My kitchen is next an exterior wall of my house. Unfortunately there is a constant flow of cold air coming from underneath the cabinets into the kitchen itself.

Here is a picture of the cabinets:

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After taking a closer look, I realized that there is a 1" gap underneath the cabinets that seemed to be the source of the issue:

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My guess is that the gap was left there because of the vent, but it's making the floor (and that whole area of the home) very chilly.

What is the best way to safely fill the gap (given the nearby vent) and prevent the flow of cold air?

  • Is the room below the kitchen heated? Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 20:52
  • since nobody can see it, i would just use a can of "great stuff" expandable foam
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 4:35
  • @PlatinumGoose actually, no. i never thought about it. the room beneath it is the laundry room and it's not heated at all... Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 21:15
  • You may want to take a look in the laundry room and see if there are any gaps that can allow the air to leak to the kitchen. Common places would be where the ducts, water pipes and electric go up through the floor. If that's were it's coming from it would be better to seal these first and if it doesn't solve it then seal the cabinet. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


Usually cabinet makers don't try to seal the gap between the toekick and the cabinet box. What's most likely happening is there is an opening in your drywall behind the cabinets for plumbing or electrical that the installers did not seal, and that is your source of cold air.

Since getting to that is near impossible (without dismantling the cabinets) your're going to have to settle for plugging the gap. Maybe some fiberglass cut to fit, and some plastic tape to seal. The space under that cabinets may run the whole length of the assembly. It will be a kludge no matter what. Just make it look semi-reasonable.

That register; is it a return or a supply? A return may just come up in the floor, and they cut the toekick to provide flow. A supply should be ducted to the register cover.

  • I agree, but some investigation of the cabinet plumbing penetrations might confirm. Maybe pull out any trim rings and see if there's air pressure there, too.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 20:52
  • It's a supply. And yes the space under the cabinets runs the whole length of the cabinets throughout that section of the kitchen. I don't really care so much how it looks since it's almost completely hidden from view. Also thanks to one of the other comments, I realized the room underneath the cabinets isn't heated. Does that change your answer or still you'd use fiberglass + plastic tape for sealing? Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 21:19
  • 1
    Well fiberglass would help reduce the flow. Sealing the gap air tight might be difficult, and maybe not necessary, if you just want to reduce the draft. If were possible to tack a thin piece of trim to the bottom that covers most of the gap, that should reduce the draft to hard to detect. Maybe some caulk. It's hard to tell from the angles how difficult that would be.
    – DaveM
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 14:32

Thanks for photos. we were going crazy, especially when the outside temps dropped into the teens. we shaped a cheap foam noodle - the ones with the hole down the middle, to fit the space. We used one of those serrated bread knives. Using the noodles with a hole in the middle, the piece you cut out has a little arch to it. Make it a little larger than the space and squeeze it in. shaped the right way, it doesn't show and it's a nice fit. screw up the shape? it's cheap and easy to give it another try. Accidentally launch it into the space under the cabinet? leave it. it's not bio-degradable and might even help stop the air flow. We've never figured out where the air is coming from, but it doesn't come into the kitchen anymore.

BTW, they come in colors, tho they might be a little tough to find in the winter.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 21:53

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