How Much Do Kitchen Islands Cost?

Lisa Gauthier Mitchison
Updated October 29, 2021
White kitchen with blue island
Photo: PC Photography/ iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

The average cost of a kitchen island ranges from $3,000 to $5,000

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 If you are looking to add counter space and storage to your kitchen, an island is a popular choice. Freestanding kitchen islands are versatile, providing extra seating, a place for food prep, and sometimes even an extra cooking surface. 

The average cost of a kitchen island is about $4,000. Rolling kitchen carts, however, can run as little as $100 and work just as well in small spaces or if you aren’t ready to commit to a permanent installation.

Custom-built kitchen islands can be $10,000 or more. Cost factors include the size, counter and cabinet material, and features such as a bar, a sink, and built-in appliances.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Kitchen Island by Size?

Generally, the larger your kitchen island is and the more features it has, the more you can expect to pay. 

On the lower end, you can buy a prefab kitchen island from many home improvement stores for a quick and easy kitchen upgrade. These run between $100 and $2,000 but do generally require some assembly. 

If you’re on a budget or you have a smaller kitchen, a smaller, simpler prefab model may be a great option for you. Larger prefabricated kitchen islands come with features such as drawers, shelves, wine racks, pot racks, and many countertop material choices.

But if you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, custom-built kitchen islands cost from $3,000 to $10,000. What you pay in the end depends on your specific project. Factors such as the size of the island, which materials you use, and whether you add things like electricity and running water can affect the final price.

What Kind of Kitchen Island Can I Get on My Budget?

Beautiful white kitchen with butcher block island on wheels
Photo: Татьяна Кутина / Adobe Stock

There is a kitchen island style available for every budget. From prefabs to custom, you will enjoy the extra counter space and storage a kitchen island of any size will bring to the most-used room of your home.

$500

For $500, you can get a beautiful butcher-block counter with drawers or cabinet storage underneath. These make for great food-prep areas because butcher blocks are natural cutting boards. Or you could choose a two-top seating area with side storage if you lack a breakfast nook. 

Another alternative is a laminate countertop with storage shelves underneath. On average, these islands measure 27x40x35. These styles of islands function primarily as seating, prep, and/or storage. They are not customizable, and they cannot handle electrical or plumbing hookups.

$1,500

Kitchen islands in the $1,500 price range are larger, on average about 60x28x39, and don’t have wheels. They are meant to remain stationary once assembled due to their weight. With the larger space come options for your island. You can get more storage and in different configurations, as well as more premium features like granite countertops, an attached pot rack, and foldout seating.

Like the more economical choices above, these islands aren’t customizable, but some of them may be able to be modified for water and electricity.

$3,000 and Up

Once you hit this price marker, you are looking at custom islands that may include electricity and running water. The structure itself is limited only by the space you have to install it.

Custom-built kitchen islands start around this price, but what you’ll actually pay is dependent on what and how many features you choose. A few ideas include wine racks, trash bins, recycle bins, pull-out shelves, bookcase ends, a glass-top range, or even a wine refrigerator.

Each personal touch adds to the cost. For example, a maple butcher block costs $49 per square foot, and a mixer lift for your heavy-duty mixer adds $370 to the kitchen island cost. If you are planning to include a sink, faucet, and drain, a plumber typically ranges from $45 to $200 per hour

If you want to add a cooktop to make meals easier, an electrician will cost $50 to $100 per hour. The average cost to install a sink is $400, and the price to install an appliance averages $150 to $300. If you need a gas line run, that averages $500. Or you can hire a general contractor for $300 to $400 per day who will subcontract the electrical, gas, and plumbing work.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Kitchen Island Yourself?

Unless you are an experienced home remodeler, hiring a professional is your best bet to make sure the installation goes smoothly and according to code, especially if you are considering electric, gas, or water lines, which can require permits.

However, if you’ve purchased a fairly straightforward prefabricated kitchen island and you have some home remodeling chops, you may be able to take on the challenge of building it yourself. All you’ll need to pay for is the cost of this type of island, which tends to be on the lower end of the $100 to $2,000 range.

Kitchen Island Cost Breakdown

Kitchen island installation costs, with ventilation ranging $500 to $2,000

Just like your kitchen, your kitchen island is unique, and many different factors can affect your total cost. A kitchen island you use primarily as a cutting board station will typically cost less than one with all the bells and whistles of a bar. 

