How to Build a Kitchen Island With a Sink


Island cabinets in a kitchen add practicality and panache to the workspace. If the kitchen sink is located on the island, it can provide an additional 6 square feet of usable countertop. The project will present a challenge as far as plumbing goes, but it can be handled by the avid do-it-yourself homeowner. As a precaution, check local ordinances concerning the addition of new plumbing. It may affect your homeowner's insurance.

Things You'll Need

  • One 36-inch sink cabinet
  • Two 18-inch cabinets
  • Wood glue
  • C-clamps
  • 2¼-inch drywall screws
  • Framing square
  • Six blocks of lumber
  • Variable-speed drill
  • Drill bit for the floor anchors
  • Anchors (for concrete floors)
  • Carpenter's level
  • Wood shims
  • Phillips head screw tip
  • Countersink drill bit
  • 3/4-inch brads
  • One piece 34½-by-72-by-¼-inch plywood
  • Two pieces 34½-by-23-by-¼-inch plywood
  • One countertop 26-by-74 inches
  • Skill saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Mark the floor where the kitchen island will be installed. The drain line for the sink should be the center point for the island. Place the three cabinets next to each other with the sink cabinet in the center. Drill countersink holes in the face frame of the sink cabinet; one at the top of the door opening and one at the bottom. Apply glue to the edges of the face frame, clamp it on and secure it with the drywall screws. Secure it also through the ends at the back of the cabinets.

  • Set the kitchen island on the marks and draw the outline around the base of the cabinets on the floor. Move the island out of the way and make several marks 9/16ths of an inch inside the outline if the end panels are 1/2-inch thick or 13/16ths of an inch for ends that are 3/4-inch thick. Install the blocks on either end and behind the front line of the sink cabinet. Use a masonry bit and anchors if the floor is concrete.

  • Set the kitchen island back in place. Use the carpenter's level to be certain it is level from side to side as well as front to back. Adjust if necessary with wood shims. Secure it to the floor through the cabinet into the blocks.

  • Install the 1/4-inch plywood panels to the back and sides of the island with the 3/4-inch brads. Trim the corners where the panels meet with outside corner mold.

  • Turn the countertop over and measure from one end and make a mark in the center. Place the cutout template that came with the sink on the countertop and trace its outline onto the countertop. Use the skill saw to cut the outline by holding the front of the plate of the saw firmly on the countertop, aligning the blade with the line and lowering the blade through the countertop.

  • Cut the four lines right up to the point where the corner of the sink is and stop. Let the blade stop before removing it to prevent injury. Cut the corners out with the jigsaw. Turn the countertop over and secure it to the island cabinet according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Removing the cabinet doors during the installation process helps avoid damage. If the floor has ceramic tile, use a bit made for tile to drill the holes and set the anchors.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children. Clean up excess glue with a damp cloth.

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