How far should island be from counters?

heidiaMay 23, 2013

In my plans, my island is 48 inches away from the oven/fridge cabinet wall and 45 inches away from my dishwasher/sink cabinet wall(kitchen is an L shape...My island is 54x56. I have some room to move it as the dining room and a large hall are the open ends of the room. So I am wondering...what is a nice roomy measurement to have between island and cabinets? I want plenty of space for little ones to be at my feet, as they always are(we have 5 kids) but not too much space...any sources on this?(I searched but could not find any) or ideas/reccs? I feel like 48 inches is a nice big space? Thoughts? Thanks!

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Debbi Branka

I think it's supposed to be 42-48".

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Sophie Wheeler

42" for a single worker kitchen with no pinch points or major traffic jam spots like a fridge. 48" for two workers or more stuff opening into the aisles.

However, you need to take another look at your island. How far can you reach? The reason most islands are elongated is that 48" marks the point that most people start to find it difficult to reach the center point of that island. If you are tall, or have longer arms, maybe that 54" would be OK, but it also depends on if the counter is single height and what type of obstacles it contains in it. Just double check that it will be workable for you before you commit to it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:23PM
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I have 42" between sink/dishwasher and island countertop on one side, and around 39" between range handle and countertop on the other. The range side was originally set for 42" but it seemed like a huge space when we had it set up but not bolted down. We also have 3 little ones that love to help and I feel that I could have easily gone down to 36" and been happy with it. It's the busiest aisle in the kitchen at every meal and I've never once felt cramped, plus it gives a couple more inches on the other side of the island for seating.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Have 42" and many times had other in kitchen and never felt cramped.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:59PM
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My preference would be "26 miles", that's how far Catalina is
. One of the "Four Preps", learned me that!

They said the Island got in the way of their "Prepping"!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:08PM
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48" is plenty, but it depends on how much space you have on the other side of the island. In our case, the kitchen is open into the rest of the great room, so we decided to push the island out to 60" (5 feet.) This allows the 2 of us to easily cook or work in the kitchen without bumping into each other.

You will need to take into account the placement of your primary work areas, as well as your cooking style/work pattern. How often do you go back and forth from the main sink? Is the island used for prep/cooking, or do you do most of that in the wall units? In our case, we use the island about 75% of the time for prep. I even put a baking center at one end, with everything from flour to mixing bowls and utensils in drawers so you don't have to walk all over the place.

One thing which helped was to mock out the distance on the floor with masking tape so I could see and feel how it felt. I'm pretty tall with long legs so I appreciate the extra distance, you may not.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:32PM
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42" for a single user, 48" for two cooks, and 60" for wheelchair access.

For the complete set of kitchen design guidelines, follow the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: The 31 Kitchen Design Rules, Illustrated

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:16PM
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