Toe Kicks, Toe Space
There is some confusion amongst people new to buying kitchens about toe kicks. This should clear the air a bit.
Toe kicks are the board on the front of cabinets you'd kick if you stepped too close. Pretty ingenious name, eh?
Toe kicks come in a few different flavors. Many manufacturers offer a laminate toe kick (some sort of partical type wood with a pleasant looking toe kick skin), some do plywood toe kicks, and some offer real wood toe kicks.
Toe space is another animal. This term describes the area of cabinets where the toe kick is applied. It's the space where your toes can go when you're standing at the cabinet. I know, another one of those smart aleck names…
Toe space ALSO comes in a couple of different ways. The 4 1/2" toe space is the default, and most kitchens have this configuration. There is something called a universal toe space though, and this is taller. At 6 1/2", it allows for someone in a wheel chair to pull up to the cabinet and work. It could also be called a "universal access" toe space.
Toe spaces, and toe kicks, can be configured in many cabinet lines. Recessed right, left, or rear toe spaces look sharp on the end of a cabinet run, peninsula, or a kitchen island, especially when combined with an authentic end panel or an attached door.