workers building a kitchen island
Photo: Josh McHugh
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What's it cost?
Freestanding worktables or rolling carts can be had for as little as $200. Basic built-in islands made with stock cabinetry and butcher-block or stainless-steel counters start at about $600. More features, larger sizes, and costly materials can easily push the price above $5,000.

DIY or hire a pro?
Anyone can put in a worktable or cart. An island assembled from cabinetry is more of a challenge but doable for handy homeowners. Call in the pros for custom configurations if you plan to have plumbing fixtures and electric appliances or if you want a stone countertop (shown).

How big?
An island ought to have enough counter space to meet your needs, look proportional within the kitchen, and have ample pathways around its perimeter. For smaller kitchens, a worktable or rolling cart may be a better choice than a built-in.
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