The Built EnvironmentWeekly Columns

The Kitchen Work Triangle

by: - September 29, 2016
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By Jillian La Rocque
Marketing & Sales Officer for The Millenia Group of Companies

Today we are indoors and in the kitchen. How often do we really put thought into the layout of our kitchen? The layout greatly affects the experience. The main element of this layout, the work triangle, makes all the difference in the world. The kitchen is typically the most used room in any house, and an efficient kitchen is typically a key point in having a happy life. But how do you layout an efficient kitchen? You start with a good work triangle.

The kitchen work triangle is the centerpiece of most kitchen layouts. The goals of a good kitchen work triangle are to place the three most common work sites the most efficient distance apart and to minimize traffic through the work zone.

The three main work sites are:
• The refrigerator (the cold storage work site)
• The sink (the cleaning/preparation work site)
• The stove (the cooking work site)

These represent the three points of the kitchen work triangle. If you place these too far away from each other you waste a lot of steps while preparing a meal. If they are too close to each other you have a cramped kitchen without any place to work.

Kitchen Work Triangle Basics:
• Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet.
• The total of all three legs should be between 12 and 26 feet.
• No obstructions (cabinets, islands, etc.) should intersect a leg of the work triangle.
• Household traffic should not flow through the work triangle.

Many kitchens today serve many different functions other than meal preparation. Consider factors such as your desire for a mini bar, a large island, a desk for home/office work, or multiple sinks in your kitchen when planning your kitchen triangle layout.

It is also important to note that the lengths of the triangle does not have to be equal, the shape of the triangle will depend on the shape of your kitchen. In some cases the kitchen triangle layout may not be practical or possible to incorporate into your design however if this can be implemented it would be wise to take advantage of the opportunity. The layout is relatively simple and can save time and money.

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