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How to Build a Kitchen Island With Cabinets

Carter Oosterhouse shows how to add counter space in the kitchen by adding a kitchen island with cabinets.

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Step 1: Attach the Cabinets

Assemble the cabinets upside-down and then measure. Clamp the cabinets together and attach them using screws.

Step 2: Build the Toe Kicks

Since upper cabinets do not automatically come with a toe-kick, one will have to be built. This project calls for an L-shaped toe kick using 2x4s. The toe-kick should be built so it sits three inches in on all sides of the cabinets and measures four inches high. Place spacers throughout the toe kick over the points where the cabinets meet. Once built, screw the toe-kick spacers to the cabinet.

Step 3: Place the Cabinets

Flip the peninsula right-side-up and place it into position. Screw the new peninsula cabinets into the pre-existing ones.

Step 4: Attach the Countertop

Place the MDF countertop on top of the peninsula cabinets. The countertop should hang two inches over the door side and eight inches over the backside. The overhang on the backside will create added seating space. Attach the countertop by screwing up through the cabinets.

Step 5: Measure the Laminate

Measure the length and width of the countertop and apply to the laminate. You want to add an inch to the measurements, allowing yourself room for error when attaching the laminate to the countertop. Cut the laminate out using a circular saw.

Step 6: Cut the Laminate

Use a laminate stripper to cut laminate for the sides of the countertop. Again, cut an inch larger than actual measurements.

Step 7: Place the Laminate

Now get ready to place the laminate. Clear the surface and make sure there is no dust or debris. Apply two coats of contact cement to the countertop sides and one coat to the underside of the laminate strips. Allow the contact cement to dry and then carefully put the strips in place. Be aware that once the laminate is in place, it cannot be moved. Roll out any air pockets by using a J-roller.

Step 8: Remove the Excess Laminate

Once it's completely dry, use the router and laminate bit to remove the excess laminate. Place the base of the router on the side of the countertop and move in a left to right motion.

Step 9: Add the Contact Cement

When all the excess laminate is removed, begin working on the countertop. Again, add two coats of contact cement to the countertop and one coat to the underside of the laminate.

Step 10: Smooth Out the Laminate

Once the contact cement has dried, place spacers down on the countertop, no more than a foot apart from each other. Flip the laminate onto the spacers, making sure the laminate is positioned correctly. Remember, once in place, you will not be able to adjust it. Remove the spacers one at a time, and smooth out the laminate with the J-roller.

Step 11: Remove the Excess

After everything has completely dried, place the base of the router on the countertop and move left-to-right to remove the excess laminate.

Step 12: Add the Backing

For a finishing touch, add an appealing backing to the peninsula. Painted beadboard was used in this example.

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