Asked on Dec 01, 2015

How far apart should your island be from your other cabinets

Sharon Hall
by Sharon Hall
I am renovating my kitchen and getting rid of a peninsula and instead putting in an island,what is the distance between the the cabinets and the island??
  13 answers
  • Pgl Pgl on Dec 01, 2015
    According to basic design rules no less than 3 feet, this allows you to open cabinet doors. Most people find 3 1/2 feet to be more comfortable for 2 people to work in the same area.
  • Ellen Beener Ellen Beener on Dec 01, 2015
    I would say enough room to bend over to open the oven door completely with out hitting the island. Also, enough room around the island to be able to fit two people passing by. 3 feet to 4 feet from new island to stove IF you are not putting a stove in the island
  • JosephM JosephM on Dec 01, 2015
    3 ft is usual code. Also make sure that if you have a large refrigerator near the project, there will still be room to get it in or out for cleaning behind, water hook up or replacement someday.
    • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Dec 01, 2015
      @JosephM That is a very important consideration. Appliances needing service sometimes need to be moved. If your layout doesn't allow a built in island, consider a mobile one. Advantage is the flexibility it gives you. Move it to where you need it. Move it out of the way when its in the way. You won't be able to install a sink, stove or microwave in a mobile island, but for storage it can hold a fair amount and give you a work surface. Just remember, it's an island, not a continent.
  • Marie Caruana Marie Caruana on Dec 01, 2015
    Definitely 3 ft. but my island is on casters and I can move it around if need be. It's very large and stores lots of pots and pans, but the casters are heavy duty and invisible under the enclosed center island.
  • Taffetal Taffetal on Dec 01, 2015
    Faced with the same question, I measured this crucial distance in a couple of kitchen reno centers where they had displays of ready made islands - the distance was 4'-5'. Of course, it depends on the size of your kitchen.
  • Ros Ros on Dec 01, 2015
    We very recently designed our new kitchen with a professional person. She said 90 cm between counter edges and island edges should be enough. I read on the internet at least 36 to 42 inches (100-110cm). In real life I find 100 cm plenty for me, but probably tight for 2 of us working there. For the fridge I left room to pull out the fridge by adding to the depth of the fridge the amount of space I need to actually step behind the fridge to clean there. Something like 70 plus 50 cm in my case. Obviously oven doors and dishwasher doors need consideration.
  • Diane Patterson Diane Patterson on Dec 01, 2015
    Originally we had 3 feet but when we remodeled a year ago we went to 4 feet. It makes a huge difference. Now when the refrigerator door is open there is still room for another person to pass by, and since our fridge is a large 30 cf, we can pull it all the way out and still get behind it for cleaning. Same with the one end of the island near the ovens, now the oven doors can be opened and room to move around safely.
  • LD LD on Dec 01, 2015
    I went to a Home Expo Show and the leading designer in the country, said that you should have 4 feet, so you not only have room to open cabinets and appliances, but also so a person can go pass you easily.
  • Me Me on Dec 01, 2015
    every kitchen does not need an island! If you don't have enough space to make it comfortable, forget it! maybe the peninsula is fine?
  • Bernadette Tetle Bernadette Tetle on Dec 01, 2015
    The norm is 3 ft. If you have the room, you may want to go for 4 ft. Aving walk around space is very important and if you're planning on selling your home in the future, it will be a plus. Good luck to you Kitchen remodeling is stressful.
  • Before you put in anythign permanent, call your county office and find out the code! Plus as everyone stated it is also based on how much room you need to work and what your island is going to be used for. My island houses my dishwasher and garbage cabinet and is roughly 40" from the kitchen sink.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 02, 2015
    IMO, 3 feet may be the minimum suggestion, but it is really tight. I recommend you put a table/ low bookshelf/ bench/ server anything you have temporarily, and walk around it for a couple of weeks to see what works for you. We did that for a buffet and hutch in one house. We wanted to know if it would impede the traffic flow. We used a deeper chest and tried walking around it and everything was fine. Then we had our hutch made and we loved it. In another house we used a table. A certified kitchen designer came out, measured and told us to move our fridge so it would be less visible and put a breakfast nook beside it. She used a formula for the spacing around each person. Since there was an outlet where she suggested, we tried it for 2 weeks and saved ourselves a lot of money and heartache. It was way too small for broad shouldered people and so uncomfortable/claustrophobic! It would have looked great, but was not very usable. If you have nothing to put in the place of the island, tape a cardboard box on the floor, and go about your daily routine. You may find that you love the space or it really isn't for you. As others have suggested, casters that lock are a must.
  • Annie Harsch Annie Harsch on Dec 08, 2015
    I bought a counter-height kitchen table/island from Ikea and added heavy duty casters to the bottom of each leg. Now it's as close or as far away as I need it, and where I need it! Just another option as I didn't have the space for anything permanent...