What is a Kick Plate on a Door?
What is a kick plate on a door? A kick plate on a door is a strip of metal or other durable material installed at the bottom of the door to protect the door from dings, scratches, and dents.
The term “kick plate” comes from the fact that when people’s hands are occupied, they often kick the bottom of the door to open it.
Besides protecting the door from kicks, it also guards against other types of everyday wear and tear, such as scuffs from shoes or damage from cleaning equipment.
They must be installed with a drill and, preferably, a titanium bit.
I noticed that when choosing a kick plate, it’s important to consider not only the material but also the size and height, as they come in various dimensions to cater to different needs. For instance, in spaces where wheelchairs are used, a 16″ tall kick plate is recommended to ensure the footrests come in contact with the plate.
|Height||Width||Typical Use of Kick Plates|
|10″||34″||Standard residential doors|
|16″||36″||Doors in wheelchair accessible spaces|
Material Options for Kick Plates
Kick plates are most commonly made of metal such as aluminum, brass, or stainless steel.
|Kick Plate Material||Pros Of The Material||Cons|
|Aluminum||Lightweight, corrosion-resistant||Less durable than steel|
|Brass||Corrosion-resistant, decorative||Heavier, higher cost|
|Stainless Steel||Highest durability, corrosion-resistant||Heaviest, higher cost|
Besides metals, kick plates can also be made of vinyl or plastic, which have the benefit of blending in with the door’s color and being more lightweight.
However, these materials are typically less durable and, so, may require frequent replacement.
How to Install Door Kick Plates
I installed the kick plate on a door myself, but as I used a kick plate made of steel, it felt much heavier to retain it steady, stamped to the door, to drill using a titanium bit with the other hand.
It is better if you have a second person to hold the plate to the door while you drill thoroughly with a titanium bit.
Tools and Accessories Needed
We need to have:
- Measuring tape
- Pencil for marking
- Drill with the appropriate drill bit. Generally, titanium bit
- Screwdriver or power screwdriver
- Adhesive tape
- Door kick plate (Everbilt, Tell or other brands like Satin Stainless Steel Kickplates, Tell manufacturing, Aluminum Kickplate, Prime-Line, Polished Brass Plated, Aluminum Satin Finish Door Kick Plate)
- Measuring and cutting the kick plate: First, I will measure the width of the door and cut the kick plate accordingly. Standard exterior doors are usually 36 inches wide, but it’s important to double-check the measurement. I’ll ensure to leave a border or reveal around the kick plate for a proper fit.
|Door Width||Kick Plate Width||Border (Reveal)|
|36″||34″||1″ each side|
- Marking the screw holes: Next, I will mark the location of the screw holes on the door, using a measuring tape and a pencil. It is crucial to mark them accurately, as this determines the correct placement of the kick plate on the door.
- Drilling pilot holes: To prevent the door from splitting, I use a drill with the appropriate drill bit to create pilot holes where I marked the screw locations. I have selected titanium bit because we prefer stainless steel so that is the right drill bit to select.
- Applying adhesive (if applicable): If the kick plate has an adhesive backing, we should peel off the protective layer and press the kick plate firmly onto the door, aligning it with the pilot holes.
- Attaching the kick plate with screws: Finally, we use a screwdriver or power screwdriver to secure the kick plate to the door, using screws provided by the manufacturer (Everbilt, Tell or others).
I consider that a kick plate installation is clearly a DIY process. You can do it yourself easily.
|Material||Cost||Kick Plate Installation Difficulty|
|Stainless Steel||Higher||Easy, but the kick door plate is heavier, so it is more difficult to retain it stamped on the door while you drill with the other hand.|
Considering the different materials, costs, and durability factors, it is essential to choose the right kick plate for your specific situation to prolong the life of your doors while maintaining an attractive aesthetic.
Common Materials and Finishes
Stainless Steel Kick Plates
In my experience, stainless steel kick plates are a popular choice for their durability and ease of maintenance.
They come in various finishes, such as brushed, satin, or polished stainless steel. This material is particularly common in commercial and institutional construction to prevent door damage.
Stainless steel kick plates resist corrosion and material abrasion better than any other material available.
|Stainless Steel For Kick Plates||Finish||Benefits||Drawbacks|
|May show fingerprints,|
Brass Kick Plates
Brass kick plates offer a classic and elegant look. They come in various finishes, including polished brass, satin brass, and antique brass.
When choosing brass, I would suggest considering factors like tarnishing and required maintenance since brass needs regular polishing to maintain its appearance.
