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How to Buy an Island for Your Kitchen

More workspace and storage space are always welcome in a functioning kitchen. Get the perfect island for your cooking needs.


  • TIP: Pre-made islands are available at many online retailers and may be more cost effective than custom islands or islands purchased at a store.
  • Step 1: Research options online, including pre-made islands with casters and cabinet islands. Decide if a custom island or pre-made island will suit your needs.
  • Step 2: Visit kitchen stores or cabinet maker showrooms to discuss pricing and options with a salesperson. Be sure to bring your cabinet door with you if you want to match wood finishes.
  • Step 3: Choose an island base and counter or an all-in-one unit that will best fit your lifestyle and decor and arrange for delivery or installation. Bake some cookies or make your famous chicken cordon bleu to try out your new island.
  • FACT: Julia Child stood at a statuesque 6 feet 2 inches tall. Her home was built with counter tops a few inches taller than standard counter height to accommodate her tall frame.
  • Step 4: Choose a material for the base of your island, such as metal or wood. If you want your island to match your existing cabinetry, use a screwdriver to remove one of your cabinet doors to compare wood finishes.
  • Step 5: Choose a material for the counter top that will be appropriate for the type of use it will get. Counter top materials vary in terms of purpose and durability.
  • TIP: You should be able to walk around the newspaper with at least 42 inches of walking space between your existing counter top and the new island counters.
  • Step 6: Use your measuring tape to measure the size of the newspaper island.
  • Step 7: Measure the height of your existing counter tops. This is the height your new island should be.
  • Step 8: Determine the purpose of your island, such as cutting, prepping, storage, or all of the above.
  • Step 9: Lay out sheets of newspaper on the floor in the proposed island location. Use the newspaper to determine an appropriate size for your island.

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