How easy is it to cook in your kitchen? The layout is the most important part of kitchen interior design. Within the layout, the work triangle should be taken into account to maintain kitchen efficiency. This will ensure you have a functional and ergonomic cooking environment. Designers and experts often use this idea as the basis to determine an efficient kitchen design. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Kitchen Work Triangle: What is it all about?
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According to the concept of the golden triangle or work triangle, the principal workstations in the kitchen — the hob, sink and the refrigerator — are placed such that their positions form the vertices of an imaginary triangle. Thus, these points are within accessible distance from each other.

Kitchen Work Triangle: Why is it important?

The hob, sink and refrigerator are the three most frequently used areas in a kitchen, with most tasks requiring movement from one of these station to the other. If these areas are in close proximity, you won’t have to walk too much between zones while cooking.

With kitchens, the ergonomics are vital and can substantially be improved if the kitchen work triangle is implemented well. It makes working in the kitchen less tiresome. Additionally, you can be done with your cooking in lesser time. This also helps minimise the traffic within the kitchen.

In the parallel kitchen above, the three working spots are aligned in a way that allows the user to work with comfort.

Kitchen Work Triangle: How does it work?
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The rules governing the size and dimensions of the work triangle are additionally important for you to know.

Each side of the triangle, i.e., the distance between any two of the three spots should ideally be between 4 feet and 9 feet. The total sum of the sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet and 26 feet. This allows enough space to work comfortably at each station and move between them as well.

The work triangle should not be blocked by any other element of the kitchen by more than 12 inches. Make sure that the triangle is not obstructed by counters, cabinets or islands. Keep movement pathways away from the triangle so that the area can be kept as free as possible.

Kitchen Work Triangle: How do other appliances fit in?
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The original idea of the work triangle didn’t include modern day appliances like microwaves, dishwashers, etc, which are now frequently used stations. However, these requirements can be efficiently accommodated into the layout by placing them within easy reach of the user. This also ensures that the work triangle is not hindered.

Take a cue from the L-shaped kitchen above where the microwave is placed next to the refrigerator for easy use. It also doesn’t block movement in the kitchen, thus making for a functional layout.

Kitchen Work Triangle: Can it be used for a straight kitchen?
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Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes! While the kitchen triangle works for most shapes, we can modify it for a straight layout. All you need to do is place the cooktop in between the sink and the refrigerator. This will make the kitchen more ergonomic and efficient for you!

The straight kitchen above, which is designed to be functional and aesthetically appealing, has the hob in between, located at minimum distance between the refrigerator and sink.

The next time you’re designing your kitchen, make sure you check if your layout incorporates the work triangle. A little bit of planning and thought  can result in a well-designed, ergonomic layout that will make everyday cooking a breeze. You should also check out Design Choices to Transform Small Kitchens which includes tips from designers!