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Treated Toe Kicks (medical)

james e mcgrew  Member


I have a job where ladder back toe kicks are called for spec and drawings show plywood, (medical) the arch came back after quote and showed treated ply toe kicks under certain sinks only.

in a meeting they are trying to tell me to use 2 x treated on all toe kicks. I have done this once before and the toe kicks did "Move" on that job i had a disclaimer at the bid and we removed 12 elevations and replaced them. with VCP.

I am looking for experience or a disclaimer or a blessing if it so be .

Thanks Jim McGrew

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9/12/19       #2: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Josh Koschak Member

Could you use marine grade plywood?

9/12/19       #3: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
james e mcgrew  Member


thanks that is on the list

9/12/19       #4: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Alan F.

Pressure treated is pretty typical in California medical facility's that are more than just a Dr.'s office / public works where it is attached to slab on grade because of moisture contact with the kick.

We also have attachment details we need to follow and on many jobs kick installation needs to be inspected to verify it confirms with the details.

The site inspectors don't usually allow any deviation from Architectural connection details.

Private work is not as restrictive.

Some of our jobs are Certified seismic installations that require specific screw and casework connection details as well as inspecting and documenting all backing locations.

We see the firms that do the larger medical facilities use the same details whether its required or not.

We rip a pressure treated 2x6 to a 4" kick with the cut edge up to the box.


9/12/19       #5: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Leo G Member

What about something like Star Board which is essentially plastic.

9/12/19       #6: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...

What about. Azek type pvc flat stock they use for exterior trim?

9/13/19       #7: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Tom Gafgen  Member


What about moisture resistant MDF or Extira ?

9/13/19       #8: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...

Became aware of this material a couple of years ago, but have not had call to use it. Kiln-dried, treated yellow pine.


9/13/19       #9: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
pat gilbert

Accoya might be useful for this application.

9/14/19       #10: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Alan F.

I guess the issue is why is PT material being called out. If the Architect or site is in a flood zone it could be to resist damage if some water gets in the facility.

If the facility has certain cleaning methods that use hoses to clean floors (not likely with rubber base) then the kicks need to be moisture resistant

If the facility uses foot pedals at the sinks then it might be for moisture resistance.

PT 2X lumber is used used in seismic zones to resist uplift in a shaker. It's possible that high wind/hurricane zones could use the same logic.

And it's possible that its a detail out of a can that is either what that firm always does or what they do because of a problem on a prior project.

Deciding on what to substitute depends on why the material is being speciifed.

Seismic zone Map

9/14/19       #11: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
james e mcgrew  Member


None of the Above, Just a urology lab with welded seam floors.

architect knows i am right but makes her claim that the owner is being this diligent, i am working for the same owner on several other areas of the hospital and i am looking for a way for her to save face. technically the wood movement should be the factor, i have used exteria on wet labs (very we labs) and marine grade ply on others ( twice cost of VCP)

thanks to all but i think each of you has made my point ! again thanks

9/14/19       #12: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Alan F.

I have a few in the office we use for delivery when the building isn't dried in.

If you notify them of concerns in writing with their design detail and note that their detail is known to fail and proceed per plans and specifications at their direction, the future failure rests on them.

We spent a long time in arbitration once and our only failure was failing to notifiy someone at the executive level of the GC who could authorize the risk in writing of the potential future failure so we were responsible for their legal costs per the contract even though our concerns were in the meeting notes with the GC, ARCH and us and documented.

If a meeting says 2x and plans and specs say plywood we would ask them to modify the specs per a formal document.

The waiver would be something like
Per XXX direction we are proceeding with solid lumber kicks at an additive costs. Owner /architect / GC recognize that this material is known to move, shift contract and expand potentially causing future problems that cause may be difficult or costly to determine fault. Owner / Architect / GC agrees to pay all costs and waive all contract clauses that require us to defend and determine the cause.

Future liability shall be limited to the workmanship that does not meet AWI section xxx.

Any movement that causes damage to any connection to the casework shall be the responsibility of the GC/owner/architect.

Call the GC in advance and the owner if you know them and apologize but tell them you need to send a letter waiving liability and blame your insurance company or lawyer.

9/15/19       #13: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
james e mcgrew  Member


Thanks Alan and All, I am sending an RFC (clarification this AM, this is a fast track Job and I needed some confirm, I also posted on AWI forum and recieved some helpfull calls as well will follow up.


9/16/19       #14: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
Alan F.

Moisture related waiver is attached

Click the link below to download the file included with this post.


9/16/19       #15: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
james e mcgrew  Member


Thanks Alan !

9/22/19       #16: Treated Toe Kicks (medical) ...
ed Member

Hello, I have been making ladder kicks with cabinet plywood . then attach 3/4 x 3/4 " plastic trim at bottom at front and back to provide barrier to moist floors. Just get it at Lowes in 1x4 or 1x6 and rip to 3/4.

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