The Work Triangle
What is the Work Triangle?
The work triangle is an important element of kitchen design and functionality because it relates to the efficiency of movement within the kitchen. The triangle’s three points connect at the center of the sink refrigerator, and range or cooktop. The system is designed to keep all the major workstations near the cook, while keeping them far enough apart to maintain an open environment. The design also helps keep traffic from other family members away from the cooking area.
Guidelines for the Work Triangle:
•The sum of the three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 5 and 9 feet.
•It should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches.
•No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.
TIP: These guidelines are not hard and fast rules. Sometimes, the only layout possible for your kitchen may break or bend a rule. But, by incorporating the guidelines into a new kitchen layout, an efficient kitchen design that minimizes traffic through the work zone can be ensured.
Some Other Helpful Hints Include:
•The width of a work aisle should be 42 inches wide for one cook and 48 inches wide for multiple cooks. This allows for adequate traffic flow throughout the kitchen.
•A minimum of 12 inches of landing area on one side of a cooktop or range and 15 inches on the other provides a safe landing surface.
•Provide 15 inches of counter space on the handle side of the refrigerator, or 15 inches of landing area on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator. Or, allow for a 15 inches landing area no more than 48 inches from the front of the refrigerator. If using an under-the-counter style refrigerator, provide 15 inches of landing area above or adjacent to the appliance.
•Include a section of continuous countertop at least 36 inches wide by 24 inches deep immediately next to a sink.
•A second triangle can be created by adding a second sink to an island or fourth-wall peninsula.
Because kitchens have grown in size and sometimes feature multiple, major work stations, it is possible to have more than one work triangle.
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