The Kitchen Work Triangle

The Kitchen Work Triangle

The Kitchen Work Triangle is a practical method to maximize the efficiency of a kitchen. The Work Triangle is defined by the three primary work centers of the kitchen drawn in the form of a triangle. The work centers consist of the food storage center, the food preparation center, the clean-up center.  In other word, the refrigerator, the range or cook top, and the sink. The total footage of the three sides of the triangle should measure between 12' and 26'. Less than 12' means your appliances are too close together and you may have a cramped kitchen. More than 26' means it may require more time and steps walking between the work centers. Location of doors and traffic flow is also a major factor in your kitchen layout. While there are many ways to lay out a kitchen, there are 6 basic designs listed below.

1. The Straight Kitchen- The Straight Kitchen is the simplest of all designs. It is usually found in apartments, smaller homes, or office kitchenets. All work centers are located on one wall. Countertop and storage space with this type of design is minimal. Use the straight kitchen design only when space is limited.


2. The Galley Kitchen- The Galley Kitchen has two opposing walls of cabinetry. More counter space is available but corners are present.  Aisle space should be at least 48" for one cook and 60” for two cooks to avoid running into each other.  In a Gallery Kitchen the work centers should be split to both sides of the kitchen.  Which two of the three work centers are on the same wall is not as important as having the work centers located on both sides of the kitchen. 


3. The L-Shaped Kitchen- The L-Shaped Kitchen is a more efficient design, providing ample counter space, good access to work centers, room for two cooks, and better traffic flow. This layout works well in medium sized kitchens.




4. The U-Shaped Kitchen- For larger kitchens, the U-Shaped Kitchen is also an efficient design. Counter space is ample, good access to work centers, and plenty of room for multiple cooks.

5. The Peninsula Kitchen- The Peninsula Kitchen is also an efficient design for larger kitchens and is similar in layout as the U-Shaped Kitchen. It provides lots of counter space, good access to work centers, and plenty of room for multiple cooks. An ideal kitchen seating and eating area could be created by adding a wide bar top to the peninsula providing a large work or serving area.


6. The Island Kitchen- The Island Kitchen adds useable counter top space substantially to the kitchen. The perimeter of the kitchen is defined depending on the placement of the island. A wide island top can provide a seating and eating area.  The island also, invites the possibilities for placing the sink or cook top in the center of the kitchen.

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