A kitchen island can solve problems with limited space. A kitchen island is usually installed in the center of a kitchen area. At its simplest, it is made of a wood or wood-like base and finished with a countertop, such as marble, granite, tile, laminate or other materials. The materials and the type of countertop selected have a major impact on cost, as does size.
Some cooks want a multipurpose kitchen island that serves as more than counter space. Carpenters can customize a kitchen island with roll-out drawers that house pots and pans, spices and silverware. The under-counter space can house a small refrigerated unit or wine fridge. Plumbers or contractors can install a sink—even a sink with a garbage disposal—to reshape the footprint of the kitchen.
A kitchen island can be as elaborate or as simple as desired. Costs reflect the materials and finishes selected and the level of skilled labor needed to install the appliances, plumbing lines and electricity. Working with a general contractor who is licensed to provide a variety of services can help streamline costs, rather than coordinating and hiring individual pros for plumbing, electricity and cabinetry. Several factors affect the cost of installation.
Look for a pro with capabilities in cabinetry or woodworking, countertop installation, electrical and plumbing to create a great island, says Caleb Mesch of Colorado & Wyoming Granite & Remodel in Denver. The main cost factors for a new kitchen island are the size and materials of the island cabinet and the specific countertop materials. Island materials vary greatly in price, from as low as $2,500 up to $20,000 or higher, Mesch says. Here are two examples of installation costs from Colorado & Wyoming Granite & Remodel:
Bookmatched Patagonia granite countertop kitchen island: $20,000
- The cost included built-in electric stove top, enough room for seating nine people in swivel armchairs and cabinetry underneath.
Sand quartz countertop kitchen island: $3,000
This quartz countertop featured a 6-centimeter double thickness edge and was constructed using custom, vintage wood posts.
The price also included installation of new hanging lights.
In-island appliances and extras
Contractors can install a stove top, under-counter microwave, convection oven or standard oven into a kitchen island. Overhead pendant lighting, track lighting or recessed lighting turns the island into an ideal workspace. Kitchen islands are not only functional as workspace, but they can also expand a home’s entertaining space and serve as additional seating for dinner guests or as a breakfast bar. The brand and type of appliances installed affect the overall average cost of a kitchen island.
Installing a sink on a kitchen island can be challenging, depending on the location of existing water and drain lines and the materials needed for both, says Mark Van Der Sande of Van Der Sande Plumbing in Tecumseh, Michigan. If plumbing lines are not already set up, a plumber may be required to properly install them, which will affect the overall kitchen island installation costs. The accessibility of water and drain lines also affects plumbing costs—are the lines in the basement or a crawl space? Is the kitchen on the second floor of the house? Plumbing can also involve moving or installing gas lines if the homeowner wants a gas-burning stove top on the kitchen island. Depending on the sink and the faucet, installation of new water and drain lines can take four to six hours with an additional hour or two for installation of the faucet, says Van Der Sande. For a typical island plumbing installation, Van Der Sande Plumbing charges $225–$500, depending on the location of water and drain pipes and conditions of the space.
If there is no existing wiring overhead, it’s a good idea to hire an electrician to add any work lights above a new kitchen island. For recessed lighting, the per-light charge typically includes the light housing, wiring, lamp and trim, LED bulb, and labor for installation. For rooms with existing lighting, S&S Electric and Residential Services in Rancho Cucamonga, California, charges $65–$85 per recessed light, including materials and labor. Price variations reflect the height of the ceiling.