Cre­at­ing an is­land par­adise: Tips for adding an is­land in your kitchen ren­o­va­tion

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - REAL ESTATE NEWS/PEOPLE ON THE MOVE - BRAND­POINT CON­TENT

Cus­tom cab­i­netry, gran­ite coun­ter­tops, re­claimed wood floor­ing and ac­cents, and top-of-the-line, high-tech ap­pli­ances - what more do you need to make your kitchen ren­o­va­tion per­fect? How about adding an is­land? De­sign­ers and builders across the coun­try are point­ing to the ad­di­tion of an is­land as the musthave up­grade for kitchen ren­o­va­tions this year.

Home­own­ers are em­brac­ing the is­land, and what’s not to love about it? Adding an is­land can dra­mat­i­cally al­ter a kitchen’s ap­pear­ance, pro­vide ad­di­tional stor­age space and work area, and cre­ate a fresh fo­cal point for fam­ily meals. What’smore, com­mon chal­lenges that have his­tor­i­cally held home­own­ers back from adding is­lands - such as the dif­fi­culty and high costs as­so­ci­ated with adding plumb­ing drainage in the cen­ter of the room - are eas­ier to solve than ever.

While you could add an is­land with­out plumb­ing, hav­ing a sink in an is­land can im­prove the work­flow in a kitchen and open up counter space else­where. Plumb­ing an is­land can be prob­lem­atic, how­ever, if your home is built on a slab or a crawl space. The cost of cut­ting through con­crete and adding pip­ing can be pro­hib­i­tive.

Above-floor plumb­ing can solve the prob­lem. Man­u­fac­tur­ers like San­i­flo make a va­ri­ety of pump­ing sys­tems that can elim­i­nate the need to cut con­crete and re­duce the cost of in­stalling plumb­ing in a new is­land. For ex­am­ple, the SANISWIFT gray wa­ter pump­ing sys­tem is about the size of a small waste­bas­ket (so it fits eas­ily in an is­land cabi­net space), and comes out of the box fully as­sem­bled, re­duc­ing in­stal­la­tion time and costs.

“Cut­ting through con­crete to in­stall plumb­ing can eas­ily ac­count for 50 per­cent of a ren­o­va­tion bud­get,” says Chris Peterson of San­i­flo. “Home­own­ers may de­cide to aban­don the idea of an is­land al­to­gether when they face that kind of cost. Above-floor plumb­ing al­lows them to add an is­land, hide a sin­gle drain pipe in a dec­o­ra­tive column, and achieve the kitchen of their dreams at a frac­tion of the cost of tra­di­tional plumb­ing op­tions.”

Is­lands are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing the fo­cal point of kitchen ren­o­va­tions, serv­ing both prac­ti­cal pur­poses and as design state­ments.

More home­own­ers are re­plac­ing tra­di­tional din­ing ta­bles and break­fast nooks with spa­cious is­lands that fea­ture seat­ing. “Is­lands are re­plac­ing ta­bles,” said Au­drey Macdonald of Cre­ative In­te­ri­ors By Au­drey in Mis­sis­sauga, On­tario, in the Na­tional Kitchen & Bath As­so­ci­a­tion’s 2015 Kitchen & Bath Style Report.

In ad­di­tion to seat­ing, home­own­ers are in­cor­po­rat­ing restau­rant-qual­ity fit­tings into is­lands, adding charg­ing sta­tions for the fam­ily’s per­sonal dig­i­tal de­vices. They’re also choos­ing ar­chi­tec­tural and design touches such as dec­o­ra­tive legs, and coun­ter­tops and cab­i­netry that con­trast with those around the perime­ter of the kitchen.

Kitchen ren­o­va­tions con­tinue to be among the­most pop­u­lar home im­prove­ment projects and can of­fer home­own­ers a high re­turn on their in­vest­ments. A ma­jor kitchen re­model cost­ing about $56,000 can re­coup nearly 68 per­cent of its cost when you sell your home, while a mi­nor re­model in the range of $19,000 can yield a 79 per­cent ROI upon re­sale, ac­cord­ing to Re­mod­el­ing Mag­a­zine’s Cost vs. Value Report.

More home­own­ers are re­plac­ing tra­di­tional din­ing ta­bles and break­fast nooks with spa­cious is­lands that fea­ture seat­ing.

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