Island toe kick and bracket feet

chris_cwodSeptember 7, 2012


We are putting in a rather skinny island in our kitchen (24" cabinets, 6 feet long) and plan to put a recessed toe kick all around the island. We've been told that would be the most practical, easy to clean, and ergonomic (it will become our main prep area and we have a toddler). However, I'm not sure I want a "floating" look for the island. The island will be black with cream granite, which is different from the rest of the kitchen, so we prefer that it look more furniture-like.

So we're considering putting decorative bracket feet on the corners, along with the toe kick all around. The hope is that it will be both practical and have the look we want.

Has anyone done this and can share some pictures of how it looks? I'd love to see some close-ups as well as the overall look. Or any concerns/considerations we might not have thought of?

Also, we plan to do faux doors on 3 sides of the island that don't have cabinets. Is there any other molding we'd need to add if we're using bracket feet? Or do we literally just stick them on the corners and that's it?

Thanks very much for your help!

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Chris - your island sounds very similar to what we are planning in terms of size. I have seen photos of narrow islands with a toe kick inset all around, and I think it looks too skinny.

We are planning on having a toekick recess on one side because it will be the main prep area and I will stand facing it a good bit there, but instead of feet like you are planning, the sides and the front will have molding along the entire area.

If you do a search on, you'll see a lot of different style islands...I'm thinking that a search for furniture style island would result in a good number of islands like what you are considering.

Here's one as an example:

Contemporary Kitchen design by Milwaukee Building Supplies A Fillinger Inc

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:24PM
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I would suggest using base molding all the way around rather than a recessed toekick. It gives it a much more substantial look, and 99% of the time, you do not miss the recess when standing at the island. You could add a posts at the four corners, similar to this pic if you want to dress it up a bit more.

BTW, it is an absolute MUST to be sure to securely fasten your island properly to the subfloor. Something that long and skinny can be a tipping hazard when it's topped with a heavy counter.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:55AM
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I think we're going to have an island that's an identical size, so I'm curious to see what you come up with. : )

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Look at Leela4's island. I think it is the 8th post in the thread. Long, skinny "floating" island. It looks great, IMO.

Here is a link that might be useful: island thread

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:30AM
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I also have a small island - about 27x71 finished countertop. I wanted the recessed toe kick because I, personally, find it much more comfortable to stand closer to than an island, or piece of furniture, which has deco molding at its base.

It's difficult to get far enough away to get a great picture, but here you can see the legs...I'd have to lay on the floor to take a pic of the toe kick.

In that pic you can see back doors. I originally intended to have faux doors, but since the cabs were custom, the cab maker shortened the cab depth on the other side and made shallow cabs -slightly less than 4" deep, to create this:

There are 3 like this across the back of the island which open with touch latches. The latches are fussier than a handle or knob, but it makes those cabs invisible.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Love those shallow spice shelves! If you do opt for "feet" for your island, I would suggest using velcro to attach them. It is a LOT easier to remove those feet and clean around them. Mopping the floor with them in place leaves them spattered and yucky and you never get in around behind them easily unless you are on your knees with a microfiber cloth. I also echo the need to securely fasten the island to your floor as a safety measure. And don't forget that you are required to have electrical outlets on it as another safety measure.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 2:08PM
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Thank you all for the input - it's so helpful!

I will definitely try a search on Houzz for furniture style islands, good idea. That site is so addictive!

I love the look of molding all around the island base (it was initially what we thought we'd do), it's just that I've read so much about it being hard leaning over to prep, plus my husband has a bad back, so we don't want to chance it.

Do you think it would look alright to have the molding just on the ends of the island but a recessed toekick on the longer sides? The ends are so short we probably wouldn't be standing there, so the toekick wouldn't be as necessary. So that might be another possible option instead of (or in addition to?) feet.

Thanks for the tips on making sure the island is well secured. We will definitely talk with our kitchen designer about this to make sure they are installed securely and to ask more about how they do this.

Helene - those feet are almost exactly like one of the options we're considering. It's nice to see how they look on an actual island. And I love the use of the shallow cabinets for spice racks.

Velcro on the feet for easier cleaning - brilliant!

If anyone else has more pictures of bracket feet styles/examples, I'd really like to see them! It seems as if many pictures don't really show the feet in detail (obviously it's not the main focus of the kitchen, but it's definitely my focus right now so it would be nice to see more of them!).

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Chris - we're planning on molding on the 3 sides and a recessed toekick on just the side that doesn't show so much to traffic (and this is my prep area). I have back issues as well, so I don't want to need to lean in, so the toekick will be on the side where I will do 99% of my prep. The side where the toekick will be isn't going to be seen much, but I don't know that I'd like having molding on the two short sides and then toekicks on the long sides. And I don't think that I would like the looks of the combo of molding on the short sides and then feet on the long (they would only be partial). It might look okay, but as I'm visualizing them, I don't think it would be to my liking.

In the thread that onedogedie posted with Leela's island - one of the things that you don't see so much is the full island from different angles to see how much it appears to be floating. Personally, when I saw some of those type on houzz, I knew right away that I wouldn't like it in our home. I do think that having the feet to where it is furniture-like helps "ground" it a bit to keep ones with the recessed toekick looking like they are floating. So, if you aren't going with molding, I would try the feet - assuming that look will compliment the style of your cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:43PM
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