Kitchen Renovation: Kitchen Peninsula or Island?

You probably want more work room and/or storage space in the kitchen.  But there doesn’t seem to be available space.

Kitchen countertops, minus the sink, refrigerator, and stove, become cluttered with small kitchen appliances, etc.  Cabinet space is already full with boxed foods, canned goods, spices, regular-use dishes, cookware, and storage containers.

Kitchen islands and peninsulas provide extra countertop space, storage room, plus the chance to add cool things, like second sinks, cooktops, dishwashers, or wine coolers.

Kitchen islands are separate from the main section of counters and cabinets.  Sometimes you can get creative and incorporate mobile kitchen islands with lock wheels.  Most kitchen islands, however, are permanent. The island can be placed exactly where you want it for functionality and design purpose.

Kitchen islands will often match the main cabinets and counters.   But don’t limit yourself to this concept. You can create a real eye catcher by designing a completely different, but complimentary island. You can get very creative in their height, color and choice of top.  This will add some pizzazz to your kitchen.

People always love to gather at kitchen islands.  When hosting parties or dinners, a kitchen island is like a watering hole in the desert.  Just put in a nice kitchen island and watch as the “antelopes” gather!

Kitchen peninsulas offer a continuous countertop from the main section onto the peninsula. Quartz and solid surface countertop use seaming methods that erase the line between the two, so it appears to be one single countertop.

Continuous counters and cabinets tend to encourage more frequent usage than separate work centers.

Natural gas, electricity, water supply and drainage lines that originate in the main counter/cabinet area can be easily continued into the peninsula, saving on installation costs.

The countertop area is roughly the same size as kitchen islands.  They can be decorated with nice pendant lighting that creates depth to your kitchen design.

If you have a small-to-medium-size kitchen, you may want to choose a peninsula over an island since it is more efficient with space. Also, if you think that the kitchen island’s detachment from the main area may deter use, then you should consider installing a kitchen peninsula.

Other Considerations: Island and peninsula spacing and placement are, above all, predicated on the size and layout of your kitchen. Adequate space between work centers must be maintained both for workflow and for safety. You must be able to open cabinet doors without obstruction. You must also be able to freely access amenities such as sinks and cooktops.

Whether for an island or a peninsula, think in terms of an imaginary “kitchen triangle” created by three points: sink, refrigerator, and stove or cooktop. The three legs of the triangle should total no more than 26 feet, with no leg measuring less than 4 feet or more than 9 feet.

Electrical receptacles servicing all counter areas should be GFCI-protected (ground fault circuit interrupter).

The cost difference between islands and peninsulas are typically negligible, though an island might cost a little higher if you go with an ornate design.

Design professionals can help you choose between an island and a peninsula.  Your decision will depend on available space within the kitchen, your taste and desires, and your budget.  Either way, you’ll be extremely happy with your new kitchen design and pick-outs.

Jim Edwards is the Renovation Advocate.  His clients love how he gives them the options and advice from years of real world construction experience.  He has seen it all, fixed it all and helped homeowners create the home of their dreams. Jim can be reached at or by calling (608)480-1057.

Posted in Home Additions, Kitchen Remodel.