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What Is the Kitchen Work Triangle?


The kitchen work triangle.

The kitchen work triangle.

Chris Adams, copyright 2008, Licensed to About.com
Question: What Is the Kitchen Work Triangle?
The kitchen is typically the most used room in any house. And an efficient kitchen is typically a key point in having a happy life. If you do not believe me, try living with a poorly laid out kitchen and watch your quality of life plummet.

But how do you layout an efficient kitchen? You start with a good work triangle.

Answer: The kitchen work triangle is probably the most researched and applied ergonomic principle around. It is the centerpiece of most kitchen layouts. The goals of a good kitchen work triangle are to place the three most common work sites the most efficient distance apart and to minimize traffic through the work zone.

In the traditional kitchen the three main work sites are:

  • Refrigerator - the cold storage work site
  • Sink - the cleaning/preparation work site
  • Stove - the cooking work site

These represent the three points of the kitchen work triangle. If you place these too far away from each other you waste a lot of steps while preparing a meal. If they are too close to each other you have a cramped kitchen with out any place to work.

Kitchen Work Triangle Basics

  • Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet
  • The total of all three legs should be between 12 and 26 feet
  • No obstructions (cabinets, islands, etc.) should intersect a leg of the work triangle
  • Household traffic should not flow through the work triangle
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