What is a Fence Kickboard?

Unlock the secrets of wood fences, including kickboards—a vital choice when installing a fence. Discover what a kickboard is and why you should have one.
Jimmy Soldatos
Jimmy Soldatos
Last Update:
January 11, 2023

There are lots of options and components when it comes to wood fences. Besides styles and wood types, there are also choices like kickboards. In this post, we'll go over what a kickboard is, what it's used for, and why you should have one.

What is a fence kickboard?

A kickboard, sometimes known as a "rot board," is a piece of wood that's placed on the bottom of a fence and is in contact with the ground. Kickboards are typically pressure-treated.

Pressure treating is a process where wood is treated so that it becomes resistant to rot, decay, and pest infestation. There are different kinds of pressure treatment, and the kind used for kickboards is specifically meant for "ground contact," which means it's safe to put on or in the ground.

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What does a fence kickboard do?

A kickboard keeps the main fence pickets away from direct contact with the ground. Regular lumber that hasn't been pressure treated will decay over time. That process will be sped up if non-treated lumber is in direct contact with the ground due to excess moisture.

By protecting the fence pickets from direct ground contact, the fence will be able to last much longer. Fence kickboards impact the overall fence height, as they are included in the overall measurements of the fence.

Why should you have a fence kickboard?

A kickboard will help your fence last longer. By keeping the main pickets away from moisture and other elements, they'll be less likely to rot. A pressure treated kickboard is specifically designed to handle ground contact so it makes sense to have one on the bottom of your fence.

If you're going to invest in getting a new fence, it's a good idea to take steps to help it last as long as possible. This includes staining the fence, or using a kickboard or retaining wall to keep the main fence pickets away from the ground.

Generally speaking, kickboards are used with "picture-frame" style fences, but it's possible to have a kickboard with nail-up style fences too.

If you're interested in more information about wood fence pricing, check out our guide to wood fence costs.

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