Kitchen Island vs. Breakfast Bar: Which Is Right for You?

When choosing the layout of your kitchen, there are many decisions to make that will affect function and style. The best choices will depend on the size and shape of your space and how you intend to use it. In the question of kitchen island vs. breakfast bar, Dimension Design-Build-Remodel, Inc. is happy to outline your options to make the choice easier.

Kitchen Islands

A kitchen island stands alone as the name implies and has a standard height of 36 inches, the same height as the rest of the countertops in the kitchen. This large, flat freestanding surface is usually found in the center of a square kitchen. It has a cabinet base, though it may have a countertop overhang allowing it to serve partially as an eating area, though shorter than a breakfast bar.

Breakfast Bars

A breakfast bar stands taller at 42 inches, perfect for eating the first meal of the day on a tall stool. Unlike regular islands, a breakfast bar typically is a peninsula connected to a wall or other countertops, leaving three usable sides. It always has up to 15 inches of countertop overhang for comfortable seating, and it is best suited for kitchens that are smaller, rectangular, or irregularly shaped. A breakfast bar is often a useful divider in a combination kitchen and dining room.

Best of Both Worlds: The Kitchen Island with a Breakfast Bar

The good news is you don’t necessarily have to choose—you can have a hybrid of the two if that would work better for you and if you have the space for it. The kitchen island can be at counter height, with an attached breakfast bar at bar height. Your hybrid island can stand alone or even be attached to an existing counter or wall if it works better with the size and shape of your space.

We can use a different counter material to further differentiate the two levels of the island. With the kitchen island portion facing the work areas of the kitchen, you can handle food prep, cooking, and cleanup at a convenient height, while others join you from their stools on the outer bar side.

Of course, rules are meant to be broken. As time goes on, kitchen island vs. breakfast bar means less as the options for both overlap. Dimension Design-Build-Remodel specializes in customizing your kitchen space, as our goal is always to meet your lifestyle and needs for maximum convenience and the style of your choice. Call 262-402-6602 or complete our contact form to set up a meeting with our creative team and get started on a wonderful new kitchen that best suits you.