Kitchen islands are a useful innovation in kitchen design, continuing the trend in open-plan living, popular among UK interior designers for many years. The worktop islands create a place for sinks, cookers, breakfast bars, and food preparation areas away from the traditional ‘around-the-wall’ worktops and kitchen units.
The average, standard-sized kitchen island costs £250-£750. In comparison, larger islands’ prices sit around the £1500 mark. However, the cost of a kitchen island can increase by 50-100%, depending on the size of the selected worktop and whether it’s made from wood, quartz, granite or marble etc.
This guide describes, among other things, the options available for kitchen islands, their worktops, and the factors affecting their prices. Finally, we explain how to contact reputable suppliers for kitchen islands to complement your existing or future kitchen.
How Much Does A Kitchen Island Cost?*
Comparing kitchen island prices with the leading suppliers allows you to decide which brand you prefer. Use the table below to calculate rough quotes so you can compare them with estimates provided by the suppliers.
|Ikea||£250-£500 mainly freestanding islands||Reliable supplier providing cheap yet well-made products. Large selection of designs and features. Not many stores outside big cities.|
for 1.8m-2mX900mm-980mm worktops
|A well-known local store sells flat-packed base units combined into custom kitchen islands with island worktops.|
for 1.8mX1.2m worktops, different thicknesses
|A popular local store with a range of different sized island worktops in various designs. Also, flat-packed units.|
|Magnet||Prices not published – Popular company trading for decades. Offers design service. Many waterfall kitchen island worktops are in stock.|
|Wickes||£200-£850 for 3mX900mm worktops||Many stores across the UK offer flatpack units with island worktops|
|Qubox||£7500+||High quality, bespoke islands|
|Wayfair||£700-£800||Plenty of options designed for different budgets|
*We compiled these prices from various sources. Every manufacturer has its designs, which may not be like-for-like or the same size or configuration. Therefore, research and use these prices as a benchmark. Always contact a local kitchen supplier or installation company if you want an accurate quote for your kitchen. Alternatively, use the form on this page.
6 Kitchen Island Price Factors
Many factors affect the cost of kitchen islands. Here are some of the most significant.
Size is probably the most significant factor that affects purchase price. You can buy a small mobile island from Ikea for less than £250. In contrast, larger standard islands can cost up to £900 or more.
2. How much available space
Overall, the size of your kitchen island depends on the amount of space you have in your kitchen. To prevent your kitchen from feeling cramped and cluttered, kitchen designers recommend at least 1m clearance around the island. It’s not just for your convenience. If you intend to sell your house in the future, you need enough walkaround room to increase your property value and appeal to prospective buyers.
3. Worktop finish
There are so many worktops available you might get bogged down while choosing. Typically, laminate worktops cost less than solid wood, stone, or reconstituted stone chips. Generally, you can select just about any surface from laminate, glass, solid & engineered wood, acrylic, glass, quartz, and various types of solid and reconstituted stone.
4. Bespoke design
You pay for the extra design time and the craftsman-built kitchen as with other tailor-made products. A bespoke kitchen island is exactly what it sounds like. It’s designed and built to exact specifications to accommodate your requirements and is nothing but luxurious. Therefore, expect to pay £5,000–£20,000 or more for a large bespoke kitchen island.
5. Number of appliances
Many kitchen islands include various appliances within the footprint, freeing up space elsewhere in the kitchen. You can choose a fridge, dishwasher, oven, grill, cooler and freezer within the cupboards. Additionally, inset into the worktop, you can find room for hobs and sinks. Furthermore, you can have extractor fans, splashbacks, overhanging cupboards, and seating areas surrounding and above the island. To have everything you need can cost a lot of money. If the island is entirely bespoke, expect to pay £5000-£20,000 or more.
6. Fixed or moveable island
When we imagine a kitchen island, most people imagine a fixed unit with plumbing, drainage and electricity for the various appliances. But, if you’re willing to relocate these to other parts of the kitchen and use the island as a food preparation area or breakfast bar, you can have a moveable island on lockable castors. This feature is excellent if you want to move it out of the way for cleaning or entertaining.
A laminate worktop has a cheap MDF or fibreboard core with a decorative plastic laminate surface layer. Laminate only covers the top surface, and you can buy laminate strips to cover the cut edges. Typically, prices range from £80-£95 for 3mX600m or £150-£170 for a 3mX900mm worktop.
The wood used in worktop construction gives your kitchen a rustic appearance. You can buy worktops from a range of up to 20 different wood species, depending on your internal décor and budget.
The wood is sealed with a waterproof and heat-resistant varnish for protection during everyday use. Usually, the prices of wooden worktops depend on the species. But, assuming you choose a prime oak 40mm thick worktop, you might pay around £750 for 2mX600mm, or up to £1500 for a 3mX950mm. However, cheaper wood worktops sell for £150-£500 per 3mX600mm.
A glass worktop isn’t as brittle and delicate as it sounds. This transparent or translucent worktop is thick enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. Also, it’s heat-resistant and treated against scratches and stains. Not only is this material practical, it’s also decorative as it brings light into your kitchen and makes the space appear larger than it is. Typically, glass worktops cost £140-£190 for a 3mX600mm sheet.
Dekton is a sintered combination of raw materials found in glass, quartz and porcelain. Manufacturers use intense heat and pressure to combine these materials into this dense, durable and non-porous worktop. Dekton is also easy to repair if your worktop becomes damaged. You can use a chip-and-repair kit to restore and rebuild any missing chips to the worktop’s original pristine condition. However, it’s not cheap, at about £450/m2, it’s slightly more than a solid stone worktop.
Quartz worktops are reconstituted quartz crystals cemented together. The surface is very durable, heatproof and scratch-resistant. Usually, prices range from £100-£350 per 3mX600mm, or £500-£700 per 3mX950mm.
