Kitchen islands are becoming a staple in kitchen remodels across the country, and a terrific way to save on your next kitchen update is by creating an island using something you’d typically never think of: cabinetry.
Kitchen islands are essentially cabinets put together in the center of a kitchen. They not only provide great storage for any kitchen, but also extra counter space so many of us desire. Rather than spending thousands on a new kitchen island, create one using stock cabinets.
1. Start with the Base and Back
Whether you are creating your own stock cabinets or an island using stock cabinets, always start with the base and back. After measuring the length and width required for the island, gather two long pieces of wood to serve as the outside, as well three smaller pieces to serve as the two outside pieces connecting the longer pieces. Place the third piece in the middle that will divide the two stock cabinets. Connect with as many screws as necessary.
Afterwards, add a bottom piece (on top of base) and a back to the island. Feel free to get creative with the material. Not sure your kitchen is big enough for an island? See Small Kitchen Island: The Unexpected Helper In Kitchen Remodeling.
2. Add End Panels
The end panels are the two sections shown on the side of the island. This is where many homeowners add a bit of creative design to their island, such as rails, styles or specific molding.
With your end panel on the ground, add as many 2X4s (or wood stakes) as you see fit along the side. You could add rails around for a square, an X across the center or crafted molding for an upscale look.
Make sure you add the rails on the ends of the panels first so they are flush. Feel free to use glue or nails to attach to end panel. Then, move your way in if you choose to add other rails to your end panel design. When you attach the end panels to the island, make sure you use screws rather than glue.
3. Attach Trim and End Plasters
The bottom of every island needs to look as professional as the rest of the kitchen. Therefore, all DIY homeowners should add trim to the bottom and front of the island. Then, add half rectangular (or shape of your choice) plasters or columns to the corners of the island. These plasters help hide and create space for stools or chairs under the island.
4. Insert Stock Cabinets
It’s time to add the stock cabinets to your kitchen island. Place the stock cabinets on opposite sides of your island. Depending on your island width, some may have room in between the two stock cabinets for extra shelving (great spot for open shelving). Attach with screws.
If you do have space in between, add cleats or holders to the outside of the stock cabinets (facing inwards). These cleats will hold the open shelves. Angle the shelves as you place in between the stock cabinets.
5. Final Island Touches
Add the center panels for the sides of the island. Then, add any specialty bases you want to include, such as crown molding or other specific designs that match your island. Sand and finish the entire island. Finally, add a countertop of your choice. Voila! You are finished.
To see the whole process on video, see how Lowe’s builds a kitchen island using stock cabinets below.
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