Defining the “Kitchen Triangle”

KitchenA kitchen can’t be laid out however you want. For the entire space to be functional, the floor plan has to be solid. It doesn’t have to dictate what you should do in it, instead of the other way around. Professionals from Flooring, Kitchen & Bath Design shares some design ideas below:

The Kitchen Triangle At A Glance

When it comes to kitchen ergonomics, one concept comes into play: the “kitchen triangle.” The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) defines the concept as an imaginary triangle that connects the sink, cooktop, and refrigerator. It is this triangle that the NKBA recommends homeowner to follow when designing their kitchens.

The three areas represent places where food is cleaned and prepared, where it’s store, and where it’s cooked. The triangle also recommends various distances from each point. All three sides of the triangle should be between 4 to 9 feet long, adding up to a total of 13 to 26 feet.

It’s All About Efficiency

The rationale behind this is that the three points of the triangle are the major focal points of all kitchen activity. They should at least offer enough space between them for movement, but also within reach. Efficiency is the key to making the triangle work. It aims to keep all major workstations near the cook, striking a good balance in terms of space.

A Few Criticisms

One criticism about the triangle exists, however: it works great for only one cook and a modest kitchen. What if there’s more space and cooks? American kitchens have grown gargantuan in the past several years, for one. The Home Company cited 720 square feet as the average kitchen size in 2012. That’s a far cry from the numbers from 2009, wherein kitchens topped out at just above 70 square meters. Obviously, the work triangle can prove ineffective in a sizeable kitchen with more workspaces than usual.

For this, it’s the job of the homeowner (and the kitchen contractor) to figure out what to do. What matters most is that a kitchen’s major workstations are kept within reach without getting the space cramped. That way, more work can be done in less time.