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Sink/cooker in kitchen island - pros and cons

(24 Posts)
BigYellowDigger Thu 27-Sep-12 12:38:57

Basically - does anyone have any experience of putting their sink or cooker in an island and has it worked out ok?

For background: we are eventually doing our kitchen (after 5 years of wishing and saving) and we are knocking through two rooms so have a long room which is going to have units on one side and island in the middle. We can just about fit fridge,cooker, sink on the one long wall but would be easier layout-wise to have sink or cooker built into island.

I don't know anyone's kitchen IRL who has this so I'm looking for some MN help, please? These things look lovely in the brochures but I'm wondering if it works in practice.


Bunbaker Thu 27-Sep-12 12:43:07

I think it is better to consult a plumber about the practicalities of it. What would you do if a pipe had burst and needed replacing? Tear the floor up?

minipie Thu 27-Sep-12 12:48:18

Cooker in island

- upside is you get to look outwards at the room (not at the wall) while cooking
- downside is you need to have an extractor above, which means either it comes down from the ceiling or you have a downdraft one (expensive). Also you need to get the venting there somehow.
- other downside is that if you leave mess on your hob (pans etc) it's all on show

Sink in island

- upside is you get to look outwards at the room (not at the wall) while washing up
- other upside is that the island is often used for prepping veg etc, so it's handy to have a sink there
- downside is that if you leave mess in/around your sink (pans etc) it's all on show

You could solve the mess issue by having a raised breakfast bar to hide the mess (if your layout will accommodate).

Sleepwhenidie Thu 27-Sep-12 12:56:47

Plumbing was too tricky for us to put a sink in our island (floor level too low, would have required pumps etc), but we have an induction hob and downdraft extractor there. I love it, it is great to be able to cook and chat with guests/dc's sat on other side of the island. If im cooking something "spitty" the extractor forms a great barrier.

Not sure the looking out while washing up is that valid for most people, I'm assuming a nice new kitchen will have a dishwasher? I wanted a prep sink in our island, with the larger one on side for dirty pans etc. Can't say I am too upset not to have one though.

middleagedspread Thu 27-Sep-12 17:59:09

I'd 2nd the cooker on the island.
I've got a big island with lots of space with an induction hob (simple extractor fan with vent to outside) above & 2 ovens underneath.
I love being able to look into the room & it's great to cover the island with baking.
I'm hoping to move & will do exactly the same with a new kitchen.

FishfingersAreOK Thu 27-Sep-12 19:55:30

I am putting a sink in. Esse range needs to go against the wall. Knocked through a huge space so no kitchen window to put sink in front of - but sink in the island means I can prepare/see through the family room into the garden. Anywhere else and the sink would have meant having your back to the rest of the room.

skandi1 Thu 27-Sep-12 23:10:41

I cook on my island. I have a 5 ring gas hob and two ovens underneath.

I have a downdraft extractor which is vented to the outside via ducting under the floor.

The downdraft extractor acts as a splash back when it's up and I am cooking.

It's fab and I totally recommend island cooking.

My kitchen in my old house had the sink in the island. Also really great but it was annoying to cook with my back to the room (large kitchen diner) and I prefer it as it is now with cooking on the island.

In terms of installation and services and connections, a sink is probably simpler to install.

All of the above does depend on which way the joists run in the floor underneath and where exactly your drains run outside (if you're thinking sink). Gas and electrics are still a consideration but it's easier to get them in by cutting notches in joists.

If you have a solid concrete floor, then you still have options but it means carving up concrete which is v messy.

pippala Fri 28-Sep-12 01:29:48

I have a large washing up sink on my long stretch of kitchen surface and a prep sink on my island which I use for handwashing and defrosting food out of the freezer.
It cost £300 for sink and tap and approx £1,000 for concrete floor to be dug up for water pipes etc
I use it daily but was it cost effective? I doubt it!

fussychica Fri 28-Sep-12 09:01:24

Had a sink on in an island unit in the mid 80s (shows age). Loved it. It divided my kitchen into food prep and storage and washing/drying on the other side of the island. Only downside was water splashing onto the floor at the back of the sink.
In Spain I have an island without hob or sink but I like that too. My UK kitchen is sooooo small the only way I could have an island unit would be to knock into the conservatorysad

BigYellowDigger Fri 28-Sep-12 11:01:16

Ohh thanks so much for all the suggestions and experiences.

I'd never even heard of downdraft extractors, yet another thing to consider and obsessively google about! On first look I love them but suspect financially sensible DH budget may rule it out.

The plumber/gassafe man said either cooker or sink could be done, however I probably should check the price difference between doing each - hadn't fully thought about the cost involved in digging up floors etc. I will now go off add another row to my budget spreadsheet specifically for sink/cooker installation costs.

Glad to hear that either sink or cooker gets thumbs up though. That means that I can have my (longed for) wide pan drawers on wall where the cooker was going smile.

