ilovecupcakes

Where to put island electrical outlets?

Andrea
2 days ago

Hi, we are preparing to install an almost 11' island with a waterfall edge. I'm reading I'm going to need about 5 outlets on that island. I have no idea how to do this. I was hoping I could put them in a cabinet or two (that's what we have now) but with needing 5 I don't think that's possible. Any ideas? I hate the idea of breaking up the countertop, the waterfall edge or even having to put a strip in front of the cabinets! Also, anyone know if it's possible to satisfy that retirement by putting outlets under the seating area? That would actually be helpful and eliminate some unsightly outlets! Help!

Comments (24)

  • HU-461387386
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Your kitchen designer should have designed them into the cabinet layout. Throw it back in her lap. Space planning is her responsibility. And no, they can not be under an overhang of more than 6”.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    @HU-461387386 THANK YOU! I plan on addressing with her this week. She previously told me she doesn't know "code" and that it's not something she does but that doesn't feel right to me. I think I am going to have her put two blank panels of wood on each end of the cabinets so we can do a hidden outlet on each end vs. interrupting the waterfall. I just struggle beyond that as to where the rest of them will be. Do you have any idea how many outlets would be needed? From what I'm reading the sink breaks up the continuum so I think it's 1 on the 3' side of the sink (but I'm assuming the DW outlet that's hidden doesn't count) and then 2 or 3 (?) on the 5' side? I really hate outlets I wish I didn't need any. Our "work" side of the kitchen is where we're going to plug things in and I really don't want outlets anywhere near a sink or where food will be served...actually seems backwards to me that they'd require outlets near them!

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  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Your kitchen designer usually designs in the locations during the electrical and lighting design phase, in conjunction with the cabinet plan. Because the bulk of the oulets has to be accounted for in the space planning of the cabinets. I used a 9” tray base, with the top section a blank drawer, to hold an outlet on this waterfall island.


    Memphis MCM · More Info


    2020 NEC: Island, Peninsular, and Work Surface Receptacle Requirements

    Brand-new for the 2020 Code cycle, Section 210.52(C)(2) tells us that for island and peninsular countertops and work surfaces, receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(2)(a) and (C)(2)(b):

    210.52(C)(2)(a) says at least one receptacle outlet shall be provided for the first 9 ft² (or fraction thereof) of the countertop or work surface. And then another receptacle outlet shall be provided for every additional 18 ft² (or fraction thereof) of countertop or work surface thereafter.

    210.52(C)(2)(b) then tells us that at least one of those receptacle outlets shall be located within 2 ft of the outer end of the peninsular countertop or work surface. And that any additional required receptacle outlets can be located as determined by the installer, designer, or building owner. The location of all receptacle outlets shall be in accordance with 210.52(C)(3).







    You will need to dig into the build details of the island in order to find the phyical space needed to satisfy the codes. You may end up losing cabinet space if this is not still in the design phase. I find it disconcerting that a kitchen designer ”doesn't know code”. Its a top priority to keep up with all of the changes in the code cycle.

  • anj_p
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago
  • Shannon_WI
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Not only the KD should have this knowledge, but the electrician on the job as well. Who will be doing your electrical work? There must be someone. My electrician was very particular about the height I could install receptacles in my backsplash, as I wanted the receptacles low and horizontal. I could of course have them low and horizontal, but not too low that they violated local code, and the electrician was the one who dictated the height according to the electrical code.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    yesterday

    Andrea:


    You need to speak to your local electricial inspector. Designers can draw and specify anything, but their plans aren't getting red tagged, your kitchen is.

  • PRO
    Fedewa Custom Works
    yesterday

    Andrea, I'm a kitchen designer, and yes it was mostly her responsibility. I would also consider it your General Contractor's responsibility as well. Really he and the electrician should've been asking where are the outlets on this island?

    - Check with your electrical building inspector. In Colorado you would not need 5. That sounds like a lot.

    - Sometimes they will let you ask for an exception.

