What Is the Kitchen Work Triangle & How to Incorporate it Into Your Remodel?

Inspiring kitchen design since the 1940s, the kitchen work triangle incorporates positioning the stove, sink and refrigerator into a user-friendly layout. The goal is to create the best possible – and therefore, most efficient – work area in the busiest room in many a home.

Let’s further explore the kitchen work triangle and see how you can include it in your remodel.

Is the Kitchen Work Triangle Still Relevant in Today’s Kitchens?

You know that saying, if it ain’t broke…

There’s a reason the kitchen work triangle has been used in homes for almost 80 years. It works. However, for today’s ever-evolving, busy, home chefs (and the wide range in kitchen sizes), a little tweaking of the guidelines can go a long way.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, “no leg of the triangle should be less than four feet or more than nine feet. The sum of the three triangle sides should not exceed 26 feet.” More importantly, no major traffic patterns should flow through the triangle.

Therefore, taking into consideration the size of your kitchen, you could use the NKBA guidelines as just that – a guide.

Kitchen Work Triangle Layouts

There is no black and white answer to which kitchen layouts work best for the work triangle. Because when it comes down to it, it’s all about lifestyle, practicality, taste and personal style. Also… kitchen shape and size. For example – due to its narrowness, a kitchen work triangle may not work best in a galley kitchen. However, this may also be the case for an expansive kitchen with islands and other features not conducive to this layout.

Other than that, if the space to freely move around is there, a kitchen work triangle should fit. The thing to remember is that you want to be able to freely move from sink to fridge to stove (in random order) so you can most efficiently get the job done.

Adding a Kitchen Work Triangle During a Remodel

The great thing about a remodel is you can truly take the kitchen work triangle into consideration. You want your kitchen to work for you. Don’t panic about the four feet, nine feet guidelines. Maybe your triangle needs to be a little bigger. Maybe you want to add two sinks (put it on your wishlist).

Things to consider before you remodel:

  • Think about your current kitchen: How well does it work for you? What would you do differently?
  • Take current kitchen measurements: Do you need to add space? Take away space? Remove things blocking the lines of your triangle?
  • Make a wish list: Really think about the functionality of your kitchen. Do you want to have a spot for homework? Have you always wanted a wet bar? How much prep space do you dream about at night? These are all things to consider before you determine the layout of your kitchen remodel.

The kitchen work triangle is a great guide – but that is all that it is… a guide. Take the time to think about your needs and pay close attention to the size of your space, your wishlist, and exactly how you want to set up your new kitchen workspace. From there, it should a