Small Kitchen Island Cost & Installation Guide 2024

A kitchen island is an excellent functional addition to your kitchen. It not only provides you with an additional working space, but it offers an excellent area for families to gather and bond during meal preparations. A kitchen island is a relatively modern design synonymous with the new home plans. They are rapidly becoming a default addition in every home. In fact, according to a report released by National Association of Home Builders, kitchen islands are among popular kitchen additions in most homes that lack enough counter space, and they are on the top five list of the leading home additions among homeowners.

An island is a freestanding feature; a multipurpose unit, an unattached piece of cabinetry that allows you to access all sides and often, serves as supplementary counter space in your kitchen. It offers you endless design and style options to complement your kitchen, while at the same time, adding working and in some cases, a seating area.

The word island does not necessarily mean that this additional feature has to be permanently installed in your kitchen space. As a homeowner, you have the freedom to purchase a mobile freestanding unit and add your meal preparation space. Or you can choose to permanently install a kitchen island and complement the layout of your kitchen. Even better, an island does not limit you to specific dimensions meaning; it can be designed into appropriate sizes to fit into the available kitchen space.

An island comes in handy for people with an open-plan room. It can be used to divide space to create distinct areas in your interior space. Placed right in the middle of your kitchen space, islands provide you with the ideal counter area, a storage space, and it can have a seating area. All these amenities are conveniently positioned at the pivot point of your kitchen allowing you to cook, clean and prepare food comfortably.

This excellent addition can be outfitted with the necessary kitchen appliances and fixtures to simplify your kitchen operations. It can be equipped with bar stools to allow dining in the kitchen, a sink, a cooktop, and many other essential features which will make the kitchen island become the center of activities in your kitchen. A kitchen island is not just any for aesthetic appeal; it’s a utility feature that will offer you more benefits to surpass the monetary investment.

An island will add style, personality, and functionality to your kitchen. They are becoming a modern trend and a must-have feature in your kitchen. Homeowners are constantly doing home improvement projects to add extra space, more seating, and additional working space to make their homes comfortable and functional.

There are many designs and types of islands available ranging from simple ones to more complex ones. The style, size and the design of an island will depend on your needs, the size of your kitchen, budget, and personal taste.

Every kitchen requires enough working space, storage, and a great layout to increase your kitchen’s functionality and its aesthetic appeal. A kitchen island is not a practical solution in your kitchen, but a stylish addition that will transform your kitchen space.

Small Island Benefits

If you are among the homeowners lucky enough to have a home that already has a kitchen island, then you already know about the wonderful things this additional feature brings to the kitchen. On the other hand, if you are on the fence about having a kitchen island in your kitchen space, then you need to carefully read through this guide to learn about the host of benefits you will get by simply including these feature in your kitchen remodeling project.

Let’s look at the benefits of adding a kitchen island in your kitchen space.

Additional Storage

One of the common problems in the kitchen is lack of sufficient storage. In fact, you will find that the majority of homeowners lack enough necessary features and in most cases, storage usually tops the list. An island can provide you with additional space in your kitchen. It provides you with an opportunity to add an extra layer of drawers, cabinets, pullouts, and shelves. You can attractively store just about anything in your kitchen island.

You will get additional space to store your delicate silverware, dishes, and also your pantry supplies. All these kitchen items can neatly be stored in your newly acquired island, and even better, you will easily reach for the items anytime you need them.

Getting additional storage space in your kitchen is a bonus during a remodeling project. You can comfortably hide your trash bin or get enough space to store a recycling bin . With the additional space, you can neatly tuck away everything. You can customize the storage space, and achieve an even better organized and neat looking kitchen.

Addition Seating Area

What a better kitchen picture than having your family members or friends sitting around the island chatting about their day as meal preparation goes on? Well if this scenario entices you, then you need to consider adding an island in your kitchen space. A kitchen island gives a chance to create a seating area in your kitchen. This way you can have your family members or guests in your kitchen as you prepare meals. It can become the informal dining area for your household especially for breakfast, lunch or when having a snack.

Having a seating area in your kitchen creates a casual gathering area for your family and guests. Meal preparation times can be full of fun as you chat and laugh with family or friends as they nibble on some appetizers while waiting for the main course meal to be ready.