Aluminum Kick Plates
Aluminum kick plates are lightweight and cost-effective, making them an ideal choice for those who prioritize affordability.
They can come in different finishes, such as silver or gold tones like satin nickel, brushed bronze, and even with a diamond plate texture.
Vinyl Kick Plates
Vinyl kick plates offer a durable and low-maintenance option, resistant to scratches and fading.
Vinyl is an ideal choice for situations where customization is key, or for a more budget-friendly option compared to other materials.
Comparison Of Ther Materials For Kick Plates
Door Kick Plate Alternatives And Costs
|Stainless Steel||Durable, rust-resistant||May show scratches|
|Aluminum||Lightweight, rust-resistant||Less durable|
|Vinyl/Plastic||Blends with door color, lightweight||Less durable, may fade|
As you can see, stainless steel is known for its durability and resistance to rust, making it a popular choice.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is lightweight and also resists rust, but may not be as durable as its stainless steel counterpart.
Finally, vinyl or plastic options can blend with the door color and are lightweight, but they fade over time and are generally less durable than metal options.
Let´s see now the cost differences between these materials for kick plates.
|Material||Average Price per Square Foot|
|Stainless Steel||$5 – $15|
|Aluminum||$3 – $10|
|Vinyl/Plastic||$2 – $8|
Stainless steel kick plates tend to be more expensive, followed by aluminum, and then vinyl or plastic options.
Styles and Designs of Kick Plates
A brief comparison of these three popular finishes, now analyzed in terms of styling:
|Satin Stainless||Stainless Steel||Durable, modern, corrosion-resistant||Can show fingerprints and smudges|
|Bright Brass||Brass||Classic look, warm and inviting||Requires regular polishing|
|Satin Aluminum||Aluminum||Lightweight, corrosion-resistant||May not be as strong as other materials|
- Satin Stainless: This finish offers a modern, sleek appearance that matches well with contemporary interiors. The corrosion-resistant nature of stainless steel makes it durable, low maintenance, and ideal for high-traffic areas.
- Bright Brass Kick Plate: Brass kick plates provide a classic, timeless look to any door, offering a warm and inviting appearance. However, they do require regular polishing to maintain their shine and prevent tarnishing.
- Satin Aluminum Kick Plate: Aluminum kick plates are relatively lightweight and offer corrosion resistance. Although they might not be as strong as stainless steel or brass, they still serve as an effective barrier against scratches, dents, and other impacts to your door.
|Finishing Of The Kick Plate||Kick Plate Cost||Best Suited For|
|Satin Stainless||Moderate-High||Modern interiors, high-traffic areas|
|Bright Brass||Moderate||Classic interiors, decorative use|
|Satin Aluminum||Low-Moderate||Budget-conscious projects, lightweight protection|
Black Kick Plate
I’ve found that black kick plates are in style now.
These plates not only protect the door from scratches, dents, and scuffs but also add a sense of style and sophistication to the overall appearance.
|Materials Generally Used In Black Kick Plates||Durability||Aesthetic Appeal||Cost|
|Vinyl / Plastic||Low||Low||Very Low|
|Features Required In Kick Plates||Black Kick Plate||Other Color Kick Plate|
|Aesthetic Versatility||Complements most door colors||May clash with some colors|
|Stain Hiding Capability||Hides stains and scuffs better||Stains and scuffs more visible|
|Visual Impact||Adds a bold and modern touch||May have a subtler effect|
Functionality Of Kick Plates
Protection Against Wear and Tear
I often see the damage that occurs over time to the bottom of the front door, especially in commercial buildings.
This damage could include scuffs and scratches caused by people kicking the door open when their hands are full, pet scratches, wheelchairs, or even luggage hitting the door while being carried through the entrance.
Here’s a simple table that outlines some common materials used to create kick plates and their properties:
|Materials Recommended For Kick Plates||Durability||Aesthetics||Energy Efficiency|
Improving Building Appearance
Not only do kick plates serve a functional purpose, but they also have an impact on the overall aesthetics.
Depending on the material and finish selected, kick plates can blend seamlessly with the door’s design or even create a contrasting focal point for the entrance.
To help visualize the difference in aesthetics that kick plates can offer, let’s compare two popular materials – brass and stainless steel:
|Material||Appearance Of Kick Plates For an Aesthetic Point Of View|
|Brass||Warm, rich tones, classic and elegant|
|Stainless Steel||Sleek, modern, and versatile for many settings|
Are Kick Plates In Style?