    - Trufig outlets are flush outlets that can get cut into your stone. Then someone can faux the outlet cover to match your stone. They're tricky and a bit of a pain, but look really nice when done correctly. (In the picture there are 2 on the cabinetry)

    - If you have a sinkbase on that island, you could probably put an outlet on your sink false front. Not ideal I know, but an option.

    - You could insist the designer order new cabinetry and make the fillers at the waterfall wide enough to put an outlet on.

    - You may have to make a couple top drawers fixed, to put an outlet on them. If your kitchen is custom, maybe the cabinetry company can modify a top drawer to have a fixed portion and an operable portion. (The picture below shows aa Trufig outlet on a top drawer, and it is not operable)


  • PRO
    Gilligan Gehrity
    yesterday

    It’s a simple matter to design a code compliant space, for someone who understands code. Someone who self confesses to not, does not belong in the job that they have assumed. If she is that uneducated, you should look a lot harder at the kitchen as a whole. There are bound to be more issues.

  • PRO
    Gilligan Gehrity
    yesterday

    “She previously told me she doesn't know "code" and that it's not something she does.”


    Why did you hire her exactly? She isn't a kitchen designer. She might be good at making pretty pictures, or software, or selling you something. But that is a cabinet seller, or a 3D renderer. Not a Kitchen Designer.


    Find a real Kitchen Designer to work with. You can’t just add length to your island to fix this. You are already past the size limit to need 3-4 slabs for the top. You can’t make smaller aisles either. You actually need to make the island smaller to not need that extra slab of stone. Did she even explain how an island that large works (or actually doesn't work) with a waterfall? Or how stone is cut and fabricated and what the issues are? Hire someone who knows what they are doing.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    yesterday

    @Gilligan Gehrity I can't defend her, I don't think she's done a good job. Fortunately we have a designer so the design we basically did and gave to her and we're working out all of the other aspects as we go. We were just trying to find a good way to hide the outlets we know are required.


    For the island material, I think we are actually fine with a jumbo slab of stone? We are within the limits to keep a single slab and have built in wooden supports on each end and a metal one in the middle as well. What concerns beyond that would you have? A jumbo slab is 128" and the stone folks said to keep the cabinets 124" or less to provide enough material to do a mitered edge for the waterfall.


    I'm honestly interested in any feedback to make sure we're not missing anything. Thanks

  • PRO
    Gilligan Gehrity
    21 hours ago
    last modified: 21 hours ago

    You said ”almost 11’”. That’s 132”. Jumbo slabs are manufacturer dependent. But most are around 10’6”, and have to be fabricated smaller. You are also not taking into account the waterfall sides, and the seam matching. That‘s another 70” of stone needed. Quartz isn't bookmatched. Unless you choose Cambria, that’s double cost. Seams that match will be questionable. If you want perfect seams for your waterfall, it all has to fit within the dimensions of a single slab. That includes the waterfall sides in that measurement. Or you need 2-3 bookmatched slabs. It depends on the stone, the depth of the island, and if you're doing mitered edges. Mitered requires more material. Etc. A waterfall island can easily be 15K in stone.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    18 hours ago

    @Gilligan Gehrity I think we're all set, we have the slab secured with the stone place. We also talked with the contractor/electrician and inspector and are going to add a strip in to provide a front outlet for code purposes on one end of the island so we don't need to cut into the waterfall side. We are confident in our design but we have learned to just not really invest efforts in the woman at the kitchen store, we will stick with our other resources as they have gotten us a lot further. I think we finally have everything screwup proof!


    @Fedewa Custom Works We are going to actually do the filler spot like you have shown. In our town we only need to have 2 outlets and by adding in the filler we can have 2 outlets to meet code and only need to reduce our cabinets slightly so it's a good solution. Luckily I brought this all up before we finalize so we had time to add pieces in to accomplish the requirements with a look that's aesthetically pleasing to us. Thanks for your suggestions and for the photos (!) as it's always nice to see what we're looking at done nicely to confirm our thoughts on how we will proceed!

