Replace A Kitchen Island: Step-by-Step

A kitchen with an island.
  • 4-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 300-3,000
What You'll Need
Basic hand tools
Tape measure
New kitchen island

Replacing your kitchen island can go a long way toward modernizing your kitchen without the expense of a renovation. Newer kitchen islands come with expanded functionality and can make a dramatic design impact.

Step 1 - Decide What Kind of Kitchen Island

Before you start ripping out the old kitchen island, you should decide on what type of island you want to replace it with. Do you want another island? Or do you want a portable kitchen island? Is it taking up too much room in your kitchen? Are you going to build a custom kitchen island to replace the old one?

Along with these decisions you should also think about what you use the island for. Do you mostly use it for preparing food? Would you like to have a new eating area? Do you have to make arrangements for a handicapped person living in the home? Decide on the type of kitchen island you want to have and then draw up some simple plans. You can use computer software, take your ideas to a home center or simply write them down on a piece of paper.

Step 2 - Disconnect Any Plumbing or Electricity

Most islands will have some sort of plumbing to accommodate a prep sink or electricity for an outlet or countertop stove. Before removing the old island you will need to safely disconnect this infrastructure. Shut off the water and the electricity before doing any of this work. Mark off the hot and cold water pipes, as well as the wiring so you can hook them back up easily.

Step 3 - Remove Old Island

Remove the countertop so you can get to the inside of the island easier. This will also make it much easier to carry. The old island will be attached to the floor by nails from the bottom base plate of the frame. Pry this up carefully with a pry bar or a hammer. Try not to damage the floor or you will have to patch up that portion of the floor before putting in the new island. Remove the old island and either salvage part out of it, or dispose of it properly.

Step 4 - Clean Area and Prepare Floor

Before installing the new island you will have to clean the floor of any debris, grime, or even mold and mildew. If there are any holes in the floor that will not be covered up, take the time to patch them now.

Step 5 - Install New Kitchen Island

Bring in the new kitchen island and place it in the area you are going to install it. Hook up any of the electrical wiring and plumbing that needs to be connected. Turn on the water and power to ensure everything works and there are no leaks. Slide the island into its permanent position and attach it with screws to the floor. Finish the flooring to match the existing floor and add trim to the bottom of the kitchen island.