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Kitchen Carts Buying Guide
Features that make Kitchen Carts Convenient
carts and islands make the kitchen a more inviting place by
increasing available work surfaces, improving functionality and
providing organizational solutions. While kitchen carts are typically
smaller and kitchen islands are larger, they do share common features
that will increase the efficiency of your food preparation and cooking
areas. They are available in a variety of styles, colors and materials.
can be one of two types, either permanent (built-in) or freestanding
(stationary or portable). The following is a brief outline of some of
the more popular features to consider when purchasing a kitchen cart or
a freestanding kitchen island.
Esthetic or Decorative Features
If not just function but good looks are important to you,
there are several decorative features that will add charm and detail to
any kitchen cart or island that you choose.
The apron is a piece of decorative trim or a panel that
connects the tabletop to the legs or the main section to the base of
the kitchen cart or island.
A distressed finish gives furniture an antiqued appearance,
and is produced by manipulating the final coat of paint or varnish to
make the surface look worn or old.
Embossing is a decorative technique that imprints a raised
design or pattern into the surface of a piece of furniture.
Inlay is a design technique that uses contrasting woods,
ivory, glass or other materials that are implanted into the surface of
a piece of furniture.
Molding is a decorative trim typically fashioned from wood and
attached to furniture, walls and doors.
Some kitchen cart/island features are especially designed to
improve its functionality and make it more user-friendly.
A backsplash is a protective surface intended to safeguard the
wall or space adjacent to the countertop or the work surface of a
utility or kitchen cart.
A bun foot is a furniture support resembling a ball with a
slightly flattened top. If a kitchen cart or kitchen island comes with
a separate cutting
board, select one with bun feet to prevent the board from
moving around when in use.
blocks are a type of cutting board usually made of wood. A
quality butcher block is at least two inches thick and made from end
grain or edge grain to protect your knives from dulling.
Casters are a set of small wheels that convert a stationary
kitchen island or cart into a mobile workstation. Locking casters
allows you to position your kitchen island wherever needed and then
secure it in place.
Commercial grade is a designation for furnishings made of
quality materials that meet certain professional standards. Commercial
grade kitchen islands or utility carts are ideal for heavy-use
environments, whether at home or at work.
Cutting boards, depending on the manufacturer, can be
removable, built-in or pull-out.
A drop-leaf is a hinged tabletop or counter section that
unfolds out of or is raised/lowered into the main body of the kitchen
island to extend the existing work area. Drop-leafs can also be used as
a serving buffet or breakfast bar.
Kitchen and utility carts that include an electric outlet
strip will allow you to plug in small kitchen appliances without
When purchasing a butcher block style kitchen cart, select one
with an end grain top. End grain blocks have wood grains that run
vertically, naturally guiding the knife between the wood fibers instead
of slicing into the board itself.
Find exactly what you’re looking for quickly and easily,
because it’s close at hand and within reach. Features like cutlery
trays, knife blocks and utility hooks are not only practical, but they
can also be valuable time-savers.
A cutlery tray, also called a silver tray, is a drawer
organizer designed to hold silverware. They can be built-in or
Drawers are a handy feature for a kitchen cart or island to
have, and are designed for general use or a specific purpose. Utility
drawers can be used for a variety of things, while cutlery drawers are
intended to hold utensils. Multi-bin drawers include dividers that
increase the holding capacity of the drawer.
Enclosed storage, also referred to as concealed storage, can
take the form of drawers or cabinets or a combination of both. A
kitchen island that features enclosed storage is useful for hiding
items conveniently out of sight.
A hutch resembles a cabinet with doors and/or shelves designed
to be paired with a base piece of furniture such as a cart or sideboard.
Designed to hold a small collection of knives, a knife block
is usually made of wood. It can be mounted on the top or on the side of
the kitchen island or kitchen cart.
A kitchen island can have a set of open shelves, ideal for
displaying dishes, bowls or pots and pans.
A spice rack is a convenient way to store and display
containers of herbs and spices.
Intended to hold a limited number, a stemware rack will let
you display you wineglasses, while keeping them readily available.
A towel rack or rail for hanging towels is always useful,
especially when you are using your kitchen cart predominately for food
Utility hooks on a kitchen island or cart increase its
functionality, allowing you to hang utensils, potholders and small pots.
A kitchen island complete with a wine rack lets you keep a
number of your favorite vintages on hand for when you entertain or for
other special occasions.