How much room do I need for a kitchen island?

Comment by The AQK Team on February 3, 2017

How much room do I need for a kitchen island?

Islands are great. Tropical islands, private islands–even kitchen islands! But let’s be honest; they take up some space. You definitely can’t fit a tropical island in your house, but what about a kitchen island? How do you know if one will fit and if it’s the right choice for your space? Read on, and we’ll help you answer those questions.

Will A Kitchen Island Fit?

The Dimensions

Some designers will tell you that unless your kitchen is at last 8 feet deep and 12 feet long that you shouldn’t even bother thinking about installing a kitchen island. But it’s possible to make things work in a tiny space; you just might have to work with a designer and have a custom island made.

is-kitchen-too-small-for-kitchen island

The absolute smallest kitchen island we suggest is 40 by 40 inches (a little bigger than 3 square feet). Though it may seem small, a kitchen island like this can be a great addition that adds to your workspace, dining space, and storage!


If your kitchen meets these minimum requirements, however, you should be all set to install an island. But here are some other dimensions you need to consider:


  • Clearance zone
  • Safety zone


The clearance zone is the space that surrounds the island. At the very least, there should be 1 meter, or three feet, of clearance space around an island. That way, when your family is in the kitchen while cooking, dining, or just hanging out, nothing gets too cramped.


The safety zone is the space that your drawers and cabinets need around the island. All doors–cabinet, oven, dishwasher, etc–should be able to be fully opened and still have a clearance zone of 3 feet. This is because open drawers and doors can be tripping hazards. This could be dangerous if you or a family member is holding hot food or sharp utensils!

kithcen island-options

Make It Multi-Functional

The best way to make a kitchen island worth the space it takes up is to design it to be multi functional. Get a countertop material that looks beautiful enough to dine on, but is durable enough to prepare dinner on. Make sure there’s enough for seating on at least one side. And don’t just waste all the space in the middle! Install drawers, cabinets, and maybe even a wine fridge!


If you don’t have enough space, or the layout of your kitchen simply doesn’t allow for a kitchen island, that’s ok! There are some alternatives.


Put Some Wheels On It!

Maybe you have a tiny kitchen and just can’t sacrifice the space in the middle but you desperately need some extra workspace while cooking dinner. Or maybe you can’t or don’t want to commit to a permanent island. Have no fear, wheels are here! Put an island on wheels. Wheel it in when you need it, and wheel it out when you don’t Simple as that!


Trade An Island For A Peninsula

Island, peninsula, are we studying geography or talking about kitchens?! A peninsula–in geography and interior design–is almost an island. It’s an island connected to the “mainland” at one end. Use a kitchen peninsula for storage, dining, and prep space without sacrificing all the floorspace and without need all the clearance space of an island (it only needs those 3 feet on 3 sides).


Ready For An Island Vacation?

Think an island is the right space for you? Still a little unsure and want to chat with a design professional? Give us a call or stop into the workroom today!

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