How do I plan a kitchen island?


If you’re lucky enough to have an open kitchen area then you may find yourself having a bit of space to fill. The most common solution to this dilemma is to have a DIY kitchen island built and installed. This solution gives loads more kitchen storage and workspace and adds an attractive feature to your room.

Many people think that the DIY kitchen island is one big unit that looks quite complex to design and construct, but that is not the case!

The image below shows an example of a completed modern Livorna kitchen island. The rest of this article will talk about this kitchen island and how it is constructed.

Fresco Kitchen Island

Livorna kitchen island dimensions

  • The width of this kitchen island (without worktop) is 2200mm (220cm)
  • The height of this kitchen island (without worktop) is 720mm from the workable kitchen units and 150mm for the unit legs = 890mm (89cm)
  • The depth of this kitchen island (front to back – without worktop) is 560mm + 20mm draw fronts + 20mm backpanel = 600mm (60cm)
  • Total dimensions of the kitchen island without worktop = 89cm x 220cm x 60cm
  • The size of the kitchen island worktop will be 40mm wider than the width and 40mm deeper than the depth of the kitchen island to give you some worktop overhang. So the size of the worktop needed for this Livorna kitchen island example would need to be 224cm x 64cm.


Components that make up the Livorna island

The Livorna island is made up of the following components:

Radious feature end post livornaFeature End Posts

4 x Livorna White Base Radius Feature Ends

These are used to give a nice smooth curve to all 4 corners of the Livorna kitchen island. The height of these feature ends is 890mm (89cm). That is the distance from the floor to the top of the kitchen units that make up the island.


Pan Drawer Units

1000mm Pan Drawer Unit2 x 1000mm Pan Drawer Units

The 2 1000mm wide units are attached together to build the kitchen island up. If you need a wider kitchen island then you could have some reduced depth units on the back to give the kitchen island some more depth. With regards to the number of drawers, you could change this if you liked to 1 or 2 pan drawers and up to 3 smaller drawers in one kitchen unit. The handles are also down to you, simply choose the ones you like the look of that match the island and the other units in your kitchen.



1 x Plinth 2770 x 150

Plinth 2770 X 150Once the 2 kitchens units have been attached together and the legs adjusted, you’ll now have a 150mm by 2000mm gap to fill at the base of the units. This is done by using a piece of plinth, which is cut down to size. 150mm is the default height but smaller height plinths can be ordered instead if you decide to lower your unit legs a little. If you do lower the unit legs then the size of your feature end post will also need to be reduced.


Base End Panels

Base End Panel 900 X 6002 x Base End Panels 900 x 600

The sides of your kitchen island will now need some end panels that slot into the feature end posts to give you a smooth finish on the sides. These may need cutting down slightly to fit into the gap left between the end posts.


Back Panel

Back Panel For Kitchen Island1 x Back Panel For Kitchen Island

To tidy up the back of the kitchen island, you are going to need a back panel to complete it. This can be ordered to match the length that you need. Back panels can be ordered on the DIY Kitchens website by choosing the length that you need from the selection box on the page. All end panels are by default 900mm (90cm) high. The maximum length that back panels are to is 2000mm (200cm)


Utilising the kitchen island

Sensio popup socketWhen planning a kitchen island, it’s very important to think about how it’s going to be used now and possibly in the future. Some people use the kitchen island to hold the sink whilst others will use it to house an electric hob. All of these things have to be considered at the start as they will dictate the types of unit that you kitchen island can be made up from.

If you are going to use your kitchen island to hold a sink then you may need some serious piping work doing to get water to the island. If you are going to use it for an electric  hob then you are going to need some plug sockets. The hob would be permanently plug in, so your kitchen fitter/electrician would need to place a socket somewhere inside the island but if you would like some additional plug sockets then you can have some that pop straight out of the kitchen island. See an example Sensio Popup Socket here.

Want to plan your kitchen island and create a paper plan mock-up? Simply download the Kitchen Planner PDFs here and start measuring up and slotting units into position.

You can start buying kitchen island units here


Kitchen island worktops

Once you have your kitchen island planned, you’ll then need decide on the worktop that you are going to use. Will you use a laminate worktop or a shiny solid granite worktop?

Click here to learn more about which worktop is right for you.

Island Examples


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Up to 50% off competitor kitchen prices

At DIY Kitchens, not only do you get a quality rigid built kitchen but you also get it at a fabulous price too! Price your kitchen up on our site and you could see savings  of up to 50% off other kitchen quotes that you’ve had.

