How To Make a Kitchen Island Out of Base Cabinets

To make a kitchen island out of base cabinets, place two or more base cabinets next to each other, secure them together, and add a countertop. Creating a kitchen island is a fantastic way to add functionality and style to your kitchen.

Whether you’re looking for extra storage space, additional seating, or a dedicated area for meal preparation, a kitchen island can fulfill all those needs. The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to have one. By repurposing base cabinets, you can quickly build your kitchen island without spending a fortune.

We will guide you through the simple steps to transform base cabinets into a beautiful and functional kitchen island. So, let’s dive in and discover how to make a kitchen island out of base cabinets.

How To Make a Kitchen Island Out of Base Cabinets

Materials And Tools Needed

When it comes to creating a kitchen island, having the suitable materials and tools is essential. In this section, we will walk you through the different items you will need to ensure a successful project. From base cabinets to countertop materials, screws and bolts to power drills, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Base Cabinets

Base cabinets are the foundation of your kitchen island. These cabinets provide storage space and also act as the anchor for your countertop. Ensure that you select base cabinets that are sturdy and of the appropriate size for your island. Measure the dimensions of your kitchen space beforehand to ensure a proper fit.

Countertop Material

The countertop material you choose will have a significant impact on both the look and functionality of your kitchen island. There are various options available, including granite, quartz, wood, and laminate. Consider factors such as durability, maintenance, and style when selecting the perfect countertop material for your island.

Screws And Bolts

In order to securely attach the base cabinets and to the countertop, you will need screws and bolts. Opt for high-quality screws and bolts that are appropriate for the weight and size of your cabinets. Make sure to choose the right length and type of screws and bolts to ensure stability and durability.

Power Drill

A power drill is an essential tool for this kitchen island project. This versatile tool will be used to drill holes, secure screws, and bolts, and assemble the different components of your island. Make sure to have a suitable drill bit for the type of screws and bolts you are using.


A saw is necessary if you need to customize the size of your base cabinets or make any modifications to accommodate plumbing or electrical fixtures. A circular saw or a jigsaw will be handy for cutting through the cabinet materials with precision.

Measuring Tape

Accurate measurements are crucial when building a kitchen island. Use a measuring tape to determine the dimensions of your kitchen space, as well as the size of your base cabinets and countertops. This will ensure a seamless fit and prevent any issues during the installation process.


A level tool is used to ensure that your cabinets and countertop are correctly aligned and balanced. It will help you achieve a professional and seamless finish. Check the level of your cabinets at different stages of the installation process to avoid any unevenness.

Steps To Build The Kitchen Island

In this section, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of building your very own kitchen island using base cabinets. Whether you’re looking to add more storage or create a central gathering spot in your kitchen, these simple steps will help you achieve your goal. So let’s get started!

Step 1: Measure And Plan

Before diving into the construction process, it’s crucial to start with precise measurements and a well-thought-out plan. Measure the space where you want to place the kitchen island, taking into account any clearance requirements or obstructions. Once you have the dimensions, sketch out your design, considering factors such as cabinet placement, countertop overhang, and any additional features you want to incorporate. Proper planning ensures that your kitchen island fits seamlessly into your space and meets your specific needs.

Step 2: Prep The Base Cabinets

With your measurements and plan in hand, it’s time to prep the base cabinets. Start by removing any doors, drawers, and hardware from the cabinets. This step makes it easier to work with the cabinets and ensures a clean, professional finish. Next, check the cabinets for any imperfections or damage that may need repair. Sand the surfaces lightly to create a smooth base for painting or staining, if desired. Finally, apply your chosen finish to the cabinets, allowing ample drying time before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Attach The Cabinets

Once the base cabinets are prepped and finished, it’s time to attach them. Begin by determining the desired layout of the cabinets. Please place them in the designated configuration, ensuring they are correctly aligned. Use screws and brackets to secure the cabinets together at the front, back, and sides. This step ensures stability and prevents the cabinets from shifting over time. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that the cabinets are level and plumb, using shims if required.