  • PRO
    PM Project Management
    15 hours ago

    You’ll need a lot more than a filler to do this. Your island needs 3 outlets, based on it’s size. 2 on ine end is acceptable, with the 3rd on the other end. They will need to be site created box columns in order to have the design correct to with a waterfall. The rest of what is needed depends on what is on the working side. The overhang will need steel support or table legs plus a steel framework. What and how is very design specific.


    There is no way that a single jumbo slab can do the size island you have. Not with a waterfall. And not with a jumbo plus a regular either. You will need 2 jumbo from the ssme run at a minimum for the island. And unless they are from the Cambria bookmatched series, your seams where the edge meet the waterfall will not have the veins line up.



    Post the design if you want more accurate advice regarding counter support and seaming. There are a lot of interrelated issues here. None of it is very solvable without expert help.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    8 hours ago

    @PM Project Management why would we need more than one slab on the "top" if the length of the cabinets is less than the length of the slab (with enough extra to miter the edges)? I'm trying to understand why you'd need more than one if the dimensions of the island are less than the dimensions of the slab.


    For the outlets, why would we need 3? We did run the plans by the electrician who stated we only need 2 outlets (as did the architect) who both said two. I believe it may be because we have a sink that cuts up the island and leaves only about 7.5 feet? For the stone, we do have supports built on the sides/middle for the stone. We don't have veining to worry about either so there's no real need to bookmatch.

  • PRO
    Gilligan Gehrity
    8 hours ago
    last modified: 7 hours ago

    Take the length of your island. Subtract the 6’ of the 2 waterfall sides that have to be cut fron the slab. That is what needs to be within a single slab’s usable dimension, in order to fit all 3 pieces within 1 slab. 126-72= 54”. That is 1 slab of stone.

    With 2 bookmatched slabs, you get the seam between the slabs in the middle of the island. The seams between the island edge and island waterfall sides are ”self seams”, from 3’ each of the 2 slabs.

    With 3 bookmatched slabs, you get the island as an unbroken aeamless surface, and the bookmatching occurs at the waterfall/ island top seams.

    How did you inagine the stone waterfall sides were cut, in order ro have the veins match the top? Where do you think that material comes from? It must match the same slab material as the top, from the same lot. If it isnt bookmatched, it will look like a plaid material you sewed up without matching the lines up.

    Yes, the current 2020 Natuonal Electrical Code requires 3 outlets for your island.

    You need a real Kitchen Designer.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    7 hours ago

    @Gilligan Gehrity I am only concerned about using a single slab for the top, not the sides. I just don't want a seam in the top. The edges won't require seams. I also don't need bookmatching as there isn't a vein to match and we are doing mitered edges which I'm OK with.


    As for the outlets, why is it 3 outlets? The contractor, electrician and architect are saying 2 to meet code. We do have a 3' sink that cuts into it, is that why?

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen
    7 hours ago
    last modified: 7 hours ago

    I posted the diagram and verbiage of the current code above. The math is easy to do. :) The number of outlets needed is based on island square footage.

    Yes, you need the waterfall sides from the same batch and type of stone as the top. Yes, that will mean 2-3 Jumbo slabs. 3 if you want no seam in the top. It is well known in the industry that you never try to match a Jumbo slab to a regular one. They are completely different factory runs, and completely different dye lots. You won’t have the same exact color without stone from the same manmade batch, or sequentially cut bookmatched natural stone slabs.

    If you don’t want to purchase 3 slabs instead of one, eliminate the waterfall sides. The island I posted above used 3 slabs of standard slab stone for it. Plus the perimeter stone. All from the same bath, with sequential numbers verified.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    7 hours ago

    @The Cook's Kitchen doesn't a stone fabricator naturally pick the necessary slabs? we specified that we don't want a seam in the top and they gave us dimensions to work with and we stayed within those. So, whether they use multiple slabs for the edges I guess doesn't matter to me as long as it meets my requirements. no?