Also, you can have children in the kitchen doing homework as you continue preparing meals. Thus, a kitchen island not only provides your children with a place to do their homework, but it also allows you to watch over them as you go on about with your kitchen chores. Placing seats around your kitchen island will add versatility and a sense of togetherness for you and your loved ones. You can talk, eat, and gather around your kitchen island as you cook. It’s a great way to entertain your guests as you cook. A kitchen island can become the focal point in your kitchen and bring everybody in your home together in one place.

Additional Cooking/Preparation Space

Perhaps this is one of the primary reasons why people choose to have islands. If you look at the modern countertops, you will realize that they are filled with appliances which end up taking a lot of counter space. With all these appliances on your countertop, you will probably be left with little room for cooking and meal preparation. An island will give you an additional countertop space for cooking, chopping, peeling and generally, enough space for meal preparation. This way, you will not feel cramped in your kitchen.

In addition, you can create a separate working or cooking space in your kitchen especially if you spend most of your time working in the kitchen. You can make your kitchen island to be your main preparation space. For instance, you can choose to install a sink, a chopping block and design it with open counter space. This way, you perform all your preparation from a focal point. Or, if you bake a lot, you can make your kitchen island to become a baking station. You can install an oven, cooling racks, a marble countertop and install other baking appliances.

An island will not only provide you with an additional cooking and preparation space, but it will also allow you to customize the working space. When you are done with meal preparation, you conveniently convert the space to become a dining area and gather around with your family or guests to enjoy the meal. If your family loves to cook, a kitchen island can provide you with enough space to accommodate everyone.

Additional Amenities

Ansland gives you an opportunity to add other kitchen amenities that you have always wanted to have in your kitchen, but due to lack of enough space, you had shelved the idea away. For example, you can use the space under your island to add a small fridge which you can stock up with wine or other types of drinks or beverages. It gives you an ideal out-of-sight place to add a pullout fridge or freezer to store additional foodstuff and drinks that otherwise would have been cramped up in your main kitchen refrigerator.

Additional a kitchen island can give you room to add a built-in sink that will serve as a prep sink and increase the functionality of your island. Or, you can opt to add a range hood on your kitchen island and make it your focal cooking point.

Either way, your kitchen island will provide you with great ideas for additional amenities that would have otherwise been challenging to add to your previous kitchen set up. You can have additional plumbing and electrical options added to make your island more functional.

Styles Up Your Kitchen Interior Design

There are endless designs and styles for islands such that it would be extremely hard for you to lack a design that will best bring out your kitchen space and enhance your interior style. With the numerous designs to choose from, you wouldn’t miss something that falls within your budget and fits your kitchen into your kitchen space. You can customize your island to best suit your interior décor and enhance it further.

When you are choosing an island, you have to factor in the existing interior design of your kitchen. Then figure out what kind of style you want the island to bring out.

Do you want a modern design or would you rather have a traditional setup? Would you want the island to bring about the aspect of additional lighting? Or would you want the island to have a color that brings about a beautiful contrast that makes the island stand out and become the focal point in your kitchen? Or would you prefer a kitchen island with the same color as the rest of your kitchen to create an endless visual appeal? Would you wish to make your kitchen island a show stopper with beautiful hanging lights accentuating the working space? Whatever your style is, a kitchen island can help bring out the interior design of and enhance your kitchen space.

Endless Material Options

Whether you are planning to use your kitchen island as an addition working space, or you simply want it to stand like a fine masterpiece right in the middle of your kitchen, you will get a counter surface perfect for your needs. If you are working on a limited budget, you can always go for plastic laminate that mimics your favorite natural surface such as granite. On the other hand, if you have enough budget for your kitchen remodeling project, you can consider the high-end solid surfaces like exotic wood, granite, etc.

Added Resale Value

The modern kitchen nowadays features beautiful kitchen islands and endless space. An additional feature in your kitchen that is not only practical and functional but also brings about a sophisticated and a modern appeal is more likely to attract potential homeowners. In fact, these days any valuable addition in your home is likely to scale up the value of your home with a significant percentage.

