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Kitchen Triangle Layout That Makes Life So Much Easier

Have you ever heard of the concept of the kitchen work triangle? We wouldn’t fault you if you haven’t since it’s been around for over 100 years now. But believe it or not, it’s actually said to be one of the most basic kitchen concepts in terms of aesthetics as well as efficiency. In this article, we’re going to run through exactly what the kitchen work triangle is all about and why it still works even to this day.

What Is the Kitchen Work Triangle?

The kitchen work triangle is a concept that establishes official kitchen layouts that are both functional and aesthetic. The basic kitchen triangle layout is comprised of three points; the stove, the refrigerator, and the sink. 
Here’s a diagram to better illustrate the concept:
kitchen triangle
In order for this triangle to work, homeowners have to ensure that those three points are closed but not that close to one another. The National Kitchen and Bath Association says that each of these points needs to measure between 4 and 9 feet. This way, a cook can have quick and easy access to their food storage, cooking, and cleaning areas while offering sufficient space between them in order to avoid clutter.

How to Create an Effective Kitchen Work Triangle

To get the best out of your kitchen using the kitchen triangle rule, take heed of the following rules:

  • Each of the three points should be between 4 and 9 feet
  • The sum of all three sides of this layout shouldn’t be more than 26 feet
  • No serious traffic patterns should be encountered anywhere in this triangle
  • Not a single triangle side should cut through a peninsula or the island by more than 12 inches.
  • Cooks can create a second triangle by including a second sink to a fourth-wall peninsula or an island.

This is all well and good, but does the kitchen triangle rule still hold any merit in the present? That’s what we’re here to find out today.

Present-Day Kitchen Layout

kitchen triangle
Knowing whether the kitchen work triangle concept is still being applied today is quite subjective given how much times have changed. The reason why that may be the case is that nowadays kitchens are large and cooking stretches to both husband-and-wife as well as their children. 
What’s more, is that the kitchens of today serve other purposes then simply cooking. What this means is that kitchens are now places where we can dine, work, and be entertained. For this reason, the kitchen designs of today are not exclusively based around the work triangle approach anymore, but rather a work zone approach.

Kitchen Work Zones

Below are some of the most common kitchens own ideas that people of the modern era make use of:


This is when homeowners place a well-stocked tea and coffee shelf that people can have access to in the mornings, preferably really close to the breakfast table. Apart from holding coffee, this pantry can also house other breakfast items including a toaster and cereal.


A baking oven is placed in a location that is closest to drawers or cabinet that store dry goods. A low counter model is preferred for easy knitting.


Cookware can be stored in a drawer that’s close to the range, or even under the cooktop. An inset shelf closeby can provide easy access for every house spices, oils, as well as other essential for cooking.
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You can store several cleaning essentials including detergent, sprays, and trash bags in a cabinet, or a convenient pullout shelf. It would actually make sense to have this cabinet placed close to the sink.


In order to prevent kids from disrupting dinner preparations, parents store treats on a separate shelf away from cooking areas. For personal snacks, a low refrigerator drawer or shelf should be utilized.

Is the Kitchen Triangle Layout Obsolete?

With how much time has changed given priorities and essential needs, one has to wonder whether the kitchen triangle rule still holds out till today? Truth be told, there is no straightforward answer to this. 
Both the kitchen work layout and the kitchen works on the layout have their sets of pros and cons. But even though the triangle is the much older concept of the true, what’s all doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s outdated or obsolete.
As a matter of fact, when it comes to efficiency and convenience, the kitchen design triangle excels in flying colors. This is because the housewife or cook is within a strategic area of the kitchen where they’re neither too far apart nor too close to the kitchen essentials.
The segments of the kitchen triangle indicate traffic flow within the kitchen which creates an ideal rotational movement between the peeling/chopping (sink), the storage (refrigerator) and cooking (stove). The flow that this layout brings is in a manner that nothing impedes the flow.
In the end, it all depends on the priorities of the homeowners and other members of the family and what is more convenient, manageable and efficient for them. 
Alturas Homes interior designer Lauren says that a different configuration might be better. She says, “It would be ideal to have the sink in the center of the wall with some countertop space on either side and the stove and refrigerator on the ends of the ‘line’ so to speak.”
So it seems that the kitchen triangle concept still holds out to this day in that matter. But again, other families can opt for the kitchen work zone approach if they so choose.

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