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We got out cabinets installed and the only thing missing are the toe kicks.

Sounds like something “simple” however, both of our runs are longer then a single toe kick board. The board they provided is really thin, about 1/4".

I'm wondering how people join these together. Since they are too thin it doesn’t look like a 45% cut - for overlapping - is an option. Just having them side by side will leave a very noticeable line in between them specially because they are white. Is there a magic to make it (almost) seamless? Or... maybe the "very noticeable" joint was always there before in the old cabinets and I just never noticed it?

My other concern:

Is 1/4" too thin? Should this be used more like a skin for a thicker unfinished toe kick such as a 1/2 plywood board?

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  • That looks a lot like drywall in your second picture, is that what it is? Drywall doesn't seem to me to be the appropriate material for a toe kick (since it's fairly fragile and an actual toe-kick would crack it). I would think you'd want some 1x wood trim material for down there. If you do go with the drywall, you would hide that very noticeable gap with joint compound and tape, but that's going to be a very difficult joint to finish. Also, there's no real way to do a lap joint (your 45° overlap) with drywall. – FreeMan Apr 1 at 18:18
  • @FreeMan this is not drywall, this is the finished 1/4" toe kicks they gave us. – Ebrito Apr 1 at 18:34
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Don't join Them

Well the best option is to only have one kickboard. Looking at yours I would just throw them away. For kickboards I use 1x and I use either pine or Azek. That is the area of the kitchen that has the most chance for water damage so don't use plywood or something like that. MDF would be your worst choice (isn't it the worst choice for almost anything).

If you do... do it with style

The other option and just used this for the toekick on a rather big island is a rosette. If you center this it becomes a design element not a stop-gap solution. I used something very similar to this - link. Note that rosettes are often thick... So you may have to plane the back. I usually put the toekicks next to the rosette. You will not be able to do that if the boards you have are as thin as you described.

Also my suggestions are based on the other materials being used... Your cabinets look really nice. Throw those toe kicks away and go with a long piece of pine or azek (any pvc 1x6). If you need to rip the 1x6 put the ripped edge on the top - no one will ever see it.

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I would simply cut the toe kick so that the butt joins occur where two cabinets join.

Then, I would find an appropriate piece of moulding to cover the joins.

The simplest solution is cheap plastic t-moulding (check in flooring) like this: enter image description here

However, you can check around the flooring department for t-shaped transition mouldings that suit your needs (may be expensive) or in millwork, for something else suitable.

But, if you're going to the the store, you might as well look in millwork for something to use instead of the provided material that comes in 16 ft lengths.

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I typically build my own kicks for lower cabinets and the front is solid so fastening the 1/4" or thinner material to the solid blocking isn't an issue.

I have seen systems with legs for the lowers and then you clip the finished kick to that. I agree that 1/4" thick material is too thin, one kick to the kick and it will crack. In your case with a tile floor probably your plan of 1/2" plywood as a backer is going to be the best plan. I'd keep the plywood slightly off the finished floor in case water gets on the floor (this should help avoid it wicking into the 1/2" plywood). No one is going to see the joins on the kick so I wouldn't bother with anything beyond a butt join when attaching the 1/4" to the 1/2" ply. You could probably just silicon the 1/4" material to the 1/2" ply to avoid nail holes. How long are your cabinet runs, you can get 10' material easily so if the join bugs you enough just source some new white 1/4" mdf or hardboard.

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  • A quick bead of white painter's caulk will also cover that joint nicely. – PhilippNagel Apr 1 at 18:09
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I'm on board with upgrading to a pre primed pine or something similar. it will hold up better. If you do, i would make a 45 degree cut, and join the 2 pieces with CA glue and activator. careful, the glue dries instantly and permanently so you only get one shot to attach them.

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