DIY Kitchen Island Upgrade

By Todd Fratzel on Cabinetry

Guest Post by Dana at House*Tweaking

Kitchen Island On A Budget

In an effort to customize our boring builder kitchen, we brainstormed an affordable island extension and the replacement of the original islandʼs laminate countertop with inexpensive butcher block. This is what our island looked like untouched…

Along with the surrounding kitchen cabinets, we primed and painted the kitchen island white and added new hardware to the cabinets and drawers. Then we simply removed the laminate countertop by unscrewing it from the base cabinet. That left us with this…

With the help of a wood working friend, we constructed a 9” open shelf extension and painted it the same as the base cabinet. The extension cost us roughly $30 to make. We secured the shelving unit to the end of the existing island by screwing it into the
floor in 2 corners and also screwing it into the top of the base cabinet. A piece of trim was added to the seam where the new extension met up with the back of the base cabinet.

We purchased a piece of IKEAʼs Numerar oak butcher block and used a circular saw to trim 10” off of the length. The butcher block countertop was installed using 4 wood screws at each corner. To help seal the wood top from moisture and stains, we lightly sanded and oiled the butcher block multiple times, leaving plenty of time in between coats for the mineral oil to penetrate. Hereʼs what our custom DIY kitchen island looks like now…

This bang-for-your-buck upgrade cost about $250. For more information on how to customize and personalize your home, check out House*Tweaking – a blog designated to decorating your home with a little bit of money and a lot of creativity.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. This is very clever. I especially appreciate the details. As an utterly non-handy person, lots of times I have great ideas, but can’t figure out how to put them together. Explaining how and where you attached the new shelf — and how you took off the counter — are the details people like me need. :)

    Nice island!

  2. Thanks for the guest spot, Todd! It was a lot of fun!


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