    For the outlets, we will have one on each end (mirrored on both areas - kitchen and sitting) so that's 4 outlets. I read somewhere that the sink creates "multiple" islands so I think that may be why we're being told it's 2 instead of 5 outlets. If it were considered one solid piece then it would be a 10+' island but with the sink I believe it breaks it into a 3' and a 7' island. Is that incorrect? I'm just trying to understand why the contractor, electrician and architect (who are not all related to each other) are telling me 2 is code.





  • HU-461387386
    7 hours ago

    Doing a giant island with waterfalls is a hugely expensive choice. It doesnt sound like your designer explained the full consequences and costs of this to you.


    I actually come up with 4 outlets needed, if the width of the island is the max of the stone. Because it’s ”any part thereof”. Any .1 over equals another outlet.


    126x58= 50.75 square feet. Subtract 9’. =50.75


    50.75 divided by 18 = 2.8 That’s 3 outlets, plus the original one required.


  • PRO
    PM Project Management
    7 hours ago

    This is basic stone fabricator’s math for the counters. And current building code. Perhaps your electrician hasn’t had his his head above water enough in the past couple of years to know the code cycle changes. The code has changes and refinements every 3 years. He has to have a current copy of the 2020 code?


    The current code bases the number of outlets on the size of the island. The fact that a sink separates the island in 2 means each end requires an outlet. Plus the 3rd, which can go anywhere on the working side that is NEC acceptable. That’s if the island is around 36” deep. If yours is deeper, it may need more. You have to do the math based on your island acreage.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen
    6 hours ago
    last modified: 6 hours ago

    Just post your design, and material choice. I’ll be happy to show you exactly why you need more than 1 slab of stone for your island, and more than 2 outlets. Its easier to show you on your diagram.

    Right now, the only fabrication dimension diagram I have handy is for the above island, and we eliminated the stone behind the range and went to a “solid” color everywhere to cut costs down to 15K for the stone. The original stone quote with 2 different spectacular veined quartzites was 45K for stone and fabrication.


    This needs to add cut % to the numbers, but it should give you an idea.

    Project Documentation Samples · More Info


  • HU-213936607
    6 hours ago
    last modified: 6 hours ago

    What an expensive future ”Help! Disaster!” post this will be for this 35K island that’s going to get red tagged. A kitchen designer is peanuts in the costs of a whole kitchen remodel. Typically 5-10%. The simple and obvious mistakes in this are so numerous that even a 1K consult would pay for itself 20x over.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    6 hours ago

    @HU-213936607 I'm reaching out because the 4 people who are professionals on my end are ALL telling me the same thing but those on Houzz are telling me different. It's not about money. If it was just the KD (who actually isn't one of the 4 telling me any of this, we sort of eliminated her from the picture aside from ordering the cabinets) then I would not be trying to understand this more. BUT, because I read some things and subsequently asked on Houzz and I'm hearing differences I'm trying to understand it as I am the one that is going to need to go back to the contractor, architect, electrician and designer (not the KD) and tell them that I need further research and why. It's really not a money thing it's me trying to honestly understand it all so when I talk to the others actually involved in this project I have the knowledge to back it up. The reason I'm posting is that I've read things that I personally think contradict and I'm trying not to get into a Help Disaster situation. I think the more help disaster would be me not reaching out and me not having a conversation with the professionals on here to try to truly understand it. I really didn't appreciate your post as it makes it sound like I'm just being stupid when it comes to a big project when what I'm trying to do is ensure that no mistakes are made BEFORE we order anything. If I just trusted what others said then we may be in that help situation but that's the exact opposite of what I'm doing.

  • Becky H
    3 hours ago

    Can you call your city code/inspection and ask them how many outlets are needed. I can see your confusion the pros here are provinding excellent info and a link to the codes, which has helped us in our remodel, and your team is telling you something diff.