Installing a Kitchen Island: Calculate the Cost

A kitchen island.
  • Intermediate

A kitchen island can not only make kitchen space more functional, but it can also add space for entertainment and added kitchen amenities. When thinking about embarking on this kitchen remodeling project, understanding the associated costs can make a big difference in deciding what type and size of kitchen island to construct.

Island Size

The size of the kitchen island will be a large determinant in the cost of the project. Decide where you want to locate the island and measure the space available. Decide on the shape and size of the prospective island. Remember that you will need at least a 3-foot wide clear space around the island for working room and foot traffic.

Decide on Island Features

Kitchen islands are used for many different functions. Some homeowners add an island simply to add storage space to their kitchen. However, others want to include a prep sink, cooktop, or other features that enhance their kitchen space.

As you decide what you will be using the island to accomplish in your home, begin looking at different fixtures or items that you want to include with the island. These include cabinets, cooktops, countertops, and other items. Visit your local large home improvement center to get an idea of the costs of each of these items and make a comparison list to include in your overall calculations for costs.

Project Budget

Even if you are planning on completing the kitchen island project on your own, remember that there are some professional costs that you may need to incur, including the services of an electrician, plumber, or designer.

Planning/Design Costs: Adding a kitchen island may require building permits in your local area. if this is the case, then you will need to submit building plans to the building department. Using the services of an architect or interior designer may also help give you alternate ideas about design, placement, and amenities to include with your project. There are also costs associated with demolition and preparing your kitchen for the construction of the island.

Construction Costs: Beyond the actual cost of materials, construction costs also include labor or professional services from contractors, electricians, and plumbers. In most cases, unless you have extensive experience installing plumbing or electrical wiring, it is a good idea to retain professionals for these aspects of construction so that the project will pass the necessary building code inspection. Construction costs also include cabinets, countertops, cooktops, sink, fixtures, the vent hood, and any other materials installed on the kitchen island.

Miscellaneous Costs: Invariably there are costs that are unexpected or unaccounted for in an initial cost estimate for any construction or remodeling project. Miscellaneous costs can include unplanned delays due to material delivery delays, broken or damaged materials (broken tile, pipes, etc), or upgrades or changes to the design at the last minute.

Unfortunately, there is no simple or straightforward calculation for estimating the cost of installing a new kitchen island in a home. Given regional differences in the costs of materials and labor, very often what determines the cost of a home improvement project is the design and the amenities that are included in the project.