Cheap Island


With this outrageously cheap island idea you’ll be a little limited as to design, but you could have a very nice professional looking kitchen island. Be sure your kitchen is at least 8′ x 12′ and you’re confident you’ll have room to walk around your new island before you start.

Once you’ve decided to proceed, start looking for new or used kitchen “base”cabinets, like those already in your kitchen. Big Boxes, kitchen stores, wholesale companies and salvage places all have cabinets.

These are made in widths from 9″ to 48″ and are usually 24″ deep. Most are 34-3/4” high so that, with the countertop, the net height is around three feet or so.

Search online for kitchen cabinets your town or used cabinets your town(ie: cabinets dallas tx) using the Bing Custom Search Box right ->. These places sometimes have very cheap cabinets.

The cheap island we’ll build, including the countertop, will be 26″x50″. This means we’re looking for a 48″ wide x 24″ deep base cabinet. You might even find a nice cabinet at a salvage store for under twenty dollars! Search building salvage your town.

Tape the unit(s) in place to the floor exactly where you want (measure twice), taping on the outside of the cabinet. Either screw the unit down, using blocks or braces, or adhere it to the floor using an adhesive like Liquid Nails™ on the inside of the base at the floor, pressing the adhesive like you would caulk.

Since we’ve gone this far, here’s a few ideas in the same vein; if you have the room, consider attaching two base cabinets back to back, ortriangulate three base cabinets with a custom triangle (or circular) countertop. Two 36″ x 18″ deep units, attached back to back will create a 36″ x 36″ x 36″ cube island and if you were to make the countertop overhang a foot or so along the back side, you’d have a really nice “bar” style seating.

The Challenge: Finishing the Back

If the cabinet is cheap enough (your call) and has a match, buy two. Knock the face off one and adhere it to the back of the other, either gluing the doors closed or leaving access from both sides.

Have a tile floor? Laminate? Linoleum? Can you match what’s there for the back? How about paneling with stained molding strips to hide the edges? Maybe build a shelving unit (with a back) stained or painted to match your new cabinet. This will increase the depth, so make sure you have room.

A standard countertop should overhang 1″ all around and you may want to exactly match your existing countertops OR you might like to learn how tobuild a tile countertop. You can use the information there to spark ideas for the back, too. You’ll save a ton of money doing this, and if you edge your new tile countertop with wood molding to match the cabinets or use tile edging, it’ll look great!

So now, instead of $1000 – $2500 for a custom install, you could do the whole job for a little more than the cost of a few large pizzas!

… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
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Updated: October 26, 2013 — 3:27 pm

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