Kick plates are not in style, as I explain thoroughly in the article linked.
Their primary purpose is to shield doors from material abrasion caused by exposure and friction with various elements.
Nowadays this protection is often redundant. Modern wooden doors are treated with layers of resin, enhancing their resistance.
Only in commercial buildings and houses where homeowners utilize wheelchairs I find that kick plates are useful to protect the doors.
Wrap Around Door Kick Plate
A wrap around door kick plate is an essential component designed to protect the door’s bottom section from typical damage.
This type of kick plate offers both durability and aesthetic appeal.
I have witnessed their usefulness in guarding doors against scratches, dents, and other damage.
Usually made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum, there are also vinyl or plastic options that can blend in with a door’s color.
Types of Wrap Around Door Kick Plate Materials
I have seen wrap around door kick plates used in both residential and commercial settings.
Installation is also relatively simple, with helpful tutorials available to guide you through the process.
Some popular types of doors to consider utilizing a kick plate with include wooden, metal, and glass doors.
Typically, wooden doors are more prone to damage, while metal and glass doors fare better over time.
Door Types and Kick Plate Benefits
|Door Type||Vulnerability||Kick Plate Benefit|
In my experience, investing in a wrap around door kick plate is a smart decision for the long-term preservation of your doors.
Metal Plate at Bottom of Door Frame
A kick plate is a metal plate installed at the bottom of a door, typically on commercial doors, to protect them from damage caused by kicking, pushing, or general wear and tear.
It is usually made of stainless steel, but can also be constructed from materials like aluminum, vinyl, or plastic, as I have already dewscribed above. Door kick plates are typically 10–16 inches tall, depending on the desired coverage for the door.
|Stainless Steel||High||High||Moderate, but higher than all other options|
Below is a table comparing stainless steel kick plates to aluminum kick plates, as they are the two most popular choices:
|Resistance to Corrosion||High||Moderate|
What is a Kick Plate on a Dishwasher
A kick plate on a dishwasher is a protective panel installed at the base of the appliance.
It primarily serves to conceal the mechanical components underneath the dishwasher and prevent dust or debris from entering.
Besides this functional aspect, I do not think that the kick plate also adds an aesthetic touch to the dishwasher at all.
I discovered that you can save a significant amount by opting for a DIY dishwasher kick plate instead of purchasing one from the manufacturer.
This approach involves using a piece of balsa wood, which costs only around $3, compared to the $60 price tag for a plastic kick plate from the manufacturer.
|Type of Kick Plate For A Dishwasher||Material||Cost|
Another important consideration when installing a kick plate on your dishwasher is the function it serves.
For instance, a kick plate can help improve the overall energy efficiency of your dishwasher by maintaining a consistent temperature within the appliance.
It may also offer some level of soundproofing, reducing the noise emitted by the dishwasher during operation. However we could not prove this in any of our tests.
To further illustrate the benefits of a kick plate, let’s compare it with a dishwasher that does not have one:
|Feature||With Kick Plate||Without Kick Plate|
|Aesthetics||Polished appearance||Exposed mechanical components|
|Protection||Keeps dust and debris out||Vulnerable to dust and debris|
|Energy efficiency||Maintains consistent temperature||Possible temperature fluctuations|
|Soundproofing||Reduces noise||No noise control|
Can You Put a Kick Plate on the Inside of a Door?
Kick plates can indeed be installed on the inside of a door.
These accessories are primarily used on the push side of a door to protect it from damage caused by repeated contact with feet, carts, or other objects.
Installing a kick plate on the inside of a door can be a practical choice for high-traffic areas in homes or commercial spaces.
Here are some factors to consider while selecting and installing a kick plate:
|Factor||Description Of Kick Plates|
|Material||Kick plates are typically made from metals like stainless steel, brass, or aluminum because they are durable and resistant to corrosion.|
|Size||The size of the kick plate should correspond to the width of the door and cover a significant portion of the bottom area for adequate protection.|
|Style||Homeowners may opt for a kick plate style that matches the existing hardware (door handles, hinges, etc.) to maintain a cohesive design.|
Installing a kick plate on the inside of a door is a simple process that usually involves measuring the door, choosing the right kick plate size, and attaching it using screws or adhesive.
Exterior Door Kick Plate
Door kick plates can also be installed on the exterior. You will see this a lot in restaurants and commercial buildings.
We have studied the topic mostly from a houseowner’s point of view, from a home improvement standpoint.