Tutorial – Installing A Single Row Ikea Kitchen Island
Posted On September 25, 2023
Ready to enhance your kitchen with a stylish and functional IKEA kitchen island?
Look no further!
In this guide, bolstered by over 240 successful IKEA kitchen installations, I’ll explain how Ikea SEKTION base cabinets can easily be used to create a single row kitchen island.
You can watch the full video below or keep reading to learn more.
If anything in the instructions below is unclear, please refer to the video for more detailed information.
Assemble the Kitchen Cabinets
You can mostly follow the IKEA assembly instructions to assemble the kitchen cabinets.
Please note I deviated from the instructions in a few places.
First, since we are making an island, you can discard the brackets used to hang the cabinets on the wall.
Instead, you’ll need the assembly kit for kitchen islands. You need one kit for every cabinet or appliance that makes up the island. This kit will make it possible to connect the cabinets together.
Install the brackets from these kits and assemble the cabinets as usual, taking special care to ensure everything is square.
Install the MDF Strips
Next, install the MDF strips from the assembly kit.
The purpose of these strips is to fill the void space between the back panel and the edge of the cabinet.
Cut two strips to fit inside the open space on the back of the cabinet. These get mounted with two screws on each side using the brackets that are inside the cabinet.
Secure the Island to the Floor
First, assemble the cabinet support brackets.
Mark on the floor where you want to place the island and align the cabinets with these marks. Then, place the support brackets in the required locations under the cabinets.
If you have tile floors, you must remove the cabinets to drill holes to secure the support brackets. With softer floors such as hardwood or exposed plywood (subfloor under laminate/vinyl), you can secure the support brackets with the cabinets in place if you have a 90-degree attachment for your power tool (see below).
When the support brackets are in place, screw all the cabinets together, making sure that everything is flush. Use clamps.
Next, level the cabinet. Ensure there are at least 4.5 inches (US & Canada) between the bottom of the cabinet and the floor all around.
When everything is levelled out, it is time to attach the cabinets to the island support brackets. Use two screws for each island support (the longer ones included with the island support bracket).
Cut and Install the Panels
On kitchen islands, I like to install panels that go all the way to the floor.
I always cut the panels at the top when cutting the panels to size. I never cut the panels at the bottom because that can make it hard to get a good seal at the bottom, leaving your cabinets vulnerable to water damage in the future.
Start with the back panel. I cut the panel to length first, leaving an extra 1/8 inch to ensure the panel would not be too short. Then, I make sure it is level to the floor. Once it is level, I measure from the top of the cabinet to the top edge of the panel and then mark and make my cut at the top. The distance from the top of the cabinets to the top of the panel before cutting must be the same wherever you measure. If it isn’t, your cabinets or the panel aren’t horizontal.
Once the back panel is cut, I cut the side panels. Selecting a side panel with the correct width is essential. For a single-row island, I use the 26×36″ panel. Put the panel in place and measure from the top of the cabinet to the top edge of the panel, then mark and make the cut at the top.
Then, it is time to install the panels. First, ensure the back panel is centred on the island and there are no significant gaps where the panels meet. Then, install the side panels with screws. Finally, securely install the back panel with screws. Be sure to screw from the inside of the cabinets with screws of appropriate length so that they won’t show on the outside.
With the panels securely attached to the cabinet boxes and the cabinet boxes securely attached to the floor, we are finally ready to install doors and drawers.
When that is done, it is time to congratulate yourself on another job well done.
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Go Green and save batteries
This is the third laser level I bought since I started to install kitchens, and hopefully, the last. It uses the same 12V battery as my 12V power tool and can run for a long time on a full charge.
This one has a green laser light, making it much easier to see the lines in broad daylight.
It is not a cheap tool, though, but I would have saved quite a bit of dollars if I had bought it, to begin with, instead of purchasing more affordable options twice.
Since I use the laser for a lot more than just checking ceilings and hanging rails, it has been money well spent for me.
Put it up and forget about it.
Before digging in and spending money on this pole, I clipped my (first) laser to a few suspension rails resting on something high in the corner of the room. Sounds time-consuming and complicated, right? Well, it was.
Also, I had to figure out an alternative way to position the level when installing the last suspension rail.
Now, with this pole, I put it up in a favourable position, and it just sits there during the entire installation, allowing me to move my level up or down with ease.
Adds an extra joint to your arm.
Sometimes the smaller tools make the biggest difference during an installation.
This little power tool extension allows you to put screws in tight spaces with little effort. A genuine time saver.
I use it to secure the island support brackets under the cabinets and mount hinges when I have a 5″ (modified) cabinet in the lineup.