There is no doubt that the kitchen island has become one of the top “must have” items in kitchens today. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you move into the planning stages of your perfect kitchen island.
DO I NEED SEATING?
Often clients want seating at their kitchen island. It’s good to think about how many seats you would ideally like and go from there. Another consideration is the height of that seating, as this can be Table Height (approximately 28”), Island Height (approximately 36”) or Raised Bar Height (approximately 42”). Choosing the right height for your needs is just as important as knowing how many seats you would like.
WILL THERE BE APPLIANCES IN THE ISLAND?
Keep in mind that you may not have height options available to you if you plan on putting appliances in your island. For example, dishwashers, wine coolers and bar fridges come in standard heights. So if you want any of these items, you can guarantee that portion is going to be approximately 36” in total height.
DOES MY KITCHEN ISLAND NEED A LOWERED SECTION?
One thing that some people opt for is to have a lowered section of the island for tasks such as at-home baking. Depending on your height, designing a more ergonomic kitchen can ensure you don’t end up with a strained back or a repetitive strain injury.
DO I NEED POWER IN MY KITCHEN ISLAND?
The easy answer is yes! In order to comply with the National Building Code in Canada, you will need to have one or two power plugins/receptacles in the island or peninsula depending on the size. This is to avoid placing an appliance on the island and plugging in on the back kitchen wall and the potential risk of someone walking through the plugin, causing an accident.
Island plugins can be easily cut into the back of the cabinet and the location(s) can be planned in advance with your kitchen designer.
HOW BIG CAN MY KITCHEN ISLAND BE?
The size of your island will be dictated by your space. The key element is to allow for proper clearances for foot traffic and the opening and swinging of appliances. The general rule of thumb for clearance is 36” between surfaces, although many clients would rather forfeit the island size and have a bit more space to manoeuvre in.
DO I NEED SUPPORT FOR THE COUNTERTOP?
This depends on the substrate or countertop material, but it is always recommended to have more support, rather than not enough. Support can be provided by bar supports, columns or posts. It’s always a good idea to check with your countertop supplier to see if there are any support requirements for the material that you have selected. This way you can work in tandem with your kitchen cabinet designer to ensure the island is properly supported and strong.
With proper planning, you too can design the perfect kitchen island for your new home or renovation. Remember, the size of your island is often dictated by the size of your space. With the help of a qualified kitchen and bath designer, you can plan the perfect at home island getaway!