ISLANDS / PENINSULAS

One of the most requested features is having an island, or a peninsula in a kitchen.  An island or peninsula can be added into an existing kitchen, or it can be designed into a new kitchen.

WHAT IS AN ISLAND? WHAT IS A PENINSULA?

An ISLAND is a cabinet and countertop which is not connected to a wall, or to any other cabinets in the room.  You can walk around all sides of an island.

Island

Island

A PENINSULA is a cabinet which is connected to a wall, or to another cabinet, on one end.  You cannot walk around all sides of a peninsula.

Both island and peninsulas can include cabinet storage, display features, sinks, ranges, and undercounter appliances such as dishwashers, icemakers, and beverage refrigerators. All islands and peninsulas should include electrical outlets – please talk with your electrician.

Peninsula

Peninsula

SPACE PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

When planning for an island or peninsula, walkway clearances are a major consideration.  The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends a minimum walk clearance of 36″ between any two fixed items in a kitchen.  In other words, there should be at least 36″ of clear space between countertop to countertop, between countertop to wall, and between countertop to appliance (such as refrigerator or range).

In a larger kitchen, or a kitchen that is frequently used by more than one cook, 42″ – 48″ walk clearance is preferred.

Island with downdraft range

Island with downdraft range

SEATING

Many people want to incorporate a seating area into the island or peninsula.  A good ‘rule of thumb’ is to allow 24″ wide space per person.  In other words, a 48″ wide island will seat two people, but it will take a 72″ wide island to seat three people.

When planning seating into an island or peninsula, you should plan for a minimum clear walk space from the edge of the countertop to a wall, or another obstacle.  This will allow enough space for someone to walk behind another person who is seated at the island or peninsula.  Allowing only 36″ of clearance will allow you to edge past a seated person; allowing a minimum 44″ of clearance will allow you to walk past a seated person.

Island with seating

Island with seating

ONE LEVEL or TWO LEVELS

Islands and peninsulas can be designed with one level, or with two.  This choice will affect preparation surface, seating, storage, and the overall look of the design.One level islands are normally the ‘standard’ kitchen countertop height – about 36 1/2″ tall.  One level islands give the greatest flexibility for countertop surface.  One level islands can have storage on one side, on two sides, or even on four sides.  A 24″ tall chair or stool is needed to sit at a one level island.

Two level islands are normally ‘standard’ kitchen height on one side, and ‘bar’ height on the other (about 42″ tall).  Two level islands give a more clearly defined ‘prep’ surface and ‘seating’ surface.  While having the same amount of surface area, a two-level countertop breaks up the countertop, and makes it a little harder to use the prep area.  A two level island or peninsula makes a visual ‘break’ between kitchen and living spaces.  A 30″ tall chair or stool is needed to sit at a ‘bar’ height island or peninsula.

One level peninsula

One level peninsula

Two level island

Two level island

COUNTERTOP OVERHANGS and SUPPORT

When planning a seating area into an island or peninsula, the question ‘What holds up the countertop?’ must be asked.

CORBELS

A corbel is a structural bracket, attached to the cabinet, that supports the countertop.  These can be simple and plain, or ornamental.  A corbel must be large enough to support the countertop overhang.  A standard countertop overhang is 12″ which would require a corbel about 8″ deep.   Brothers supplies and installs a standard corbel for your countertop overhang, but please ask us what options are available.

Countertop overhang supported with wood corbels

Standard wood corbels

METAL SUPPORT FRAMEWORK

Many people don’t want to see an traditional wood corbel, or they don’t want anything to get in the way of knees when seated at the island or peninsula.  Brothers offers a metal framework support instead of our standard wood corbels.

 

Island countertop metal frame support

Island countertop metal frame support