Kitchen islands are a popular feature in many kitchens due to its flexibility in workflow and space for families.

It’s a great option for homeowners who want to share space for dining, working and storage. Here are some tips from The Spectrum Cabinet Gallery to help you see if you have enough space for an island.

Clearance Space

You will need to ask yourself how many people live in the house and how much space they use when in the kitchen. For cabinets, you need to leave a clearance space of about 3 feet between the counter top edge on the back of the cabinets and the island’s edges.


Even though we have clearance space planned out, it is wise to consider any places in the kitchen that may hold a higher risk. For example, most cabinets have doors that open outward, and some kitchens have a dishwasher that can be considered a tripping hazard. Consider leaving some extra clearance space from the minimum 3 feet in order to allow more free movement in between the cabinets and island.

Make Use of Every Inch

Kitchen islands are great because they can be used for both seating and storage. Your Spectrum Cabinet Gallery designer can plan out a way to adjust the inside depth of the island to allow for ample storage while also giving those sitting some appropriate knee room.

So What If Your Kitchen is Too Small?

Let’s say you have read through this and think, “My kitchen is too small for an island.” Not so fast! The minimum recommended size for a decent sized kitchen island is 40 by 40 inches; the clearance zones must also be at least 31.5 inches around. If your kitchen meets this criteria, then you can still build your beautiful island.


Even if your kitchen is still too small for an island, there are still other options to consider for a remodel. Optionally, you can add an expansion to your kitchen or rearrange the layout; however, there are easier and less-expensive options.

Smaller is okay!

If there is room for a smaller-scale island, such as butcher blocks, moving island and trolleys, then you can still utilize one of those while possibly saving more money.

Build a peninsula.

If you have enough clearance space for only three sides of an island instead of four, you can consider building an “almost island”.

Not sure where to start? Contact the team at The Spectrum Cabinet Gallery for advice and ideas for the best option for you.

The Spectrum Cabinet Gallery | Your Kelowna Cabinet Specialists | Helping You Make Informed Buying Decisions Through Inspired Design