Q: We're updating our kitchen and I'd like a new look for our existing island. What are my options?
A: (from Sharon Hanby-Robie, Ask DIY Remodeling expert) One of the most dramatic changes you can make to a kitchen island is a countertop replacement. As you plan your remodeling project, keep these tips in mind:
- When choosing the island's countertop, don't be limited by the existing countertops. Choosing a different but complementary material can expand the feel and the functionality of the space. Depending on your budget and surface requirements, you can choose the material that best suits your needs -- from laminate to solid-surfacing to granite.
- The island's counter should be placed at least 36 inches away from any existing counter and 42 inches is preferred if possible. Try to preserve "the triangle"--the linear space between the sink, refrigerator and stove. Leaving it open allows for ease of movement between the three. If you're enlarging the size of your island's countertop, tape off the area for a few weeks first to see how comfortable it will be.
- For easier food preparation, consider enhancing the island with under-counter appliances and / or auxiliary sinks.
- The kitchen has become an important room in the American home: it's the home office, meeting room, entertainment center and dining area. Keep this in mind when you're choosing the new surface for your island -- it's much more than just a countertop!
- Islands can be any size, shape and color and no two are the same. This page features beautiful examples, all of which are quite different. Like the rest of the kitchen, an island should be a direct reflection of what is important to the homeowner both in style and function.
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