The Kitchen Work Triangle

Having a good layout for your kitchen is important, because the kitchen should be an efficient and pleasant area in which to prepare meals and do related tasks.

The “work triangle” is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop. To refrigerator and finally back to the sink.  When starting your kitchen planning, keep this triangle in mind.

The NKBA suggests these guidelines for the work triangles.

  • The sum of the work triangle’s three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet.
  • The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches
  • If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, the preparation area,, or refrigerator.
  • No major  traffic patterns should cross through the triangle
  • Efficiency is the work triangle’s main goal, as it keeps all the major work stations near the cook. Without placing them so close that the kitchen becomes cramped. The work triangle is also designed to minimize traffic within the kitchen so the cook isn’t interrupted or interfered with.  Generally, the counter space within or adjacent to this triangle is used for food preparation.  Since this is the busiest area of the kitchen, all of your frequently used items, from utensils and culinary equipment to cooking products, should be stored in the area of first use.  Anything that isn’t used for preparation or cooking can be stored outside of the work triangle.

By understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and how you want your kitchen to function, you’ll be more likely to create the kind of kitchen you’ve always wanted.  Today, kitchens are often viewed as the hub of the home as well as a social center for family and friends.  Planning your kitchen can be a challenge, but the rewards you’ll receive are very much worth the time and effort and Gateway Kitchen and Bath is here to help you all the way.  I can evaluate your current work triangle and what the ideal work triangle in your new kitchen would be.

Next blog I’ll talk about the newer triangle concept, called the “Zone”

Ann Worden

Manger/Designer of  Gateway Kitchen n Bath

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