Maximize Kitchen Efficiency With a Kitchen Work Triangle

Posted on
Having a kitchen work triangle maximizes the flow in your kitchen and creates an efficient and effective space. The main appliances and features used in the kitchen are the sink, refrigerator and stove and kitchen experts refer to the imaginary lines and the three points that connect them as the work triangle. Whether your kitchen floor plan is L-shape, U-shape or features an island, there is sure to be work triangle in it. Discovering an efficient work triangle or adding one to your kitchen is definitely beneficial to how you work in your kitchen as well as adds value to your home. The work triangle is a logical arrangement of the stove, fridge and sink and when you have just the right amount of distance between them, it cuts down on your wasted steps when maneuvering around the kitchen. This ensures that you’re making the most use of your space. It places all the essential units of the kitchen close to the cook but not too close where it ends up feeling cramped. Considering how busy life can get, wasted steps equates to wasted time, and no one wants that. The kitchen work triangle model was developed in the 1940s after World War II. During those times, it was primarily the housewife who cooked and took care of the duties of the home. Although kitchen sizes were smaller back then than they are today, it was still important to create an effective working area for the homemaker to get the most things done each day. Here are some examples of how a work triangle can be set up: kitchen work triangle Today, most kitchens have grown in size to accommodate more than one cook but the essence of the kitchen design has remained the same with a work triangle and functional work zone. A work zone is typically a designated area for what you consider are the main functions of your kitchen: prepping, cooking and cleaning. You can also set up additional zones such as baking, eating and studying. Like the kitchen triangle, having specified zones for the tasks you perform regularly maximizes your space and creates the most effective use of the kitchen without sacrificing design and aesthetics. Designers from the National Kitchen and Bath Association recommend the following work triangle dimensions:
  • No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet (1.2 m) or more than 9 feet (2.7 m).
  • The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).
  • Cabinets or other obstacles should not intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 12 inches (30 cm).
  • There should be no major traffic flow through the triangle.
  • A full-height obstacle, such as a tall cabinet, should not come between any two points of the triangle.
Aran Cucine Italian kitchen cabinets
Aran Cucine Ylenia Collection
This isn’t to say that the work triangle is without its flaws. We know that not all kitchens are created equal and people have their personal preferences in their home design. It would also be geometrically impossible to have a kitchen triangle in a straight-wall kitchen design. The work triangle also assumes that a kitchen only has three main essential units and only one person cooking. As kitchen sizes have grown significantly over the years, many people have added additional features (such as coffee makers, steam ovens and dishwashers) and use more than three stations at any given time. Also previously mentioned, some homes have two, even three people, who share the cooking tasks. Though home designers still respect the idea of the kitchen triangle, they are not against coloring outside the lines when drafting a kitchen blueprint. Designers also consider the homeowners preference, lifestyle and needs when designing a kitchen. You should decide what your functional requirements are for your kitchen and if a work triangle isn’t something you see fit for your design, it doesn’t have to be a law you abide by; it’s merely a suggestion from designers.