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6 Kitchen Island Types for Your Inspiration

kitchen design

Kitchen islands are usually classified as accessories because they are not an essential element. You can make do without it and still retain the style and function of your kitchen. However, kitchen island do have an important function: extend your work space and/or storage capacities. As such, it is an accessory you should seriously consider adding to your kitchen design.

There are many types of kitchen islands, ranging from the simplest, cheapest, to the most complex, and expensive. It all depends on your needs, wants, and budget. Generally, kitchen islands are divided into two categories: permanent and portable. The portable or movable kitchen island does not require any special electrical wiring or plumbing. And mostly serve as a temporary work space. The permanent kitchen island, on the other hand, may require installation of running power and water, making it more functional but also more expensive. You may also need to get a permit to install one in an existing kitchen, unless you intend to do major kitchen renovations at the same time, in which case your contractor will take care of that for you.

Aside from these two broad categories, there are also 6 kitchen island types, which we are going to discuss below.

Rolling island

small rolling cartAs you can imagine, this kitchen island is of the portable category, and go by the term rolling cart. They are frequently used as a prep surface and serving cart, and because it has wheels, may be moved easily to any part of the kitchen where it is needed. One familiar example of the rolling island is the butcher-block cart. They come in all sizes, materials, and configurations. The simplest, usually made of wood or metal, are quite cheap and available readymade or ready to assemble. Most rolling islands have locking wheels to keep them steady, but they unlock quite easily, so you have to be vigilant when using them.

 Small island

small kitchen islandUnlike the rolling island, these small islands have no wheels, although they are also not necessarily fixed to the floor. They are functionally real kitchen islands in that they have a countertop and cabinets for storage, and they are at the perfect height for food prep at 38 inches. You can order one and have a granite or marble slab placed on the countertop to make it even better. They are usually available as RTA products, and tend to be small, no more than four feet long. This can be a good thing if you have a small kitchen, and it will fit right in. If you need a bit more workspace, some products include folding extensions. However, extensions are typically not level and do not have good support, so they are useless for food prep or carrying anything heavy. 

Table island

ordinary table in the middle of a kitchen
Primarily a table in the middle of the kitchen, the table island is useful for prepping food and holding a host of dishes ready to carry into the dining room. It is also a good place to do homework, eat breakfast, and hold informal family gatherings. Most people do not even think of it as an island, although by definition, it still is if it is in the middle of the kitchen.



base cabinet kitchen island
If you can put a table in the middle of a kitchen and call it an island, you can do it with a base cabinet. A cabinet island is primarily one, two, or four base cabinets topped with granite, marble, or other types of countertops. It is actually a clever way to repurpose old base cabinets discarded in a previous kitchen remodeling if they are still in good condition. However, if the total dimension is more than 1 x 2 feet, it is considered a fixed island. So you will need to put in electrical receptacles in accordance with the electrical code.

 Full kitchen island

full kitchen island
You are probably more familiar with a full kitchen island from those kitchen design magazines and sites. It is basically a perimeter counter in the middle of the kitchen. It is large, fixed, and has electrical, water, and draining capabilities. In many kitchens with a full kitchen island is topped with a hardy material such as granite countertops and serves as secondary work space. It is also often used as a cooking station and eating area. The island counter is a great place to have breakfast and snacks. In some smaller homes, it actually serves as the main dining area.

 Double-tiered island

bar-type two-level kitchen islandThe double-tiered island is also a full island with all its capabilities except that it has two countertop levels. It is popular in homes with an open floor layout. Because it is often situated between the kitchen and dining or living room, it serves as a dividing as well as transition area. The two countertop levels allow it to be a cooking area and eating at the same time, much like the bar area in restaurants. 

Kitchen islands are useful additions to any kitchen. You can let your creativity and situation dictate the type you have in your kitchen. You can easily purchase or even DIY the smaller islands. But the full-sized kitchen islands are a bit more challenging. You need a reliable contractor to do it for you. There are no better than the good folks at Cabinet Land Kitchen and Beyond. We work only with the best brands at the best prices compared to our competitors such as Advance Cabinets and Handsome Cabinets. We also offer better free consultation services and quotes, so you know exactly what to expect from your purchase.

Our local remodeling company with a showroom located in Schaumburg, Illinois. Visit Cabinetland Kitchen and Beyond today to see what we have to offer. We service Chicago land and have the expertise and resources to complete virtually any type of kitchen cabinets. ON TIME and ON BUDGET with top quality craftsmanship that will exceed your expectations.