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Does a Bathroom Vanity Need A Toe Kick?

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Whether you’re remodeling your bathroom or simply doing some DIYs to get it organized and super functional, a bathroom vanity is a necessity.

It is a piece that can not only set the tone for your bathroom but also inject much functionality, whether it’s in the kid’s bathroom or in the master ensuite.

A great bathroom vanity will provide you with a comfortable spot for not only storing items but also securing a feature sink

But lemme ask: have you found yourself banging your toes over and again against the vanity while grooming? I sure have and hated it!

More so, it is very uncomfortable when you have to lean forward just to get close to the mirror to pluck eyebrows or put on makeup, wash your face, what have you, right?

Courtesy: Wayfair

Well, unless you have a freestanding bathroom vanity or a wall-mounted vanity that provides much toe space, we suggest a vanity cabinet with a toe kick. This will ensure comfort while grooming.

Otherwise, you will be forced to stand farther away so you lean over to compensate. This is not at all back-friendly. Plus, the fronts of the bathroom vanity can get scuffed up over time from the toe bumps.

Great. Most modern vanities are designed with comfort in mind so you don’t need a toe kick in such a scenario. But if you’re working with a more traditional vanity cabinet, it is wise to introduce a toe kick.

So, What Is A Toe Kick?

A toe kick is a recessed space on a lower cabinet that provides space for your toes, as the name suggests.

These few inches allow you to comfortably rest your feet under a tiny piece of the vanity cabinet, allowing you to approach the bathroom countertop without having to lean over.

How Deep Should The Toe Kick Be?

You can always purchase a bathroom vanity designed with a furniture-style toe kick as the perfect finishing touch.

And for clarity, whether you’re fixing an ugly vanity kick plate or introducing one, you need to understand the measurements of all the elements involved, including toe kick dimensions.

While this is a small detail, it can affect the design of the vanity cabinet design and the comfort of users when standing at the bathroom counter.

While customizable, the height of a standard toe kick is three and a half inches but some standard toe kicks measure up to a maximum of 4 inches. 

In depth, 3 inches of allowance is ideal as the measurement from the front of the bathroom vanity base back to where the toe kick board is installed. 

That way, you can stand without accidentally stubbing your toes, and also, stand in a natural posture while using the mirror to avoid back pain.

What Color Should The Toe Kick Be?

Since toe kicks only serve a practical purpose, most toe kicks are painted either black or in the same color as the bathroom cabinets.

However, if you’d want a statement toe kick to transform the look of your bathroom with minimal effort, we recommend installing toe kick lighting instead of painting it differently.

This adds such a visual sparkle to your space and much drama.

So, Should I Install Toe Kick Lighting?

Yes, we recommend installing toe kick lighting in the bathroom as a foolproof way of adding accent lighting to your bathroom, particularly if you’d like to create the perfect atmosphere.

Toe kick lighting in the bathroom is very functional for the following reasons:

  • Allows for illuminating the bathroom floor, ensuring that cleaning underneath the vanity is easy.
  • Provides subtle illumination and indirect lighting at night so you don’t have to turn on blinding overhead lights for those late-night trips to the bathroom. Surely works great as an attractive night light in bathrooms!

While most people don’t consider adding toe-kick lighting under the bathroom vanity, it can really add an element of luxury to the space.

As in the kitchen, when combined with ambient lighting, wall sconces, or accents like a back-lit bathroom mirror, toe-kick lighting helps to balance the “hot spots” in a room.

For a spa experience, when you’re looking for a nice soak in the bath, toe-kick lighting can combine perfectly with candles to create that soothing spa-like glow!

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How to Light Your Toe Kick

If you want to introduce toe kick lighting in your bathroom, there are two options, namely:

  • Tape lights, preferably, LED tape lights are the best options for toe kick lighting. Since it is flat, it is much easier to work with because it fits into tighter spaces.
  • Rope lights – they have a tough plastic coating, therefore, can be used both indoors and outdoors. Waterproof ones are perfect in wet locations like in your bathroom.

When choosing LED tape or rope lights for your vanity toe kicks, consider the following:

  • The shape: for such a confined space with extremely precise measurements, it’s best to choose an LED tape light as they fit nicely in the joints of your vanity cabinets.
  • The bulb’s direction: If you prefer the rope lights being seen directly by the viewer and you want something bright to make a visual impact, go with directional rope lights that shine their light brightly in one primary direction.

However, if you prefer the rope lights hidden underneath the vanity and you just need a uniform glow of light without hotspots, then go with omnidirectional rope light. We highly recommend this for cove or toe kick lighting that spa-like glow!

  • The color temperature: usually, there’s a cool, crisp light and a warm glow like that of a fireplace in a dimly lit room.

You can expect to find a bluish-white light from LED lights marked in the 5,000K to 6,500K range, while more yellow tones result from lights in the 2,700K to 3,000K range so choose accordingly depending on your interior style.

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  • Brightness: The brightness of LED lights is measured in lumens(not watts). Since you don’t necessarily need something so bright for toe kick lighting, steer clear of the extremes. 

How to Install Toe Kick Lighting Under Your Bathroom Vanity

To create a glow in the toe kick in your bathroom cabinet, we prefer LED tape lights with a motion sensor like this one on Amazon. And yes, you can get the help of a professional if DIY is not your thing.

Watch the video below from minute 22:30 for inspiration or consider the steps below this video:

Check from Minute 23:30
  1. From end to end, measure the perimeter of your vanity or its length.
  2. Begin attaching the LED light brackets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re using individual mounting clips, we recommend keeping the distance between them to no more than 6 inches; if one of them breaks, your lights may droop or sag, resulting in uneven lighting and a sloppy appearance. A mounting track can also be used to keep your rope lights or tape-rope hybrids in a neat, straight line.
  3.  If using tape lights, you can skip step 2 because you will use the adhesive backing on the strip.
  4. Double-check to ensure that you have the correct length of rope or tape lights then snap your lights into the clips or mounting track, starting with the power source at the end.
  5. Even for tape lights, start at the same end, but peel off only 6 inches of backing at a time. That way, if you drop your strand or put the light in the wrong place by accident, you won’t be too far off track.

NOTE: The lights should be positioned directly at the joint of your kickplate and the bottom overhang on your vanity cabinet as this helps keep the rope or tape out of sight.


Does a Bathroom Vanity Need A Toe Kick?

We suggest having a toe kick for your bathroom vanity to ensure no toe bumps, and comfort for your back while cleaning up. Otherwise, you can always go for a free-standing or wall-mounted option with much toe space.

Also, consider installing toe kick lighting for a beautiful night light in your bathroom.