Kitchen Island Bars

Is your kitchen large enough to accommodate a kitchen island with seating? Understanding measurements and space considerations will help you decide.
Contemporary Kitchen with Multi-level Kitchen Island

Contemporary Kitchen with Multi-level Kitchen Island

Installing a kitchen island bar will add countertop and storage space, but it can also provide a designated area for in-room dining, particularly in cozier spaces where seating was not previously an option.

A Kitchen Designed With Real Life in Mind

See All Photos

This Kitchen Does More Than Cook

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Reimagining the Space

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Office

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Cook and Prep Area

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Reading Nook

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Laundry Area

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Laundry Area

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Mudroom

Photo By: Jeff Herr

However, whether choosing from a selection of pre-designed, portable kitchen island bars or building an island to fit your kitchen's specifications, the most important considerations are space and placement.

Above all, kitchen islands require a good deal of space. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends a minimum surface area of about 3 feet by 4 feet. You'll also need to keep traffic patterns in mind—walkways should measure at least 42 inches wide for unobstructed passage, according to NKBA.

Other considerations, beyond comfortable island seating (think counter- or bar-height stools, depending on height, with arms or swivels) include at least 24 inches of countertop space for elbow room, and anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of space between the knee and counter (depending on the counter height) for clear knee space.

Small Space Kitchen and Design Suggestions

Next Up

Kitchen Island Bars

Casual dining and kitchen island bar areas go hand-in-hand with this guide for discovering the perfect design for your lifestyle and budget.

Kitchen Island Bar Stools

Make sure this room's centerpiece has comfortable seating for your guests.

Kitchen Island With a Breakfast Bar

Kitchen islands with breakfast bars are the ultimate multitasking addition to any kitchen.

Kitchen Island Chairs

Bring together friends and family in the coziest room in your home with these ideas for kitchen island chairs.

Kitchen Islands With Breakfast Bars

Add a space for informal dining with this guide for designing a kitchen island with a breakfast bar.

How to Build a Bar with a Butcher-Block Countertop

The Rip and Renew crew uses basic construction to make a cottage-style bar with a butcher block countertop.

Kitchen Island Components and Accessories

Discover the best components and accessories for your kitchen island, adding flair and function to your space.

Outdoor Kitchen Bars

What are the most important factors to consider when designing an outdoor kitchen bar? HGTV explores your options.

Outdoor Kitchen Islands

Outdoor kitchen islands create a useful and elegant place for food prep and backyard entertaining.

Kitchen Islands

Learn about different types and use our checklist to see if this independent structure will work for you

On TV

Catch Up With Our Blogs

We're serving up the latest news, gorgeous style, DIY projects, clever entertaining tips & more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.