How to Build a Kitchen Island with Fittings & Pipe
Ever been to a friend’s house and admired their kitchen island? We’ve all been there. Islands offer extra counter space, storage, and can give a kitchen a feeling of luxury.
Good news: having a kitchen island of your own doesn’t have to break the bank. Better yet, you can create a fully customized island for less than what you’d spend on a prefab one from the pros.
In this post, we’ll show you some DIY kitchen islands built by Kee Klamp customers, since Kee Klamp fittings help keep project costs down while offering more customization options than conventional materials. By the end, you’ll know what tabletop and frame to get, how to customize your design, and how to put it all together.
DIY Kitchen Island Ideas
Ben built this rolling kitchen island for his son’s condo. He had the tabletop custom built from a 700-year-old sinker cypress tree, then mounted it to a Basic Table Frame Kit. The kit gave him the flexibility to choose the height, length, width, and type of feet. In this case, he opted for casters so his son could roll the island out of the way as needed. Find the full tutorial here.
Margaret Mason also created a kitchen island using the Basic Table Frame Kit but used a butcher block for the tabletop instead of reclaimed wood. She also worked with our design team to add a custom bar around the top of the frame. This serves as a handy place to hang towels. Learn more about this project here.
Want to build a kitchen island that matches the granite countertops in your kitchen? Jerry from Massachusetts did exactly that. He built the base of the island using the same design as this Maker Table, but with casters instead of feet. He ordered the pipes and fittings with black powder coating to match the dark granite. Learn more about this island here.
Kitchen islands don’t have to have casters. Dan from West Babylon, New York put Flange fittings on the feet of his custom frame. The three horizontal pipes at the bottom of the frame help stabilize the island while also making it possible to scoot a chair or stool underneath.
Tracey from Friendswood, Texas opted not to put casters or Flange fittings on the feet of this island. This gives the frame a streamlined look. A wire shelf below the butcher block and a wood shelf near the floor provide additional storage.
Head over to this list for even more kitchen island ideas.
What to Consider Before Building a Kitchen Island
So you’re convinced that you want to build a kitchen island. Congratulations! It really couldn’t be easier to add this stylish and functional element to your kitchen. Here are a few things to consider before getting started:
- Height - Kitchen islands are often the same height as the existing cabinets in the kitchen. A slightly taller island works well with stools to provide extra seating, while a shorter one will suffice if you just need space to set appetizers when guests come over.
- Tabletop - As you’ll see in the next section, there are several options for tabletops. Reclaimed wood, butcher block, granite, stainless steel, and laminate are all popular choices.
- Frame - Table frame kits, Kee Klamp fittings and pipe, or reclaimed cabinets and furniture are all suitable base options. Learn more about them in a later section.
- Accents - Consider adding someplace to put towels, a shelf for storing pots, or hooks for hanging serving spoons.
Kitchen Island Tabletop Options
The flexibility to choose a tabletop is a big draw for creating a custom kitchen island. Any of these options will add an element of personality to the completed project:
Don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on a 700-year-old cypress tree. Look for unique reclaimed wood in places like architectural recycling centers or even old bowling alley lanes.
Many Kee Klamp customers have found that the GERTON tabletop from IKEA is a beautiful and budget-friendly option for achieving the butcher block aesthetic.
Laminate countertops are durable, inexpensive, and come in several colors. White is a natural choice for an island with a clean and minimalist style. It’s easy to cut this laminate countertop from IKEA down to the desired size.
Stainless steel tabletops are often a feature of garage workbenches, but one would look right at home as an island in an industrial-chic kitchen. Stainless steel is tough enough to stand up to almost anything you throw at it, too.
Granite is a stylish but more expensive option. Check the prices at your local stone yard, where they’ll also be able to help you cut the granite to the desired size.
Kitchen Island Frame Options
Now that you’ve chosen the tabletop for your island, it’s time to pick out the base:
There are several different table frame kits available that work well as the base for a kitchen island. Simply input the desired height, width, length, and foot type before ordering.
Kee Klamp Fittings and Pipe
Want something a little more customized than what a table kit offers? There is an infinite number of ways to combine Kee Klamp fittings and pipe to create a unique structure.
Give an old cabinet from an architecture recycling center new life by adding the tabletop of your choice and a fresh coat of paint.
Take an old or secondhand table, add casters and a new top, and you’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind rolling island.
How to Build a Kitchen Island
Building a kitchen island is almost as simple as 1, 2, 3:
Step 1: Assemble the Base
If you’re using a table frame kit or a design constructed with Kee Klamp fittings and pipe, simply follow the included instructions. You’ll only need an Allen key, screwdriver, hammer, crescent wrench (if installing casters), and level to put it together.
If you’re building an island out of a cabinet or reclaimed furniture, do any desired staining or refinishing before continuing to the next step.
Step 2: Attach the Tabletop
Instructions for how to attach the tabletop come included in any table frame kit. If you’re using a tabletop with a wood or fiberboard core, then attach it with a few screws.
Some Kee Klamp customers have found that granite is heavy enough to sit on top of the frame, free of attachments or additional supports.
Step 3: Enjoy
Place or roll your island out into the kitchen, then invite over a few friends to admire your handiwork!
Build Your Own Kitchen Island Today!
An island is a beautiful and practical addition to any kitchen. Building one of your own doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or expensive endeavor, no matter the customizations you want to add to it.
Have a design in mind but don’t know how to build it? We offer free design assistance to help you bring any project to life.