How to Install Kick Plates

Grahame Turner

Sometimes doors don't open smoothly—either a person is carrying too much or the door sticks. In this case, the natural reaction is to push it open with a foot, but over time this can scuff and mark the bottom of the door. Thus, doors with a lot of foot traffic often have kick plates installed to keep them clean.

In addition to protection, kick plates also add a nice aesthetic value to a front door.


  1. Measure the center of the door along the bottom and mark it with the masking tape. Place the mark at the height of the kick plate itself, and place another at the bottom.

  2. Measure the kick plate and mark the middle with masking tape. The mark should go the entire width of the kick plate so that you can line it up.

  3. Line up the two center marks and tape the kick plate to the wall. Use the nearest door panels to line it up evenly. Step back to make sure it looks right. Measure the distance between the sides of the kick plate and the edges of the door to make sure that it's still even.

  4. Drill pilot holes through the kick plate's guide holes. Pilot holes will prevent the wood from splitting and make it easier to screw the kick plate into place.

  5. Secure the kick plate to the wall with screws. Use the screwdriver and the hardware included with the kick plate.

  6. Remove the masking tape and the protective plastic on the kick plate itself.

  7. Tip

    Make sure that the kick plate is sized to the door and that it matches the decor. Typically, kick plates are 2 inches smaller than the door, so that there is a 1-inch margin on either side. You can mark the drill bit with a piece of tape so that you don't accidentally drill through the door.


    Don't use a level to adjust the kick plate, because the door itself may be askew and the kick plate will be obviously skewed.