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Out of all the rooms in your home that you could remodel, the kitchen is ultimately the most important one. It’s the heart of the home where you cook, entertain, and bond as a family.
It’s important to remember that kitchen design is not all about picking out countertops and backsplashes. You also need to think about your kitchen’s layout.
For a beautiful kitchen redesign that's also functional, incorporate the work triangle into your design plans.
In this guide, we’re going to break down exactly what the kitchen triangle is, and why you should have one.
What Is a Work Triangle, and How Does It Work?
The kitchen work triangle is all about maximizing efficiency. When you’re cooking, you want all of your necessities to be within reach.
A kitchen triangle design places the refrigerator, oven range, and sink in a triangle in relation to each other.
These areas are the most used spots in your kitchen, and putting them together in a triangle keeps them connected.
The kitchen triangle sounds simple enough, but any kitchen designer will tell you that it’s more specific than you might realize. For example, each appliance should be at least four feet, but not more than nine feet. The entire triangle should measure between 13 and 26 feet total.
It’s important to pay attention to the measurements between each appliance to make the work triangle work. If the appliances are too close together, the kitchen will feel extremely cramped. On the other hand, if they are too far apart, it isn’t functional or efficient.
The History of the Kitchen Triangle
The concept of the work triangle kitchen design goes all the way back to the 1940s. In those days, the kitchen was a purely functional space. It wasn’t a place for entertaining or family time.
Back then, kitchens were also smaller. Appliances were a new addition, and the early models were much larger than they are today. The work triangle helped to create a functional flow amidst these circumstances.
Modern-day kitchens are much more advanced than they were in the 1940s, but the work triangle kitchen design has stood the test of time. To this day, it is still a reliable way to layout your kitchen to get the most functional use out of it.
Plus, now that more people move in and out of the family kitchen, the work triangle is a helpful way to manage the flow of traffic. It can also help facilitate multi-purpose kitchens.
Nowadays, kitchens are also workstations for homework and working from home. Not to mention, many families eat at the breakfast bar. When you have a work triangle, you can keep the functional side of the kitchen in one area and have more space to allocate for other uses.
Can You Have a Kitchen Triangle Design With Island?
When the concept of the kitchen work triangle was first gaining popularity, most kitchens didn’t have islands. If they did have one, it was purely a workspace, not an eating area.
How does the kitchen triangle design work with an island? Essentially, it works the same way that it works in kitchens without islands. In some cases, an island makes creating a work triangle easier for kitchens that do not have a U-shaped or L-shaped layout.
However, there’s an additional rule. If one of your appliances, such as the sink, is installed on an island, the work triangle should not cut through more than 12 inches of the island. Larger kitchens will not have a problem with this, but adjustments may need to be made in smaller kitchens.
In particularly large kitchens, a second triangle can be added when you have an island. You can add a prep sink to your island and triangulate it to your oven range and refrigerator.
Some kitchen designers also include a “fourth wall” to the triangle with an additional sink.
Don’t Forget About Kitchen Work Zones
Another way to maximize efficiency and functionality in your kitchen is to consider different areas as “work zones.”
Work zones can include:
- The preparation zone for cooking
- The consumable goods zone
- The non-consumable goods zone
- The cooking zone
- The cleaning zone
Let’s break these down. The prep zone is where you chop vegetables, combine ingredients, and marinate meat. The consumable goods zone is where you keep your pantry items and refrigerated food.
The non-consumable zone is where your kitchenware goes, such as plates and cups. The cooking and cleaning zones for exactly what their names state.
You can combine the concept of the kitchen work triangle with work zones to design the perfect kitchen layout. For example, your prep zone should be between your refrigerator and sink so that you can easily gather your ingredients and wash your produce.
The cooking zone should be between your oven range and refrigerator, and the cleaning zone should be between the oven range and sink. When you design your kitchen with a work triangle, the kitchen zones naturally fall into place.
Choose the Best Materials for Your Kitchen Design
Hopefully, you feel inspired to redesign your kitchen to include a work triangle. The tried and true kitchen triangle is a great way to get as much function and efficiency possible from your kitchen design.
Every kitchen remodeling project needs high-quality materials that are both beautiful and high-performing. At Von Tobel, we’ve been providing contractors and homeowners in Indiana with the best supplies for decades.
Our goal is to meet our customer’s needs with high-performance products at a competitive price. Our team of experienced experts can help you choose the right materials for your kitchen.
Contact us today to get started with a free design consultation.