If you have the space available, a kitchen island is a highly desirable addition to your home. One question that we often get asked is “Should I put a hob or sink on my kitchen island?” The answer to this question will depend on many different factors, such as the size and layout of your kitchen and the way you’re intending to use it. To help with your decision, here are our thoughts on both options.
With many families opting for open-plan living spaces, a kitchen island with an integrated hob enables the person preparing the meal to be part of the group, giving them more chance of being able to talk to family members as they work. If you love entertaining, a kitchen island will give you the opportunity to chat with your friends while you’re preparing dinner. Make sure the hob controls are on the side of the island where you can keep an eye on what you’re cooking as you look into the rest of the room, so you don’t need to turn your back on everyone.
These days, many people find it useful to install a downward extractor, such as a BORA, which draws particles down from the pans on the hob. This means there’s less chance of steam and odours being able to circulate around the room. It also means you don’t have the added expense of installing a conventional extractor hood above a hob on your island, and you can avoid a clunky hood that will break up the design of your new kitchen and make it look less spacious. An additional advantage is that the downward extractor fan is a lot quieter than a conventional one.
If you decide to install a hob on your kitchen island, make sure there’s enough worktop space around it for you to be able to work efficiently, and make sure you’ll have an area where you can plate up your food without having to transport hot pans across the kitchen.
When it comes to being sociable, having a sink on your kitchen island has the same advantages as a hob, in that whoever’s washing up can also take part in conversations and see what’s happening in the room. The downside is that dirty pots and pans tend to get piled into the sink once food has been served, and an island sink is further into the room than one by the wall, so the likelihood is that your dirty dishes will be visible to you and your guests when you’re eating.
Most people prefer the sink to be against the wall, preferably underneath a window where they have the opportunity to look into the garden as they’re working. Not being in a central position means that soaking pans will be more discreet and no one needs to have them in their eyeline while they’re eating.
If you have a large enough space, you could have both the sink and the hob on your kitchen island, but this is less practical because of the amount of workspace you need to have between the two. Most people find it more practical to have the hob installed on their island, with the sink on the back wall as close as possible to the hob. This makes it ergonomic for the person cooking to use pots and pans with the sink in easy reach for rinsing, washing and soaking.
One of our experienced kitchen designers will talk to you to find out how you intend to use your new kitchen in order to be able to suggest a design that will make the most of your island and will ensure that cooking is always a pleasure.