Choosing the Best Kitchen Island

Q: What are some of the advantages of an island and what size should I consider?

A: A kitchen island is a stylish solution to the problem of finding usable workspace in a class home kitchen. In fact, the proper selection of required materials such as tile, stainless steel, wood and stone for the kitchen island is as important as the choice of any kitchen furniture. Here are at least six benefits of having a kitchen island.

Benefits of the Island

Storage—more drawers, shelves and cabinets!

Kids’ Space—use the space for homework or have the kids help with meal preparation

More Seating—the kitchen island can be an additional dining area when needed

Versatility—the mobile island works really well for smaller kitchens that need both counter and floor space

More Kitchen Amenities—you can incorporate a prep sink, refreigerator drawers or even a stove to make your kitchen more user-friendly

Variety of Options—with the plethora of countertop and cabinet options, you can customize your kitchen island to suit you as well as create a focal point in your kitchen.

Choosing your Island

When choosing a kitchen island, it is also important to select one with the proper amount of storage and workspace to ensure that you will get the optimal amount of use from it.

So what is the key to finding an island that meets your needs? The possibilities are many but to make a decision, you will need to find a design that fits with the realities of your kitchen.

You can keep your project within reach by sticking with affordable materials and narrowing your wish list to the features that you want the most.

Where you put your island is also a question you’ll want to address. Traditionally, the kitchen island is put in the middle of the kitchen, anchoring the room and organizing work floor as it is close to counter space from all directions. If you have an enclosed kitchen, the middle of the kitchen is the only place to put an island without blocking work centers or interfering with traffic. 

You might consider a perimeter island if you have a semi-open floor plan. This type of island will connect spaces as well as separate them. If you have an open or semi-open kitchen, your guests will tend to stand at the island facing the adjoining area. And you simply cannot overlook the social aspect of an island. The island will help people know where to stand and feel comfortable as well as providing you that space you need for your kitchen projects.

The Size of the Island

As far as the size of your island, the size guidelines for kitchen islands usually recommend a width between 24 and 60 inches, with 42 inches wide considered the ideal for accommodating under-counter cabinets on one sides of the island and stools or chairs on the other side. A good length for kitchen islands is between 54 and 84 inches, but the size of your kitchen will determine this. You’ll want to ensure that you have at least 36 inches of clearance around all sides of the island so that two people can work in the kitchen without too much bumping into each other. 

Find out more kitchen remodel ideas.


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