The most commonly used solid stone worktops are marble, granite and slate. They are very versatile and durable. However, many types of stone are porous, so manufacturers seal and polish them during production. The stone is highly polished during manufacture and only needs an occasional polish as per the manufacturer’s instructions to keep the surface waterproof and looking good. Typically, prices range from £90-£600 per 3mX600mm worktop.
30mm vs 20mm Worktops
The thickness of standard worktops influences their design and safety. But, more often, the material determines its minimum thickness.
There are four standard thicknesses, 40mm, 38mm, 28mm, 20mm. But there are others at either extreme; 80mm, 60mm, and even a 13mm thickness for specific materials.
- Usually, you can buy standard wooden worktops in 28mm and 38mm thickness. But if you have a bespoke kitchen, they can be anything up to 80mm thick.
- Laminates are available in 38mm and 40mm thicknesses.
- Generally, natural stone such as marble, granite and slate have a thickness of 30mm.
- Reconstituted quartz worktops have a thickness of 20mm or 30mm. But you can buy them in thicknesses of 13mm.
- Dekton worktops have thicknesses of 20mm.
How Much Space Do I need?
How much space you need for your kitchen island depends on what you intend to use the island for. Kitchen islands look good and work well if your kitchen is U or L shaped, although one-wall layouts also work if the room is big enough.
The standard width is 600mm, the same as a standard worktop, although some use the 950mm width worktop. Furthermore, if you intend to add a cooking hob or a sink, you need a worktop approximately 2.1m wide. However, these sizes directly depend on the space you have in your kitchen, as the recommended distance between the island and its surroundings should be between 1m and 1.5m to allow for easy movement. Moreover, this clearance allows cupboard doors to open and one person to walk behind another while they’re both working in the kitchen. The maximum clearance around an island shouldn’t be more than 1.5m because then the efficiency drops since you must use more steps to move from one worktop to the other.
Having said this, consider how the island blends into the existing kitchen space. A small island will appear swamped if placed in a large open area. In contrast, a large island in a small space looks cluttered. Finally, don’t have the island’s width more than about 1.2m. This distance effectively gives 600mm working space from each side. Any more than this becomes a waste because you can’t easily use the piece in the middle.
Usually, the average kitchen island size is approximately 1m x 2.1m, with a surrounding clearance of 1m. These dimensions give enough space for food preparation and room for a small sink.
Fitting Process: Steps
The process of installing a kitchen island varies depending on decisions made during the design process. Although islands can be mobile, sometimes it’s just not practical, especially if you have plumbing, drainage and electricity to consider. There’s a recommended sequence for fitting the island if this is the case. Islands aren’t like standard kitchen cupboards that you can fix to the wall; the only fixing point is the floor. Therefore, the only practical method for floor fixing is using wooden cleats, over which the island’s base sits and screws to.
- Decide on the island’s location with at least 1m from the surrounding kitchen units or wall. If you’re using the island with chairs, allow 1.5m.
- Once you’re happy with the location, mark the outline on the floor using masking tape. This shows the outside edge of the base.
- Remove the island from position and measure the thickness of the base unit’s walls from the masking tape. This line indicates where the cleats will go. If you’ve used multiple base units for the island, allow for other cupboard walls, so nothing is in the way of the cleats.
- Place the cleats on the floor in the correct position and outline each one while numbering them. This helps place the right cleat in the correct position later on. For best results, use four cleats around the outside edge.
- Now is the time to install electricity, drainage, and plumbing through the floor if you have appliances. Leave the tails accessible so you can connect them later.
- Fit the cleats to the floor using a fixing method suitable for the floor material.
- Place the island base units into position over the cleats and screw the base to them.
- Install the worktop and connect the appliances to the services.
Because this is a challenging job for an amateur, use a professional when installing kitchen units of any type. Especially, use a tradesman from the Competent Person Register when installing the plumbing, drainage and electrical connections, as these must comply with UK government regulations.
Do Kitchen Islands Add Value?
Estate agents always say that a good kitchen sells a house. This adage is even more true when considering kitchen islands because they’re aesthetically pleasing and functional.
- An island offers family members and guests an informal seating area so that the person cooking has someone to chat to.
- It provides an additional workspace for those who enjoy cooking.
- You can accommodate additional appliances and fixtures.
- And if you choose a waterfall kitchen island where the sides have the same pattern and blend into the worktop, it will make your kitchen look sophisticated.
Is it cheaper to build or buy a kitchen island?
Not only is it cheaper to build a kitchen island than buy one, but you can also design it to suit your requirements. All you need to do is purchase standard width kitchen base units from a DIY store and fit them together in the arrangement that suits you. If you plan it wisely, you can have a custom kitchen island for half the cost of a professionally designed and built bespoke island.
Are kitchen islands going out of style?
Are kitchen islands going out of style? Far from it. Kitchen islands used to be the domain of television celebrity chefs and those with the money to buy bespoke kitchens. Not any more.
Like its predecessor, the kitchen table, a kitchen island has become the focal point in just about any kitchen with enough room. But, unlike the table, you can incorporate cupboards, cooking appliances, sinks and still have room for a sit-down breakfast bar for informal dining.
A kitchen island is a way to make the most out of your kitchen. You can buy one to suit most decent-sized kitchens, or if your budget won’t allow a bespoke island, design and build one yourself using standard off-the-shelf kitchen base units in whatever configuration you want. One of the best things about a DIY kitchen island is getting your local handyman to assemble and install it if you can’t do it yourself.
To get up to four local kitchen island quotes, complete the form on this page, and you can be on your way to having a new aesthetically pleasing and practical focal point in your kitchen.