Kitchen islands are hot commodities in many American homes today. And there are good reasons for their popularity. Not only do islands give kitchens structure, but they look great and add both storage and workspace. 

However, where should you place your island? How far away from the surrounding counters should it be? How far is too far or too close? Here are some tips any homeowner can use. 

Why Move It Farther Away

Never underestimate the need for plenty of space for foot traffic in the kitchen. As islands have become more and more popular, they've been squeezed into kitchens which often don't have the space to support them. And space to maneuver around them is the first casualty. 

Remember that minimum space requirements aren't meant to be standard guides. These are the bare minimum for safe and efficient functioning. But going beyond the bare minimum makes your kitchen more comfortable, particularly when more than one person works at a time. 

Check the clearances for everything around the island which will open. Open all the cabinets, drawers, refrigerator, oven, entry doors, pantries, and whatever else may affect the island. And open them all at once. If there is any conflict, it's usually easiest to move the island a little bit or adjust its shape to get rid of that obstacle. 

Why Move It Closer

Don't push the island so far away from everything else that it wastes steps and energy. The kitchen work triangle is composed of the sink, refrigerator, and stove or range. This triangle should have no obstacles and be compact enough for efficient work. If planning to place one part of the triangle on the island, keep it compact. On the other hand, make sure the island doesn't become an obstacle instead. 

How will foot traffic flow through the kitchen? Kitchens with two entrances/exits, in particular, need to control how people will walk through the space. If there's too much space between the counters and the island, people will naturally use it to pass through. Move the island a little closer to shift that traffic to its opposite side. 

Where to Start

Want help deciding on the perfect location for your new island? Start by consulting with a qualified contractor in your area. They will work with you on your kitchen renovation using these tips as well as their own experience to design a great new space you'll love for many years.