How much does a kitchen island cost? Plus, how to save according to experts

Size, seating and whether you opt for a custom-made design are all factors that will affect the cost of a kitchen island. This is how much you can expect to pay in 2022 according to experts plus, a few ways to save.

A duck egg blue kitchen island with feature lighting from Harvey Jones
(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

It’s an ultra-desirable kitchen feature, but how much does a kitchen island cost? An additional working area, and often a place to sit, this kitchen feature – like all the others you might opt for – comes with a price tag.

But if it’s a must-have for your room, it pays to be in the know so you can be aware of every kitchen remodel cost, so we’ve looked into what you might expect to pay for a kitchen island.

This is what the experts say about kitchen islands costs plus, how you might spend less without missing out.

How much does a typical kitchen island cost?

If you want to realize your kitchen island ideas, you’ll be paying for extra storage and counter space and perhaps items like bar stools if you want to be able to seat people there.

Kitchen island prices vary depending on whether it’s a prefabricated or custom design, its proportions, the materials, and which features it includes.

‘The average cost of a kitchen island is around $4,000 (£2,946), but this number varies depending on size, materials, and other features,’ explains Bailey Carson, home care expert at Angi (opens in new tab). ‘There are two typical island sizes that cost between $500 (£368) and $1,500 (£1,105), but for any sort of custom island, the cost will likely be a bit higher,’ she says.

How much does the most affordable kitchen island cost?

If you’re hoping to keep the price as low as possible, there are two types of island you could consider: butcher block and laminate.

‘Butcher block and laminate islands are generally the most affordable at an average of $500 (£368) for around 2 feet by 3 feet (60 by 90cm),’ says Bailey. ‘While these islands are not customizable, they are excellent for seating, prep, and storage.’

Available from home improvement stores, one of these prefab designs with kitchen island seating for example could provide the extra working and stash space you’re after. If you’re happy to DIY, you can easily put one of these together yourself.

How much does a larger island cost?

If you size up your island, you might need to put aside more of your kitchen budge. 

‘If you want a larger island, you can get a 5 foot (1.5m) island for around $1,500 (£1,105),’ says Bailey. ‘These islands are significantly more expensive than the butcher block and laminate islands but can include premium features like granite countertops or fold-out seating.’

An island like this can be a stylish addition to the kitchen, and in a white or wood finish could complement the room’s existing cabinets beautifully.

How much does a custom kitchen island cost?

A custom kitchen island can deliver extra features as well as providing those such as extra prep space and storage for the room. It can also be an impressive focal point for the kitchen, and a place where family and friends gather.

‘Custom islands start at $3,000 (£2,210) and can go up to $10,000 (£7,366) or more, depending on the size, materials, and features you want to include,’ says Bailey. ‘If you opt for a custom island, you can include things like electricity, running water, and built-in appliances.’

For example, think about fitting a stovetop on the island for more cooking space, while an extra sink and faucet is super useful for meal preparation. You might also think of locating a dishwasher here. A wine refrigerator is also ideally positioned in a kitchen island, making it easy to serve drinks to your guests.

How can I save money on a kitchen island?

If you need to plan a kitchen island for less, you may need to size down. ‘Most projects are priced by the square foot, so you can save money by choosing a smaller island,’ says Bailey.

However, the size of the island isn’t the only factor. ‘The material you choose for your island also makes a huge price difference,’ adds Bailey. ‘Laminate and tile are more budget friendly, while quartz and granite are usually more expensive but more durable options.’

Thinking of saving by installing a more sophisticated kitchen island yourself? ‘I would not recommend installing one yourself unless you are a professional contractor or have experience,’ says home improvement expert and co-founder of Pool Research (opens in new tab) Michael Dean. 

Be mindful, too, that a kitchen island must be installed according to code and if yours is a version with water, gas, or electric lines permits can be needed.

However, if it’s imperative to spend less, you could think about another alternative – although it isn’t a fitted feature. ‘Consider purchasing a rolling kitchen cart,’ suggests Bailey. ‘Carts start at $100 (£74) and work well in small kitchens. They aren’t permanent, so they’re perfect for people who want a more flexible kitchen.’

You could also think about upcycling to create your own kitchen island. ‘Add castors to a table you already have – or a thrift one from a vintage shop – to make it a mobile and workable island,’ suggests Andre Kazimierski, CEO, Improovy (opens in new tab). ‘This gives you the elevated look of an island in your kitchen while adding an extra level of functionality.’

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.

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