I am planning to build a kitchen island with two features

  1. Height adjustable
  2. Movable using casters

The reason for #1 is it can be used as dining table during parties

The reason for #2 is that can be moved to my deck; saving me time arranging foods and cleanup.

I am planning to use electric height adjustable desk frame ( ones used in adjustable height office desks).

Naturally - it won't have any plumbing. For electric - I am planning to install a flush mounted electric outlet into my kitchen floor.

Has anybody had any experience in building something similar ?

3 Answers 3



"Movable using casters" instantly qualifies it as furniture, and not part of the building's structure. Heck, if it were a rental unit, you could take it with you.

As for electrical to this rolling cabinet, that's a trick. It's extremely likely that a floor-wiring-based solution is going to get crunched and mashed. You would have to install a floor outlet consistent with NEC of course.

But for guidance on the cords to the island, that's outside NEC's bailiwick and falls under UL. There's no enforcement/approval mechnanism for portable furniture, but on the other hand, there's no certification mechanism either. That basically means if the fire inspector is going through the ashes and finds the house fire started inside the electrical on your homebuilt portable furniture, that's between you and your fire-insurance company.

Consider pendants to connect power. Pendants are cords that hang from the ceiling, and have competent, industrial grade strain relief on both ends. For instance, you could fit aluminum junction boxes hanging down low, and plug your appliances directly into those. Remember kitchen appliance cords are only 2' long. Or such a pendant might have an L14-20 twist-lock connector, and then go into a multi-wire branch circuit in your furniture.

If you were exceptionally clever, you could have the pendant tie into the ceiling at any of several L5-20 or L14-20 twist-lock connectors, and move the pendant around as you move the table around. I for one would hide those connectors by putting spotlights right next to them (anyone trying to look at them would get an eyeful of light :)

As for wiring inside furniture, I generally do that one of two ways.

  • I simply glue COTS power strips to the furniture, which is factory approved since the power strips have mounting slots for this purpose.
  • I wire entirely in the EMT metal conduit wiring method, securely anchored to the furniture. I then either use very large cordage coming properly off a knockout in a junction box, with the best strain relief the electrical supply house (never Home Depot) has to sell me, or I fit an inlet and use a COTS heavy extension cord. The inlet has the demerit of falling out easily.

While you will likely be exempt from the requirement for counter receptacles for small appliances, provided you have those in other (fixed) areas of the kitchen, you may want to consider providing them for convenience. There are a few ways to do that. The simplest would be to use a 20A floor receptacle with a plug/cord from the island that goes to a junction box in the island where you would have receptacles. You may be able to hard-wire the adjustable top to that or, alternatively, use a quad receptacle (instead of a double) with the adjustable top plugged into 1 of the 4 receptacles, leaving three for small appliances (food processor, blender, toaster, etc.) or other convenience items (cell phone charger).

One of the pros can speak to the specifics - you do NOT simply take an extension cord and hack it to connect to the back of the receptacles. But that is the general way to think of how things will connect.

Consider a Pendant

As noted by Harper, a pendant may be a better solution than a floor receptacle. See How can I provide an electrical outlet at my portable kitchen island? for more details.

  • 2
    I have used floor mounted outlets. I believe in a kitchen or any room that has water GFCI’s should be mandated at the panel. A bit of water dumped on a floor mounted GFCI would damage it code doesn’t specifically address this if further than 6’ away from the sink in the floor NEC 210.8.7
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 13:46

Another alternative, since you will not likely be raising or lowering it a lot, would be to build it with a mechanism to raise and lower it that could be powered by a portable battery powered drill motor that you chuck onto a discrete fitting. The person in the attached website did it by using trailer jacks that he hid inside of wood boxes, but he was raising and lowering a machine in the table, not the table itself. https://www.instructables.com/id/Drill-Powered-Adjustable-Height-Work-Bench/

I would probably use a single simpler scissors jack (again, hidden from view by a box) with the drive end modified to fit in a drill chuck.

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