March 3, 2016

Kitchen Island

Reno Tahoe Kitchens personnel has been involved in kitchen remodels for nearly 40 years in Lake Tahoe, CA and Reno, NV and is here to help you design a kitchen island that is right for you.



A kitchen island can be a great asset to any kitchen. It is very important when designing a kitchen remodel to incorporate the island into the design at an early stage. How it is going to be shaped, sized, and function in your kitchen is very important. There is no one formula to figure out how to configure your island. We recommend that you ask yourself the following questions to help determine the main design elements.

How does the kitchen island function in your kitchen?

Typically, an island has a side specifically for cooking and another devoted to sitting/eating. Some on the other hand are just used for extra counter space and storage. So what are your needs? If you plan to add appliances to your island, a larger island will be required. If the space is only used for storage or extra sitting, it may not have to be as large. You also want to make sure that it doesn’t affect the flow of your kitchen and people moving freely through it.

Do you need appliance in your kitchen island?

If your main goal is to add appliances to your island, these are the things you want to consider. Cost is a big issue to a lot of our clients. Keep in mind that moving electrical and plumbing from their current location to the island, could add significant costs. Anytime you move the location of your current appliances this will be an issue. If this is something you really want to do, consider these options.

If your main sink is placed in your island, you will want a dishwasher located close to the sink as well. You may want to have a trash/compost area in the vicinity as well. If your refrigerator isn’t close to the island, you may want a mini fridge in the island. If you plan to have a cooktop, make sure there is space for an exhaust vent/hood. You may not be able to fit all these things into your space, so make a list of what you want and number their priority.

How much storage space will be required?

The size and layout of the rest of your kitchen will help you determine this. If there is plenty of storage space in other parts of your kitchen, this may not be your focus with the island. With smaller kitchens you may need an island for storage and open counter space rather than prep work and cooking.

We suggest that the size of your island is at least 2 feet wide and 4 feet long in a smaller kitchen. If you are going to include appliances and have room for a big island, it should be 3 feet wide and at least 7 feet long.

What should the counter height of the kitchen island be?

If you plan to have a seating area for your island, this will determine the height of the counter. The typical heights are either 36 or 42 inches. Unless you want to have two levels in your countertop, a 36 inch height is more versatile. A 36 inch height is a better height for cooking, where 42 inches is better for bar stool type of seating. If you want the best of both, create multi-levels. If you want a flat surface, go with the 36 inch.

Will a kitchen island fit into my space?

Perhaps most importantly, you want to make sure the island will flow well with the rest of the kitchen. You don’t want to force it into the space. If you have a smaller kitchen, it could inhibit movement and access through the kitchen. In this case, you may want to consider a rolling island so you can move it out of the way at times. If the space allows for an island, make sure that storage and/or appliances are situated in a way that is easily used. For example: you don’t want drawers or doors opening into other access points like a fridge or dishwasher that may be needed at the same time. It is all about ease of use.