Additional workspace is always a good thing in a kitchen, especially if you do a lot of cooking and entertaining. Kitchen islands, once simply a table in the middle of the kitchen floor, have been the most common solution.

A kitchen island is not actually an essential part of the kitchen, so many do not have it. However, more people are realizing the benefits of having one, so kitchen islands in one form or another have been making their appearance in modern kitchens.

Basically, you will find two categories of kitchen islands: fixed or permanent islands and portable or temporary islands. The one you choose will depend on your space, requirements, and lifestyle. Below are six kinds of kitchen islands you can consider for your own kitchen remodeling project.

Permanent islands

Permanent or fixed islands, as the name suggests, are permanent or fixed features in the kitchen. You cannot move them from place to place, and in most cases, they have some type of electrical and/or plumbing work installed. These types of kitchen islands are part of the kitchen island, and serve many functions.

Cabinet kitchen islands

base cabinet kitchen island
A cabinet kitchen island is usually two or four regular or freestanding base cabinets jointed together with brackets and topped with a granite or quartz slab to form an extension of the kitchen countertops. It can be in a rectangular or square configuration, depending on the number of base cabinets used.

This type of kitchen cabinet often comes from repurposed cabinets. You can use your old cabinets to make this when you replace them with new ones if the old ones are in working condition. Aside from the environmental benefit and cost savings of repurposing old cabinets, these cabinets are a ready source of storage space, and they tend to be quite durable. Any DIYer with some skills can easily put this together, and simply have a pro put on stone countertops.

You should note, however, that the electrical code requires that any fixed kitchen island more than 2 square feet should have built-in electrical outlets. For this, you will probably need an electrician to do it for you.

Full kitchen islands

full kitchen island
A full kitchen island is the most common type of fixed kitchen islands. It does not have to be a fully functional one that you see online or in design magazines with cook tops and sinks, but they do tend to be on the large side with stone countertops. Having a fully functional one is simply a good way to maximize the space.

A full kitchen island is usually custom-made, so you can specify how big it will be, what materials to use, and how much storage you want. A clever way of using the kitchen island is to house the small appliances you use from the rest of the kitchen, making your kitchen a lot more organized. Some people reserve the kitchen island for baking, so they choose a marble countertop for it.
However, most people put full kitchen island to other uses, such as a breakfast table, or for doing homework. Some kitchen islands also double as a serving area for food when company comes. In some cases, the kitchen island also serves as the main eating area, especially in an open space layout.

Double-tiered kitchen islands

bar-type two-level kitchen island
This kind of kitchen is basically the big brother of the full kitchen island. The main difference is in the presence of a second countertop, which makes it more of a dividing rather than transitioning feature. The standard height of the higher countertop is 42 inches, and the lower one at 36 inches. This is to accommodate the working level as a wet bar and a food prep area, respectively. In many cases, homeowners install bar stools to make the higher countertop comfortable for eating and drinking.

Temporary islands

Temporary or portable kitchen islands tend to be smaller than fixed islands. However, they serve equally important purposes.

Rolling kitchen islands

small rolling cart
The rolling kitchen island or rolling car is a very useful piece of equipment. These are usually available in stores as ready-made or ready-to-assemble (RTA) items in various sizes and configurations, so you will not need any kind of professional help to get one in your kitchen. One of the most useful of this kind of kitchen island is the butcher-block type. All rolling carts will have wheels, but the materials range from wood to metal.

Most homeowners use this type of kitchen island as a makeshift food prep, serving, and cooking tool, such as flamb?ing some type of dessert. It may also be used to carry drinks as a type of rolling bar. Since they are easy to roll in and out of areas, it is quite invaluable when entertaining.

Small kitchen islands

small kitchen island
This kind of temporary island has no wheels, but they are quite small and not attached to the floor. It would be easy enough to move from one area to another. These are also available ready-made or RTA from stores, and often come with some type of countertop, usually ceramic tiles or metal. You can put on a marble countertop to make it a pastry table. You can also put on granite or quartz stone quite easily.
Small kitchen islands are useful as an extension of the workspace, especially in smaller kitchens, and many come with storage space as well. You may find some products with extension flaps that fold down, supposedly to give you more workspace. However, the support for these flaps are usually flimsy, so putting any kind of pressure or weight on them is not a good idea.

Table island

ordinary table in the middle of a kitchen
The simplest type of kitchen island is the kitchen table, which is basically a table you place in the kitchen. It can be any size, and you might even delegate a table from other rooms in the home for this purpose.


A kitchen island is very useful, they are usually quite affordable and readily available. Of course, a custom-built kitchen island would have a significant impact on the function and design of your home, so you should consider putting in a full kitchen island with a granite, quartz, or marble countertop.

For this, you will need the services of a reputable and experienced kitchen remodeler. At Mimosa Kitchen and Bath, we sell high-quality products manufactured by leading brands in the industry and expert remodeling services. The contractors at Mimosa Kitchen and Bath can service your home or business located in DC metro area, Columbia, Rockville, Bethesda, Jessup, Chevy Chase and surrounding areas.

When you purchase your products from us, we guarantee speedy delivery compared to ordering from big box stores. Our contractors will fabricate the product and install it into your kitchen quickly and with excellent artisanship.

We also sell a host of other products, which include bathroom and kitchen cabinets, flooring, faucets and sinks, and vanities. Some of the brands we carry include Zodiaq, Fabuwood, Forevermark Cabinetry, Caesarstone, MSI, Kitchenmaid, Wolf Cabinets, Cambria and Hardware Resources.
You can visit our showroom in Elliicott City, Maryland to see the many products and stone slabs we have available. This includes marble, granite and engineered quartz.

All of our products come backed with brand warranties.

Contact us today to get a free quote for your next kitchen upgrade project!