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Replacing just kitchen kicks and panels

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  1. #1
    eek
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    Default Replacing just kitchen kicks and panels

    Hi all. I had an unfortnate incident where the inlet hose to my dishwasher leaked and flooded my kitchen. After months of back and forth with insurance company, ombudsman and legal representation, my insurer is still standing firm in rejecting my claim. They've left me with a partially demolished kitchen for about 8 months, covered in tape and plastic and now wants absolutely nothing to do with me.

    Fun fact - insurer stated the leak was a 'slow leak' and not a 'flood' despite it forming a puddle within 30-40 seconds on the floor, hence rejected the claim.


    Photos attached of swollen kicks side panels and some wine bottle shelves at either ends of the island.
    Damage luckily only visible on island bench which is where dishwasher was located.

    20220318-163524.jpg
    I'd like to replace the entire back panel with a new one which goes all the way to the floor where there's a separate kick panel underneath.

    20220318-162753.jpg
    Back panel visible on right hand side of photo

    20220318-163507.jpg
    Left side of island. The wine storage rack thing at the end will all need to be replaced, but it looks like the edge panel is part of the shelf already.

    20220318-163511.jpg
    Right side of island. Kicks are all wrecked and swollen. Edge panel and back panel a bit mangled.



    I'm hoping I can find a cabinetmaker in Brisbane who can match the existing cabinets, since it's only 5 years old. My biggest concerns would be if the bench isn't parallel to the floor so they'll need to be scribed to size. It's also built funny in the way that the kicks actually sit on the concrete slab, below tile level! Island has plumbing for water, waste and power so I'd rather not have to disconnect them all, especially with a young family at home.

    Steps to repair:

    Remove all kicks
    Prop up bench, replace timber plinths or fit plastic legs instead of replacing existing timber plinths
    Replace the wine rack shelves which form the edge panels at either ends of island, going all the way to the floor
    New back panel which goes all the way to the floor
    Front side where the cabinets open up will need new kicks only.

    With new edge panels and no kicks on 3 sides I think it will be a much cleaner look. If I could retrospectively mitre cut the 40mm bench and build a waterfall either side that would be even better, but I think it won't be feasible and I'd be left with a useless gap on either side of the ends.

    Does that seem reasonable? Seems to be a waste to replace the entire island, which was what the insurance company contractors were saying during the inspections.

  2. #2
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    I'm surprised you have had trouble with insurance, after all the policy should have a clause somewhere stating cover for bursting or leaking appurtenances.

    I have never honestly heard of a slow leak not being covered.

    Love to know who the insurer is so I don't go near them.

    As for the kicks I don't see a problem just replacing the kicks but it will be very labour intensive and somewhat awkward cutting to suit the floor, and of course cabinet makers make more money doing full kitchens and don't like anything out of the ordinary.

    FWIW cabinets are in the top expenses in a home

  3. #3
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Your plan sounds feasible to me.

  4. #4
    eek
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    Thanks for the responses. In this case I was NOT "Luckyyyy you're with A***".

    There is a clause in their PDS saying if it's a "slow leak" it isn't covered. I asked for a flow rate and they couldn't respond. Stated damage was already there before the fitting burst.

    Anyway, scribing panels to the floor would be painful, especially without the right tools - a router? Also tiles were laid after kitchen was installed so top of tile level is higher than bottom of skirts, which are sitting on slab. Either way I think I'll have to find cabinetmaker to at least measure on site.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    Also tiles were laid after kitchen was installed so top of tile level is higher than bottom of skirts, which are sitting on slab.
    This is normal as usually all floor cabinets are fitted before the floor is laid.

    Ive never replaced kickers on a tiled floor so just a thought to potentially make it easier/cheaper given insurance has failed to cover the job:

    1. have the kicker boards cut short just below the top of the tile to enable an easier fit
    2. You might be able to simply have the kicker boards cut to floor level without any real noticeable difference in the end result. Fit a small test piece to see how it looks cut out of scrap...even a different color as your simply determining if the bottom looks ok. If there is a slight noticeable gap, then options may be place a Masonite packer behind so it brings it out 3mm.

  6. #6
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    A couple of thoughts:
    If you make the side and rear panels go down to floor level then they will be vulnerable to water damage - spills, mopping the floor etc. Especially relevant if you replace the damaged panels with the same material as it doesn’t seem to be very waterproof. I agree it will look a lot better then the current gratuitous kick boards though.

    Secondly, if it’s on a timber plinth then does that really need to be replaced? Real timber should have withstood the flood as long as it dried out shortly after. If you want the flush-to-floor look then just pack out the plinth with something waterproof till it’s at same level as the cabinet carcass.

    Thirdly, If you do kickboards again do them so they are removable - for example the ones held on with clips that go over those adjustable plastic cabinet legs. Some of ours are held on with Velcro. Allow a slight gap at top which is hidden by the cabinet overhang, and which stops moisture travelling up to the cabinet and makes them easy to remove.

    The damage seems to be extensive for what occurred. Is that panel material even moisture résistent?

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