Kitchen Islands: Advantages and Disadvantages

Having an island in the kitchen area adds a touch of modernity, apart from the utility they offer. But this kind of worktop also comes with certain disadvantages.
Kitchen Islands: Advantages and Disadvantages

Last update: 16 March, 2023

Kitchen islands are among the first ideas that come to mind when planning to redesign your kitchen or building from scratch. Although they’re a useful resource for culinary tasks, they are also a definitive installation, with limited possibilities to change the layout later.

This doesn’t mean that they’re a bad project, but before choosing them, it’s best to know what their pros and cons are. Let’s get to know what kitchen islands are and why you should integrate them into this important area of your home.

What are kitchen islands all about?

Kitchen islands are pieces of furniture that serve as an organizer, a worktop and they offer a large work surface. They have become popular for their aesthetics and utility, as they make the food preparation area look modern and practical.

They gain attention in the room because they bring personality and space for several people to gather around it and share while they cook or prepare food. Kitchen islands maximize the utility of the room and enhance the functional and interactive aspects of open floor plans.

Clever Architectural Digest suggests that, when planning them, the focus should be on how they will be used. For example, if sitting around it is not contemplated, then omit the stools. Whereas if what you want is to use it as an exclusive area for preparing meals, then extend the countertop.

Kitchen islands.
Kitchens with islands should respond to a need and a utility of whoever lives in the house

Advantages of kitchen islands

Besides being a meeting point with family or friends, islands provide a novel atmosphere. Here are some other advantages:

  • Adaptability: they can be adapted to any kind of interior design and are available in all sizes. They can be square or elongated.
  • Division of environments: open concept kitchens are among the most preferred, so adding an island would favor the separation of areas.
  • Comfort: the spaciousness and versatility of an island is evident when several people come together to prepare a recipe; also in the practicality to accommodate informal meals, if there are stools that surround it.
  • Space optimization: the drawers of an island help you to store kitchenware and ingredients. Similarly, some designs incorporate faucets and recessed stovetops; in the latter case, islands are designed to add extractor hoods.
  • Update: modernity is one of the outstanding factors. It’s possible to design islands in various sizes, with a variety of materials, and in any color. The project adapts to the user’s tastes and the shape of the kitchen and includes custom accessories as part of the personalization.
  • Fluidity: by having drawers or shelves on its sides, it’s easier to organize and move around.

Architects emphasize the connection of 3 crucial zones in the kitchen: the refrigerator, the sink and the worktop. In such an environment should be located the island, to move easily.

They recommend that the distance between these and the island is 1.20 to 3 meters (4 to 10 feet) without hindrances on the perimeter.

Disadvantages of kitchen islands

Apart from their benefits, having an island in the kitchen has certain drawbacks. These are listed below:

  • Price: they don’t come cheap. On the contrary, they imply a considerable investment, especially when planning trendy designs with broad functionality.
  • They require connections: in the case of islands that allow the incorporation of sinks, water and drainage outlets must be installed. And if you’ll have appliances on it, then you’ll need plugs.
  • They are permanent: islands are not tables that you can move anywhere when you feel like it. They are a permanent option. Although there are some mobile models, these aren’t common. For this reason, you should think carefully before giving the green light to the work.
  • They don’t fit in every kitchen: special designs are feasible in small areas. However, islands are advisable for large kitchens, so that the adjacent spaces aren’t cramped. In any case, try to leave a free passage area.
Kitchen islands.
The decision for an island should be taken carefully. Then, it will be very difficult to back out.

What mistakes to avoid when installing a kitchen island?

The worst mistake that comes with the installation of an island is not respecting the size of the room. If it’s a large area and you want to share in it, it’s fine to plan an XXL island. But the concept changes if the kitchen/dining area is small.

The appropriate thing to do is to consult with a team of interior design specialists and work based on measurements.

Another mistake associated with islands is not thinking of them as an ornamental piece. Yes, functionality stands out, but the decorative scope of this resource also prevails, so take advantage of it to have a useful and beautiful kitchen.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.