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Can my kitchen island be 2 inches higher than the other countertops
tiess
November 22, 2012 in Design Dilemma
If the regular 36 inch height is uncomfortable for a tall person to work at the kitchen sink does it look Ok to have the island (that includes the sink) at 38 inch height. The other counters along two sides of the kitchen would remain at 36 inch height to accomodate the stove.
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ruthmand
If you plan to live in your home for some time I would go for it. Wish I had! I do have a thick cutting block on the island and that helps a bit, but doing dishes is still akward at the 36" height. Will you have stools at your island? If so, you will have to see how the additional 2" affect the seating.
November 22, 2012 at 10:42am   
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PRO
Dytecture
It's possible to raise sections of the island a bit higher for the taller family member without going to eating bar height, but I wouldn't recommend doing the entire island at 38 inches as it might put off some buyers when you sell.


November 22, 2012 at 12:28pm   
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houssaon
I was at a party where the kitchen island was higher than the other counter tops. It made a great serving area and since they had the sink in it, the husband said he saved his back washing up.
November 22, 2012 at 4:24pm   
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judianna20
This is a good look at how to raise the island higher. Have sides counter height and the sink in the higher section. Think this looks great.

November 22, 2012 at 4:28pm   
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Christine Austin Design
I have done this a few times for my taller clients. If you are worried about resale and want the look of one big island, you can either make the island a thicker top by using extra stone or adding a build-up with matching moulding to your cabinet doors. If it is contemporary then just a flush filler or higher channel depending on the style. This way, the new owners can just remove the buildup (as long as the top isn;t completely glued to it) or if you are lucky, they will be tall as well and it will be a selling feature. As ruthmand said, if you have stools at your island, they may not be right for the new height. In which case judyg 's idea of 2 heights could work.
November 22, 2012 at 4:41pm   
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tiess
Thanks, for the good suggestions. We would like to keep the island all one height to allow for a larger working surface and so adding a build-up sounds like it might work best. Is it better to add it at the top of the island just under the counter top or could you also just make the kick plate around the bottom 2 inches higher?
November 22, 2012 at 5:23pm   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi tiess,

A slightly different height island can look fine, and most people may not even notice if its just an inch or two. Here's an example of a kitchen where we built the island at 40" and the perimeter at 38".
(The clients are 6'8" and 5'8") We mocked up the counters beforehand and the clients "tested" the heights with their cutting boards etc to make sure they felt right.

I would definitely keep the toe kick height a standard (nominal) 4" as this will align correctly with appliances etc, and increase the counter height instead. (The thicker top also looks great)

Btw, great suggestion by Christine, as a way to allow for relatively easy changes to the counter height in the future
~Steve
November 22, 2012 at 6:14pm     
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Christine Austin Design
I'm with Steve. I'm guessing that if you have a sink on the Island that you may also have a dishwasher, and if you are going with a tall tub the higher kicks don't always work. As for the detail, it is difficult to say what it could be without knowing the style and materials being used. Perhaps the countertop or cabinet suppliers could help you with this.
November 22, 2012 at 9:54pm   
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tiess
Yes we will have the dishwasher in the island. It has a regular tub. I don't quite understand Steve's comment about the toe kick needing to be standard height to align with the applicances. As for materials - the cabinets will be natural cherry and the style is Shaker.
November 23, 2012 at 6:36am   
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feeny
You know what the toe kick is, yes? At the bottom of the cabinet? All Steve means is that you should add the extra two inches at the top of the island cabinets rather than the bottom so that the toe kicks around the room are all the same height and can accommodate any appliances you install.
November 23, 2012 at 6:51am     
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KBDesign
The higher counter height makes perfect sense. It's more important that the space works for you rather than the potential next owner. I agree with Steve, by adding the extra height to the countertop you create a nice architectural detail. You can do that by building up the stone, quartz or wood. it also allows you to create a more elaborate edge detail.
It doesn't require modifying the cabinets and the toe stays the same for better integration of the appliances. The top can also be changed in the future if a new owner needs a lower top without redoing the cabinets.
November 23, 2012 at 6:56am     
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tiess
It sounds like dding extra counter height would solve a lot of the issues and make for an easier change down the road if needed. I'm guessing though that the extra countertop height would add significantly to the cost if the material was stone or quartz. We would probably not consider wood since the cabinets are natural cherry wood. So if we want to keep cost down a build-up under the counter might be the best solution.
November 23, 2012 at 8:04am   
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BeautifulRemodel.com
Hi Tiess,

The thicker counter will not add much weight because only the edge is laminated or mitered to give the impression that the stone is much thicker. The overall thickness of the stone will still be just 3/4" (Most stone slabs are 3/4" thick). The build up on the counter subtop will also only add minimal weight, because that is usually a simple 2x frame, with plywood added to the top.

~Steve
November 23, 2012 at 9:23am   
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