Step 4: Add The Countertop

Now that the cabinets are securely fastened, it’s time to install the countertop. Measure and mark the dimensions of the countertop on the cabinets, ensuring that it overhangs evenly on all sides. Carefully cut the countertop material to size using a saw or appropriate cutting tool. Apply a layer of adhesive to the top of the base cabinets and carefully place the countertop on top. Press it firmly to ensure a strong bond. If using multiple countertop sections, join them together seamlessly using countertop connectors or adhesive.

How To Make a Kitchen Island Out of Base Cabinets

Step 5: Secure The Island In Place

The final step is to ensure that your kitchen island remains securely in place. Attach L-brackets or wood blocks to the base cabinets, securing the island to the floor for added stability. If your kitchen has a floating floor, use adhesive or screws to fasten the island to the floorboards underneath. Check that the island is level and adjust as necessary. This step ensures that your newly constructed kitchen island stays in place, even during vigorous cooking or heavy usage.

Customization And Finishing Touches

Once you have assembled your kitchen island using base cabinets, it’s time to add your personal touch and make it truly unique. Customization and finishing touches can elevate your kitchen island from functional to fabulous. Here are some ideas to consider:

Paint Or Stain The Cabinet

One of the easiest and most impactful ways to customize your kitchen island is by painting or staining the cabinet. Choose a color that complements your kitchen’s décor, or go bold with a contrasting hue. Before painting, make sure to properly prepare the surface by cleaning it and sanding down any rough areas. Apply the paint using smooth, even strokes and allow it to dry completely before adding a second coat if desired. Alternatively, you can stain the cabinet to enhance the natural wood grain and give it a rich, warm finish.

Add Decorative Molding

Another way to take your kitchen island to the next level is by adding decorative molding. Molding can add elegance and sophistication to the overall design. Choose a style that suits your taste and complements your kitchen cabinets. Crown molding along the top edge of the island can create a polished look, while beadboard paneling on the sides can add a touch of farmhouse charm. Install the molding using adhesive or nails, ensuring it is securely attached and seamless in appearance.

Install Additional Storage Drawers

To maximize the functionality of your kitchen island, consider installing additional storage drawers. These drawers are perfect for storing utensils, linens, or even pots and pans. Measure the available space inside the cabinet and choose drawer slides that fit the dimensions. Install the slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring they glide smoothly and securely. Once the drawers are in place, organize your items neatly, making it easier to access and utilize your kitchen essentials.

Incorporate A Bar Seating Area

If you have enough space, incorporating a bar seating area into your kitchen island can create the perfect spot for casual meals or entertaining guests. Determine the desired height for the seating area and choose stools that complement the island’s style. Make sure there is enough legroom and sufficient support for the overhanging countertop. This addition not only increases the functionality of your kitchen island but also provides a gathering space for family and friends to enjoy each other’s company while you cook.

How To Make a Kitchen Island Out of Base Cabinets

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets

Can You Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets?

Yes, you can easily make a kitchen island out of base cabinets. It’s a cost-effective and practical solution to add more storage and countertop space to your kitchen. By combining multiple base cabinets and adding a countertop, you can create a custom kitchen island that suits your needs and style. It’s a great DIY project for homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchen.

What Are The Benefits Of Making A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets?

There are several benefits to making a kitchen island out of base cabinets:
It provides extra storage space for your kitchen essentials.
It adds more countertop space for meal preparation and serving.
It enhances the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen, making it a focal point of the room.
Lastly, it’s a budget-friendly option compared to purchasing a ready-made kitchen island.

How Do I Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets?

To make a kitchen island out of base cabinets:
Start by measuring the available space in your kitchen.
Purchase the required number of base cabinets that can fit the space.
Remove any doors or drawers from the cabinets and secure them together using screws and brackets.

Install a countertop of your choice on top of the cabinets. Finally, add any finishing touches, such as paint or decorative molding, to complete the look of your kitchen island.


Creating a kitchen island from base cabinets is a cost-effective and straightforward way to enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen space. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can quickly transform your base cabinets into a stylish and functional island.

Whether you’re looking to add extra storage, a workspace, or a place for family and friends to gather while cooking, this DIY project is a great option. So why wait? Start planning and building your very own custom kitchen island today!

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