I am building a rather large cart for use in my kitchen. Due to the dimensions of the room the top (marble) is about 5' 7" long, 14" wide and is quite heavy (estimated 150 pounds).

My largest concern is how narrow this top is making the center of gravity close enough to the edge that this could be toppled sideways by my three year old. My thinking is that if I place the wheels offset a bit - say 18 to 24 inches wide - this should counteract this risk. Anyone have a chart, etc to describe how wide I need to make this to be safe?

EDIT - I'm thinking that the top for this cart would be 36 inches tall.

EDIT - Based on the discussion here I went with locking casters on one end and fixed casters on the other along with a 24 inch wide base. We also tried pulling the completed unit over. It felt like it took about 100-120 pounds to get any motion on the lateral face. If necessary I also left space on the bottom for a counterweight.

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    how tall you want to make it? i'd be concerned too. That is a very narrow top. Make the wheel base as wide as possible, 24" should be good. – shirlock homes Apr 1 '12 at 19:57
  • Adding significant mass down near the floor is another option. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 1 '12 at 21:31
  • If you used fixed non swivel wheels on one end and casters on the other it would prevent sideways movement.It would make it more stable crossing groutlines,floorseams etc. – mikes Apr 1 '12 at 22:00
  • I gotta disagree with part of that statement, @mikes. It is a good idea to move the cart in the same direction as its long dimension. However, reducing its ability to move sideways actually makes it easier to tip over. Although if the OP is planning on using locking casters, you can disregard my comment, and you have a good idea there. – Doresoom Apr 2 '12 at 16:32

Even without knowing how thick it is or how heavy, that's a lot of marble. You really need to attach this to something, somewhere. The wall, the floor... Without that, you would have to have a serious counterweight at the bottom, at least as heavy or heavier than the marble.

Why not just attach it to the wall or the floor?

When your child's health is at risk, I would double-up on precautions rather than find the bare minimum level of acceptable safety.

Your three-year-old will be stronger than you expect, and even if not actively pushing against it, could fall against it, setting off a chain reaction.

Think for example, if you have something on top of the island, like a vase. Even if you manage to keep it from tipping while on wheels, it can still move. If your child pushes or falls against the island, the island can move in one direction, the objects on top will move in the opposite direction and tend to fall on the side that your child is on.

I would not risk this situation with my child or anyone else's child, even if the top of the island was made of wood. Whenever it falls over, it will hit whatever is on the otherside like a sledgehammer.


I just happened to stumble on this while researching another kitchen project I'm working on now.
I was actually adding a island to my wide open kitchen in 2012. Your instincts were right to be concerned about those wheels! Just so happened I needed support brackets for my island so I researched, and I called this company called Federal Brace (http:/www.federalbrace.com/). I told the lady my situation...wheels and all. The first thing she told me was that they strongly recommended any cabinet base (or whatever) be secured to the floor. She said by all means remove the castors and secure it down to the floor before putting any type of solid surface on top of it. I did just that and have no regrets. Definitely agree with Mike on this one!!

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