As the open-concept floor plan continues to dominate home remodeling trends, more and more of our kitchen renovations involve removing walls to create a larger, more flowing space. With this extra space comes the opportunity to include an island, providing extra storage space, work areas, and additional seating in the kitchen. Many of our islands are also designed with sinks, cooktops, dishwashers, or under-counter microwave drawers installed, along with convenient electrical outlets. With all of these perks, it’s no wonder kitchen islands are often at the top of our clients’ remodeling wish list!
While it’s tempting to commit to adding an island to your kitchen remodel, there are some realities to be aware of. Here are 4 things to consider:
1. Kitchen Islands Require a LOT of Space
Even if you are removing walls to enlarge your kitchen, you still might not have enough space for an island. For example, the typical island is at least two feet wide with a one-foot overhang of counter top. If you intend to have seating at your island, you’ll need at least another two feet allowance for chairs. In addition to that, you will also want a minimum of three feet on each side of the island to provide for comfortable walkways (no one likes a crowded kitchen!) Adding it all up, your kitchen island will require about 12 feet of open space. That’s a pretty tall order if your kitchen is not very spacious to begin with!
2. The Primary Purpose of Your Island Should Determine It’s Design
Before your kitchen island is designed, it’s important to consider what it’s main purpose will be. Will it primarily serve as a seating area for guests? Will it include appliances to create an efficient layout for the rest of the kitchen? Will you use it mostly for food prep while cooking meals? If storage is your priority, will your island include shelving, cabinets, or drawers? Determining the functional purpose of your kitchen island beforehand will allow you and your designer to make important decisions, such as the size, layout, features, and materials used in the final product. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to work with a professional design build firm when remodeling your home – there are a lot of small details involved that you might not consider on your own, which could really influence your satisfaction with your remodel in the years to come.
3. Having an Island installed will Increase the Cost of your Kitchen Remodel
On average, a full kitchen remodel that does not include changing the original foot print comes in between $35,000.00 to $40,000.00. If you are interested in removing walls to expand this kitchen (usually a requirement if you want to add a large island to the space), the total cost goes over $50,000.00. Not only does adding an island often require some walls to be removed, but material expenses are also incurred, such as an additional counter top slab, carpentry, hardware, paint or stain, plumbing, and any appliances you’d like installed in the island. When you add in the labor and time it takes to have those materials prepped and installed, it definitely contributes to a higher price tag for your kitchen remodel.
4. Alternative Options are Available
If you’re feeling uneasy at the realities of installing a traditional island in your kitchen, there are a few alternatives available. While not as glamorous, cart islands are a popular choice that still provide many benefits, such as storage and counter top space. Not only do they take up less room in your kitchen, but many of them are mobile and can easily be moved if you change your mind about them in the future. They come in a variety of styles and sizes and can be customized to match the rest of your kitchen.
Another alternative to installing a full-sized island is to have a peninsula instead. Peninsulas act as extensions of your counters and are attached to the perimeter of the room. Similar to islands, peninsulas can provide valuable counter top space, seating and storage. They also act as great dividers if you are looking to separate your kitchen from the neighboring room but still want an open feel.
Kitchen islands can be a beautiful, beneficial feature to include in your remodel. However, it’s important to realize the space and cost requirements involved to make an island work. Unfortunately, not all kitchens are designed to incorporate an island. If that is the case for your kitchen, there are many other solutions that we’d be happy to discuss with you. If you are interested in remodeling your kitchen to optimize it’s space and functionality and want to know if adding an island is a realistic option, contact us today to set up a consultation!
The Medford Remodeling Team