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5 Appliances To Place In Your Kitchen Island (Reviews/Ratings)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  October 27, 2014  |  3 Min. Read

Makeover Monday

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It's Makeover Monday: Every Monday we look at a professionally remodeled kitchen and/or bathroom and talk about what is good (and sometimes not so good) about that particular renovation. This article is designed to help you with your let's get to it.

I reread last weeks Makeover Monday about choosing a single vs. a double oven. It was more about the recent release of different components so you can really customize your cooking.

Most of these pictures were in kitchen islands. These types of kitchens did not really exist when I started at Yale. This has completely changed the way you should look at appliances, plumbing as well as lighting in your kitchen.



Islands have become popular in the last 15 years. Instead of having a formal dining room, kitchen and kitchen table, this has been combined into one great room. Now the kitchen is the hub of the house. It is the room to cook and entertain.

With that added space, you can place appliances far more strategically than you could in a simple or galley kitchen. We will look at the best 5 options here.

Top 5 Appliances To Place In Your Kitchen Island

5 - Sinks

I realize this is not an appliance, but placing a sink in an island is smart. Washing your hands, plates and veggies is a regular activity. Centralizing is a good idea. You can place a main sink in an island. If you have two people cooking, you can place a smaller veggie sink in the middle and main sink in another area. Sinks are available in any size from as small as 7 inches, so it is pretty easy to do.


4 - Wine Refrigerator / Beverage Center

Wine refrigerators and beverage centers are available in 15 and 24 inches widths. Beverage centers are refrigerators with a few bottles to store wine whereas wine refrigerators are for wine storage only. I like the aesthetics of the glass door in an island. Download our Undercounter Refrigerator Buyers Guide for more information about both products as well as refrigerators and icemakers.


3 - Refrigerator

If you have an island, you probably have a larger built in refrigerator. An additional smaller refrigerator is a good idea to allow easier access for the kids. I like the drawer models especially for that reason. Undercounter refrigerators are available in 15 and 24 inch widths as well as larger sizes at 30 and 36 inches.


2 - Microwaves / Speed Ovens

Speed ovens are microwave and cooking combinations. I really like the idea of placing a microwave or speed oven in the island for two reasons. Most people place microwaves too high in the kitchen cabinets. Removing hot items from high places is not a good idea.

Like the refrigerator, microwaves in an island are kid friendly. I like the microwave drawer the best, because you are less likely to drop hot food. It also looks more finished than a microwave and built in trim kit.

Small Tip: Sharp manufactures all the drawer microwaves. However, only Thermador, Bosch and Jenn-Air are flush to the cabinet. You can read more in our Speed and Steam Cooking Buyers Guide.


1 - Cooking

For entertaining, placing cooking in an island is the best idea. It allows you to talk to your guests or family face to face while preparing you meal.

You can place a cooktop or stove in the middle but venting properly becomes a consideration. You can read more about venting in our Ventilation Buying Guide. I will cover it more extensively next week.

Key Takeaways

First, with an island you can place any appliance almost anywhere in your kitchen. I would first determine how you would use your kitchen currently and build around that idea. Two cooks and kids are other considerations.

Remember: Having options is always good. Don’t be overwhelmed.

Additional Resources

Get our free Appliance Buying Guide with tips, trends and recommendations for all the best brands. Over 70,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

View our appliance buying guide


A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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