In addition to creating more counter space, an island is also a way to add more storage and avoid kitchen clutter by using drawers, cupboards and shelves. This is beneficial especially if appliances take up a lot of cabinet room, or if you’re looking for a unique way to showcase certain items by using open shelving. Store dishes and pots within reach or keep less frequently used appliances out of the way. Another option is to use open shelving to display cookbooks or other items.
Heat resistance: One of the considerations when choosing a countertop material is the heat resistance when you are cooking. You shouldn’t put hot pans directly on countertops. Using a trivet between the pan and the countertop surface is a good idea. Natural stone materials and concrete can endure heat better than plastic laminate that can leave a scorch mark. Ceramic tile countertops can take heat, but may crack due to rapid temperature changes. To be certain, do not place heated pans on countertops, stainless steel is one of the few countertops that can endure heat.
Of course, different styles of wood can achieve completely different aesthetics. If you’re looking for your final project to have a more streamlined feel, you’ll probably want to opt for the manufactured tongue-and-groove pieces that are sold at home improvement stores. But if your dream backsplash consists a truly unique and aged look, you can create a one-of-a-kind design from reclaimed wood pieces.
The latest trend in contemporary kitchens is the thick slab countertop effect. While most countertops are normally 2” thick, choosing a 3 – 5” thick countertop creates an anchored, stately look. Remember to adjust cabinet heights accordingly to make up for the height increase from the thicker countertops.
Incorporating sinks or stovetops into the surface of the island is one way to spread the workflow throughout the kitchen. Installation can be tricky, so pay attention to details like ventilation and plumbing. This will require running downward (most common in islands) or overhead venting (which can be expensive), and allocating extra space to in-cabinet pipes.
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