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Adding a Kitchen Island

When you need more space in your kitchen or a new place to eat your breakfast, think about adding a kitchen island!

Posted in Kitchens over 14 years ago, 0 replies

Extra workspace in any kitchen is nothing short of gift. That’s why adding a kitchen island to your space can make kitchen-life so much easier. From having an additional place to lie out a party spread or prep for a big holiday meal, to having an added storage area for those additional kitchen appliances, adding a kitchen island is practically a homeowner must!

My Own Private Island

What type of island should you purchase? Thumb through any of those decorating magazines and you’ll be bombarded with all sorts of styles, sizes and materials to choose from for a kitchen island. You can find kitchen islands that are simple and small waist-high tables or detailed custom-built cooking centers replete with electricity and plumbing.

Before making a kitchen island purchase, you first have to decide how you will use it. Ask yourself some basic questions. For example, how much time does your family spend milling around in the kitchen? How often do your houseguests congregate in the kitchen when they come over for a visit? Do you find yourself needing extra workspace when prepping a meal or serving a holiday feast? Or are you simply seeking to add in a decorative focal point to your kitchen?

Your Choices

Once you have considered your kitchen island space demands and are now looking to make a purchase, you should know that choices for kitchen islands are practically limitless. Kitchen islands can be constructed as long and as wide as you can dream them up. You can build a simple flat surface island made with or without a bottom shelf. You can have an elaborate, multi-level island that has corner posts, inset areas, open shelving, and more. Some kitchen islands even have shelves for cookbooks and racks for small wine collections. And if you’re not happy with anything you find, you can design a style of your very own.

If you aren’t ready for commitment, you should turn your attention to a portable kitchen island. Portable kitchen islands can be set on wheels or left freestanding, i.e. that is not permanently fixed to your floor, and often have wood, stainless steel, or tiled counter surfaces. Portable islands can be purchased as is or custom-built to match your kitchen’s existing cabinetry.

Just imagine how convenient a food preparation island alongside your sink or stove could be. Or how much you could use an island where you can take your meals as well as use it as a serving station. And if you have a large kitchen, sometimes you can actually install more than one kitchen island! From pieces of fine cabinetry topped with a sink inset and granite counters to a cook top island with a small oven and small fridge, nothing is off limits if your kitchen can accommodate it.

Things to Consider

Consider your work triangle, which is the area you “do your work in” or “move around in” that lies between the sink, stove and refrigerator. You should avoid installing a kitchen island in this area, as it will disrupt the flow movement within the triangle.If the purpose of your new island is to have a place for eating, make sure the height of your new kitchen island is on a slightly lower level than the existing kitchen counters. Make the height of your new island level with countertops if you want to utilize the space for food preparation.

DIY Kitchen Island Construction

If you’re the adventurous type and are willing to take on the task of constructing your very own kitchen island, the good news is you’ll likely get just the size kitchen island you want. Any major home improvement store will sell simple kitchen island kits. It will also sell the hardware needed to adorn your cabinets, too. You can find hardware that matches your existing cabinets if you want to give your kitchen a consistent look.

1 x 6 wood Base cabinets
Base molding
Beaded board paneling
Contact adhesive
Corner molding
Crown molding
Latex paint


Brad nailer
Belt sander
Circular saw
Disposable paint brushes
Framing nailer
Laminate roller
Miter saw
Palm sander
Several clamps
Table saw
Trim nailer

Step One: Clear out your kitchen from all tables, chairs and freestanding racks. Now locate the center of the kitchen by measuring from cabinet to cabinet. Mark the center location on the floor.

Step Two: Bring in the first cabinet. On its underside, lightly mark where the center of the cabinet is. Match up the center mark of the cabinet with the one on the floor.

Step Three: Bring the rest of the cabinets into the kitchen and line them up. Make sure that you allot enough space in your kitchen for the island so that its drawers and doors can open easily, and that there is plenty of space to efficiently use any island appliances.

Step Four: Cut a few 2 x 4 wood blocks. Surround the cabinets with the blocks on all sides. These blocks will fit under the cabinets and anchor them in place.

Step Five: Remove the cabinets and set them aside. Screw the blocks to the floor.

Step Six: Set the cabinets back in place over the blocks. Make sure the cabinets are level.

Step Seven: Remove the drawers from the cabinets in order to access the face frames. Make sure the faces are flush then clamp them together and tighten.

Step Eight: Now that the frames are flush use your countersink bit to make pilot holes in the inside of cabinet frame number one. Using wood screws, attach together the frames from top down to the bottom.

Step Nine: Repeat the same process on the next cabinet. The process is complete once all the face frames are joined together.

Step Ten: The cabinets are attached at the top—you’ll have to attach them at the back. To do so, place spacers (you can use scrap pieces of wood) between the cabinets flush to the top and back. Use a clamp to keep the spacers from moving or falling, and then take your drill and screw the cabinets together.

Step Eleven: Make sure your kitchen island is level. If it is not, place shims underneath the island until it becomes level. Now, using your chisel and hammer hack off the edges of the shims that jut out from under the kitchen island. Be careful not to damage your floor.

Step Twelve Using wood screws screw the cabinets into the 2x4 blocks you installed into the floor in step five.

Step Thirteen: Determine the length of the cabinets along the back. Now, cutting from the backside with your circular saw, cut the beaded board paneling the appropriate size. Apply a strong adhesive bond to the backside of the cabinet and firmly press the piece of beaded board paneling into place.


Sink or Stove in Kitchen Island?

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am very indecisive and cannot decide whether to put the sink or a stove with a rande hood in the kitchen. My kitchen is 5m x 7m including space for a dinning room and I have been told an Island of approx 210m can fit ok parallel to the 5m wall. It will also have bar stools along it but will be just one level. I know it is personal choice as to which one to choose but there are pro's and cons for both. If I put the sink in the island water can go everywhere and it could look messy with dishes but if i put a stove the range hood, although you can get nice modern ones, it breaks up the space and I'm worried it will get in the way. If the stove is in the island then the sink will be on the back wall under cupboards so when doing the washing up you would be looking at the wall. I know a lot of modern kitchens are done with the stove in the islands now and I like that but I just cant decide. I also like the fact that when cooking you can entertain and chat and who wants to watch someone washing up dishes...What do you think is the best option??




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