Building a Kitchen Island

A traditional kitchen has counter-tops along the walls, whereas kitchen islands provide a counter-top in the middle of the kitchen. Kitchen islands are becoming more popular in houses with larger kitchens. They allow more than one person to prepare meals in the kitchen, and they make it easier for a cook to interact with guests while preparing a meal.


A kitchen island should be at least 2 feet long, but one can be as long as you like as long as there is room to walk around its ends. It should be at least 2 feet deep, and it can be as much as 4 feet deep. The height of a kitchen island should be equal to the height of the other counter-tops in the kitchen, which is usually a standard 34.5 inches.


Wood is a common choice of material for a kitchen island, especially maple. This type of wood has a reasonable cost and provides a solid cutting surface. Other choices of wood include ash, birch, cherry, hickory and oak. Wood surfaces require periodic waxing to maintain the finish. Homeowners may also choose Formica for the surface. Formica, a type of plastic, is available in a large selection of colors. Some kitchen island tops are made from granite.


Counter-tops for a kitchen island are available from a supplier or home improvement store. The supplier will generally be cheaper, but will be less likely to provide you with advice. A home improvement store is a better choice for homeowners who have questions about building the kitchen island. The store will cut the pieces for the island, so you must know the measurements before you purchase the materials.


The major pieces of your kitchen island will be cut at the store, including the counter-top, side, front and rear panels. The major task in building the kitchen island is to cut the smaller pieces. The cabinet doors on your kitchen island will require faceplates, which are typically 1.5 inches wide. The center plates between the doors should be 3 to 3.5 inches wide. Cut a space for the cabinets, ensuring this space is 1 inch wider than the doors to provide 1/2 inch of overlap for the door on each side.

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