Kitchen Island Dimensions

By Max Alexander

Standard dimensions for kitchen islands, with a survey of the many different types of islands.

The higher a counter, the less overhang it needs. (Knees bend less on tall stools). The distance between the seat and the top of the counter is always the same—12 inches—which puts the surface at a comfortable height for eating. 

Bar sinks make islands ideal for washing hands and food and bartending for parties. Tuck bar sinks, like this one, into corners to maximize counter space. Give full-size sinks at least 1 foot of counter on both sides (photo below: Olson Photographic/Comerhouse Stock).

Price: Built-ins with sinks tend to be bigger than storage units—at least 4 feet long—and pricier, about $1,000 and up. Sink, faucet, and counter are extra. 

Similar to shown: Custom, painted-maple island, 24 by 48 inches, starting at $1,500; Plain & Fancy


An overhanging counter for casual eating needs space for knees, for diners to scoot chairs back, and for seating—at least 24 inches for each chair (photo below: Matthew Millman).

Price: About $800 for a prefab freestanding dining island to more than $5,000 for a custom built-in without a countertop. 


Similar to shown: Broyhill Color Cuisine Kitchen Island with slide-out dining table, 30 by 56 inches, in nine colors, starting at $1,289; Wayfair

A cooktop on an island turns the chef toward the center of the room so that he can keep an eye on the action. But unlike a range by a wall, a cooking island leaves hot pans more exposed and will cost more to ventilate (photo below: Michael Harris/EWA). 


Price: These built-ins are bigger than sink islands and typically cost $1,200 to $7,000, not including the cooktop or counter. 

Similar to shown: Semi-custom maple island with cabinets and open shelves, 30 by 60 inches, about 

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Originally Published in This Old House

04/02/2014

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