Is a kitchen island at the top of your wish list? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. The highly desirable kitchen island has become a must-have in most modern homes, and with the concept of open-plan living rising in popularity many of us are looking to reconfigure our floor plans in order to fit one in. ‘Islands are social platforms, for informal wining and dining, and preparing food,’ explains Tom Howley, Design Director at Tom Howley. ‘I have seen kitchens where the island counter only accounts for 20% of the surface space, but boasts 95% usage out of all the kitchen worktops.’

See also:How to plan, design and install a kitchen island

(Image credit: Burbidge Langton in Gravel and Seal Grey, from £18,000)

But precisely how much a kitchen island will end up costing you can vary hugely. The numbers range from as little as £250 for a small workbench model from Ikea, to around £2,700 for a quality kitchen furniture brand such as Hush Kitchens to build and install an island. Prices can then reach upwards of £20,000 (and beyond) for a truly bespoke design, complete with a multitude of high-spec appliances, luxurious worktop materials and bespoke storage. Really, there is no upper limit but there are plenty of factors that will dictate how much you will need to realistically spend.

The first aspect to determine is the size of your island. A walkway around a kitchen island should measure 1 metre where possible, to avoid the kitchen feeling too cramped. An island will only be a worthwhile investment if it enhances the look and function of your kitchen, so the next aspect to think about is the features you want to include in the design. While adding an overhang worktop to create a breakfast-bar style seating area won’t break the bank, the addition of plumbing, ducting and electrics can take up a significant portion of your budget. These more complex features will also require the right professionals to install your island, who’s time and expertise will need to be factored into the overall cost.

(Image credit: Bespoke island unit by Eggersman, clad entirely in unique Taj Mahal quartzite which ranges from £4,590 per sq m. Prices on application)

If an island is to last you for years to come, take your time choosing the right materials to suit your space, whether you want to create an island design that matches the rest of your kitchen, or make a statement using bold colours and finishes. ‘The most cost effective solution could be to have an island table, with space to store pots and pans on open shelves below, and a durable surface on top on which to prep or plate food.’ suggests Jonathan Stanley, VP Marketing at Caesarstone UK & EMEA. ‘Alternatively, you can create the wow factor without spending the earth by wrapping an island with the surface to create ‘waterfall ends’, where the top surface flows over two or three sides and extends down to the floor. Visually striking, it also makes the island unit very hard wearing,’ he adds.

Many kitchen furniture brands such as Neptune and British Standard by Plain English have options to allow you to pick and mix different base cabinets in order to create your own island. These may be a good option for those looking for something more customisable then buying a freestanding island from a general interiors shop, but perhaps not the budget for a completely bespoke kitchen design. Remember, you will have to factor in the cost of installation by a professional builder or carpenter, which will vary depending on the size of the project.

At the higher end of the scale, you may tend to find that designer kitchen brands do not usually sell islands as standalone pieces, but as a guide these bespoke kitchens start from around £20,000 for a kitchen including worktops, appliances and installation of your project. Designers in these settings can work closely with you to come up with a design to meet your exact specifications so you can get the kitchen and island you’ve always dreamed of having.

(Image credit: The New Deco Kitchen by Martin Moore. Bespoke kitchens start at £35,000)

See also:Small kitchen island ideas

How much does a kitchen island cost to buy in the UK? The price can range from as little as £250 to around £2,700 for a quality kitchen furniture brand to build and install an island. Costs can then reach upwards of £20,000 (and beyond) for a truly bespoke design.

How much does a kitchen island cost to buy in the US? Similarly, the average cost tends to fall around $3,500, but this can range from $350 to over $20,000 depending on your exact specifications.

(Image credit: Photography Sheraton Interiors, LochAnna Kitchens Grained Collection in Dove Grey)

Why are kitchen islands expensive? The size, materials and functionality of an island all impact the cost, as Jonathan Stanley, VP Marketing at Caesarstone UK & EMEA explains. ‘‘Bespoke structures incorporating sinks, hobs, extractors, overhangs and seating areas are going to need a bigger budget and every appliance or set of draws that you add will increase the cost.’

(Image credit: Kitchen Makers Somerton in Baltic Green and Brushed Brass, from £15,000)

How much does a kitchen island cost to make bespoke? The price of a bespoke kitchen island can vary hugely, as the cost will be dependent on the choice of worktop material, size of the island and any additional features that need to be built into the design such as sinks and taps, appliances and bespoke storage solutions. Most bespoke kitchens start from around £20,000.

(Image credit: Photography Pete Helme, Hush Kitchens farmhouse table island painted in Westonbirt green)

How much does it cost to install a kitchen island? As a guide, a workbench island without plumbing, ducting or electrics from a kitchen furniture company could cost approximately £350 for installation.

(Image credit: Life Kitchens Refined Kitchen, priced from £25,000)

Does a kitchen island add value? Yes, not only are they a desirable feature in modern homes, but also the materials used and added functionality that a kitchen island brings can add value to your home.