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The previous island I built has a pony wall on the back side which is framed with steel studs. The bottom plate of that framed wall is adhered to the concrete with construction adhesive in combination with Hilti ramset nails.

You can see the profile in the photo.

This entire island is coming out and I'm going to build a new island with cabinets around the entire island, so there will be no wall.

QUESTION: Should I simply attach a few 2X4 cleats to the concrete in the corner positions of the footprint, then affix the cabinet bases to those cleats?

Current kitchen island.

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To perhaps repeat what you intend, I would layout the footprint of all the cabinets, measure the thickness of the sides of the cabinets and set back 2X4 blocks concrete screwed and glued to the concrete. That is if there are finished side panels to cover what will be visible screw heads at the base of the cabinets. If there are no panels to cover the screws, you could use trim head screws and fill the holes, but that is not my preferred way do do it. You could add the blocks fastened the same way at the toespace and back as an alternative and it will hold, but it will not be as strong as blocks on the sides.

The first cabinet you set will be able to use 2 blocks, if used on the sides. Each cabinet after that will only be able to use one block since the one side will be covered by a neighboring cabinet, unless there is a dishwasher space.

I did not follow your idea of "2X4 cleats to the concrete in the corner positions". I would be using blocks long enough to go from corner to corner, short enough say by about 1/2" so it gives a little wiggle room for final adjustments. Also when setting the blocks on the floor, do not set them the EXACT dimension of the inside of the cabinet, lighten up the dimension a little, perhaps by an 1/16" or a hair more. I have found that setting the blocks with too little tolerance make for very difficult setting. If a block setting gets to "sloppy" you can still add a shim, not so for blocks set too far apart.

Depending on how thick your floor is like a 4" slab on grade you could use expansion bolts or "redheads" (r) as they are called. These will grip really well and the block can still be adjusted if the block is slightly off. Concrete screws will not let you do that. And you would not need glue under the blocks.

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I have a 5' X 2.5' island that just sits on the ceramic tile floor. With a granite top and and a bunch of cookware in it, it is heavy enough that it never moves. If I sit on the floor , I can push it with my feet. No problem in 25 years.

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