Home    Learning Center    How-To Guides    Keep the Kitchen Accessible: The Kitchen Work Triangle

Keep the Kitchen Accessible: The Kitchen Work Triangle

The kitchen work triangle is the distance between the refrigerator, the stove and the sink. These three lengths are the most important paths for preparation, cooking and clean up in the kitchen. Determining the distance between these points is an important part to consider when doing a kitchen remodel. If the distances are too close together the kitchen will feel like a cramped space that is hard to work in. If these areas are too far apart all important kitchen tasks will be strenuous and inefficient.

There are four basic types of kitchen set ups that can be adjusted to accommodate a proper kitchen work triangle. We have listed these designs below in order to help with your remodeling project.

U-Shaped Kitchen DesignThe U-Shaped kitchen is enclosed on three sides. The sides are made up of counter space and cupboards. The counter space is ideal for preparation and the cupboards allow for additional storage space. Downfalls of this space include difficult access to cupboards near the stove and if the space is not large enough there will not be enough room for an island in the middle.

Corridor Shaped Kitchen DesignThe corridor or galley design when set up properly limits the distance between the refrigerator, sink and range. This allows for easy and efficient movement throughout the work triangle. The downside is limited counter space and the inability to have more than one cook in the kitchen at a time.

Peninsula Shaped Kitchen DesignThe peninsula design opens up the space to the dining room, but is limited to a very small work triangle which can lead to a crowded feeling. Bar stools can be added to the peninsula to connect the common space to the dinning area for extra seating.

L-Shaped Kitchen DesignThe L-Shaped kitchen has become a popular kitchen design due in part to the functionality of the kitchen work triangle. In this design the work triangle is virtually uninterrupted by traffic. This design is easily manipulated; the leg of the “L” can easily be extended to create additional counter space and storage. If the kitchen is large, one side of the triangle may be longer than anticipated.

When designing the kitchen work triangle in your own kitchen, it is important to remember that no side of the triangle should be shorter than four feet or longer than nine feet, and the overall perimeter of the triangle should be no larger than a total of 26 feet. It is easy to forget to plan how the refrigerator and oven doors open up in to the triangle; try to take this into consideration so that when these appliances are opened the triangle is not being constricted in any way.