How Much Does a Kitchen Island Cost?

by Team HomeServe
Beautiful kitchen room with green island and farm sink

Open-plan living is a popular trend, and many families are looking for ways to maximize the usable space in their kitchen and dining areas. Fitting a kitchen island can increase your countertop square footage, letting you get more out of your kitchen.

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But how much strain will your kitchen island dreams put on your wallet? We break that down for you, here.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Kitchen Island?

According to data from Thumbtack, kitchen islands typically cost between $3,000 and $20,000 (CAD 4,100 and CAD 27,000). The actual cost will depend on how large the island is, the type of countertops used and other features. For example, a kitchen island with a range will cost more than one without because of the electrical or gas line work required to fit it.

Next, you need to think about countertop material. Granite countertops cost more — about $15 to $140 (CAD 20 to CAD 190) per square foot, according to Bankrate — than coated prefab countertops. Quartz countertops cost about $15 to $70 (CAD 20 to CAD 95) per square foot. Both of these materials are durable and visually appealing, making them worth the investment for those who want a luxurious kitchen.

The cost of a kitchen island is also heavily influenced by whether you need electric outlets or a gas line installed as a part of fitting the island. You can reduce the cost by opting for a simple prefab island, but the utility of such islands is much lower.

Does a Kitchen Island Add Value?

Adding a kitchen island could make your home more appealing to buyers, as long as it adds utility or visual appeal to the room. A 10-foot kitchen island is worth it only if there's sufficient space to move freely around it while cooking or working in the kitchen, for example.

Custom kitchen islands with seating could be a good choice if they allow the kitchen to double as a breakfast bar or a work area for your family. Think carefully about how you intend the island to be used and whether it's likely others will get the same use out of it. In many cases, there are more economical kitchen remodeling projects — such as resurfacing your existing counters or refacing kitchen cabinets — that would add more value to your property.

In addition, consider issues such as lighting and storage. If you're planning to bill the kitchen island as a hobby area in a future property listing, you may find it beneficial to slightly cut the square footage or look for bargain countertops in order to spend extra on installing good lighting above the island. You'll also need to make sure there are electrical outlets within easy reach of the space.

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How Much Does It Cost to Put in a Small Island?

A 2-foot by 3-foot kitchen island will cost far less than a bigger custom kitchen island with seating. It's often possible to get a small kitchen island with laminate or butcher block countertops for around $500 (CAD 680). These islands are less durable than ones with granite countertops but are also more affordable and can still make a big difference to the look and feel of the property.

The average kitchen countertop square footage is just 30 square feet, which means an 8-foot kitchen island — or even a 7-foot one — is quite a large addition to the counter space of your kitchen. Do you really need that much counter? If you have a small kitchen and most of your cooking is for just one or two people, a 3-foot by 5-foot kitchen island should be more than up for the job.

You may find you'll get more benefit out of improving your existing countertops or installing a backsplash so you can prepare food more confidently using the space you already have.

Are Kitchen Islands Worth It?

If you're planning to revamp your kitchen because you want more storage space or more room to prepare food, a kitchen island could be worth it. Even a prefab island would give you extra space for your spice rack, chopping boards and general food prep.

If you have the budget to bring in a general contractor to do electrical and plumbing work, you can have an extra undermount sink, stove or other appliances on the island, most likely doubling the space you have to work with. If you're an avid cook, this kind of improvement is a great investment.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.