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What is Universal Design? 8 Universal Design Tips for Your Kitchen
Adding an island to your kitchen is an exciting project. A kitchen island can provide extra storage, added counter space, an extra sink, extra outlets and can even be an option for relocating your cooktop. Deciding how to use your island space and what to include can be a challenge with so many options. Our list of the top 4 things to consider when choosing or designing a kitchen island can help make your decision a little easier.
1. Relocating the cooktop to the island – Making the jump from a cooktop in the main counter area to one in the island seems like a simple matter. The biggest issue with this change involves the ventilation requirements. Cooktops are required to have some kind of ventilation. The best option is to install a vent and hood above the cooktop from the ceiling that takes smoke up and out of the home. Steam and smoke rise, making this the best functional option, however it does leave you with the ventilation hanging in the middle of the room. Alternately, some cooktops are equipped with a ventilation grate along side the burners that sucks smoke and steam down and out through the home’s crawl space.
2. Size matters – Many people tend to go with an island that is too large for their kitchen. We understand! With all of the different options, it can be easy to get carried away. Your kitchen island should take up only about 10% of the total square footage of your kitchen. And make sure to have 42 to 48 inches between the island and surrounding cabinetry and walls to allow adequate space for mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs.
3. Extra sink or relocating the sink to the island – Adding an extra sink or relocating your existing sink space to the island is a bit more complex than it appears. Adequate plumbing and sewer lines will have to be added or re-routed to accomodate a sink in your kitchen island. This can end up being a fairly expensive project.
4. Best use of island storage – One of the biggest benefits of adding an island to your kitchen is the extra storage space. It’s important to choose storage options that supplement or provide what your existing kitchen storage currently doesn’t have. Consider deep drawers for storing pots and pans, pull out shelving for easy access to stored items or even a dedicated spice drawer.
Choosing or designing an island for your kitchen offers a wide selection of options and possibilities. Once you’ve made your decisions based on these top 4 things to consider, you can turn your attention to the smaller details and create an island that is fun, functional and meets your family’s needs.