How to Build A Kitchen Island

An island in your kitchen can be both functional and add to the beauty of the room. Whether your kitchen is large or small, you can build a kitchen island that will suit your area and serve the purposes you have in mind. Read on to learn how to build a kitchen island.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Counter top
  • Table saw or skill saw
  • 2 1/2 inch finish nails
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Electric drill or screwdriver
  • Router

Determine what size island you want to build. Islands can be from 24 inches long to as long as you want. Standard islands are 24 to 48 inches deep. Standard height for an island is 34 1/2 inches high.

Pick out material to build a kitchen island. You can use oak, maple, birch, ash, cherry, hickory or whatever kind of wood fits your needs. A home improvement store or specialty woods store should have a wide variety of woods to choose from.

Select the counter top you want to put on your island. Solid maple with a wax finish is a good choice for food preparation because maple provides a sturdy surface for chopping. Formica plastic in numerous colors or solid surface materials such as granite make good island tops. Choose your top carefully to give your kitchen the look you are wanting. Counter tops can be purchased at home improvement stores or solid-surface suppliers. You'll need to have the measurements (width and length) of your island when you order the top. It will be cut to fit at the store you purchase from.

Cut out your side panels to the depth you want your island to be. Lay out your face plates for the front of your cabinet. If you want doors and drawers on the back of your island cabinet, duplicate the front face plate. Face plates are normally 1 1/2 inches wide. Center plates to divide doors are normally 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide. When putting face plates together, check to see if they are square by using a framing square.

Cut the floor of the island cabinet to fit desired size. Next, cut a shelf out (full-shelf depth or half-shelf depth).

Select a door style for your island. For this example, we're using 3/4-inch plywood. Cut the doors 1 inch wider than your openings. This gives you a 1/2 inch reveal on all sides.

Use a router on the outside of your doors. Route each side of your door with the profile you prefer.

Buy 1/2 inch overlay hinges and attach to the door using a screwdriver or electric drill. Mount the hinges on your face plates.

Cut out your drawer boxes to fit openings. Use your same reveal on your drawer heads


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