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Toe Kick Drawers: Turn Wasted Kitchen Space Into Additional Storage

April 20, 2022

We know it as a universal truth as home remodelers: Everyone needs more storage space in their kitchens. In fact, it’s a request we hear most often from homeowners when planning a kitchen remodel. Extra storage is a must-have feature. 

Today, there’s a kitchen appliance, utensil, or gadget for every cooking and baking application. With that growing kitchenware collection, cabinet and pantry space are a premium. Creating accessible, usable storage solutions is essential for a functional kitchen design. Toe kick drawers are a brilliant way to turn dead space into practical storage. And because of their slim profile, these drawers are ideal for oversized and flat items like baking sheets and cutting boards that can often be the hardest to store. 

What Is a Toe Kick Drawer? 

A toe kick is a recessed area between your base cabinet and the floor that allows you to move closer to be more comfortable as you work on the countertop above. A toe kick drawer in the kitchen converts the wasted space below the base cabinet into a skinny drawer which is the perfect size for storing slim items. 

The name toe kick drawer is self-explanatory: It comes from a common push-latch which lets you open and close the drawer with a nudge of your toe or foot.  

toe kick storage toe kick storage step ladder

Why Toe Kick Drawers Are a Clever Kitchen Storage Hack 

Toe kick drawers are desirable kitchen storage features because they don’t require extra square footage. Making use of otherwise dead space, they’re ideal for use in small and large kitchens alike. What’s more, toe kick drawers are convenient due to their hands-free functionality and low-level accessibility. Plus, toe kick drawers are a clean, no-show storage solution that “disappear” when closed, so they easily adapt with any kitchen style. 

Creative Uses for Toe Kick Drawers 

We’ve seen homeowners use toe kick drawers for all different uses. Commonly shallow and wide in profile, these drawers are ideal storage for oversized, hard-to-store kitchen items like baking sheets, cupcake sheets, cutting boards and serving trays.  

Toe kick drawers are also great for keeping seasonal items, extra hand towels, linens, placemats, overflow food storage products and paper goods close at hand, freeing upper-cabinets and drawer space for everyday use items. 

Toe kick drawers can even hold pet bowls, making it easy to tuck the bowls away after feeding time or to move them out of sight when guests arrive. 

While not an actual drawer, you can install a toe kick vacuum to sweep crumbs without a dustpan. And a toe kick step stool provides convenient access to a sturdy step for reaching high cabinets. 

hidden storage step in toe kick storage step hidden in toe kick

Adding Toe Kick Drawers to Existing Cabinets 

Most home cabinets can accommodate a toe kick drawer, which takes the space of the riser (or mopboard) at the base of your floor cabinets. The average height of a toe kick riser is 3.5 inches, which is plenty of room to add these extra drawers. 

Plan for Toe Kick Drawers in Your Kitchen Remodel 

Because extra storage is at the top of most kitchen remodel wish lists, it makes sense to include toe kick drawers in your kitchen remodel plan. If you are buying stock cabinets, many manufacturers have toe-kick options available. On the other hand, if you’re going with custom cabinetry in your new kitchen, these drawers can be included in the cabinet construction and installation. 

Toe Kick Drawers Can Be Difficult to DIY 

Some kitchen storage solutions are easy to install (think hooks and shelves), but DIY toe kick kits often lead to misaligned or inconsistent fit and finish. Those mishaps can harm the visual appearance of your kitchen, which is why working with a professional carpenter is recommended. 

To get a seamless look, fit and finish in your kitchen, it’s essential to match the new toe kick drawer with existing cabinet materials and hardware and perfectly align the drawer on the toe kick riser. In some applications, toe kick drawers may require disassembly of current cabinets, which can lead to damage if done incorrectly. Again, construction should be done by a professional to ensure quality results.   

Ready to Create More Functional Storage in your Kitchen?  

The design team at Dover Home Remodelers has lots of creative ideas for custom storage solutions for your home remodel. Contact us to plan your next project so we can help you make the most out of your space. 

The best is yet to come,

Beth Orr