Should your kitchen island have a sink or hob? Kitchen designers reveal this choice is best

Hob, sink or both? We asked the experts which to choose and how to plan it into your design

HUSK kitchen island with sink
(Image credit: Husk)

Kitchen islands are one of the most exciting design elements in a cooking space. As somewhere to dine, socialise and cook you want to make sure you're utilising the extra space as well as possible, so when it comes to planning should you choose a sink or hob for your kitchen island?

Designing a kitchen is no simple task. Incorporating enough storage, arranging appliances in a functional format and choosing a style that you love will require careful planning and some compromise. Kitchen island ideas aren't exempt from this problem - as the centrepiece of the room you want it to be beautiful but it also needs to serve a key function for your household.

Perhaps you need a spacious sink for additional dirty dishes when hosting or you want more room around a hob for a more social cooking environment, an island is the optimum place for positioning either of these, it just depends on what works for you. So, we spoke to kitchen designers for their advice on which kitchen island layout idea to choose and how to factor a sink or hob into the design.

Should your kitchen island have a sink or hob?

Kitchen island sink pro and cons

Harvey Jones Arbor Kitchen Island Sink

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Sink positioning is a divisive subject. Some homeowners want a pretty view while they wash up so choose to place a sink under a window, whereas others want it as out of sight as possible to keep dirty dishes away from plain sight.

If you're in the latter camp, placing a sink on a kitchen island might not be right for you. Focusing on the aesthetic value of your kitchen might mean that super practical areas are better placed off-centre so that they don't become the centre of attention within a design.

However, there are some clear positives to positioning a sink on an island, and if you choose a super deep style, you can avoid the issue of dirty dishes being on show.

'Some people find it a bit too messy to have the sink on the kitchen island due to water splashing etc. however, this is a matter of personal preference. Incorporating a sink into your kitchen island can be incredibly handy. Whether this is a prep sink, a constantly-in-use sink or your main sink it can look beautiful and streamlined,' says William Durrant, owner of Herringbone.

Ludlow in Limestone and Green Olives 4

(Image credit: Magnet)

If you do decide to go for a sink on your kitchen island, William recommends to 'Make sure you have the space required within the island to store the pipes work that goes with these and make sure that you are ready to give up any storage space that the sink may take up.'

There are also so many kitchen sink ideas that to turn a practical area into a stylish and on-trend design feature. Belfast sinks are a particularly popular choice for an island as you can afford to choose a deeper option without eating into kitchen island storage space. This added depth will also help to keep dirty plates out of immediate sight.

Kitchen island hob pros and cons

Husk two tone slab kitchen with island

(Image credit: Husk)

A kitchen island acts as a hub for cooking, dining and socialising. It's a simple way to get all of the family together while helping whoever is cooking to still join in on the fun. So it's no wonder that choosing to place a hob on a kitchen island is a common decision.

'Having a hob on the island can make the design super sociable as you are facing your guests, family or friends whenever you're preparing food. Think electric hob, induction hob or gas hob, there are many options for incorporating a hob into your kitchen island design,' explains William.

A purple kitchen with a hob at the island with a pot and herbs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Foster)

Although placing a hob on an island creates a social cooking area that will make dinner times much more enjoyable, you want to make sure the island isn't overcome by pots, pans and other cooking paraphernalia. When an island is also somewhere to dine, keeping it clean and tidy is key.

William adds, 'The main element to consider is to make sure you can fit in the extractor fan within the island and make sure you don’t mind storage being taken up by this. Some clients find having the hob on the kitchen island a tad messy, however, it is a matter of personal preference and taste.'

Dave Young, founder of HUSK Kitchens has the perfect solution for this. 'A downdraft extractor hob ideal for this application, as it makes placement much more versatile. Instead of being drawn upwards, steam and grease are pulled into the island, before being filtered, with the residual air recirculated into the room,' he explains.


When it comes to planning a kitchen design, the best choice is one that works for your lifestyle and property. Consider how your day-to-day life unfolds and then assess whether you would benefit from having more space to cook (if so, a hob might be best) or if you maybe need a larger sink to accommodate a growing family.

William adds, 'There is also the option to include both the sink and the hob on the kitchen island. This can be a prep sink which is very handy for preparing food in front of people or even used as a wine cooler by filling it with ice. Being able to fit both on the kitchen island can create an extremely functional cooking space as nothing is far from each other.'

No matter which you choose, a kitchen island is a prime opportunity to situate an appliance or sink as it allows you to spread the core parts of your kitchen across the space, creating a more functional layout.

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).