The kitchen is of the places that potential home buyers pay more attention to. A kitchen can break or make a home, so an additional functional space right in the middle of the kitchen is likely to capture a potential buyer’s attention. Nowadays, a majority of homebuyers, are looking to buy a home whose kitchen has an island. The additional feature presents endless functions including additional working space and storage. A kitchen island is a bonus feature that may see the value of your home go up.

An island is not just a beautiful additional feature added for the show; it’s a functional piece that creates endless possibilities including additional storage, cooking and working space, a gathering and entertaining area and most importantly, it gives you a room to add extra amenities. When you are remodeling your kitchen, you should consider including an addition that will add your kitchen’s functionality. A kitchen island allows to enjoy the multiple working spaces in your kitchen, and it can effortlessly transform the look of an entire kitchen.

Cost of A Small Kitchen Island

The cost of a kitchen island varies significantly depending on the following factors:

  1. The size of the kitchen island
  2. The type and the quality of materials to be used
  3. Extra features and amenities to be added

But most importantly, the cost of an island will greatly be determined by its purpose. What will it be used for? Is it for storage? As a food preparation area? Or a casual dining area. There are endless possible uses for kitchen islands as we discussed earlier in this guide. The uses will significantly determine the design, amenities to be added, the material to be used and most importantly, your budget. Your requirements will also determine options needed for appliances and other functions.

Thus, the cost of a small island ranges from $200 to $9000 or even more. But this is a bracket cost range that needs to be broken down to give you an insight into the real estimates depending on different types, materials, and additional features.

Cost of A Movable Kitchen Island

A movable option is an ideal option if you have a tight remodeling budget. A portable island is a pre-manufactured smaller cart. They are available in a majority home improvement stores. If you have a smaller kitchen, a movable kitchen island can suit you perfectly since it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Movable kitchen carts are lightweight; some have wheels while others are designed without wheels but can still be moved easily from one location to another. You may not be able to add some built-in amenities in this type, but it can still spruce up your kitchen and working space. The pre-manufactured options require assembling once you purchase, but they are generally cheaper than built-in options. They cost less than $200 to $600 and above depending on the model, size and materials used.

Let’s look at the different costs for different types of movable kitchen islands.

Cost range Description
$150-$250A small size movable kitchen cart
Made of wood, metal, or wood veneer
A single cabinet or open shelving, one or two drawers, a towel and a spice rack and may have wheels.
The top is usually made of Cheaper wood solid wood options, a laminate or metal or butcher block.
250-$600It can be a small or a medium size movable kitchen island
Can be made of wood or metal.
The countertop is made of affordable good solid wood or butcher block, or laminate, or stainless steel or even natural stone.
The cart has a few drawers, a spice rack, a towel bar and some have wheel s.
$600 and aboveA medium sized movable island to a medium-large unit.
-Made of wood materials.
The island has several good quality cabinets
The countertop is also of good quality material such as butcher block, solid wood, laminate, a solid surface, tile, natural stone, or stainless steel.
The unit comes with several features such as drawers, a cutting board, a knife block, a spice rack, a towel bar and even a breakfast bar.
Some models that are designed to be set against the wall come with upper cabinetry.

Cost of Built-in Kitchen Islands

Built-in kitchen islands have unlimited designs options including custom islands. Thus, the cost of built-in kitchen islands varies significantly, and the price will depend on various factors. To get a better overview, we will look at the cost of the most commonly designed models of kitchen islands.

A Working Island

This is one of the most common kitchen island model design. This island usually incorporates a sink and faucet as part of the main additions. Thus, its installation fee will include the cost of hiring a plumber because the island will require an installation of a drain and a plumbing system. The plumber will also install the sink and the faucet.

Or, the working island could be designed for specific functions as such as baking and pastry which means it will require preparation features such as a marble working surface to enable easy rolling of the dough. It will require designing and plan which means the installation will involve a designer. It will also require the services of a plumber and a carpenter. Expect the cost of installing a working small kitchen island to range from $200 to $3000 or even more depending on the additional features you choose to install.

A Kitchen Island with Storage

This type is designed to offer additional storage in your kitchen. It’s usually designed with a working or prep countertop. Thus, the island will be designed with shelving, cabinets, drawers, wine storage, etc. The storage features will be customized to meet your storage needs and accommodate additional space.