Take a look at our kitchen price comparison page here.

Real customer kitchens

Get some inspiration for designing your own new kitchen with over 2,000 pictures of our customers’ kitchens that they ordered from us.

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18 thoughts on “How do I plan a kitchen island?”
  • Anais says:

    Hi there. I have space for a 9ft by 4ft island. What would be the best option? At the moment, I’m left with some gaps in the centre of the island because of the depth of units – is this an issue for support?

    April 13, 2021 at 10:45 am
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi, there is no set design for an island. Some island will have gaps, which you can use as leg room for a breakfast bar or just put an end panel across to cover the gap. There is an example of an island with a gap in the middle and a breakfast bar on this page here. This page is full of kitchen islands, which may give you some ideas and inspiration.

      April 13, 2021 at 12:10 pm
  • Jojo says:

    I’m planning an island with full depth units on one side and shallow units on the other. What do I use for the end panels at either end?

    March 26, 2021 at 8:31 am
    • DIY Kitchens says:

      Hi, this article will be a useful read and it will tell you what to use, on the sides of your island.

      March 26, 2021 at 8:50 am
  • Sophie says:

    Hi, how would we build a bespoke cupboard from your Helmsley range please? It needs to be 700w by 700 deep, to house a freestanding washing machine, and shelves for laundry etc.

    February 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi, we do have the 700mm wide units available on our website, which we are able to make at an extra depth for you for a surcharge, although most appliances such as free standing washing machines and dryers would not fit inside a unit. Usually with free standing appliances, as long as they are no wider than 600mm wide, you would use a 600mm wide door to cover the front of the appliance, which will need to be hinged to an end panel or following unit with the easy fit hinge system, when using this hinge system the units will need to be pulled forward of the wall by at least 50mm.

      February 27, 2018 at 2:28 pm
  • Rach says:

    Do you advise bolting/fixing the island to the floor, and how can this be done?

    October 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi, the weight of the units and worktop will be sufficient for keeping the island in position but if you do wish to secure it then you would have to drill and plug the floor and use L brackets and conceal them on the inside of the carcases, prior to adding end panels.

      October 25, 2017 at 9:39 am
  • Sonia says:

    Looking to create an island to include bar stools around 3 of the sides, is there a minimum and also maximum size of overhang that would not require support legs on the granite? Thanks

    August 28, 2017 at 2:29 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi, the maximum unsupported overhang on granite or quartz is 300mm in depth, anything over this would require additional supports, such as breakfast bar legs, end panels or a re-inforced structure.

      August 30, 2017 at 9:40 am
  • Irene Willis says:

    Hello. I am looking for an island drawer unit, similar to the single 3-drawer pot storage drawers you depict on this page. How/where would I find one like it in Toronto or that ships to Toronto? I’d need the finishing pieces, too (corners, sides, back), too. As for the top, I can probably find one here in the city, if these do not come as a complete unit. Please advise ASAP.
    Thank you.

    July 12, 2017 at 7:23 pm
  • Mitul Patel says:

    Hi, when cutting panels/doors how do you deal with the cut edge i.e. can it be painted or edged? Or would it not be visible when used in conjunction with a corner post or feature end?

    June 22, 2016 at 9:10 pm
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      We would advise that because all the end panels we supply are over-sized, they will always require some form of cutting down. The exposed cut edges are best hidden by being placed against the underside of a worktop and against the wall for a base end panel & to the top of the unit and against the walls for both the tall and wall units. If you are having a painted kitchen, you can also use the touch up paint we provide to paint over any cut edges you may have.

      June 23, 2016 at 2:31 pm
  • Elizabeth Keith says:

    Would this design with the rounded corners work for Broadoak Alabaster units?

    June 8, 2016 at 7:37 am
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      Hi, yes it would work as there are some radius feature ends available in the Broadoak alabaster range.

      June 8, 2016 at 9:29 am
  • Bek says:

    I’ve noticed a little table at the end of some of the kitchen islands in your kitchen pictures. What is this table made up of?

    July 16, 2015 at 9:45 am
    • Diy Kitchens says:

      We don’t actually make the table you see at the end of the kitchen island. This is an accessory and its name is a console table, which if you do a search in Google, you’ll find many places that sell them. You can then paint them any colour you like to compliment your kitchen.

      July 16, 2015 at 9:45 am
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