What To Know About Adding Electrical Outlets To Your New Kitchen Island

If you're installing a kitchen island so you have more work space in your kitchen, you'll probably want to add lighting above it and outlets on the sides. An electrician can determine the best way to wire the island depending on the way it's designed. The wires might come up through the floor or down from the ceiling if there is a column or post next to the island. Here are some things to know about electrical outlets and kitchen islands.

Island Outlets Are Regulated By Building Codes

Outlets on a kitchen island may not be optional. Local codes may require one or more outlets depending on the size of the island. The reason they are required is to eliminate the need to use extension cords that create a safety hazard. There are regulations for outlet spacing on all countertops including islands. In addition to the number required, regulations dictate how far apart the outlets need to be and how from an island sink they must be. This could result in the outlets being put where you don't want them, but your electrician won't have any choice but to comply with codes.

Some Outlets Can Be Hidden

If you really hate the idea of an outlet facing the family room or being noticeable, then you might consider a hidden outlet. You can have one of these mounted on the side of the island so the outlet is flush with the side and hidden behind a solid plate. Then when you want an outlet, you pull open the plate so you can plug something in. The only time the outlet shows is when you're using it. Similar outlets are made that sink into the countertop so they are out of sight until needed. The only thing that shows is a plain silver disk that covers the top of the outlet while it's hidden.

Kitchen Islands Require GFCI Outlets

Like all other outlets in your kitchen, the ones on your new kitchen island need to be GFCI outlets too. These outlets turn the power off instantly to prevent you from being shocked, so they are required in wet rooms of the home, like your kitchen. Depending on how your home is wired, the electrician might hook the GFCI outlets into an existing circuit. However, many outlets in your kitchen may be dedicated to power-hungry appliances. If there aren't enough circuits to support additional outlets, a new one may need to be added so you won't have to deal with overloaded circuits when you operate several kitchen gadgets and appliances at once.