How To Attach Countertops To An Island

Date: December 8, 2022
Author: Lisa Henard
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An island is a group of free standing cabinets that provide extra storage and countertop space. Islands can be any size from one single cabinet to several cabinets put together to create a large island. Islands provide you with extra space to place bowls, pots, pans, and serving pieces. It also provides an additional work surface for making salads, pastas, or any other type of food. When it comes to installing counters on an island, you will need to ensure the countertop is level and anchored properly. The following step by step guide will teach you everything you need to know to attach countertops to an island.

Before you even begin the process of installing a countertop to an island, you must first ensure the cabinetry used for the island is properly installed. Your cabinets need to be screwed together and completely level. Once this has been completed, you are ready to begin the process of attaching a countertop to your island.

Step One: Measure Your Island

Determining the size of your kitchen island will guide you toward the size countertop you need to purchase. You will measure the length and width of your countertops. In addition to this measurement, you will need to determine how much overhang you will want on your island. Overhangs can be any width; however, the most common overhang sizes range from six to ten inches wide.

Step Two: Shop for a Countertop

There are many choices when it comes to countertops for islands, including granite, soapstone, marble, and laminate countertops. Therefore, you must consider all of your options to find the best countertop for your island.

Certain countertops like soapstone, marble, and granite should only be installed by a countertop specialist as they are heavy and difficult to work with. If you will be choosing one of these options, you will want to opt for the biggest slab of granite you like as this will help to minimize the number of seams in your island countertop.

If you want to install your countertops yourself, visit your local hardware store and find a countertop that meets your size specifications. The choices for DIY island countertops include laminate countertops, live edge wood countertops, or butcher block countertops. These countertop options are all very do it yourself friendly.

Step Three: Cut and Install Spaces for Your Countertop

Typically, the edge of the countertop will overhang your base cabinets. If a spacer is not used to raise your countertop, the countertop edge will prevent your cabinet drawers from being opened. A countertop spacer will prevent this from happening.

Standard countertops are about three quarters of an inch thick, and cabinets are traditionally 24 inches deep. You will wood that will mimic these measurements. The wood will support the countertop and allow you to screw the countertop into your base cabinets so that the cabinet drawers can open. You will want spacers on each end of your island as well as atop every seam where two cabinets meet.

Apply Liquid Nails to the spacers and attach them to the top of your base cabinets. Then, screw a screw into the top of the countertop as well. Using both glue and screws will ensure your countertop will prevent the spacer from shifting during installation and it will help prevent your countertop from loosening over the years.

Step Four: Install Your Laminate Countertops on Top of the Spacers

Next, you will install the laminate countertop on top of the spacers you just installed. You will want to line the edge of the countertop with the edge of your cabinets on every side that does not have an overhang. You may want a helper to ensure the countertop is flush and level on all sides.

Once the countertop is flush and level, use some bar clamps to hold your countertop in place during the installation process. If you do not use bar clamps, the countertop may sift or raise, which can prevent a secure hold. Place several bar clamps around the island or have a helper press down on the center of your countertop as you screw the countertop into place.

You will want to screw into each of your spacers about in three places (one at the front, one at the back, and one in the middle). This method will ensure your countertop is securely attached to your island cabinetry.

Pro Tip: You must use the correct length screw and screw through the spacer and cabinet thickness to prevent the screw from going through the countertop surface. Therefore, it is essential to know the thickness of your spacer and countertop before installing the countertop. Laminate is a soft material, and a coarse thread screw must be used to ensure a firm attachment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most common questions concerning installing laminate countertops on islands.

Are Laminate Countertops Easy to Install on Islands?

Yes! Laminate countertops are a great choice for homeowners who wish to install a countertop on an island. The installation process can be completed in the aforementioned four easy steps.

How Should I Attach Laminate Countertops to an Island?

Because screws can back out and loosen over time, we recommend using both Liquid Nails glue and coarse thread screws to attach the countertop to the island.

What Type of Screws Should I Use to Attach Laminate Countertops?

Because laminate is a soft material, you will want to use coarse thread screws. The thicker threads of these screws will better grab the laminate and create a tight hold. Some of the best screws to use for attaching laminate countertops to islands include wood screws and drywall screws.

Final Thoughts on How to Install Countertops on an Island

Our easy to follow instructions on how to install a countertop to a kitchen island will ensure you install the countertop correctly. You want to make sure that your countertop is square with your island, level, and has the overhang that you want. Once your countertop is installed, you will be able to enjoy your new kitchen installation or kitchen renovation.

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About Jon - Website Owner

Lisa Henard

Hi, my name is Jonathan Smith. I have been in the granite business for many years and have worked my way up from an installer helper to an installer and then a countertop business owner. 

I started my countertop company with very little and grew extremely fast because of my knowledge and helpfulness. I started this countertop resource for 1 main reason. That reason is that there are no countertop websites with all the correct information and none of them are from an industry expert like myself. 

I am still in the trade every single day installing countertops, educating people on the type of material they are using for their homes, and making people's dream kitchens a reality.
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