How To Seal Gaps Under Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets add a sense of style and character to any kitchen. But unsightly gaps can ruin the look.  You may be wondering how you can seal the space under your kitchen cabinets. We have thoroughly looked into this topic and have found some options for closing these gaps.

How you'll seal the gaps under your kitchen cabinets will depend on your reason for closing the gaps and the size of the space you are needing to fill. The top options for closing the space beneath your cabinets are as follows:

  • Seal small gaps with caulk or wood filler
  • Add trim to upper cabinets
  • Install or replace a toe kick under bottom cabinets
  • To stop a draft, use spray foam
  • Close large gaps with backer rod

There are many ways you can go about closing the gaps under your kitchen cabinets.  Keep reading as we break down the details for each one. We'll look at the reasons you may want to seal the gaps and discuss which option is best for your situation.

How To Seal Gaps Under Kitchen Cabinets

Why Is There A Gap Under Kitchen Cabinets?

Gaps under kitchen cabinets can happen for numerous reasons. It is normal for cabinet makers and installers to leave a small space, and they will usually leave the decision on whether to close it up to you.

Poor installation or remodeling can cause spaces to widen between the wall or floor and the bottom of the cabinet. The house settling on its foundation or screws loosening over time can cause larger gaps to open as well.

Carpenter making cabinets for the kitchen

How To Fix A Gap Under The Cabinets

Though gaps in cabinets are common, you may still want to get them closed. Sealing the gaps can improve appearances, control pests, and stop cold drafts from entering your kitchen.

If you have gaps under your upper cabinets, first check to make sure the screws are tight. Sometimes just tightening the screws will close the gap.

Seal Small Gaps With Caulk Or Wood Filler

Caulk is a common solution for sealing not just gaps in your cabinets but almost any type of gap in your house. To use caulk, clean the area where you'll be applying the caulk with a damp cloth. After the area is dry, apply the caulk, starting at one corner and sliding to the end. Use a finger or thin spatula to smooth.

Gray cabinets and cupboards on the kitchen

Caulking is a great option for beginners, as it requires very little skill and little to no cleanup or correction. This Gorilla caulk is popular and easy to handle for simple jobs. Since it is silicone, it is versatile and can be used with a variety of materials and angles.

Click here to see this silicone caulk on Amazon.

When Should You Use Wood Filler Under Cabinets?

If you are filling a gap between the cabinets and the toe kick or between the bottom of the upper cabinets and trim work, you can use a wood filler. Though it requires a little more work than caulk, experts say that using wood filler will provide a more uniform appearance between painted trim work and cabinets.

Wood filler is a good choice for any gaps between trim and cabinets since it comes in a wide variety of colors. You can also purchase a stainable wood filler that can be stained to match your cabinets.

This kit contains multiple colors that can be mixed and matched. It is great for repairing gaps caused by blemishes in the wood.

Click here to see this kit of wood fillers on Amazon.

To use wood filler, apply painter's tape to the underside of the gap, aligning with the top side of the skirting for upper cabinets or the toe kick for lower cabinets. Cut the tip at a 45-degree angle to make the application cleaner. Apply the product smoothly along the gap.

Use a sanding block to lightly sand along the gap to blend the wood filler in. The below video shows how to apply filler to trim joints, but the same concept will work for closing gaps between cabinets and trim.

Add Trim To Upper Cabinets

Another way of hiding a gap is to add trim work to the underside of cabinets. You can add skirting to the front underside beneath the door. To cover the gap directly, line the back underside of the cabinet where it meets the wall.

This Instatrim trim strip is a good option for beginners. It has a peel-and-stick application and is good for gaps that are around a quarter inch.

Click here to see this peel-and-stick trim for cabinets.

Trim is usually not installed beneath lower cabinets, but some professionals will use quarter-round or shoe molding to cover gaps caused by flaws in the flooring installation. Shoe molding is also a good choice if the gaps are due to the toe kick being installed on existing flooring.

How Do I Stop The Draft Under My Kitchen Cabinets?

Sliding drawers for the kitchen utensils

If you feel a draft coming from under your kitchen cabinets, there may be a hole left in the drywall from the original installation or construction work. If you don't wish to remove your cabinets to find the cause, there are a few ways you can reduce or eliminate the draft from coming in under your cabinets.

To Stop A Draft, Use Spray Foam

If the draft is coming from behind the toe kick, you can stop the draft by using spray foam to insulate the area. Since spray foam can be unsightly, we recommend using it behind trim work and not for gaps and cracks that are visible.

When using spray foam, wear protective goggles or glasses as well as gloves. Follow label instructions closely. Wait until the product is completely dry before covering it with trim.

Click here to see this spray foam on Amazon.

Install Or Replace A Toe Kick Under Bottom Cabinets

Another way to stop a draft could be to replace or install a toe kick under bottom cabinets. The toe kick is the indented trim added to the bottom of cabinets that allows space for your toes. A missing or damaged toe kick may be allowing drafts to enter your kitchen.

Installing toe kicks is a simple project. Be sure to measure the area at a few different points since the floor could be unlevel. Adhere the toe kicks with construction adhesive or tape. Some installers will use a pin nailer.

Close Large Gaps With Backer Rod

In addition to helping with drafts, closing large gaps with backer rod is recommended to prevent and control pests. Backer rod is a foam material that is used to close larger gaps. Cut and fit the foam into the gap and then seal with caulk. Backer rod is good for gaps that are a half inch or more.

Click here to see this backer rod on Amazon.

How To Close Gaps Between Cabinets

Gaps between cabinets can happen due to the way the drywall was installed or has settled over time. You can seal small gaps with caulk or wood filler.

To cover larger spaces, you can use cabinet base filler. To maximize space and provide extra storage, you may choose to install a pull-out base filler drawer between cabinets.

Click here to see this base filler drawer on Amazon.

Should You Caulk Between Cabinets?

Caulking is the most common way to seal tiny cracks and gaps between cabinets. Experts and those familiar with cabinetwork agree you can use caulk to close cracks that are smaller than an eighth of an inch. Caulk can come in different colors, but you'll commonly find it in clear or white.

What Is Cabinet Base Filler?

Cabinet base filler is used to cover or close larger spaces. It is a piece of wood that is trimmed to fit between cabinets. Filler can also be used to fix spaces between cabinets and the wall and are also used as skirting on upper cabinets. It is called base filler since it is usually used between or around the lower, base cabinets.

In Closing

Interior of an unfinished kitchen with cabinets on the flooring to be finished

Now that you know the ways you can seal a gap under your cabinets, pick the best option for your situation. Sealing gaps and cracks in your cabinets will go a long way to making new kitchen cabinets look their best and will give a fresh appearance to older cabinets.

Looking for more tips? Check out these articles for more ideas on how you can improve the look of your kitchen cabinets:

How To Seal Chalk Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Should You Paint Drywall Behind Cabinets?

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