Do You Need To Anchor A Kitchen Island? (Explained!)

A kitchen island comes in handy when there is a shortage of countertop space in your kitchen. However, installing this piece can be confusing as many people are not sure whether to anchor it or not. Read on as we discuss this misconception and what the right thing is.

Does a kitchen island need to be anchored?

Depending on the size, you should secure your kitchen island to the floor to ensure its safety and stability. When secured to the floor, you have a sturdy island with cook surfaces; you can also have a stove or dishwasher or even the kitchen sink on the kitchen island.

By securing your kitchen island to the floor, you offer extra stability and utility. But then, not all islands need to be anchored to the floor. The idea behind anchoring is to ensure that the kitchen island does not move or tilt when someone leans on it.

Generally speaking, oversized and heavy kitchen islands do not need to be anchored. However, if you have a small kitchen island, you should anchor it. 

Small block-style rolling kitchen islands are ideal for tiny kitchens in apartments. In a modern, big kitchen, the anchoring island provides extra sitting alternatives and storage and possible cooking or cleaning surfaces.

Does a kitchen island need support?

No, you might not need support depending on what you use your kitchen island for. The rule is that if your island has an overhang that exceeds 12 inches, it should have support.

For instance, if you wish to use your kitchen island as a dining space, you will need at least 12 inches of overhang. This will provide you with the needed space for your knees when you sit to eat. Such overhang requires support to be stable enough to lean on and eat from.

Your height and stool of choice can also help you identify any overhang greater than 12 inches.

For instance, if you have a taller island and, thus, a taller stool, you might not have up to 12 inches overhang. You will most likely rest your knees at a lower angle than the conventional 90-degree sitting position at such a height. As such, you won’t need as much overhang or support.

That said, most kitchen islands come with a standard overhang of about 1.5 inches. As a result, you won’t need support for them in most cases.

How are islands attached to the floor?

Kitchen islands are often attached to the kitchen floor through the baseboard, kickboard, or wooden slab.

These wooden holders are often known as cleats and are essentially what will be screwed into the ground to guarantee stability in the kitchen island.

Toe kicks and cleats must be drilled into the floor through the tiling if they are to be installed.

Contact an expert to guarantee excellent drilling and installation expert if you are unsure about drilling through your tiled floors (in case of a mistake or future intentions to relocate the island).

To install the island, builders insert cleats (or toe kicks) under the kitchen island planks and then secure them to the island.

In a situation where the island is heavy, you might not need to screw it down, as we said earlier. For instance, if the island has a granite countertop.

Granite countertops are usually heavy, sometimes weighing 1,000 pounds or more. You might use toe kicks to secure the island from shifting in such a case. Without screwing it, the weight of the granite alone will keep the island in its place.  

Finally, L-shaped brackets can be used to install kitchen islands. This is only appropriate for modest kitchen islands with a wood finish.

L-shaped brackets are not ideal for islands with heavy granite countertops.

This is because the wood beneath the island will be too weak to support its overall weight.

Do kitchen islands sit on top of flooring?

In most cases, Kitchen islands sit on top of the flooring.

You should consider putting your kitchen island on the flooring if:

  • The kitchen island is made from several base cabinets
  • The kitchen island is a small one; measuring 60′′ x 24′′ or less in size
  • The kitchen island is surrounded by seats.
  • The countertop is lighter in weight (i.e., laminate or butcher block)

Allowing your kitchen island to sit on the floor will reduce its movement. This is important if you have seats around it or the island comprises many base cabinets that can move independently.

However, if you have a small, portable island, precisely the types that do not have seats around them, or maybe your kitchen is too tiny to accommodate a typical kitchen island built of base cabinets. Your island might not need to sit on the floor in such situations.

You can go for any compact, portable islands available for sale online.

Because these islands will be located in such a limited space, they are typically lightweight and moveable. Their true purpose is to function more like a table, where you can place stuff and have some extra counter space.

They usually don’t have seats around them, and they only have a slight amount of storage space inside.

These tiny islands are ideal for small kitchens that require just a little additional counter space but do not need to sit on the floor.

Any other island that is intended to be a more permanent feature in the kitchen, on the other hand, should sit on the floor.

Advantages of fixing your kitchen Island to the floor

The following are some advantages of securing your kitchen island on the floor.


One of the advantages of anchoring your kitchen island to the floor is safety. Without anchoring to the ground is possible that your island topples if someone leans on it.

If such collapsing island lands on a child or pet, it might result in serious injuries.

Although, this is less likely in heavier islands since the countertop will be hefty enough to support the island in place. However, fixing the island to the ground assures you of complete safety.


Another advantage of anchoring your kitchen island to the floor is durability. The cabinets will last longer since they are locked together and secured to the floor.

Moreso, when an island isn’t fixed to the floor, the things on it can roll over and drop. Fragile items you keep on such an island risk getting damaged.

However, when you secure the island to the ground, there will be less risk of damages.

Ease of use

Islands that are secured to the floor are much easier to use. Firstly, they stay in a place, giving you precision into what you are doing. Even if you are pressing against the island, you are sure it won’t move.

Also, a secured kitchen island will remain just in its correct spot in your kitchen. This is crucial, especially if you use pendant lights, as it will allow you to get the right amount of light on the island.

How much room is required around a kitchen island?

Most kitchens can accommodate a kitchen island. It’s all about the layout. A small kitchen with U or L-shaped layouts might accommodate an island.

However, ensure there is a walk area around the island of at least 36 inches wide. The working aisle around the island should be 42 to 48 inches wide if the counter space includes a work area and equipment such as a refrigerator, sink, stove, or dishwasher.

Final thoughts

Kitchen islands come with lots of surface space and make it easy to try new recipes. It can also be a nice place to eat snacks if seats.

Ideally, you should secure the kitchen island to the floor to ensure its safety, utility, and stability.