The customized carpentry will end up adding to the cost of installation making the whole project quite costly. You can keep the cost down by cutting down on some of the storage features. For example, you can choose to have cabinets only and a simple countertop. But generally, installing a storage kitchen island will require the services of a carpenter and a designer. For a small kitchen island, expect to spend about $300 to $1000 on a storage island depending on the number of storage features and design.

A Prep and Wash One

This type is quite similar to the working kitchen island only that it will probably be designed with a bigger working space and a larger sink. The sink may be more elaborate to enable the user to utilize it in cleaning and prepping vegetables, fruits and other food items that will require frequent washing.

The countertop will require the use of more materials, and since it’s a prep surface, you need to consider using a quality countertop material that will withstand the constant use. The island will require the services of a plumber to run plumbing and install a sink and a faucet. The project will require a designer for the planning and the design and a carpenter for installation. A small prep and wash kitchen island is likely to cost about $1000 going up depending on the other additional features and the design.

A Cooking Kitchen Island

This is one the most expensive and more complex options. It requires a variety of features such as a cooktop and a sink. If you have limited counter space, a cooking kitchen island is ideal for providing additional space in your kitchen. For people who heavily use their kitchen, a cooking kitchen island will offer multiple working and cooking stations, and they stand to benefit more from this multipurpose type.

Cooking kitchen island also comes with additional storage space and can accommodate food storage amenities such as a pantry for storing food items needed during a cooking session. More so, if you need to have easy access to your pans, pots and other kitchen equipment, you can store them close to your cooking area in the kitchen island storage. Even better, you can install a small refrigerator or a microwave to make your cooking and food preparation work smooth.

However, the installation of a cooking kitchen island is quite expensive and pretty much involving. It will require a gas line and installation of electrical power, electrical outlets and wiring. You will also need to factor in the cost of a cooktop, outlets, sinks, faucets, cooking surface, fans, bells, whistles, a vent hood, storage which includes drawers, shelving, refrigerator space, and a pantry.

Thus the installation will involve the services of an electrician, a designer, a plumber and a carpenter. A small cooking kitchen island without a working countertop can cost from $1000 to$800. If you include all the mentioned amenities such as built-in electric stove top, storage space, a sink and a faucet, a seating area with chairs, expect to spend about $7000- $10000 on a small island.

A Cooking and A Dining Kitchen Island

This type of a kitchen island has similar features as the cooking island, but it will also provide you with a seating area. The cooking and dining kitchen island is an excellent addition that will allow you to cook and dine in the kitchen with your family members or guests and creates a social setting. But, the drawback of installing this type of a kitchen island is that you may not have as much storage and working space. The designer will need to ensure that the island has enough room to allow seating and sufficient leg room.

A cooking and dining kitchen island will have all features of the cooking island elaborated above; thus you will need to install sinks, faucets, electrical outlets, chairs, a cooking surface, etc. The cost of installing a cooking/ dining kitchen island can range anywhere from $7000 for a small kitchen island to $20000 for a bigger one. The cost will depend on the amenities you choose to add and the design.

Cost Factors

Some factors will influence the cost of installing a built-in kitchen island. Other than the designs, the following will contribute to the overall cost of installing a small kitchen island.

Kitchen Island Countertops

Kitchen island countertops can be made of different materials. Your choice of countertop material will determine how much you will spend on overall installation. Often, countertops are made of wood, butcher block, stainless steel, marble, quartz, granite, laminate, etc. Each material has its pros and cons, and your choice of countertop material will depend on your requirements and your budget.

Here are different kitchen island countertop materials and their estimated costs:

Type of material Cost per sq.ft.Pros Cons
Granite$50-$200Easy maintenance
Creates an elegant finish
Available in an array of colors and patterns
Expensive to maintain
Can get damaged easily
Quartz$56-$160Requires low maintenance
Available in many colors
It's durable
It may not give an elegant look as compared to other solid surface material
Marble$75-$250It’s a luxuriously beautiful
Gives the countertop an elegant finish
Requires high maintenance
It can chip
It can stain
May not be a suitable for a heavily used countertop
Wood $55-$250Has traditional natural charm
It has warm natural appeal and an inviting feel
Requires a lot of maintenance

