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Pros: Nicely finished solid wood butcher block top, casters hidden by molding, cabinet doors on all four sides with Euro style hinges, drawers slide out on wood rails from either side, a silverware tray (all wood) is included for one drawer, a spice rack (angled wood racks) for the other, one adjustable shelf in each cabinet, center vertical drawer is on rails and has 3 bins, center one adjustable. There is also a towel rack on one end. The island looks great from both sides, with the only difference between sides being that the center drawer only pulls out one way. The unit is made from a mix of wood, MDF, and manufactured wood, painted with a white enamel, making touching up easy. The assembly kit comes in a blister pack with all parts sorted and clearly labeled to match the directions - a hex wrench is supplied for those connectors that require it. A small tube of touch up enamel and a nice cutting board are also included. The hardware used is excellent throughout and includes very nice drawer pulls. There is more to this island than can be determined from its picture (the manufacturer has a few more views). All in all, the overall design is superior.
Cons: While assembly is straight forward, the doors require 8 screws each (32 in all) to attach the pre-installed hinges to the frame - there are snap together hinges of the same Euro style, so while not a design flaw, this makes assembly more tedious. The directions are not clear enough on the vertical drawer assembly, since the rails will go in one way but the parts can be reversed (I had to do an undo on this step), and have to be pushed in hard to fully seat. The use of formed molding (MDF?) around the perimeter is a potential damage point if there is any rough handling. There are more identification stickers than necessary on the parts and removing them leaves a residue that has to be removed with a solvent. There is a particularly obnoxious, large label on the top warning that it is not intended to be used as a cutting board, particularly hard to remove without damaging the surface (we used Goo Gone). The horizontal drawers need to be lubed with something like lithium grease or soap to slide smoothly. There are several different connection mechanisms employed, one of which is cam lock screws (common to a lot of assemble it yourself furniture) - I found these required a lot of muscle to get them turned enough to lock.
Other Thoughts: My wife looked at a lot of islands before settling on this one, even taping out the different footprints for each on the kitchen floor. The natural wood with white paint was a major factor in her decision since it matches our current kitchen decor. Length was another. If we redo our kitchen, the fact this is painted will make it easy to conform it to any new design. In theory the assembly only requires the supplied hex wrench and a Phillips head screw driver. My take is that you will actually need 3 Phillips head drivers (small, medium, and large), at least I did.
One last point, we were a bit concerned about ordering this particular model given the review that reported significant shipping/factory damage and our unit would have to travel across the entire country. The carton has labels on it including fragile, do not drop, etc and our shipper (AIT) evidently paid attention since there was absolutely no shipping damage (there is a lot of styrofoam padding, sufficient to protect from a forklift gouge on the bottom of the carton). There was one small blemish from the factory, easily hidden using the supplied touch up paint.
Reviewed By:cnw,10/26/2012 6:07:01 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is Somewhat High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month.
Pros: This is a nice sized kitchen island, in theory. As both of the islands we've received have had damage incurred in either shipping or manufacturing, that's about all I can say.
Cons: The first one of these we ordered arrived with an okay looking box, but when we opened it and took the pieces out, one corner of the top-most piece --the part with both the countertop and the drawer spaces -- was badly damaged. Either it left the factory that way or was damaged in shipping. The replacement we received was also damaged: three of the four corners of the same part as above had clearly been damaged in shipping, though this damage was mainly cosmetic (scrapes, dings). The parts seem to have insufficient padding to protect them in shipping. Further, a side panel was cracked along the bottom where screws had been placed to hold one of the support components.
Other Thoughts: Newegg has been nothing but helpful during my attempts to get the island replaced and/or refunded. Their representatives are friendly and helpful, and got the replacement/refund process started immediately. The company has been a pleasure to deal with, and I want to emphasize that I think the problems with this item are down to poor planning and manufacturing at the factory.
Reviewed By:N/A,7/28/2012 9:53:44 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is average and has owned this product less than 1 day.