Kitchen Layout 101: Work Triangles or Work Zones?



Deciding on a layout is one of the most important parts of planning a kitchen remodeling project. The layout determines how efficient and safe your day-to-day kitchen tasks will be. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two of the most popular principles behind kitchen layouts: the kitchen triangle and work zones.

The Kitchen Triangle

First introduced in the 1940s, the kitchen triangle is a concept built around comfort and efficiency. During this time, households had relatively small kitchen spaces with bulky appliances. The work triangle ensured that users could access three points with ease: the range for cooking, the sink for food prep and the refrigerator for food storage.

In an ideal work triangle setup, the distance between any of the triangle’s two points should not be less than four feet or greater than nine feet, and all three sides of the triangle should total from 13 to 26 feet. This provides ample room to move about while ensuring efficiency, making it ideal for homes with small to mid-size kitchens.

Kitchen Work Zones

Gradual changes in the size of appliances and in the way we use kitchens resulted in a slow evolution from work triangles to work zones. The kitchen triangle is far from obsolete and will always make sense in some homes; however, the growth in popularity of open-plan and single-wall kitchens led kitchen remodelers and designers to rethink how these spaces should be laid out.

Kitchen work zones are grouped according to a specific task or use, and can be incredibly versatile. In one zone, you might find the refrigerator, pantry and possibly a wine fridge or chest freezer. The cooktop may be grouped with other “hot zone” appliances, such as a coffee maker, a toaster and a microwave oven. Then you have the prep and cleanup station, where you’ll find the sink, dishwasher, storage areas for prep tools and, of course, plenty of free counter space.

Which One Should You Choose?

The main thing to consider when choosing between the two concepts is your kitchen’s floor area. Work triangles make the most sense in tighter spaces, while work zones are ideal for roomier kitchens. Work zones also make sense in households where more than one person tends to work in the kitchen at the same time. Need help deciding? Run it past a trusted kitchen renovation expert!

Let’s Start a Conversation!

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Huntsville is ready to create a kitchen layout that meets your vision and expectations. Call us today at (256) 203-9451 or fill out our contact form to schedule an in-home or virtual appointment! Our service areas include all of Huntsville as well as Moore’s Mill, Redstone Arsenal, Harvest, Hazel Green and the neighboring areas.

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