Is My Kitchen Big Enough for an Island?


If you’re browsing through a curated collection of pictures featuring kitchens styled by today’s top designers, you probably think you ought to have a kitchen island. After all, pretty much every gorgeous kitchen you see today has one, and it is common knowledge how a kitchen island can add not only beauty but extra storage and functionality to a kitchen.

However, if the kitchen in your home is on the small side, you might be wondering if a kitchen island could even possibly fit.

Is there an answer to whether a kitchen island will really work for you?


Maybe You Don’t Really Need a Kitchen Island….

Although kitchen islands are popular and ubiquitous today, the simple truth is: not every kitchen needs an island.

There are so many ways a kitchen can be laid out so that it is effective and efficient, serving the needs of cooks, family members, and guests and also contributing to the style and beauty of a home. Sometimes you don’t have to worry if your kitchen will be big enough for an island because the kitchen will be just fine – if not better off- without one.


Ask: What Purpose Will a Kitchen Island Serve for Me? RTA Wood Cabinets

If you’re curious whether a kitchen island will be right for you, you should start by examining why you want one.

(PS: the response “but everyone else seems to have one!” is not good enough).

Admittedly, kitchen islands can serve a variety of purposes, which is why they do show up so often in well-designed kitchens. Here are a few reasons why you might genuinely want (and perhaps even need!) an island:

  • You need extra counterspace to prepare food – especially if you cook a lot and/or you need to walk more than a few steps to access multiple counter surfaces.
  • You need extra seating for family and/or guests – or maybe you want to replace a more traditional dining table with an island setup.
  • You need extra storage because you have lots of kitchen tools and appliances – and there’s otherwise empty space that could be put to good use so your kitchen items are organized and easily accessible.

Understanding the purpose(s) your kitchen island will serve is key to knowing what kind of island, if any, will be right for your kitchen. However, it’s not the only consideration. Even if you have valid reasons for wanting a kitchen island, the space available will also be a determining factor in what kind of island, if any, will work for you.


Space Requirements for Different Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, but there are some measurements you should take into consideration to make sure the island will fit in your space.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends that you keep 42-48 inches of aisle space around an island at minimum. If any sides of your island will be used for seating, you need an even greater clearance – at least 60 inches between the seats and whatever is behind them.

The average size for an island is 3 ft. by 6.5 ft – however every island comes with different features, and those features will ultimately determine exactly how big your island will be. For example, if you want your island to have a sink or a cooktop or a dishwasher or a microwave or extra shelves, the specific features you choose can impact the size and shape of your island.

Often, it’s best to start by measuring your kitchen so you can see the space availability you have and then try to match what’s possible with the features you desire (that also fall within your budget).

Do you still have questions about how a kitchen island might work in your particular kitchen? You don’t have to try to figure this out on your own. Here at RTA Wood Cabinets, we have a team of expert kitchen designers who offer a FREE design to make sure you’ll get the storage that’s right for your needs and your space. You can find out more by giving us a call at: 1-800-788-7575.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Free Kitchen Design