<wanders off to find a life so that I can long for something more exciting than wide pan drawers>

Sleepwhenidie Fri 28-Sep-12 11:11:11

Your DH may surprise you with the downdraft extractor bigyellow, there is something quite James Bond about the way it quietly rises from the island grin, male visitors have all thought it v cool!

skandi1 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:20:27

Your DH will love the downdraft extractor. It's the only thing in my new kitchen DH has shown interest in. He loves it and rushes to show it off to people. He even took a day off work when it was being installed so he could see it working. hmm

It is indeed a gadget but extremely useful for the reasons I mentioned above.

There are issues such as which motor type to get with it. Don't assume your electrician will have a clue. Mine didnt. I had to work it all out for myself. Three are three options. In cabinet (recirculating) one but that means it takes out a serious chunk of the cabinet behind it and all the noise is in the kitchen.
Second model of motor which sits inside your house but in a basement. A third model where the actual motor sits outside your house on the wall where the ducting pops out-just like commercial ones.

You need to check very carefully which model is suitable for you.

I recommend you phone the manufacturer direct and chat it through with their technical department. Helps you avoid costly mistakes.

I have a basement below my kitchen and my motor sits there. The nice thing is that the extractor is almost silent when I use it. grin
Happy shopping!

oscarwilde Fri 28-Sep-12 14:22:32

Have same dilemma but I'm consoling myself that if worse comes to worse and you can't do either on the island - you'll have a huge prep area and space to put stuff for your "new kitchen party" grin

BigYellowDigger Fri 28-Sep-12 14:41:13

Ah, yes I'd completely ignored the 'gadget appeal' aspect which will definitely appeal to DH grin. i'm now sensing there may be hope for my plan to increase the budget yet again.......

oscar huge prep area sounds great too but I know with this family it would become a huge 'filled with cr*p' area! We are all so bad at keeping paperwork tidy that a big island surface will just get stuff left on it. My plan with integrating a sink or cooker would be that it would be too risky to leave stuff on the island thereby forcing me into less slovenly ways or just piling it all on the on sideboard as usual

minipie Fri 28-Sep-12 15:39:29

I think the key to an island not becoming covered in paperwork and other crap is to have some shelves/drawers built into it which are specifically for the purpose of storing said crap. So, a paperwork drawer, a shelf for the laptop, a drawer for keys/takeaway menus/etc.

Or, a big organiser type thing on the wall where all the paperwork goes. Something like this. This is my current plan (as we currently have mail/magazines etc permanently on our island).

minipie Fri 28-Sep-12 15:40:51

Should have said, even with the mail etc issue I still wouldn't be without our huge island, it's great for being sociable around and for baking and other space hungry tasks.

Make sure you put plug sockets into the island somewhere.

haggisaggis Fri 28-Sep-12 15:49:42

Our house had the hob and food prep sink on the (long) island with double oven and fridge behind - meant I barely had to move my feet at all when cooking - was great!. We did not have an extractor hood but there was a fan roughly above the hob that did the job if required.

dinkystinky Fri 28-Sep-12 15:51:20

We have sink in our island - works well for us. Under counter dishwasher, freezer and wine fridge and pull out bins under the island too. Pics are still on my profile i think of kitchen

SmileItsSunny Fri 28-Sep-12 16:09:53

Sounds fascinating. We are going to redo our kitchen soon, so I'm marking this thread for ideas.
bigyellowdigger I'm interested in your spreadsheet - how does that work?

QueenMaeve Sat 29-Sep-12 00:30:58

I had planned for sink in the island but my friend said water splashed all over the place so I swapped it for hob in the island. I'm glad I did, it works really well

bumblebee61 Fri 02-Jun-17 10:51:15

Hi We have just put an offer on a house with no work surfaces, only a central island with sink. There is a table and chairs in the kitchen and an Aga. It has only just occurred to me that this might be a nightmare. The floor is wooden floorboards. Would water not drip down onto the floor from the sink and work surfaces, how would you drain dishes etc? There is a dishwasher built into the island. I just cannot see how this would work? PANIC!

Linguaphile Mon 23-Oct-17 08:53:19

This is really helpful--I've been trying to decide the same thing. I loved the look of the downdraft extractor when we went to a kitchen show recently, and induction feels safer to me with the children.

Question: with the hob on the island, is it better to have it down at one end or right smack in the middle?

QuitMoaning Mon 23-Oct-17 12:38:26

I have mine in the middle so that I can move pans off it to either side. And not really long enough to carry an asymmetrical look.

Does it work? No idea. Worktops installed an hour ago and hob is in but not connected.

TheDogsMother Mon 23-Oct-17 12:56:34

We have sink, dishwasher and wide drawers for plates in the island and it works well. Most of the stuff that comes out of the dishwasher goes straight into the drawer and if anything needs rinsing first it is very close to the dishwasher. We also have wooden floors and no problems so far. BigYellow you are quite right to long for the wide pan drawers. We had ours a year now and every day I still think they are a thing of wonder.

We were warned that the down draft extractor wasn't that efficient and as the kitchen is open plan onto the living area we didn't risk it. The wall mounted Elica extractor we opted for is super efficient but a noisy bastard.

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