Our house came with a pantry which really wasn’t anything more than a tiny closet between the garage and the kitchen, and it barely held my baking supplies never mind any canned goods. In desperation we converted the coat closet into a pantry and installed some heavy duty shelves in there to hold canned goods, pasta, etc., but that meant we lost space for coats, shoes, bike helmets, roller blades, kids play equipment, etc. It’s all been hanging around on wall hooks or laying on the floor and blocking traffic to the laundry room.
After considering several options, including expanding the pantry (which would have been frightfully expensive), we decided to add some cabinets to the kitchen in a couple locations, and the first would be to add a floating island. There are many types of premade and custom islands on the market, and our heads were spinning as we looked at all the options. We wanted a cabinet that:
- would compliment or come close to matching the existing cabinets,
- had granite or stainless steel top,
- had sturdy locking wheels,
- cost less than $1000, and
- measured 36 inches long and 24-inches deep (Most were 18 inches deep and not stable enough to withstand the onslaught of three little boys.)
The KraftMaid Floating Island Base, available via special order from major home improvement centers and other cabinet retailers, met almost all of our criteria and stayed within our budget. We saw a floor model at Lowe’s and had a chance to check out all the features. Michael noted the size and sturdiness of the wheels and even spun it around fast to see if it would tip over (thinking about our boys running through the kitchen and bumping into it), but it stayed upright without the slightest hint of leaning, and that was the final selling point.
Cost for the cabinet varies according to whatever options you choose:
- width (24, 30, or 36 inches)
- style of cabinet (regular or mission)
- top or no top
- style of doors
- number of doors (2 one one side or 4 front and back)
- number of drawers
The ordering process was fairly simple. We sat down with a cabinet specialist and went through all the options. We chose the 36-inch width with the butcher block top, though we did ask about granite and stainless. The only other option is to order without a top if we wanted granite or stainless, but Lowe’s wouldn’t special order a top in either of those because the size was too small for the minimum order. So we would have to find someone that would make one especially for us as a small order, which would have been out of our budget.
For the rest of the options, we chose one wide drawer, matched our cabinet doors and closely matched the finish, and chose to have doors just on one side. The final price was $912.00. We saved some money by choosing one drawer on top and having doors on just one side, but that was offset by the price of the cabinet door style, which was at the high end.
The cabinet arrived about five weeks after we placed our order and was shipped with the base assembled and the wheels and butcher block top separate. It had a small gouge in one side of the frame and one of the wheel locks was broken. Lowe’s didn’t knock the price down any and said we would have to return the whole thing and wait for a replacement, though they would replace the wheel if we just wanted to do that, which is what we decided to do. That was in January and we still haven’t received the replacement wheel, so that has been a little discouraging. Though it’s not rough by any means, the butcher block top wasn’t sanded as smooth as we would like, so we’re going to buff it some weekend.
Overall we have been very pleased with the cabinet. It looks great in the kitchen and is functional and versatile. It’s great for storage and can also work as extra serving space for parties, and the large wheels make it easy to move around. It’s become my baking center, with plenty of space in the wide drawer for my four half sheet pans, other baking pans, measuring cups and spoons, rolling pin, etc. The pull out shelf in the bottom holds all of the flours and sugars, and the top shelf (not pull out) holds the rest of the baking supplies, I just organize them in plastic bins that I can pull out for easy access. The 24×36 butcher block top provides plenty of room to roll pastry or shape breads and keeps the flour mess away from the cooktop in the main island. My sister came for a visit a few weekends ago and after seeing it has decided she needs one for her kitchen to help with storage as well.
Care of the cabinet has been easy, we just wipe down the surfaces with hot soapy water and season the butcher block top with homemade beeswax paste.
The bottom line:
Pros: Sturdy, three size options, two drawer options, many door style and color options to match existing cabinets, pullout bottom shelf, large locking wheels , not likely to tip over.
Cons: No materials choices for the top, purchase drawer and door pulls separately, owner installs pulls and butcher block, 4 weeks delivery time.
Price: Varies depending on width, style of cabinet, door style and wood type, top or no top, and number of drawers and doors.
Dimensions: Available in 24, 30, and 36-inch widths, 24 inches deep, 36 inches tall (with wheels); wheels measure 4 inches diameter x 2-1/4 inches wide.
Colors/Styles: Over 100 door style options, many finish options, check with your local dealer.
Materials: The top is butcher block. The cabinet frame is is plywood with veneer, doors are solid wood (cherry, maple, hickory, oak, birch).
Warranty: lifetime from the manufacturer
Company website: www.kraftmaid.com
[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]
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