How can I raise the height of my 30" island?

Jenni Nicholson
by Jenni Nicholson

We just moved into a new house and for some unknown reason, it has an island that is only 30" high!? It is the weirdest thing and I need to raise it to 36". Aside from the height, the size is good for what we need and the cabinets are good quality so I would like to avoid tearing them out if possible. Has anyone out there ever run into this before? Would it be possible to modify the existing cabinets or will we have to just put in new ones? I was wondering if it would be possible to raise the countertop and put an open shelf/storage underneath it, on top of the existing cabinets? Any suggestions?

  20 answers
  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 10, 2021

    Get some 4" x 6" lumber and make a box to fasten to the underside of the cabinet, you'll have a larger than normal toe kick but it will raise it up.

    Vice versa you could make an extension with lumber and lift the countertop off to raise it up and even add a row of drawers and pull out cutting board if your crafty.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jun 10, 2021

    You could also build a new countertop to put over the existing one that is raised by 6" on the underside. That will not leave room for drawers though. You MIGHT be able to squeeze in silverware and utensil storage though.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jun 10, 2021

    Hi there! At one point several years ago I helped my friend build an island out of two lower kitchen cabinets just like that! We cut a piece of plywood that covered the base of both cabinets and screwed it up into the bottom of them. We also attached them together through their sides - essentially making them one piece for sturdiness. Then she picked out six round "feet" actually that were about four inches tall that we screwed to the bottom of them.

    You could save a little money and just cut you're own feet out of a 4x4, then you could make them as tall as you like!

  • William William on Jun 10, 2021

    Easiest solution is to remove the countertop, build a box the height you need and glue/screw on top of the cabinets, replace the countertop.

  • Jenni Nicholson Jenni Nicholson on Jun 10, 2021

    Thanks for the creative ideas! My husband is pretty handy but neither one of us has been able to come up with a good DIY solution for this up to this point. We have been in this house less than a month and have been focused on dealing with other more pressing issues, but this island is driving me crazy and will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Keep the ideas coming!

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jun 10, 2021

    Yes take off the top and build a sectioned box frame.

    This 2x6 box frame could be done so that you’ve storage slots in between the joists.

    If you don’t want to veneer it or put oak faced plywood, then paint it an accent color.

  • Janice Janice on Jun 10, 2021

    Hi Jenni, optimally there is no plumbing involved in your "raising" of the island. If it were mine, I'd want to add the needed inches at the base of the current island. Simply build a box slightly smaller than the current island. Since your husband is handy, he might even be able to incorporate a few storage drawers at floor level such as shown in the link below.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 10, 2021

    Hi Jenni, hope this helps you out, fairly quick and easy

  • Dee Dee on Jun 10, 2021

    My brother in law did just what you are proposing. He took off the top of the counter top. Built a box on top of the counters. Added drawers, but you can leave it as an open box to store cutting boards, large platters etc. You do not have to rip out the counter.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 10, 2021

    If this was my island, I would prefer to taise it from the base, the reason why is as we get older, it is more difficult to get things from the very bottom. This would be more involved than just raising the countertop, but a necessary solution for some of us.

    Best to you and your moving in adventure.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 10, 2021

    If you can remove them from the floor without damage, you could make a platform to raise them the 6" deficit. Then stain the platform to match the cabinets or paint black to match the hardware.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 10, 2021

    Agree with Kathy Gunter Law. Made a wooden pedestal or platform much like you see with elevated front load washers to elevate the situation to make it more back friendly.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 11, 2021

    Hello there,

    Fix industrial casters to it. Available from DIY's

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 11, 2021

    I just got a rolling cart to use in my kitchen and the wheels on the bottom of the legs add at least 4 inches in height.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jun 12, 2021

    I would not recommend putting castors on this island in attempt to raise it up an additional 6 inches. The time involved in searching for casters robust enough to support the weight of the full cabinet, the cost in purchasing the casters, plus the work involved in mounting them securely, IMO, will not be worth the efforts.

    In the end, you will still have an island that is not as stable as a fixed island.

  • Annie Annie on Jun 16, 2021

    Need to build a taller base for the cabinets to sit on. Its not that hard to do, but will take some carpentry skills.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 14, 2023

    If the castors lock they should be know problem but you will be able to unlock the castors and move it if needed.