Are Kitchen Islands Attached To The Floor? 6 Things You Need To Know

*My posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link! Thank you for supporting my website!*

Last updated on October 21st, 2022 at 01:24 pm

Putting In A Kitchen Island: How To Remove, Move, Install, & Secure It To the Floor

About to do a kitchen remodel and wondering if kitchen islands are attached to the floor? Look no further because I have your answer!

Kitchen islands are attached to the floor to prevent them from shifting around or falling over while in use. Since the cabinets that make up a kitchen island cannot be attached to a wall, a 2″ x 4″ is attached to the floor and the cabinet is attached to the 2″ x 4″ to secure it instead.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Traditional base cabinets are screwed into the wall studs to keep them from moving around while in use, so it only makes sense that a kitchen island would need a similar setup to keep it from sliding around!

Below, I’ll explain when you’d want to attach an island to the ground, when you would NOT, and how you would go about accomplishing all of this. Then soon enough, you’ll be a master at all things kitchen island-related!

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: Attaching A Kitchen Island To The Floor

  1. Why You Should Attach A Kitchen Island To The Floor
  2. When To Attach A Kitchen Island To The Floor
  3. When NOT To Attach A Kitchen Island To The Floor
  4. How Kitchen Islands Are Attached To The Floor
  5. Where To Check If Your Kitchen Island Is Attached To The Floor
  6. How To Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets And Attach It To The Floor
  7. Other FAQs About Attaching A Kitchen Island To The Floor
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. Related Kitchen Island Articles

Why You Should Attach A Kitchen Island To The Floor

First, let’s discuss why you most likely will want to secure your kitchen island to the floor because there are several benefits you’ll receive from taking this extra step.

Some of those benefits include making the kitchen island:

  • More secure
  • More durable
  • Safer

One: More Secure

The first benefit of attaching a kitchen island to the floor is that it makes the island more secure.

Just like normal base cabinets against a wall, the kitchen island base cabinets need to be screwed into something to help keep them from shifting around during use.

Attaching the kitchen island to the floor will prevent it from moving around or falling backward while someone is leaning against it.

Plus, an island that is secured into place looks better because it will always be in the appropriate spot within the kitchen.

That means that your island will always be perfectly centered under pendant lights or in front of a decorative range hood. That consistency is a huge aid in the visual aspect of your kitchen.

And also with a secured kitchen island, your walkway between the island and the other cabinets or fridge will be consistent.

With a consistent walkway, you limit the likelihood of bumping into the island often (which can be painful and annoying).

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - more secure
My walkway is always consistent with the island attached to the ground.

Two: More Durable

The next benefit of attaching a kitchen island to the floor is that it makes the island more durable.

With the cabinets being secured together and attached to the floor, the cabinets will last forever.

However, if the island is made of base cabinets and can freely move around, then the cabinets can bump together, or the back or side can become weaker over time from constant leaning against it.

No need to worry about that, though, if it’s all secured together and fixed to the ground.

In addition to the island lasting longer, your belongings will also last longer because they’re staying stationary as well.

With an island that isn’t attached to the ground, there’s always the possibility of the items within shifting around or accidentally breaking.

But, if the island is fixed, then that problem disappears.

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - more durable
Even when I reach across the counter, nothing shifts around or moves. At this point, the island cabinets are just like the other standard cabinets throughout your kitchen.

Three: Safer

The final benefit of attaching a kitchen island to the floor is that it makes the island safer to be around.

We’ve already talked about the inconvenience of the island leaning backward from someone leaning against it, but I’ve got to mention the safety hazard that this causes.

A little one or a pet could easily be squished if the unsecured island ever toppled over from someone leaning against it and not realizing that the cabinets aren’t secured to the ground.

However, the larger the island, the less this is likely to happen because your countertop will be heavy enough to hold the island into place.

Though, more often than not, an island should never need to move, so attaching it to the ground is the safest bet.

Now that we’ve gone over the benefits, it’s time to discuss when you should fix an island to the ground and when you should NOT attach it to the ground.

Let’s keep going!

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - safer
My little nugget (Dash) needed some love, so he’s helping me demonstrate how sturdy our kitchen island is even when we are leaning on it!



When To Attach A Kitchen Island To The Floor

In most situations, you’ll want to attach your kitchen island to the floor.

This is especially true if your island is:

  • Made out of several base cabinets
  • Smaller in size (60″ x 24″ or less)
  • Has seating around it
  • Has a lighter weight countertop (i.e. laminate or butcher block)

As we’ve discussed above, we really want to limit an island’s ability to move. Especially if seating is going around it or the island is made out of several base cabinets that can shift independently of the other cabinets around them.

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - when to attach a kitchen island to the ground
We have seating, a light laminate countertop, and a permanent kitchen island, so we attached our island to the ground.

Occasionally, if you have a large island with a heavy countertop (such as quartz or granite), then the countertop can weigh enough to anchor the island into place.

But if you’re going through the full effort to install or move a kitchen island in the first place, you might as well install it correctly so it lasts forever.

When NOT To Attach A Kitchen Island To The Floor

However, there is one situation when you would not want to attach your kitchen island to the floor.

This situation includes:

  • Small, movable islands for tiny kitchens (specifically ones without seating around them or mostly for decorative purposes)

If your kitchen is small and cannot fit a standard kitchen island made out of base cabinets, then your best bet for fitting an island into it is one of the small, movable islands you can buy at places like Wayfair or Amazon.

