What Is a Kitchen “Work Triangle” and Is It Important?

triangleThe work triangle is a concept employed by kitchen designers to make work more efficient in the kitchen and prevent wasted motion. It was popularized and named in the 1940s, though the principle of having an efficient kitchen is much older.

This Complete Home Remodeling Guide discusses the importance of a well-designed work triangle and the benefits it will produce in your kitchen.

What is the Kitchen Work Triangle?

As you know, a triangle has 3 points. In the kitchen work triangle, the points are the refrigerator, the kitchen sink and the range/cooktop. When planning the layout for a kitchen, you and your kitchen designer will determine the most effective arrangement, reducing your work and making it easier and more enjoyable to prepare meals.

In some kitchens, especially where space is limited, two of the three components might lay along the same line. The design concept of an efficient kitchen is more important than it being shaped like a triangle.

In addition, when doing a kitchen remodel you should also factor in work space on a countertop or an island. If you enjoy preparing meals that take lots of hands-on work, then having convenient workspace in or near the triangle is essential.

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Kitchen Work Triangle Principles

While there are no universal rules, there are a few rules of thumb for designing a work triangle.

Triangle legs should be 4’ to 8’ long. Shorter distances produce crowding. Longer legs produce extra work. Secondly, the sum of all the sides should be 12-25 feet. There should be at least 42” walkways if one person is usually cooking and 48” if two people are usually doing the work. Through traffic should be kept out of the triangle if possible. Cabinets should not jut out into the walkways by more than one foot.

Benefits of the Kitchen Work Triangle

Having a well-designed work triangle in your kitchen is important for several reasons:

  • Walking and other motion is reduced – it is ergonomic
  • It produces better use of all the space in the kitchen
  • An efficient work triangle makes the most of a small kitchen
  • It can accommodate more than one cook if necessary

Designing a Great Work Triangle for Your Kitchen

A design pro can help you produce a kitchen work triangle you’ll really love. Work with the designer to achieve your goals for the space, incorporating the elements you want while learning from the experience of the designer. The result will be a remodeled kitchen that meets or exceeds your high expectations.

For guides on bathroom remodelingkitchen remodelingbasement remodeling, and outdoor remodeling projects, visit our helpful learning articles for tips and tricks!

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