Narrowest room to fit an island with seating?

karenschaeweOctober 27, 2012

My kitchen is just shy of 139" wide, would an island with seating fit? A major traffic thruway would go right behind the seating.


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Cabinetry is 24", space been cab and island is minimum 42, island should me 36 " and aisle minimum would be 42. Equals 144 inches. If you reduced the aisle you would just
Make it...but it would be tight

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:53PM
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felixnot, you left out counter overhang.
Work aisle minimum should be 42 counter to counter, walk behind seating minimum is 44" from counter to wall. (36" is edge past not suitable for major traffic)
So 24, 42, 3 (2 1.5" overhangs), 36, 44 gets you to 149- 10" more than you have.

Is there a way to turn the seating 90 degrees and put it on a curve at one end of the kitchen? Might end up with one seat too close to wall but would be less of an obstruction... if you have to have seating.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Counter depth is what is important here. 25 1/2" is the counter depth, and if you have cabinets on two walls, that leaves 89" to work with. For a major traffic route, you need a 60" aisle to have people seated and people pass behind without banging them in the head with groceries or laundry etc. If you were willing to go down to 48" and endure a VERY awkward traffic pattern, then even then, you'd only have 41" to work with, which if you did the absolute minimum aisle of 36", leaves you 3" for an island.

Not doable with cabinets on both sides of the kitchen.

Eliminate the cabinets on the other side, compromise with the 48" traffic aisle, compromise with the minimum 36" cabinet aisle, use a 15" cabinet for the island base and have 15" of overhang, and it's doable.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Green - your math makes sense, and that's a lot of compromises. Sound like I need to eliminate the island option.

I could do a wall of shallow pantries on one side and standard bases on hte other and still have plenty of space in the middle for an island or cart, just no seating, right?

jakuvall - turning the seating 90 degrees - wouldn't that be a peninsula? That has been the direction I have been going in however I was encouraged to look as using an island instead. Here's the thread in question, if anyone could comment:

Here is a link that might be useful: TKR's layout review

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 5:17PM
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We reduced the depth of some of our cabinets to allow seating.
I also prefer a narrower aisle width between island and cooking area. I think 37 - 40" is just fine - leave more room on the traffic side.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Didn't mean a peninsula- meant on the end of the island. Npt knowing layout, but works in some situations.

NKBA minimum to walk behind seated diner is 44, 60 for wheel chair.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 6:19PM
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I think by turning the seating 90 degrees jakuvall may have meant something more like one of the below, rather than a peninsula. (Roughly modified from the plan on your other thread - you'd have to draw to scale to see if something like this would work.)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Here's mine: 134-135". It can be done, just not to "standard." That being said, we love it!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:21PM
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I did an island with only 11.5 feet. Part of the reason it worked (for me) was that the seating was at the end of the island, like in Chicagoans plan Also, I'm in a townhouse, so I felt like I could get by with narrower clearances since the house overall is narrow. I'm really happy with the result, but it something you should be sure you can live with--especially if you have multiple cooks.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:37PM
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I think ours is 139.5 or 140" wide, and we have an island with seating. It's fine for us, but it's absolutely not a major walk through. Whether it would work for you depends on a lot of factors--how large are you and your family members? How often will someone sit there? How often will people walk behind the stools? How often will they be carrying things? How large are the stools you want to put there? How deep will your overhang be? How good are your family members about pushing stools/chairs in when they get up?

We have a 36" distance from the counter on the seating edge to the wall behind it. We have a 12" overhang. We are on the small side, and we can walk easily behind the stools we have even when someone large (like our contractor) is seated there normally. We do not have to slide by sideways; we can walk in a normal manner.

This is significantly less space than people recommend, but it works just fine for us, and it was the best solution that we could come up with to make our kitchen more functional. Moving that island counter space over to the wall behind the seating area would have left way too much space in the middle of the kitchen for our tastes. It wouldn't have worked for how we cook.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:10PM
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I just measured ours, and it's actually 142" wide. I would not have done an island if it were 3" smaller, or if I had, I would have had the cabinets on the non-seat side made to be shallower.

In your case, with the seating backing to a major walkway, I'd be very, very uncomfortable with that set up.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 12:57PM
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I only have an 11'3" wide kitchen and we love our island! It makes social time so much easier and more free to move around. We have about 40 inches from the island to a high traffic wall. Works fine. The island is a vanity base cabinet (only 21 inches wide) with a 10 inch overhang. Seats four very easily. I say go for it!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:43PM
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