Dress Your Cabinets for Success With Light Rail Molding

August 28, 20155 comments

One of the least expensive details in your kitchen cabinet order is the bottom trim on wall cabinets. Designers also refer to this as light rail molding. The humble strip of trim packs a powerful punch in terms of style and function.

light rail molding

Preventing Glare

A primary function of the light rail is to conceal under-cabinet light fixtures and prevent glare. While working at the counter, the shallow light strip tucked behind the cabinet, is hidden. The light may, however, present those seated in an adjacent living room with an unsightly view and irritating glare. If the fixture is located at the front of the cabinet, an inch of trim will solve the problem.

Enhancing Your Kitchen Design

Working in combination with the cabinet crown molding, the light rail (sometimes referred to as a light skirt) will frame and complete your design. In addition to this, the light rail molding should complement your cabinet door style. In addition to enhancing the overall effect you want to achieve. That may be a crisp, contemporary look, a traditional feel, or a graceful transition between the new kitchen and its original architectural detailing.

Light rail can be high or shallow, aligned with the cabinet or subtly projecting, and constructed from a variety of moldings. Your designer will have suggestions and will provide computer-generated images so you can see how it pulls the cabinetry together.

Allowing Space

When adding light rail to a cabinet design, be careful to preserve the height of your countertop work space. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a 16 to 18-inch space between the countertop and lower edge of the wall cabinets. Some building codes have even higher requirements.

Do you have any tips to share with our readers? Please leave comments below, and watch for upcoming articles on under cabinet light fixtures and crown molding.

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Showing 5 comments

  1. Darlene Reply

    If the cabinet rail isn’t super tight and you can slightly see space and/or light through it (light from the under cabinet lights), should you put wood fill in between??? Help!!

    • CliqStudios Cabinets Reply

      Great question, Darlene! There are two ways to go about this:

      The quick & easy way: Using colored caulk, go behind the rail (underside of cabinets) and add a little bit of caulk where you see gaps starting to form. Even though you shouldn’t see any of it after you’re done, make sure to use caulk that most closely matches your cabinets just in case. Keep in mind that you don’t need to fill the entire “crack,” just run a small bead of calk where the rail meets the cabinets so that the light no longer shines through. Depending on where your light is, be careful to not caulk-over any lights (i.e. small LEDs) or caulk/glue shut any doors or flaps that open up to allow changing out light bulbs.

      The correct way: First, using a small hammer, gently tap on all the nails holding on your light rail. This should re-set the rail and close any gaps or “cracks” where you see light sneaking through. In addition, add more Brad nails in between the existing nails to ensure the rail will stay in place, and not sag back down again. Depending on how far apart the original nails are spaced, you can likely get away using just one new Brad nail in between the old ones.

      Good luck on your project, and come back to let us know how it all turned out!

  2. Patty Reply

    Can some one come to my home & show ,talk & tell me what I can do & __most importantly how much on that VISIT?

    • CliqStudios Design Reply

      Hello, Patty,

      First I’ll answer your second question – how much does it cost? Our professional, personalized design service is completely free, with no obligation to buy.
      You start by sending us measurements and photos of your current space and tell us a little about your goals. Your designer will contact you and use phone, email, text and screen sharing to develop a design and show you how your new kitchen will look. After you have made as many revisions as you like, the designer will send you a packet that includes a detailed floor plan with cabinet installation notes, images of your new kitchen, and an itemized quote for cabinetry.
      I hope you give our online design process a try – many of our customer say they initially had reservations about working online, but were very pleased with the skills of the designers and the results.

      • CliqStudios Design

        And, Patty, I should add – another option is to have a contractor look at your space and tell you what can be done, then have our kitchen designer work with you and/or your contractor to be sure the cabinet plan fulfills your unique needs and is the best value for your investment.

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