What Is the Kitchen Triangle?

What Is the Kitchen Triangle?

Layout is an undeniably important aspect of any kitchen renovation—get it right and you’ll forever enjoy being able to work effortlessly within the space, but get it wrong, and you’ll forever wish you did things differently.

When planning the layout for your new kitchen, you may have come across the concept of the “kitchen triangle”, but what is the kitchen triangle? 

Here we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about this golden principle of kitchen design to help you can plan the optimal layout for your new kitchen.

Key Summary

The kitchen triangle is a design principle that considers the relative location of key work areas within the kitchen to make it easier to work more efficiently.

What is a kitchen triangle

What Is the Kitchen Triangle?

Sometimes referred to as the ‘working triangle’ or the ‘golden triangle’, the kitchen triangle was first conceptualised in the 1940s in an attempt to maximise efficiency within the kitchen.

The concept draws a connection between the proximate location of key kitchen work zones, being the stove/cooktop, sink and refrigerator. The principle suggests that kitchen layouts which loosely form the shape of a triangle between these three areas are the easiest and most efficient to work in.

Is the Kitchen Triangle an Outdated Principle?

Even though the humble household kitchen has evolved significantly since the 1940s by welcoming plenty of new innovations and upgrades, many kitchen designers still uphold the concept of the kitchen triangle as the optimal kitchen layout.

While aesthetics are always an important element of kitchen design, functionality is unquestionably the most important, and in most kitchens, adopting a triangular layout between the three key work zones will create a space which is free of obstructions and enables free and easy movement around the space.

Having said that, modern households are vastly different to that of the past and many families now want to create dedicated zones in their kitchen for baking, food preparation, food storage, cleaning and a variety of other functions. In many cases, a flexible approach to the concept may be necessary to be able to accommodate all the modern features and conveniences we’ve now come to expect.

What’s the Ideal Distance Between Zones When Following the Kitchen Triangle Principle?

The size and footprint of every kitchen is different—for this reason, there’s no single dimension that will be suitable for every kitchen. However, it’s generally accepted that for the concept to work effectively, each leg of the triangle should measure between 1.2 and 2.7 meters in length, with the sum of all three sides no less than 4 metres and no more than 8 metres.

This generally provides ample room (but not too much room) to move quickly and easily between each of the zones whether you’re preparing meals, cooking or cleaning up.

Will the Kitchen Triangle Work in Every Kitchen?

With the exception of galley or single-wall kitchens, the kitchen triangle concept tends to work well in most kitchens—however, it is important not to get too hung up on the idea of creating a perfect triangle. 

Depending on your kitchen, you may be restricted to what’s workable within the individual space and the triangle may not always represent the optimal layout. It’s also important to keep aesthetics in mind. In some scenarios, focusing exclusively on creating a triangle could adversely affect the presentation of the kitchen.

How Can You Adopt the Kitchen Triangle With an Island Bench?

The easiest way to incorporate the triangle concept with a kitchen island is to locate the sink on the island bench, with the stove and refrigerator situated within the wall cabinetry. 

However, kitchen design largely comes down to your personal tastes and preferences. Some homeowners dislike the idea of positioning the sink on their island bench and instead opt to situate the cooktop on the island, or completely abandon the triangle concept altogether.

What Else Should You Consider Beyond the Kitchen Triangle?

When designing the ideal layout for your new kitchen, it’s also important to consider any other factors at play that could impact the overall functionality of the space.

Here are a few factors that are important to consider when designing the optimal layout for your new kitchen:

  • Can the refrigerator be accessed by other members of the household without having to walk across the triangle and interrupt the chef at work?
  • Could the kitchen be used comfortably if there was more than one person working in the space at the same time?
  • Are the dishwasher and rubbish bin located close by to the sink?
  • Can you easily access all frequently-used appliances? 
  • Will cookware, crockery, cutlery and glassware be easily accessible?
  • Is there ample space to move easily around each working zone? 
  • Are most people within the household right- or left-handed?
  • How well does the layout work within the rest of the space? Will people working in the kitchen still be able to interact with others easily?

Considering a Kitchen Renovation? We’d Love to Chat With You!

If you’re planning a kitchen renovation, the expert team at Mint Kitchens can help formulate the optimal kitchen layout to ensure you can pack all the features you want into your kitchen, without sacrificing in terms of functionality or style.

Take a look at what we can do or drop into one of our showrooms across Melbourne to find out more.

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