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Kitchen work triangle


To make your kitchen functional, it's all in the beginning stages. This is where a designer or architect will be most influential for your custom home or remodel.

Many don't realize the importance and effectiveness that a well planned kitchen helps with the convenience of cooking, especially for those home chefs. There is a process to the design of a kitchen which is most commonly referred to as a the "Kitchen Work Triangle". This triangle connects the three main cooking areas within the kitchen; stove, sink and refrigerator (it can also include an oven if separate from the stove). These three points connect to create an oblique triangle with acute angles depending on your layout of kitchen. TIP: Distance between appliances should be between 4'-0" and 9'-0" while the sum of each side should not exceed 26'-0". The distance between angles is an important aspect to space planning a kitchen. It can make kitchens feel inconvenient going back and forth or too small to work in.


The different types of kitchen layouts include; L shaped, U shaped, Galley, Single Wall, Island and Outdoor. In certain areas, especially with island configurations, you may end up with more than one work triangle to configure the appliances around. L-shaped kitchens are the most common kitchen layout.


L shaped kitchen layout


U shaped kitchen layout

Also try to place the kitchen sink as close to directly across from the stove as possible for better accessibility. TIP: Single Wall layouts is most commonly used in very small kitchens but this can still be accomplished by separating them aligned between 4'-0".


Galley kitchen layout

Single Wall kitchen layout


It is also good to minimize traffic flow from this triangle or further the crossing of main areas away from work areas. This will allow the cook to be near their major work areas without being interfered by creating the most functional kitchen. Island kitchens can be very effective but can also interfere if they are too large and spread out.


Island kitchen layout

Outdoor kitchen layout

There's never a specific layout to use since every house's design is different, but trying to keep the sink in the middle of the triangle will always help with spacing. This is because many cooking processes involve going to or from the sink, you normally take produce from the fridge to the sink to wash or cut up food near the sink and take to the stove to cook. Not every kitchen will be able to create an appropriate work triangle but follow these tips and you will create the most efficient kitchen while cooking.


Space Planning a kitchen in 3D

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