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Expert Kitchen Island Size Guidelines for Your Home: Width, Height & Depth

Posted on: December 28, 2020

Extra long kitchen island

Kitchen islands have become standard in many homes. They’re convenient and add aesthetic appeal to the space. But our customers often come to us asking how big their kitchen islands should be.

Your island should be based on the actual size of your kitchen and how it’s being used. One that’s too small leaves you with little space to cook or entertain, but one that’s too big won’t leave you with enough room to walk and use appliances.

In this blog, we’ll cover the following questions (and more!):

  • What are the right kitchen island dimensions?
  • Is there a standard kitchen island size?
  • How tall should my kitchen island be?

Find out below!

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How tall should a kitchen island be?

Is your kitchen island used for mainly food preparation and cooking? Thirty-six inches is a recommended standard height for a kitchen island. Seating at a 36-inch-high island is somewhere between a typical kitchen table seat and typical bar stools. Some professionals recommend 42 inches for an island that will be used mainly for seating and eating.

How wide should a kitchen island be?

Many kitchen islands are about 2 or 3 feet wide, but if you need more counter space, seating space, etc., you can go a little larger. Budget around 7 feet if you want a cooktop or sink in the island.

How deep should a kitchen island be?

A kitchen island should be at least 2 feet deep. Leave enough room on all sides to move around — 3 feet of floor space on the ends of the island is good.

What is the minimum space to leave around a kitchen island?

You should leave at least 3 feet (or 36 inches) of space around a kitchen island. However, you should leave even more space around seating areas — around 42 to 44 inches. This is to make sure your guests have enough space to move around comfortably.

Can kitchen islands be taller than counters?

It’s actually common for kitchen islands to be taller than standard kitchen counters. The advantage of this increase in height is that it can conceal any clutter or dirty dishes from view. This is a good option to consider if you have an open floor plan.

The kitchen island height can also act as a room divider, separating the kitchen from the rest of the space. The raised island also allows for family and guests to interact with the cook without actually being in the “work area.”

What is the difference between a kitchen island and a peninsula?

Both kitchen structures are named after the geographical features they align with. An island is a free-standing space with four open sides, while a peninsula has one end attached to a wall or other structure, with three open sides.

How do you create your dream kitchen island?

The island can be the heart and central hub of your kitchen, but it needs to be the right size. Think “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” meets custom kitchen design. Too small and it won’t function the way it should; too big and it can hinder traffic flow and decrease overall efficiency — it needs to be just right. Ultimately, the dimensions of a kitchen island will depend on how it’s being used.

Should your kitchen island match your cabinets?

Your kitchen island does not have to match. Although matching your kitchen island to surrounding cabinets and countertops creates symmetry within a kitchen, using different cabinet colors or different countertops can turn an island into a beautiful focal point that complements the rest of your kitchen.

Other Kitchen Island Design Tips

  • Islands can be great places for extra storage! Two 24-inch base cabinets back to back can accommodate most under-island storage.
  • Two-tiered kitchen islands can be great for multiple functions. For instance, you can use the lower level for food prep and the higher level for eating (with tall bar stools or chairs).
  • If you do a lot of cooking, an island with a second sink or stove may be ideal.

Ready to design a kitchen island in Maryland, Northern Virginia, or DC? We’d love to be your design partner! Call us at 301-363-4064 for a consultation.

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