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What is the Kitchen Work Triangle?

Last Updated May 16, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

The kitchen is definitely one of the busiest rooms in the entire house.  Because it so often used, it is important that it is as efficient as possible and the key to efficiency is having a good kitchen work triangle.  What exactly is a work triangle, though?  We outline what you need to know here but if you have any more questions or need more advice on implementing a good work triangle in your kitchen, your local kitchen designer will be only too happy to help.

What Makes Up a Work Triangle?

The kitchen work triangle is made up of the three main work sites or work areas in the kitchen, and these are the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove or cooktop.  Each of these three items makes up a point of the work triangle.  The key is to locate these three items a strategic distance from each other – too far apart and you’re wasting a lot of time when preparing a meal but too close and you’ll feel far too cramped up.

Implementing Your Kitchen Work Triangle

As stated previously, when you are implementing your work triangle, you need to make sure that you don’t make it too big or too small.  The total length of the work triangle should be between 4 and 6 metres and not more than 7 metres.  This should give you plenty of room to move about freely and give you maximum comfort and efficiency when preparing meals.

One very important thing that you should keep in mind when designing and implementing your kitchen work triangle is to make sure that there is nothing obstructing the work triangle and that regular pedestrian traffic (people coming in and out of the kitchen) doesn’t go through the work triangle either.

When the Work Triangle Just Doesn’t Work

Unfortunately, the work triangle, while being an excellent concept, just doesn’t work in all kitchens.  An excellent example of this is when you have a single wall or a galley style kitchen.  In this case, you are often best to think about the natural “flow” that you have when preparing food.  In the case of a single wall kitchen, you may want to organise it so that you move linearly from the fridge to the sink to the stove.

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