These islands are meant to be lightweight and movable since they’re being placed in such a small space. Their real purpose is to act more like a table where you can place items on them and have a little extra counter space.

They typically don’t have seating around them, and they usually only have a little bit of storage space inside them.

These small islands are perfect for tiny kitchens that just need a little bit more counter space and don’t need to be attached to the floor.

However, any other island that is meant to be a more permanent fixture in the kitchen should be attached to the floor.

So, if you’ve determined that your island does need to be fixed in place, then let’s move onto how they are attached to the floor.

How Kitchen Islands Are Attached To The Floor

Since kitchen islands aren’t touching a wall, they need to be anchored to the ground.

To accomplish this, a 2×4 is attached to the ground first. Then the island is attached to the 2×4, which holds the cabinet into place.

Here is what the anchors for a 3-cabinet island look like.

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - secure 2x4s to subfloor

The 2x4s can be attached to a wood subfloor with screws or a concrete subfloor with concrete nails, a .22 caliber single shot tool, and .22 caliber powder loads.

Then the cabinet is set over the 2×4 and screwed into the 2×4 through the toe kick on the cabinet.

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - screw cabinets into 2x4 supports

It’s really simple to attach a kitchen island to the ground!

Where To Check If Your Kitchen Island Is Attached To The Floor

If you already have a kitchen island and need to remove it for a remodel, then you might be wondering where to look to detach it from the floor.

Most likely, there is a finishing panel over the toe kick of the island that is masking the screws that have the entire island secured to the floor.

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - screws behind toe kick panel
The toe kick panel is most likely hiding the screws that keep the island attached to the ground.

To check if your island is fixed in place, remove the finishing panel over the toe kick (it was most likely glued or brad nailed into place) and look for screws.

If you find screws under the panel, unscrew them to free the cabinets from the floor. You’ll also want to check for screws by the cabinet door hinges that are most likely holding the island cabinets together and unscrew them as well.

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - screws attaching cabinets together
These screws lock all of the base cabinets together so they can’t shift around independently of each other.

Lastly, remove the drawers from the island cabinets, climb in, look up, and locate any screws that are holding the countertop to the cabinets. (Laminate and butcherblock countertops will likely be secured this way.)

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - screws attaching countertop to cabinets
These screws are what’s securing the countertop to the base cabinets.

Then your island will be unassembled and much easier to remove!

How To Make A Kitchen Island Out Of Base Cabinets And Attach It To The Floor

I briefly mentioned above how a kitchen island is attached to the floor. But if you want a full tutorial on how to make a custom kitchen island out of base cabinets, then you need to check out my article here.

I’ll walk you through step-by-step how to design the perfect kitchen island to fit your space, install the cabinets, and attach the whole thing to the floor in a day!

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - how to make a kitchen island out of base cabinets
You can make a completely custom kitchen island for much cheaper, and it’s relatively easy!

Other FAQs About Attaching A Kitchen Island To The Floor

Before we end this discussion of all things kitchen island-related, let’s cover a few other questions that you might have to help you with your kitchen remodel!

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Kitchen Island?

On average, kitchen islands cost $3,000 to $5,000 with high-end island installations costing $10,000 or more. However, installing a simple kitchen island out of base cabinets yourself reduces the cost to $400 to $1,500. For a 78-inch long x 36-inch wide kitchen island, the cost of material is around $1,100.


To install our kitchen island, we spent:

  • 36 inch base cabinet – $300
  • 18 inch trash can base cabinet – $285
  • 12 inch base cabinet – $160
  • 36 inch x 78 inch laminate countertop – $200
  • Back panels (2) – $90 total
  • Trim (stain, poly, & supplies) – $50
  • Toe kick finishing panel – $20
  • Kitchen handles – $10

That comes to a total of $1,115.00. Not bad compared to the average $4,000 cost of a kitchen island. We did all of the installations ourselves, though, so this was only material cost, no labor. 

This article can further break down the cost of a kitchen island with different features than ours, so you can better budget for your project!

Can You Secure A Kitchen Island To A Concrete Floor?

Kitchen islands should be secured to concrete floors to prevent them from falling over or shifting. To secure a kitchen island to a concrete floor, use a .22 caliber single shot tool, .22 caliber powder loads, and concrete nails to secure a 2″ x 4″ into the concrete. Afterward, screw through the toe kick of the cabinet into the 2″ x 4″ to attach it to the floor.

Do You Install Floor Or Kitchen Island First?

Floating Flooring (Laminate Plank/Vinyl Plank)Nailed/Glued Flooring (Tile/Linoleum)
Install kitchen island CABINETS then lay FLOORINGLay FLOORING then install kitchen island CABINETS
Needs to float, not be trapped in placeNeeds to be secured in place
Easier to change out the flooring later without removing the islandThe flooring is thin enough for another flooring to be installed over top later

Final Thoughts On Attaching A Kitchen Island To The Floor

There you have it!

Kitchen islands are attached to the floor to secure them into place and prevent them from shifting around or falling over. Other than store-bought, movable islands, a kitchen island is meant to be a permanent fixture in the kitchen just like the other base cabinets, so they should be anchored to the ground.

Now that you have a better understanding of how kitchen islands are constructed, you’ll be able to make better decisions for any future kitchen remodeling you might be doing!

are kitchen islands attached to the ground - pinterest pin
Love this post? Share it with others so they can install a kitchen island properly as well!



Are Kitchen Islands Attached To The Floor? 6 Things You Need To Know

DIY With Christine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.