Wood can stain
If exposed to excessive moisture, wood can crack
You need to refinish the countertop regularly
Not long lasting

Stainless steel$80-$230It requires extremely low maintenance
It’s extremely durable
It's extremely tough and sturdy

You need to clean the countertop frequently
It does not give a warm, appealing kitchen look
With time, stainless steel countertops can develop scratches and dents

Kitchen Island Cabinets

The material used in making the base of cabinets, drawers, and shelves can be different with varying costs. You can purchase pre-made cabinet units, or you can go for custom cabinet units. Different types of cabinets units are available in home improvement stores, and they can be made of different material such as oak, cherry, maple, walnut, pine, birch, and laminate material.

Let’s look at the different material used in kitchen island cabinets and their costs, pros, and cons.

Type of materialCost per linear foot Pros cons
Oak$80-$110Has a beautiful grain with natural elegance
It’s extremely durable
Resistant to warping
Available in red and white color variants
Its surface is easy to finish
It may feature uneven colors creating a not a so pleasing surface.
Cherry$100-$700Has a rich natural wood color
Has long beautiful grains
It can be customized to your preferred style as it is an easy material to work with
It’s a quite costly
It can darken wit time
Birch $80-$110It’s an affordable option
Its long lasting
Mostly used in stock and custom cabinets
Pine$80-$110Pine has a rugged look but still brings out a sophisticated look
It's light making it easy to work with
It’s easy to paint
Resistant to shrinking and swelling
It a bit softer making it susceptible to nicks and scratches
Walnut $100-$600Extremely strong, stable and strong
Has charming natural, rich color
It's costly
Can often feature uneven tone
Laminate$50-$80It's cost-friendly
It's durable
It can easily be customized to suit any desired style and design
Stands up to wear and tear well making it suitable for a busy kitchen
It does not warp

Can be a bit heavy to work with

The Kitchen Island Layout

The size and the shape of a kitchen island will affect the cost of the overall cost of installation. The ideal working height for a kitchen island is about 30’’ to 36” while the seating and dining island will take about 42’’ which is spacious enough to accommodate island stools. You can design the kitchen island to a standard rectangular shape, an L shape, or a T- shape or a curved design. To get the right shape and design to suit your kitchen, you will need to engage the services of a designer. Designers charge about 20% of the overall cost of the project.

Labor Costs

Of course, your small kitchen island budget will factor in the labor costs. As we have already indicated, you will need a designer who will charge about 20% of the total cost of the project. You will also need a carpenter for the kitchen island installation. Carpenter charge $100 to $300 per hour, but they can give you a fixed rate for the entire project. In addition, you will need plumbing services if you are planning to add amenities such as a sink and a faucet. Plumbers charge an average cost of $45 to $70 per hour. If you are adding electrical features, you will need to hire an electrician for additional wiring and installation of electrical outlets. An electrician charges $65-$90 per hour.

Small kitchen island costsAverage costs
Movable kitchen cart200-$500
Built-in kitchen island with electrical work (without plumbing work)$500-$2200
Built-in kitchen island with plumbing and electrical work$1800-$4000
Built-in kitchen island with power, gas and electrical work$3000-$5000
A breakfast bar- built-in$500-$1800
Built in seating$500-$1600
Four chairs or stools$300-$900
Kitchen appliances such as a cooktop, oven, coffee maker, a microwave, a small wine fridge$250-$4000 per each appliance
Hanging Overhead lighting fixtures$300-$1300
Permits ( where applicable)$350-$1400


Installing a small kitchen island can transform your kitchen and increase functionality, storage, and working space. A kitchen island is an additional multipurpose feature in your kitchen that is practical and functional. It plays a significant role in the appearance of your kitchen, and it can style up the interior design of your kitchen space.

For a small option, you can go for the movable kitchen carts which are relatively affordable and can easily be retrofitted to your kitchen space and have room for additional amenities. Alternatively, you choose to install a built-in kitchen island and customize it to fit your needs and requirements. You can choose to install a cooking kitchen island or a cooking and dining island which allows you to cook and socialize with your family or guests. Whichever style you choose, make sure you engage the serves of a designer to ensure you come up with an ideal kitchen island that fits into your kitchen space.

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