How to Remove a Toe Kick From Base Cabinets

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Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar

  • Hammer

Use a simple claw hammer and a pry bar to remove the toe kick.
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The space between the bottom of your cabinet doors and the floor is covered with a toe kick. The toe kick is often a 1-inch board attaching to the cabinet frame with staples or small brad nails. When replacing the flooring or remodeling your base cabinets, it is often necessary to remove the toe kick. Removing the toe kick from base cabinets is a relatively simple matter of prying the boards away from the cabinet. Some toe kicks have a decorative piece of quarter-round trim on the bottom that hides the bottom edge of the board.


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Step 1

Position the end of the pry bar between the top of the quarter-round molding and the toe kick board. Tap the pry bar with a hammer to loosen the molding from the toe kick. Continue loosening the molding across the entire length and remove it from the toe kick.

Step 2

Find a joint or an end for the toe kick to start prying. Place the straight end of the pry bar between the joint or between the end of the toe kick and the cabinet frame. Tap the end of the pry bar with a hammer to loosen the toe kick board from the cabinet frame.


Step 3

Loosen the toe kick board across its length. Turn the pry bar over and use the curved end of the pry bar to pull the toe kick completely away from the cabinet frame. Use care when removing the toe kick board so you do not scratch the floor with the board or retaining brad nails.


Toe kicks and quarter-round molding are inexpensive. If they become damaged, replace the toe kick and molding with new pieces rather than attempting to reuse the damaged ones. Some base toe kicks also have a decorative toe kick attaching to the front. There are screws that you remove with a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the decorative toe kick to access the base toe kick.


Use care when removing the toe kick and quarter round if you are not replacing flooring. The wood and nails attaching the boards can scratch flooring.


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