Over the past few weeks, we have discussed a multitude of addition options, ideal for expanding your home. Now we will talk about what you can do in that space! In our next round of blogs, we will review some basic layouts appropriate for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, stairs, and walkways. Proper planning will not only lead to a successful remodel, but also provide a space that will be functional for years to come.
This week we will discuss the kitchen work triangle. The traditional work triangle includes the refrigerator, sink, and stove. A work triangle places these three items – the most commonly used items in your kitchen – an efficient distance apart to minimize the amount of traffic distance and maximize kitchen efficiency. The basics of a work triangle include connecting the points between your refrigerator, sink and stove with each point of the triangle. Each leg of the triangle should be 4 – 9 feet apart, and the total of all three legs should be 12 – 26 feet. Be careful to plan the work triangle so no obstructions (cabinets, islands, etc.) intersect a leg of the triangle. In addition, household traffic should not flow through the work triangle.
This picture shows the basics of a kitchen work triangle. The triangle layout should start with the sink. When thinking about the placement for a sink, keep in mind you also need space for the dishwasher. After the sink is placed, you need to plan your food preparation area. Be mindful of how far you have to carry the pots and pans from the stove to the sink.
To be efficient, the food preparation area’s placement should be planned for between the sink and the stove. This allows the needed space for various items when cooking, but also allows you to easily move items from the stove to the sink as needed.
Now that you have the sink and stove placed, you need to plan for the refrigerator. You want to place the refrigerator in a way that ensures easy access to the kitchen while prepping and cooking your food as well as easy access to the kitchen table when setting the table for meals.
Because the layout described above is not always an option in all homes, we will discuss some work triangle alternatives. Keep in mind your work triangle should not have anything intersecting into any of the sides of the triangle.
The pictures to the left include a work triangle designed for a kitchen with an island. In the top picture, the triangle is not intersected with the island.
In the bottom picture, the island intersects the work triangle. In this example, the kitchen is not as efficient as possible when prepping and cooking meals. This may seem obvious or might not seem like it is a big deal. However, keep in mind that the kitchen is the most commonly used space in the home and, with your busy lifestyle, you need to make this space as efficient and functional as possible!