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How To Build A Kitchen Island With Seating

How To Build A Kitchen Island With Seating

The kitchen is the heart of the home and where families get together.

Being such a busy room you probably often wish for extra storage, counter space and seating.

How To Build A Kitchen Island With Seating?

How about having all of those in one new addition to your kitchen?

A kitchen island is a group of base cabinets with a countertop that sits in the middle of the kitchen.

Add an overhang, and you have somewhere to sit. So, let’s take a look at how to build a kitchen island with seating.

Measure The Space

The first thing you need to do is measure the space that the kitchen island is going to be in.

This depends on the size of your kitchen and how much space you want the island to occupy.

Use a tape measure to take the dimensions and then mark out the space on the floor with painter’s tape or similar.

Most islands should be at least three feet from your other kitchen cabinets to allow enough room for people to walk around the kitchen comfortably.

If you have enough space then you can leave more room, enough for two people to pass each other without bumping into each other or the island.

A good tip is to leave the tape on the floor for a few days and see how well you live with this size for your island.

If you find yourself stepping over the tape then the size is too large but if you are comfortably living with it go ahead or even make it bigger if you want.

Choose The Cabinets

Once you are happy with the size of the footprint you need to choose the cabinets you will use to make your island.

Of course the choice is completely up to you according to your taste, budget and the size of the island.

Many people use 30” cabinets however as they are a good size and easy enough to find.

Two together will give you a six-foot island which is enough for three people. In general leave 22”-24” per person. So for 4 people you will need 90”-96”, you get the idea.

You can buy cabinets either online or from a Home Depot, Lowes or similar stores.

Before assembling the cabinets, put some ram board on the floor to protect it as you are moving the cabinets around.

Of course, you can build an island completely from scratch and not buy pre-made cabinets.

The kitchen island we will describe below however is made by utilizing pre-made ready to assemble cabinets as well as a homemade structure to hold it all together.

Assemble The Island

The first step is to assemble the cabinets according to their instructions. Keep them on the ram board to prevent scratching your floor.

Now you can create a structure or frame that the cabinets will sit in and that will support the counter top when it is installed.

The framework will be three rectangles made from 2” by 4”, one long rectangular piece and two end rectangles.

The length of the center rectangle will depend on the length of your island and can be adapted according to the size of the island you want or that will fit in your kitchen.

One side of this framework will house the cabinets and the other will form the seating area.

The width of the framework will be the same as the width of the countertop that you will install and will determine the size of the end rectangular frames.

Leave at least 12”-18” for the overhang to allow people to sit comfortably without banging their knees on the framework.

Secure the pieces of the frame together and cover the exterior faces with plywood cut to the appropriate sizes, this hides the framework.

Cut pieces of decorative board to fit on the end pieces of the island.

Fill in any gaps or screw holes in the exterior faces of the frame with wood filler and sand down till smooth.

When you are happy with the frame, give it a couple of coats of primer and one or two topcoats.

Take the framework to the kitchen and assemble it around the cabinets that are already in place where your island is going to be.

Fix the cabinets to the framework and to each other, making sure that you allow for any electrics that need to run into the island.

Put The Countertop On

When all the fitting of the cabinets to the framework has been done it will be time to install the countertop.

This will extend over the top of the cabinets and also form the counter space for the seating area of the island.

The countertop is placed directly on top of the framework but support brackets should be used to ensure that it is stable and secure.

Heavy countertops such as granite will need to be supported with heavy-duty brackets.

Laminate or other lighter countertops can be laid directly on top of the cabinets and framework with the addition of spacers and appropriately fixed in place.

Now you just need to add some bar stools or chairs to your new kitchen island to complete the look.

Final Thoughts

There is more than one way to build a kitchen island with seating including making the cabinets from scratch as well as the framework.

It is even possible to make a butcher block countertop yourself. However, this would require a high degree of skill and expertise.

For the majority of people the most DIY friendly way is to use ready made or premade ready to assemble cabinets with a framework to hold them all together and place the countertop over this structure with an overhang to form the seating area.

Add some seats, and you have a new kitchen island with somewhere for all the family to hang out.

We hope this guide has been helpful and wish you good luck with your kitchen island project.

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