Depending on the features of your island, there may be several pros working on it at a time. You may hire them individually or choose a general contractor who subcontracts certain projects, such as installing water lines. Just be sure to communicate with your contractor to be sure things are done right and on schedule.

FeatureCost
Plumbing (water)$45 – $150 per hour
Plumbing (gas)$45 – $150 per hour 
Electrical$50 – $100 per hour
Cabinets$500 – $1,200 per linear foot
Countertops$25 – $120 per square foot
Ventilation for a cooktop$500 – $2,000
General contractor$300 – $400 per day

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Kitchen Island?

Many factors affect the kitchen island’s total cost. Keeping track of these helps you plan to get just what you want. You may decide against granite because you want a larger island so the kids can snack and do homework. Or you may want the island’s cabinets to match the rest of your kitchen cabinets, so you splurge a little to get a consistent look. Here are just a few of the cost factors to consider.

  • Size: How big or small should the island be? This is based on the functions you have planned for the island. The size of the projected island will affect the quantity costs of labor and materials. 

  • Custom vs. stock: Are you custom building or buying a prefabricated piece? Prefabricated islands are much less expensive because they are mass-produced.

  • Material choice: Many materials go into the island, and each has a high and low end, such as cherry trending higher and oak trending lower. 

  • Features: Things like running water, electricity, and garbage disposals all come at a higher cost.

FAQs About Kitchen Islands

Should I buy or build a kitchen island?

Deciding whether to buy or build a kitchen island depends primarily on two things: your budget and your plans for the island. If you need a working sink or electrical access, you’re safest going with a custom unit. If not, look into a prefabricated unit.

Can I include a cooktop on my kitchen island?

Yes, but you will need the proper gas or electric lines running to the island. You will also need to factor in the costs of a range hood, also known as an extractor. There are several styles to choose from. An island extractor is a chimney-style range hood that hangs from the ceiling directly above your cooktop. A ceiling extractor fits flush into your ceiling above your cooktop, so it is less noticeable and allows for island extensions, such as hanging pot racks. 

For a completely unobtrusive hood, you can choose a downdraft extractor. It is built into the island and can be raised when needed. Its downside is that it takes up space in the island’s cabinets. A venting cooktop is built into the cooktop, and it too takes up cabinet space.

How much does it cost to remove an existing island?

Removing a kitchen island that doesn’t have electricity, running water, or gas lines is easy with the right tools. If your island does have hookups, you can pay for a professional demo for as little as $400. A junk/waste removal company charges between $130 and $400. This is a great option if you need to dispose of anything really big or heavy, like a piece of granite countertop.

What should I consider when building a kitchen island?

4 questions to ask before building a kitchen island, including whether you want seating
Photo: Sidekix Media / Unsplash
  • Do I Have Enough Space? Once you have set your sights on an island, it can be hard to let it go. But trying to fit a kitchen island in a space that’s too small is even harder. At the least, allow 3.5 feet between the island and wall cabinets. If the island has a dining counter, allow a minimum of 5 feet between it and the wall. 

  • How Will It Be Used? Your goals for the space determine the best kind of island for you. Do you want a family hub or a natural gathering place during parties? Do you want a space that is conducive to food prep only? Or do you want to move seamlessly from countertop to skillet? Do you need lots of storage? If so, what kind—utensils, refrigerated items, small appliances? All these factors will make up your dream island. 

  • Do I Want Appliances? If you want a cooktop, fridge, or electrical access, you will need to budget for line installation.

  • Do I Want Seating? Seating is natural in a kitchen. After all, it is the center of activity for most homes. A kitchen island can incorporate seating—or not. Maybe you already have a kitchen table, and so that leaves the island to handle food prep and storage. But if you want a place for the kids to do homework while you fix dinner and answer questions, island seating could be a useful addition. 

What other projects should I do at the same time?

This is a great opportunity to upgrade your sink, stove, fridge, flooring, cabinets, or counters—you even take on the cost of remodeling your kitchen—or remodel your bathroom. There is a lot of crossover when it comes to those two rooms, such as plumbing, cabinetry, flooring, and counters. Depending on the scope of your kitchen island, you could have many types of pros doing work for you. Combining projects saves on labor and, possibly, materials.

Similarly, if you are having electricity run to the new island, you might consider any electrical upgrades or installations you have wanted in other parts of the house. An electrician usually costs $50 to $100 per hour, and installing or replacing GFCI outlets runs about $200 on average. The price of installing a switch is about $150.

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