Dining Kitchen

One Step Above: How to Install IKEA Toe Kicks

Our Experts Explain the Purpose and Steps to Using IKEA Toe Kicks

Level floors are rare… even in new homes. Most homeowners don’t discover this until they start installing base cabinets in their kitchen. Surprise!

The dishwasher you bought won’t fit under the pre-cut countertop! Or, there’s a big gap between the edge of the counter and the end of the cabinets.

All is not lost. Enter the IKEA toe kick.

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Today we’ll review tips for installing IKEA toe kicks so nobody but you will know about the slope of the floor in your kitchen.

Quick Facts About IKEA Toe Kicks and Plinths in Your Kitchen

There are two kinds of toe kicks: integrated, and not integrated.

IKEA does not offer integrated toe kicks, also known as plinths, so you can forget about them for now. Instead, the base kitchen cabinets use adjustable legs you attach to the bottom of the cabinets.

IKEA plinth seen from below.

The good news:

  • The legs can be adjusted individually to level the cabinets. Great for those uneven floors!
  • Installing the IKEA toe kicks is quick and easy, because the toe kick is attached to the legs with clips.

The not-so-good news:

  • Because they’re attached with clips, the toe-kicks can pop off if accidentally banged too hard with a shoe, broom, or mop.

That’s not really all that bad. Consider it IKEA’s way of telling you to take it easy.

7 Tips for Easily Installing IKEA Toe Kicks in Your Kitchen

You’ll notice these are things you should do before you ever actually install the toe kick.

1. Aim for Standard Countertop Height of 36”

Bear in mind: standard countertop height is 36″ above the finish floor (AFF). And yet, if the floor is sloped, there will only be one point where the countertop will be exactly 36″ AFF.

2. Make Sure Your Countertop Clears the Dishwasher

Your dishwasher can make or break your IKEA kitchen design. Believe it or not, one of the most critical considerations is the dishwasher. Your countertop must clear the dishwasher! Most dishwasher heights can be adjusted down to a minimum of 34″ so account for this when measuring. (Read our helpful post on where to place the dishwasher.)

3. Account for Countertop Thickness

Pay attention to the thickness of the countertop. The most common sizes are 1 1/4″ & 1 1/2″ depending on the material and construction. (Read our helpful post on how to choose a countertop for your IKEA kitchen.)

4. Note the Clearance Height if Using a Slide-in Range

Installing a slide-in range? Not so fast. Slide-in ranges like the NUTID are integrated with the countertop, so again, figure out the clearance height needed before you ever start installing cabinets. The installation manual will tell you what you need to know.

5. Standalone Range? No Problem

Don’t sweat a standalone range, however. A conventional range like the LAGAN is much less of an issue because it’s independent of the kitchen cabinets and countertop.

6. Install Toe Kick After Cabinet & Flooring

Once the cabinets are installed and the floor is finished, you can add the pre-finished 1/4″ IKEA plinth.

7. Measure and Cut

Measure the kick height at each end of the cabinet run and mark a cutline near the bottom edge.

Tip #7 is covered in this video:

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