Why kick plates?

A kickplate is a kitchen feature that is more than just an aesthetic addition to a finished cupboard. It is a protective plate – made of plastic, metal, wood or specialized boards such as MelaWood–that is installed at the bottom of a cupboard; as the name suggests, its primary function is to protect the cupboard from foot traffic but also from broom bumps, wet mops and vacuum cleaners.

Close up of cabinetry drawers in a new contemporary white kitchen renovation

However, not all cupboards have kickplates. Bathroom cupboards are left as is especially if they feature pretty or decorative legs. Cupboards with legs make it possible to clean and dry the floor. But it is best to have kickplates in rooms such as kitchens and bedrooms because they keep insects and dust out of the cupboards and they perfectly round off the look of the built-in cupboards; your kitchen cabinetry willappear one with your kitchen design scheme.

Kickplates are usually installed between 50 and 100mm deep so that they do not protrude from the front of the cupboard. This ensures sufficient space for one to stand in front of the cupboard without one’s feet pushing against the plate.

Necessary to have and essential to maintain

Over time, shoes, mops, vacuum cleaners and water tend todamage kickplates – general wear and tear is unavoidable. All this means is that at some point, kick plates will have to be replaced. Luckily this is an easy task for a weekend – if you’re a DIY fundi who is equipped with the basic tools and skills, you’ll be done in no time!

Installing kick plates

  1. Firstly, it is advisable to establish how the previous kickplates were installed. Then unclip, unscrew and break wherever necessary to remove the old plates. Be sure to clean the floor and remove any silicone marks that will inevitably get left behind.
  2.  Measure the height from the floor to the cupboard. Make sure the height is consistent across the entire length of the cupboard. Have your new MelaWood kickplates at the ready; these can be sourced from your local cut-and-edge professional, in the colour and texture of your choice. Keep in mind that darker colours hide kick and bump marks a lot better than lighter colours do.
  3.  Consider edging of 0.4mm to guard against moisture. Install the new platesat the correct depth by screwing them in place from the inside of the cupboard.
  4.  The bottom of the kick plates can be neatly secured with a bit of silicone.