Can you add an island in your bathroom?

Upgrading a kitchen has been a popular remodeling job for several years now, and many renovations will add an island in the room. This feature will create an additional surface for food preparation, add more storage space, possibly allow a place for guests to socialize, and add a visually pleasing element to your home.

Islands have started to make their way into other rooms as well. Some spacious walk-in closets have islands to hold accessories, provide additional storage space for clothes, or otherwise provide a handy feature. And now islands are starting to appear in bathrooms as well.

Not surprisingly, bathroom islands provide the same benefits as islands in the kitchen or closet. Julie Ryan Evans, writing for, says they provide a storage option which is easily accessible from all sides. The island also creates a focal point for the bathroom and adds more counter space.

An island can easily substitute for a vanity. Danielle Blundell, writing for the home design site Apartment Therapy, says the island can serve as a double vanity, with two people each getting one side. The island might stop at the traditional sink height, or be built up with a mirror and cabinets.

By setting up an island, you can free up a considerable amount of floor space in the room. You may be able to turn the bathroom into a more relaxing space, adding features such as a comfortable chair or a makeup table.

You might want to install a purpose-built island, or you can create your own if there is enough space in the bathroom. Even adding an antique chest of drawers topped with a custom countertop can make the room much more interesting.

There are multiple options for building a bathroom island. Coats Homes, a custom home builder based in Dallas, says materials that work well in kitchen or bathroom islands can also transfer well to bathroom islands. Evans says the design doesn't necessarily have to match the existing materials in the bathroom, since the island can stand alone as its own element.

Still, you'll want to use a material that can stand up to the higher humidity levels present in the bathroom after a hot shower. Glass, porcelain, and tile are often popular choices for islands located in the bathroom.

Decide what elements you want to include in a bathroom island. Kurt Kreuger Architects, of Los Angeles, says you might locate a larger mirror elsewhere in the bathroom instead of placing it on the island. It's always useful to include drawers or cabinets in the island, but you can locate them out of sight from the bathroom door if you think they might detract from the island's visual appearance.

One obvious drawback to bathroom islands is that they won't be feasible in every bathroom, since the room needs to be spacious enough to let you walk around an island. It can also be costly to install an island with a sink or lighting, since you'll need to reroute plumbing and electrical connections.

For this reason, it may be prudent to add an island only during a larger renovation of the bathroom. If the whole space is being gutted and rebuilt, it will be considerably easier to incorporate an island in the design.


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