The Builder's Hardware and Accessories You Need to Turn a Dresser Into a Kitchen Island

A kitchen island increases your available workspace and creates a fun extra dining area in your kitchen. If you have an old chest of drawers, you may be able to turn it into an island. You just need a slab of countertop and the right builder's hardware. Here's a look at what you need:

Caster Wheels

This part is optional, but if your dresser is not as tall as you want it to be, you need to take steps to raise it up. The countertop will raise the height slightly, but to make the setup even higher, you may want to add caster wheels. That also allows you to move your island around as desired, but make sure to choose wheels with brakes so it doesn't slide around unexpectedly.

Heavy-Duty Brackets

In most cases, you want the countertop to overhang the sides of the dresser at least slightly. That's especially important if you are creating a bar. To support the overhang, you need builder's hardware like heavy duty brackets. You can use metal brackets or stone corbels.


Ideally, you should not just plop the countertop down on top of the dresser. Instead, you want to lay a piece of plywood between the top of the dresser and the countertop. The plywood should be the same width and length as the top of your dresser. It provides extra support and gives you a place to hide the hardware.


Once the plywood is positioned in place, use a set of screws to attach the plywood to the dresser. Put the screws in relatively discreet or hidden spots, and make sure that they don't get in the way of any drawers or shelves you want to use with the dresser. In most cases, the best spots for this type of builder's hardware are right along the edge of the dresser's frame.


Then, you need to put on the countertop. This should basically sit on top of the plywood. To help hold it in place, you need to use a strong wood glue. Spread that over the plywood. Before the glue dries, reinforce the connection with some screws.

In this situation, the screws need to be installed from the bottom going upward. You may need to remove the drawers from the dresser. Then, push the screws through the dresser's frame, through the plywood, and into the countertop slab. Make sure that you use relatively short screws. You don't want them to accidentally poke through your countertop since that could become an unsightly mess.