Asked on Jan 27, 2012

Which outlet would you prefer in a kitchen island?

Designs by BSB
by Designs by BSB
Outlets (aka receptacles) - which do you prefer?
1) Outlet strip Pros: more outlets, easier to hide under overhang of counter top Cons: Limited color choices, not attractive if you cannot hide under conservative overhang
2) Standard receptacle mounted in the side of the cabinet? Pros: no disruption in the counter top (when closed it would be a cover plate) Cons? cords hang over edge of counter top
3) Pop up from the counter top? Pros: no cords hanging over the sides Cons: cleaning ?
If you'd like to read/know more about these options or the suppliers:
Outlet strip - look carefully, lucky here - it matches the finish of the cabinets and is hiding over a conservative overhang
Standard receptacle. Easy to match colors w/paint.. and some stains!
Retractable or pop up style (Evoline shown)
  36 answers
  • Terry S Terry S on Jan 27, 2012
    on those islands i like the first one that is hid by the countertop. most of them i see are closer to the floor.
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 27, 2012
    When they are mounted closer to the floor it could mean 2 things - a) there is a drawer in the adjacent cabinet that has a drawer guide - so the box for the receptacle needs to move lower or b) someone didn't think about it :) The example I shared may not be a fair (or the most common). It is a 36" deep custom base cabinet, so the receptacle placement is not limited
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Jan 27, 2012
    Mount a GFCI receptacle on the side of the island (1 one each side) and as a dedicated 20 amp circuit. If necessary use a metal j box and t will fit within the space between the upper drawer & and the outter surface of the island. This method meets all current codes. Additionally, if you read the specs of the pop up unit, it states that it currently does not NEC code. That alone should eliminate the pop up unit without any hesitation. The strip may be hidden, but you can also take advantage of the multiple receptacles and creat an over urgent causing the circuit breaker to trip. Besides, it's very messy
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 27, 2012
    Thank You for giving some attention to codes.. which can vary based on application and what state you live in. LandlightS, have you looked at the specifications at the EVOline? (see my link) I have sold units like these where the code was not an issue, but have not sold this line - which "looks" like code would pass. I'd love to know your view .. although I hope not to turn this thread into something 'technical' so homeowners do not get lost in the tech talk? :-) or maybe I don't give the homeowners enuf credit here? .. Your mention of the drawer guide? All too often it varies greatly depending on the cabinet mfg. Side mount epoxy guides, side mount ball bearing guides .. can sometimes offer challenges. No doubt .. been there done that .. logistics can be a wakeup call if these decisions are not made before cabinets are installed. By posting this was to get some statistics on what people like.. or think they would like! I have designed/specified all of them.. and in turn thought homeowners here would appreciate seeing there are options.
  • Pedini of Atlanta, LLC Pedini of Atlanta, LLC on Jan 27, 2012
    I love the pop-up outlets, they give you power where you need it and do not require cutting into the cabinets, we have used a couple of different brands and there are new ones being introduced al the time. I know I will see lots of the latest and greatest at the Euro-cucina show in April.
  • Faidra at  CA Global Inc Faidra at CA Global Inc on Jan 27, 2012
    popups are cool, have never seen this option, as i like clean lines this would work well for me
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Jan 27, 2012
    Becky Sue, I only mentioned code because it was mentioned in the description of the pop up. If it were code approved, it would be my first choice. The EVOlie is great, but I personally don't think it is practice for the kitchen ( unless it is watertight with the plug in place ). I have installed their window sill candles.......very cool. Additionally, just want to let you know that yor web site is exceptional. Gary
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 27, 2012
    I appreciate your technical response! .. and thank you for the compliment, I hope our paths cross outside this digital world one day :)
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jan 27, 2012
    I like the hidden strip the best
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 27, 2012
    I also like the strip. I always seem to need more outlets in the kitchen.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 28, 2012
    That pop-up is really cool for things that you don't want to or need to leave plugged in.
  • Hopefully someone at some point will design an NEC compliant pop-up so that the electrical cord of the appliance in use does not have to drape over the side of the counter making it a huge temptation for little hands that don't know any better.....
  • Renovation by Design Renovation by Design on Jan 28, 2012
    Ge is developing a wireless countertop power station. It is modeled off of a tesla design from the early 1900's. It works like an I Phone wireless charge pad, except for blenders/ kitchen appliances. Funny how GE is continuing to develop Nicola Teslas work even though he is their all time arch rival.
  • Pedini of Atlanta, LLC Pedini of Atlanta, LLC on Jan 28, 2012
    Schulte has some great options as well. We have a current client who wanted his outlets in the drawers to meet the code where he was but not cut into the cabinets at all and still have access to them when he needs them. In his case we have one pop-up and two additional outlets hidden within the top drawers of his kitchen.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 28, 2012
    Can I vote for "none of the above" to Me an Island is about a work surface only..... and I do not want to clutter it up with "appliances" . In my kitchen we only have 2 appliances that "live" on the counter full time. One is our high end espresso machine, the other is our coffee roaster. These get used on a daily basis. A toaster or blender may make an occasional appearance. The full time appliances have a dedicated "zone" and the rest of the counter stay clear.
