The Kitchen Work Triangle

The (Increasing) Efficiency of the Kitchen Work Triangle

One of the most important spaces in a home has always been the kitchen. It’s can be a communal place of bonding; it’s a place where some choose to go to relieve stress; but above all it’s a place you go to prepare meals for you and your family. There’s a lot that goes into cooking, which is why many have tried to maximize efficiency when it comes to kitchen remodeling and kitchen designs overall. One of the most popular and tried-and-true kitchen designs is known as the Kitchen Work Triangle, which breaks down the location of the refrigerator, stove and sink in your kitchen.

The Kitchen Work Triangle has been around for a while. The goal is to allow the cook to move more freely around the kitchen to retrieve things from the fridge or the stove, refill water form the sink, etc.

Properly Constructing the Regaled Triangle

Measuring for the kitchen work triangle includes taking great care to get the relation between the refrigerator, stove, and sink just right. Since it’s been around for so long, this has become a sort of standard kitchen design rule:

  • The triangle’s three sides should not equal a total greater than 26 feet
  • Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet
  • A kitchen island should not intersect the triangle by more than 12 inches
  • The primary sink should be across from the refrigerator or any additional cooking surface or preparation area
  • The triangle should be constructed in a way to minimize other traffic cutting through the kitchen

Making the Efficiency Triangle Even More Efficient

Now that you have the three main points in place to form the outline of the triangle, there are some other things you should keep in mind to make it work even more efficiently for you. These include ensuring that you have a certain amount of workspace next to the kitchen (to allow you to place the items nearby as you remove them rather than walking to the other side of the kitchen to put them down and then walking back to retrieve more).

Even if you can’t create the perfect kitchen because of space limitations that can be present in layouts in which you must have all appliances on a single wall, for instance, you can still give yourself enough space between them. You can also keep in mind that it will be more efficient to have the stove and the sink on the handle side of your refrigerator so you don’t have to worry about moving around the door so much. There are endless variations of the Kitchen Triangle you can use to increase your cooking efficiency, and more developments on it are being made as the years pass.

The (More) Modern Triangle

Since originating in the 1940s, the concept has been evolving and becoming more and more customizable to suit the needs of varying types of cooks. Today, the kitchen is a space that serves multiple functions, and multiple people might need to use it for separate purposes at any given time. This has led to the idea of kitchen zones taking a little bit of prominence over the main kitchen triangle.

Kitchen zones work as sort of mini triangles within the larger one. This allows enough space for these multiple parties to work without constantly running into each other or invading their space (any more than they already have). These zones can be designed for specific elements of the cooking process:

  • Designated food prep stations for cutting meats, fruits, or vegetables
  • Specified baking centers for tasks like rolling dough
  • Areas delegated for clean up or dirty dish and utensil placement or disposal

The creation of these kitchen zones can be accomplished by adding extra materials such as smaller, secondary sinks to be used by the secondary cooking parties as well. And they are all things that can be taken into consideration after measuring for the kitchen work triangle is initially completed. The relation between the refrigerator, stove, and sink is of primary importance.

Shaping the Future of Your Kitchen

Whether you’re building a kitchen from scratch or going through a bit of kitchen remodeling, this simple and standard kitchen design rule can be used to your advantage. Plus, you don’t have to be afraid of taking risks with the overall design. Following the basic measurement guidelines means you can take other liberties to make your kitchen work efficiently for you, too. What is efficient for someone else, you might know would not be as efficient for you.

Our advice for you in this endeavor: take risks, don’t stress. As long as you take care to think through the layout of all of the important cooking elements you will use, you’ll be on your way to cooking and baking more efficiently than ever before in the kitchen of your dreams.

Learn more about the kitchen remodeling services provided by Hatchett Contractors

About Ron Hatchett

Mr. Hatchett studied Business Management at Old Dominion University and Architectural Design at Thomas Nelson Community College. He holds a building technical license and is RBC and CBC certified. He was a past participant and winner in the annual showcase, Parade of Homes. Mr. Hatchett is member of the National Association of Home Builders, Peninsula Housing and Builders Association, and Better Business Bureau. His motivation for starting Hatchett Contractors, Inc. was his family and his skills in the building and remodeling industry.