The kitchen is perhaps the most visited part of any home. Here is where hearty meals are lovingly prepared and shared over pleasant conversation among family and friends. Here is where kids sneak off to eat ice cream in the middle of the night. Here is where couples end their rendezvous with microwave snacks just before dawn. Here is where cups of coffee are savored and papers are read every morning.
We are often asked if the countertop of the island needs to match the existing kitchen countertop in style, or what will be installed as the main kitchen countertop. In most homes I would say it does match, but it really does not have to at all, nor does the material need to be the same. In fact, if you are not going to match them up exactly it's better if it looks like you are not even trying to match them, so using a completely different color and surface is perfectly acceptable.
What can we expect to pay for an island during a remodel? This one is too hard to answer because there are simply too many choices. A "ready to install" stock island you can purchase in a home store with connections for drainage and power can run about $800. A custom concrete countertop island with sink, cooktop, and wine refrigerator can easily eclipse $10,000.
Plan the height of your cabinet appropriately. Since most islands will have at least two stools or chairs pulled up to the surface, you may want to think about the seating or stools first. There are two kinds of bar stools with one being much higher than the other. Unless the island will be used primarily for family eating, there really are no hard and fast rules on height. It does not have to match the height of the kitchen cabinet, but often does. If it is not going to match it should be taller in most cases.
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