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What is the recommended distance between a kitchen worktop and a kitchen island?

Updated February 21, 2017

A kitchen island is not attached to the walls and stands alone in the middle of the room. You should plan to place a kitchen island in a spot where you can access it from all sides.

Minimum distance

A kitchen island generally needs a minimum space of 90 cm (3 feet) on all sides to allow people to comfortably use the walkway around it. If your kitchen island has an overhang, measure the 90 cm (3 feet) from the edge of the overhang.

Cabinet test

If you have wide cabinet doors on the kitchen worktop and kitchen island, you may need a bigger space between the two to allow the doors to fully open. Open the cabinet doors to help you determine the minimum distance for your door size.

Walking test

For maximum ease of movement, the walkway around the kitchen island needs to be big enough for people to walk through even when the cabinet doors are open. To test it, open the cabinet doors and have your family members walk through the space between the open doors and the counter. If they have to squeeze through, the island is too close to the counter.

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About the Author

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.