Building a kitchen island is easier than you think! This easy to follow DIY Kitchen Island tutorial will teach you how to build a kitchen island to be proud of!
I am finally sharing the building of our kitchen island! This is part of a larger kitchen remodel so if you haven’t seen the first post, here are all the plans for our kitchen makeover.
For our island, we first used the existing island. The island was too small however. The front edge was about 8 inches from the stove top which made it difficult to utilize for eating and it always looked cluttered.
Pro Tip: If you have no existing island, the easiest way to get an island with drawers and cabinets is to buy stock ones at your local hardware store. You can mix and match stock cabinets and it is relatively inexpensive. If you are going to paint, don’t worry about color or stain. However, I would generally recommend using a solid wood without obvious graining – i.e. I would avoid oak generally.
First I taped off a general area of where I wanted it and got rough estimates. Then you can get a general idea of how many cabinets you can use.
Building A Kitchen Island
We wanted to build the kitchen island beyond the existing stock cabinetry. This was as simple as adding new structure to create a breakfast bar.
The heavy duty brackets support the weight of the breakfast bar. The breakfast bar is positioned so that much of the depth will be on the framing, not the brackets. This is important to keep the brackets from ever teetering and to counter-balance.
We also moved the electrical outlets from the sides of the bar to the top to make them much easier to use (and more hidden).
Here is a side-shot of the frame. The frame is screwed into the joists in the floor as well as to the original island. It’s sturdy. Over-engineering is what we do around here.
After the framing, we added the drywall over the frame and made it flush with the existing side. The original reason that this was done was to utilize the existing cabinet sides to cover in airstone. However, this style was a bit too rustic for our kitchen and we changed it to a more traditional decor style.
If you like a Rustic Stone style, you can see our Airstone Kitchen Island tutorial here.
We wrapped the entire island in ¼ inch thick plywood but you can use mdf. I didn’t use mdf because it soaks up moisture and can buckle – even from wood glue. I filled in any knots or pin holes and added corner brackets to each side.
We could have added some baseboards, painted it, and that would have been perfectly great. However, we went a little bulkier by adding additional trim all over it. We have a lot of tips and tricks in how to add trim to a kitchen island here.
More Kitchen DIY Projects:
- Tips for Painting Kitchen Cabinets
- Why We Chose Luxury Vinyl Tile over Real Tile
- Building a Kitchen Island
- Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash Tile
Grab our free series "Weekend Home Projects that will Transform Your Life"
Sign up below to receive updates including free printables, organization tips, home improvement projects, recipes and more!
More Great Kitchen Ideas