  • Pedini of Atlanta, LLC Pedini of Atlanta, LLC on Jan 28, 2012
    We keep nothing on our countertops at home. The toaster, coffee maker and microwave are all built into cabinets behind doors. The outlets we have are for the occasion we want to have a crock pot out or have a party and need a couple of blenders for cocktails. Of course every homeowners needs are different so the planning of outlets would all depend on the needs of the individual.
  • Najwa S Najwa S on Jan 28, 2012
    I like the hideaway outlets on the counter. Appliance cords are becoming shorter and shorter it is such a hassle to reach across oversize counters
  • From a code perspective, whether you actually use the island for counter-top appliances or not, we are required to install at least one GFCI receptacle in the island if it is at least 24" x 12" in size.
  • Harold M Harold M on Jan 28, 2012
    How many islands have you seen where folks actually had small appliance on it. I wouldn't want an outlet in an island. Just my opinion and personal preference
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 28, 2012
    @Harold, I agree and disagree depending on the overall kitchen layout. A) islands are getting larger, so often times they are the prep area which requires food processors, etc. B) Entertaining often has chaffing dishes or crock pots to keep items warm ... which often times is on the island ... and as other experts here mentioned, when it comes to code? we have no choice, they are a must.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 29, 2012
    A work around the "code" thing is to have the island be a table or "cart" type of thing. If it is mobile it does not "have" to have outlets. This could even be a big rustic butcher block table.
  • Anne B Anne B on Jan 29, 2012
    I use outlet on island if I'm using things for baking or cooking, like making bread crumbs or shredding nuts, so on not things that are out all the time.Things like crock pots, toasters, coffee pots and kettles should be on the back of counters with a back or in dedicated areas made for them.
  • Lorraine D Lorraine D on Jan 29, 2012
    So, If you have granite, how would that work? I have a prep sink on my island and of course, code said we had to have an outlet. The contractor offered an air-button for the disposal, and I turned that down, and opted for an under cabinet switch instead, because it would be another hole to cut-out of the granite. I was looking for a perfectly smooth surface, other than the sink, of course. Once in a while, I will place an electric appliance on the island. I have never needed more than one plug. My island is 60x36. While it would work for some, I would opt out of that extra.
  • Bonnie F Bonnie F on Jan 29, 2012
    Wow - that's important info. I thought my daughter would like this, but unapproved is definitely a consideration. Especially since they've already had some electrical problems since moving into this house. Thanks for mentioning this.
  • Tim B Tim B on Jan 29, 2012
    As a prep area the outlet should be hidden if it is needed by code. I agree with others in regards to making it "mobile" so it doesn't need an outlet
  • Keith B Keith B on Jan 29, 2012
    Know from exp. the pop-up can get dirty and is very hard to clean. It also does not seal so if you have a liquid spill it can create problems.
  • Michele N Michele N on Jan 29, 2012
    Of the three I like #1 and #3. I like #1 for the design factor coupled with the out of sight outlet. But I also kind of like #3 due to the "pop up" feature that way once I am done with an appliance I can simply close the outlet strip. Awesome!
  • Barbie H Barbie H on Jan 29, 2012
    Where can I buy one of those islands?
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jan 29, 2012
    Barbie... Show the image to Local kitchen/bath showroom... Or kitchen/bath designer.. They should be able to get that for you! All islands shown are custom.. Made to order!
  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Jan 29, 2012
    When it comes to a pure counter top only discussion with regard to receptacles... I wish that I could have had pop-up receptacles. I'd have them in a carpenter's minute! Cleaning & clutter... not even an issue. Ease-of-Use, Safety and Utility would be the top end of my short list. Bring it on...
  • Mary H Mary H on Jan 30, 2012
    I have a forth choice...what about the strip under the ledge, with a long thin oval hole for the cords to go through to reach the strip....oh wait, I really have a fifth solution. Battery or solor powered appliances...ha!
  • Sue A Sue A on Feb 03, 2012
    I like the idea of the retractable outlet, but would worry about it malfunctioning and either not going down anymore, or not going up!
  • Barbie H Barbie H on Feb 08, 2012
    thank you Becky
  • Barbie H Barbie H on Feb 08, 2012
    Becky, I need you to be more specific. Who do I contact?
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Feb 08, 2012
    Barbie, give me a call to discuss. Not today though.. I'm at a factory tour put of town! # is on my page here
  • Margaret Oscilia Margaret Oscilia on Nov 19, 2012
    They do have pop up electrical ones that do seal so moisture and cleaning isn't an issue.