The Sims 4 Building Tutorials:

Advanced Counters, Islands, and Cabinets

by Norma Blackburn

Sims 4 Building How-To's: making a kitchen with counter tops

When building your kitchen, it's easy to just plop down a couple of benches around the essential stove and fridge, yet investing a little more time and effort could result in a kitchen even a master chef would be proud to cook in.

Let's look at a few tricks to use when placing counters and cabinets.


The easiest way to find all the available counters and cabinets is to search by room in buy/build mod and select the kitchen submenu.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: counters and islands in build mode

Click on a counter and you will get a choice of counters and islands to use. Hover the mouse over each one and select the color palate to choose the counter you want. Counters and islands can both be placed against a wall or be free standing. The difference between them is that counters have an area that Sims can sit at when using a stool. When placed next to each other individual units will snap together as one.

By default, Automatic Counter Placement is turned on. This means that when we place two counters close together at right angles, they will automatically snap together and form one. This feature is great for following the contours of your walls. We can turn Automatic Counter Placement off so that corner units are not made. Turning it off also opens up a whole range of options that we didn't have before.

Turning Automatic Counter Placement off (or back on) is easy. When we search for buy objects by room and select either kitchen or bathroom in the bottom right corner of the menu image, there is a little button next to the words Auto Counters. The button will say On or Off and it's simply a matter of pressing the button to change it. Another way to turn auto counters on or off is to select the color palate for a counter. To the left of the palate there will be an image of some gear wheels (or a gear wheel and a spanner) If you hover over this image, it will tell you if auto counters are on or off.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: automatic counter placement off
Click to Enlarge. Turning Automatic Counter Placement off

So what does having auto counters off give us? For this example, we will be using the Harbinger Counter.

With auto counters on, when we select this counter, we have a choice of colors to choose from but nothing else. Once we turn auto counters off and click on the palate for the Harbinger counter, as well as a color palate, we now have a selection of counter pieces. These include the standard unit we always had, plus corner pieces for inside and outside corners and my favorite, triangular end pieces. Different counter types have different units available through this option, so it's worth exploring all the counter varieties to see what they offer. At the time of writing, the Harbinger is the only one that has a triangular end piece.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: auto counters off allows more choices
Click to Enlarge. With Auto Counters off, we get more choices
Sims 4 Building How-To's: counter with corner ends
Click to Enlarge. A counter made with corner end pieces


We also get more choices when we select an island.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: rounded counter island

One of the new choices in the island pieces is the rounded island. With this piece, it's possible to make circular islands.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: circular counter island
Click to Enlarge. A circular island


The high kitchen cabinets offer us the greatest selection with Auto Counters turned off and with these, we can truly customize our kitchen.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: different styles of cabinetry

Like the counters, different styles of cabinets offer us different choices, so be sure to explore all the different styles.

As well as the regular cabinets, there are inner and outer corner pieces, smaller pieces that fit well over something like a fridge and then there are te double tile cabinets. The double tile cabinets stretch all the way to the floor.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: cabinet collection
Click to Enlarge. The different pieces we can select in the S. Cargeaux collection

Some of the cabinets are restricted to where they are placed on the wall, however, many can be placed in many places, giving us even broader decorating possibilities.

Sims 4 Building How-To's: tiling cabinets
Click to Enlarge. We can even tile a number of the cabinet pieces

Not Just Kitchens

The range of counters and cabinets available to us makes them perfect for other rooms besides the kitchen. Try them as bathroom vanities or the full length units as bedroom furniture. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Other Building Guides

Sims 4 House Building
Building Cheats
Counters and Islands
Decorating Inside Homes
Decorating Outside/Landscaping
Island Living (Stilt Foundation, Glass Floors)
Split Levels and Lofts
Stairs and Basements
Terrain Tools

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i love this, i didn't know the difference between counters and islands before!
18th July 2015 3:36pm
i have problem with the corner cabinet, when i try to place it, it always face the wrong way, it took some effort to finally put it right. please help?
31st July 2015 3:53am
berli, you are not the first to have this problem. Take a look at this thread in the forum where others have had the problem. Read down a bit and Delena has a solution...,23743.0.html
4th August 2015 9:28am
Hello Norma. I read your entire Build Tutorial. Just wanted to say it is excellent! I learned a lot.
1st August 2015 9:28pm
That is to say, thank you very kindly for putting this great tutorial so I can keep my sims happy Smile
I'll make sure that she sees this, I'm sure she'll appreciate hearing it's helped you :)
1st August 2015 9:33pm
Glad it helped DHJKRS01. I loved building in Sims (have done since the original game) and I have learned a lot over the years... just sharing the knowledge so others might find it as enjoyable as me. :-)
3rd August 2015 6:00pm
Laugh me too! Tongue
12th December 2015 4:12pm
I have a major problem! Cant seem to find an answer anywhere. When I want to place my cabinets they refuse to connect to each other. So I'm left with gaps between them that looks awful. I've done the whole on/off counter thing and replaced my wall and turned moveobjects on. Can someone please help me?
16th August 2015 8:22am
Henriette, that sounds like an unusual problem. Does it happen with all houses in all saved games or is it restricted to one lot or one game (Im thinking a glitch with the save if it is just one game) Could you perhaps start a topic in the build section of the forum and maybe take a screenshot. That way I can try to recreate the pproblem with the same cabinets.
19th August 2015 4:16am
This is surely too late to help Henriette, but I hope it is helpful for others finding this post. I had this problem, too, until I noticed that that cabinets have specific designations, such as left end piece, right end piece, etc., that determine how they link to other cabinets. A left end piece will not link up with a cabinet on its left leaving a noticeable gap.
7th April 2016 4:36pm
This is incredibly useful, you are amazing Grin
22nd January 2016 6:45am
Thanks so much! This really helped me out with my kitchen it looks so awesome! Thank you! Grin
16th February 2016 9:27pm
Thank GOD
My trying to place a refrigerator and my cabinets wouldn't adjust to the refrigerator height thank God someone who knew how to do this
30th May 2016 2:26pm
Guys! i need HELP! this modification tool doesn't appear at ALL despite the auto counters are on/off!!! how can i fix that??
1st June 2016 10:07am
I've never encountered this problem. Unsure Try quitting out of your game and then deleting the localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims4 folder and trying again.
1st June 2016 11:22pm
Turning off auto-counters seems to disable snapping so getting things to line up is very difficult :(
25th May 2018 6:28pm
So I have all the dlc and fully updated but I don't have all the cabinets or the round counters what can I do?
29th June 2019 3:26pm
You will have them, you just need to access them by turning "auto counters" off as explained in the guide above.
29th June 2019 7:37pm
So I turned it off and I still don't have the tall or short cupboards or the round islands
2nd July 2019 1:53pm
You will have them, they are in every Base Game of the Sims 4, you'll just need to go through the guide above carefully, looking at the screenshots looking at how to access them. Go into build mode. Mouse over a kitchen counter and click on the color swatch choices and then mouse over the black and white choices of counter shapes that pops up to the left of the color swatches. When you mouse over those black and white options watch the shape of the counter change ..this is how you access those different shaped counters. Not all counter island choices have a rounded option but many do. To find the shorter wall hanging cabinets go into the menu for those, mouse over one and then click for the color swatch options. Again mouse over the black and white options that will appear to the left of the color swatch. Some do not have the tall option, most do.
This will only be accessible if you have Automatic Counter Placement off.
If you have Automatic Counter Placement on the only options you will see will be the different color swatches.
3rd July 2019 7:07pm
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