What is the Kitchen Work Triangle?

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association the work triangle is an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and back to the sink.

The work triangle connects the three main work areas in the kitchen, those main work areas being the sink, the range and the refrigerator.

The goal of the work triangle is efficiency. Keeping all major workstations near the person who is cooking 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.

 Work Triangle Rules:

  • The sum of the work triangle’s three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet. (Stop by our showroom, we’ll show you.)
  • The work triangle should not cut through an island by more than 12 inches.
  • If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area or refrigerator.
  • No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.

 Is the work triangle right for your kitchen?

Think about how you get around your kitchen. What annoys you? What do you like?

Would having a work triangle solve your problems or create problems? Take into consideration the amount of space you may need to take away or add on if you want to update your current work triangle to make it more efficient. Think about the other uses for your kitchen besides cooking, will it be a place for your children to do homework, do you need a desk or maybe want a bar?

The work triangle isn’t the right solution for everyone. It assumes that a kitchen will have three major workstations and only one person cooking. Today, it’s common for more than one person to be cooking at the same time in the kitchen. As kitchens grow in size and shared cooking duties arise, the regular work triangle isn’t always practical.

The concept for the kitchen work triangle was developed in the 1940’s. In the 1940’s kitchens were very small and appliances were large. The kitchen was a space where only cooking took place. Today’s kitchens are different; it’s a place to socialize with family and friends. This change in lifestyle has inspired new layouts that build on the old logic of efficiency in the kitchen workspace.

The work triangle is just a suggestion. At the end of the day let your lifestyle determine the functionality of your kitchen.

If you’re interested in learning more about kitchen layouts contact us to speak to one of our design consultants.