September 12, 2008, Newsletter Issue #17: The Kitchen Work Triangle

Tip of the Week

When you hire a kitchen designer to help you remodel your kitchen layout, you might hear him or her talk about the work triangle. This is one way to organize your thoughts as you look at kitchen layout options.

The kitchen work triangle is a path between the refrigerator, stove, sink and dishwasher. Considering the location of the trash compactor is also key in creating a good work flow. As much as possible, this triangle should be located away from traffic patterns in the kitchen. Ideally, the total distance around this triangle you create should be no more than 27 square feet. Each leg should be no bigger than nine feet. That way you will be able to move about the triangle, going from the fridge to the sink and stove without much effort.

After a meal is served, you can work from the sink, trash compactor and dishwasher easily and without traffic causing unnecessary accidents. Newer islands, which are large blocks of counter space, seating and cabinets placed in the middle of your kitchen, make creating a triangle fairly easy. However, make sure any seating designed at the island is well away from the triangle and will not interfere with it. If you entertain a lot, make sure this island offers space to serve guests that is outside of the triangle. If you have a galley kitchen (described as one long rectangular space) creating this work triangle will be a little more challenging but it can still be done. The same is true of a U-shaped kitchen. The result of your planning may not be a triangle per se, but a kitchen designer can help you adjust this concept to the space you have.

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