Not every kitchen has an island and those that do sometimes have trouble with them shifting when they’re not attached to the floor. It’s frightening to lean against something that feels so solid and suddenly have it move. Moreover, it can cause spills and messes or even damage your flooring. Fortunately, a few screws and a little construction adhesive can fix this problem in an afternoon. Moving islands should be left for fantasy movies. They don’t help at all in the kitchen. I’ll walk you through the process of how kitchen islands are attached to the floor and explain why some don’t need this additional stability. With a few tools, some patience, and a little bit of helpful information, you can easily DIY this basic process. Home improvement doesn’t always require a professional, and anchoring your island yourself can save you a lot of money and hassle.
How are kitchen islands attached to the floor? Kitchen islands are attached to the floor with screws. By drilling holes directly into the flooring, you can anchor any island, large or small, directly to your floor. Additionally, it’s easy to add decorative trim or kick stopper to cover any signs of the work you did to make that island look like it was built along with the home.
How To Attach a Kitchen Island to the Floor
With a handful of tools, you can center, install, and secure your kitchen island in just a couple of hours, if that. For unanchored islands that are already in place, it’s easy to modify these steps to adapt the process. The biggest differences are that you will need to move your existing island.
Steps to Install Your Attached Kitchen Island
Attaching your kitchen island is quick and fairly simple. To do this project, you will need a drill, cleats (cut wood), screws, construction adhesive, a caulking gun (optional), and a marker. Especially if you’re dealing with a larger or heavier island, you will likely need help from a friend.
- Measure the distance from the edges of the room. Centering your kitchen island correctly will give the whole room a nicer look. Typically you want it to be equidistant from the nearest cabinets and counters, so you also have even walking space to maneuver within the food prep areas.
- Set the Island where you want it. Take time to look at it from all angles in the room. Once you anchor your island, it is going to be a lot harder to change your mind.
- Mark around the edges of your island so you know where it will sit.
- Look inside the cabinet and decide where the best locations for anchor screws are.
- Move your island and drill holes into the floor for your anchoring cleats. Make sure these are set far enough in from the marked lines to be within the island.
- Pre-drill holes in the floor and base of your island.
- Using construction adhesive and a caulking gun, fill the drill holes and add cleats to slide your island over. Add more adhesive around the edges of the cleats as well to bond them to the island.
- Re-center your cabinet and set it over the cleats. You can add screws laterally to attach even more securely to the cleats, but the adhesive will suffice on its own.
- Now you can attach the edging or kick plate if you want. This makes it more attractive and complete to look at.
Pro Tip 1: Use a cordless drill to make it easier. Islands may be in the center of your kitchen, but the base is a pain to work around with a cord.
I recommend the Black & Decker 20V Max Cordless Drill. Not only is this a well known and trusted brand, but they make high-quality equipment. The lightweight machine uses a long-lasting, rechargeable li-ion battery. Plus, it has variable speeds and an eleven position clutch. See the Amazon reviews by clicking here.
Pro Tip 2: If you are new to this process or need more information, the internet is filled with outstanding tutorial resources. I often use image searches for new projects to see how a professional would do a certain step. This allows you to match what you’re doing with what it should look like.
Pro Tip 3: Using a SolidWorks Professional Hand Caulking Gun from Amazon to apply your adhesive will give you clean and simple lines with less mess. The powerful 26:1 lever ratio helps prevent hand fatigue. Meanwhile, the cartridge holder has more rivets at stress points and rotates 360°. Have a SolidWorks delivered to your door by clicking here.
Are All Kitchen Islands Attached to the Floor
Before you attach your kitchen island to the floor, it pays to ask if you need to attach it at all. While most well-installed kitchen islands are indeed attached to the floor with cleats, not every island needs it. Some islands are made to be mobile. Meanwhile, others are simply heavy enough not to need anchoring. For example, a large marble-topped island may weigh enough that shifting it is nearly impossible anyhow; thus, no anchors would be needed.
However, the fact that an island isn’t anchored doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t need that stability. There are many reasons why builders and installers skip this step. Sometimes a client who was having the home built won’t pay for enough working hours to do everything to be completed, or a contraction cuts corners.
Legitimate mistakes also happen. Even the best workers sometimes miss a step, especially when they are in a rush. Plus, a DIY homeowner might not even realize this step is important to keep everything from moving while the island is in use.
Sometimes people don’t do their research before they add things to their home. It’s easy to see how someone could think that simply placing that big, heavy island is enough work. It’s important to see if your island is anchored and understand why it might not be. The good news is that any island can be anchored directly to the floor by making an internal frame from cleats that are screwed to the floor.
You can pick up Wooden French Cleats from Amazon. With seven widths and two depths, it’s simple to find the size you need. Moreover, cutting the diagonals yourself can be difficult, and using these high-quality premade cleats is much faster. Finish your island anchoring quickly by clicking here.
Moving an Existing Kitchen Island
Before you move any existing kitchen island, you need to know whether it is anchored to the floor. Taking the time to check out both if and how your island is attached can save you time, trouble, money, and damage. In some rare cases, you may be able to tap around the base and hear the difference where cleats are attached. However, this method is far from perfect.
To figure out whether your island is anchored, you first need to empty it. By pushing on the island near the middle and at a corner, you can more safely attempt to move your island. If it slides, then it’s most likely not anchored to anything. Please be careful. Tipping an island over is dangerous, and it can damage the island as well as your floors and kitchen.
Removing the baseboard inside is a simple solution. Alternately you could drill a small hole in the baseboard and take a look inside. Sadly you can’t accomplish this with the naked eye. A DEPSTECH Wireless IP67 Waterproof WiFi Borescope is a camera and light on a flexible wire. Since it’s compatible with most android and iPhone models, you can get a good look at the situation without risking broken parts or floor damage. Grab one right here.
For anchors under your island, remove that bottom board or the trim and base around the island. Then detach the island from its former mooring. Slide the island, or have several people lift it away. Make sure you set up your new anchors first to save time and trouble. Finally, reattach any removed boards, and add your trim or kick plate.
Attaching a new or existing island to your kitchen floor isn’t difficult, and it requires no special skills. This is an easy DIY that can give your island more stability and help prevent it from shifting. Not only will this make it a more solid working space, but it also helps prevent damage to your flooring.
With a few simple tools, you can do this job yourself in a couple of hours. You simply need to follow along on the steps I’ve outlined above to fix that island in place once and for all. Your island will stay put, and you get a sense of pride and accomplishment as a nice bonus.
Kitchen islands are often the center of family life, where kids do homework and families gather for smaller meals. Your island is the centerpiece of your kitchen and making sure it stays where you need it is a straightforward and enjoyable upgrade.