How to Install a Kitchen Island: Step-by-Step Instructions
Last modified: 2019/04/17 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
When it comes to the kitchen, one distinct element that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere is the kitchen island. An island offers elegance and value, as these unique, multipurpose units work to enhance the amount of space available to you. A correctly situated and installed island will transform the way you use the space adding a counter, extra storage space as well as a focal point and even the potential for an extra dining area.
Regardless of what you use it for, this installation process is straightforward. Not to mention, the functionality and aesthetic of the piece itself. Want to know how to approach this installation project? Keep on reading below!
How to install a kitchen island
A little background knowledge about the kitchen island
The kitchen island dates back to the colonial era, where they use to sit near the hearth (stone fireplace) of the home. They served a similar function in these times, as a place to prepare food and break bread. Now, the island can have many purposes including an extra storage space. In most cases, they are the focal point of the room and therefore the material, colour or design you choose doesn’t need to necessarily perfectly match the fixtures in the rest of the room.
Islands come in many shapes, sizes, materials and qualities. There are five main types, and these are: working, storage, prep & wash, dining and moveable. Depending on the style, shape and size you choose, they will greatly range in price and can cost anywhere between $200 for lower end or cart-like structures up to $6000 for larger or fancier models.
You should aim for an island with enough counter space for your personal needs, but also one which fits comfortably into your kitchen without taking up an excessive amount of room. For a smaller kitchen, consider a reasonably-sized cart for extra storage space as well as an additional prep area.
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Planning the kitchen island installation
During the planning process, measure the square footage of your kitchen. When calculating for the island, be sure to calculate for enough space on all sides to allow for free-flowing movement or traffic from loved ones and friends, especially around major zones. If necessary, account for those with reduced mobility in the planning process.
Another aspect to consider is the height of the island. If you’re using it as an additional prep space, it should rest at a comfortable height for you to be able to do this. Lastly, the higher the counter, the less overhang it needs, which is something to think about if you’re planning to include a seating area or stools.
The installation of your kitchen island
For starters, it’s worth mentioning that the installation process will follow the same basic principals as cabinet installation. In most cases, the base of the island will slip over wood blocks which are drilled into the floor, and these will keep it in place. If you’re working on a tile floor it’s important to mention that an alternative method will need to be considered. This is because the tile will break. A diamond drill bit can be used, but if you’re still not comfortable with this, consider a moveable island that won’t need to be secured into the floor.
Start by placing the island in the spot where you’d like it to go. Following this, mark the perimeter by outlining the base using painters tape or a pencil, whichever will leave less residue on the material underneath. Next, lift the island, lay it on its side and measure the inside edge of the space. The aforementioned wood blocks will need to fit inside the bottom of the island and you should account for one block on all four sides. After taking the measurements, cut a two-by-four into sections that will fit directly inside the base on each side of the cabinet.
Now, mark the second outline on the floor inside the painters' tape, and this one can be done with a pencil or washable marker depending on your floors material. This outline should be measured by the thickness of the base and will be dependant on the manufacturer you choose. For example, if the walls of your island are an inch thick, then the new line should account for this.
Finishing up this project!
Align the outer edge of one wood block with the most recent floor outline. Trace the perimeter of the block with a pencil or washable marker and do this for each of the blocks. Move all the wood blocks to a separate and safe area, drilling two holes through each that sit 2 inches from their ends. These holes will prevent the blocks from splitting when you secure them in place. Now you’re ready to put them back into position, setting them within their appropriate outlines.
Fasten the necessary drill bit to your drill, inserting it into one of the wood block holes and drilling through into the floor. The screws you use to secure the blocks in place will be dependant on the material of your floor. Fasten one screw into every single hole you previously drilled. Finally, wash away the pencil or marker using a cloth and warm water. The island can then be carefully lifted and put in place.
Again, depending on the shape and size of your chosen model, this may require the help of one to three people so make sure to have some around if your island is quite large. If there are any finishing requirements, now is the time to take these on and voila, enjoy your beautiful new island!
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