Ideas for Electrical Outlet Solutions for a Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands not only expand workspace areas, but can also add a custom sense of style.

Electrical Considerations

Adding convenient electrical outlets or receptacles to the island space can pose a challenge. Installing outlets for extra work appliances such as mixers and food processors must be in areas that do not inhibit the countertop's workspace.

If the island uses a sink, special outlets may have to be employed to match local electrical regulations. Consult local electrical rules for the use of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) for wet locations. The GFCI outlet will protect the user of any electrical appliance if that appliance becomes immersed during operation. Many times these outlets can be installed as stand-alone devices with no additional wiring required.

Overhead Cabinets or Vent Hoods

Kitchen islands that use overhead cabinets or even exhaust hood units can use these enclosures to conceal overhead electrical outlets. Most home appliances come equipped with electrical cords 3 feet or longer. The outlets can be concealed behind the upper cabinet's lower trim work and can only be seen by standing at the kitchen island. Concealed fluorescent lighting can also be installed under the cabinet or the exhaust vent hood to provide direct workspace lighting.

Under the Countertop

Kitchen islands can utilize the underside of the extended countertop as a place to install extra power outlets. Appliances with the length of any plug-in cord can be placed on the countertop. The outlets can be evenly spaced around the perimeter of the island and concealed by the overhanging countertop. In some cases, the outlets can also be placed in the base of the island itself. The sides of the island that do not hold the drawers or any opening cabinets can be installed with double outlets. Often there is enough space to install the receptacles between drawers and open shelving. While these outlets may not be completely concealed from sight, the power it supplies will be convenient.

Pedestal Outlets

Installed at either end and on top of the kitchen island can be pedestal-type receptacles. Typically the pedestal is constructed from the same material as the countertop itself. The height is approximately 3 inches to 5 inches. The overall height will depend on a horizontal or vertical installation of the receptacle outlets. This allows just enough room for the electrical device and the box enclosure. Generally two separate receptacles, or double outlets, are placed inside the pedestal enclosure. These small structures can be evenly spaced at either end of the kitchen island. Although perhaps not an ideal installation, for a busy island that employs a lot of appliances, the pedestal outlets will provide plenty of electrical power.