels on all my ends and on the three non-working sides of my island (not pictured here), but we are a shoes off house. They have not gotten one nick or scrape in 15 months.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:11PM
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It is facing the door to the backyard/pool. So a fair amount of traffic. We are a shoes off house too.

I think the concern is not having it recessed under the drawers. He thinks that when one is using the drawers, the bottom non-recessed part will get kicked. They are not everyday drawers-more for serving utensils, placemats, etc.

I'm glad that yours have held up! That gives me hope.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:19PM
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I think you're really fine without a toe kick there. I do use my toe kick in my prep zone. I find my toes under the drawers there while I'm working. I don't sidle up to the other counters as closely. I've never used a toe kick area while opening a drawer. Usually I'm standing back from the drawer to open it.

I've never once wished that my island (which I walk around many, many, many times per day to get into the kitchen) end panels had toe kicks. In fact, I wish I had gone without them in the rest of my kitchen also, except the prep side of the island.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:31PM
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We have almost the exact same situation as you guys (slab doors, natural quartersawn walnut, Berenson finger pulls). But rather than a drawer bank and dishwasher end panel, we have a trash pullout and a sink base. This clash of flush vs. recessed toekick situation doesn't happen when you just use the front and back, but it DOES when you use adjacent sides.

Please excuse the mess:

My solution is to insert a filler under our trash pullout and under the storage cabinets, cut off the same amount from the side of our sink base and trash pullout, then run continuous metallic toekick across the whole stretch of the bottom 4'. It is not done yet (my solo cabinet guy is SLOW).

I don't think the recessed toekick is all that necessary for you unless you make it a prep area. In our case, our pullout isn't in a work area; the main prep areas will be over the island sink (Kohler Stages sink converts your sink to a mise en place prep area), a secondary prep space would be around the corner to the back of the island (over the sit-down bar).

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler Stages Sink/Prep Center

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Incidentally, no one sticks their feet under the toekick in front of a drawer bank. They stand about 12-24" away from the counter depending on how deep inside the drawer you think the item you're removing or putting back is/goes. Unless it also doubles as a prep counter, as I mentioned in my main reply, but most work centers are in front of doors rather than drawers.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:42PM
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I think it will look much better without the recessed toe kick.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Breezy- that pic helps so much, thank you. It's been so long since I had a functioning kitchen that I can't remember when one needs a toe kick area or not ! And I always love seeing pics of your gorgeous kitchen!

David-your kitchen is shaping up really nicely; it's gorgeous!
This area is absolutely not a prep area, so I think I'll be ok with asking my guy to just pull the toe kick flush.

Kaysd-I think you are right. Thanks for the validation.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Next time you walk up to a bank of drawers, look down and see where your toes are. Chances are they're not in the toe kick area at all.

The most seamless look might be to have a new lower drawer front made that extends to almost touch the floor so there isn't another horizontal seam.

You could also explore a toe-kick drawer - I've seen some cabinets with a shallow drawer all the way down there.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:08PM
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