Adding a Kitchen Island, Planning is the First Step!

Kitchen islands are a very good way to maximize space and add functionality to your kitchen. They provide work space for food preparation, additional cabinet or shelf space while helping reduce clutter from kitchen counters. Adding a sink to a built-in island is also possible to enhance their usefulness. Islands may stand alone in the center of the kitchen or be installed as an extension of a countertop, as a peninsula. They can help produce the triangular work space that makes kitchens more efficient and may form an attractive division between the kitchen and living space.

In this Remodel Cost Guide article, we will how to plan for the addition of an island in your kitchen and the cost factors that you should consider before you decide to install a kitchen island.

Most islands have plenty of lighting above them to provide illumination anywhere on the island you use for work. There are many unique, useful and creative ways to design and use kitchen islands.

Questions to Consider in Planning Kitchen Islands

How will it be used? Form must follow function for the kitchen island to be most effective. Is it primarily for food preparation? Then is should be located conveniently to the refrigerator, pantry and the utensils you use for preparation. Having its own sink, and electrical outlets if allowed by code in your area, will be very helpful. If it will double as eating space, like a breakfast bar, than having an overhanging counter on one or more sides will be essential.

What shape should it be? For food preparation, a rectangle is better than a circle and an L-shape with a sink is an excellent design. For eating, a circle design allows more intimacy. If used for eating, the top should be about 28” for kitchen chairs and 36” to 44” for stools of various heights.

What should it be topped with? You’ve got many different choices. Some homeowners employ the same material used for their kitchen counters while others prefer something to offset the counters attractively. For example, a stone top for the island will go very well with granite countertops; a solid laminate island top will work nicely with patterned laminate counters; and large tile for the island top will complement smaller ceramic tile on counters.

Cost Factor

A stock island with an inexpensive counter-top won’t cost much. A custom design with an expensive counter top and the addition of either plumbing or electricity will raise the price accordingly. Just for kitchen islands, figure between %5 and 10% of your total budget.


Islands can do much for the total look and functionality of the kitchen. While there won’t be enough room in a galley kitchen or other small kitchen types, if an island can be included in your kitchen design, it will be an investment you’ll get an excellent return from.

Adding a Kitchen Island ? Just be sure to do your homework and research everything you can upfront.

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