Comparing Kitchen Work Triangle to Work Zones

As one of the most regularly-used rooms in a given home, the layout of a kitchen is a very important factor to consider during any kitchen remodel or renovation project. Where various areas and appliances are located and positioned plays a big role in everything from daily convenience to cleaning and maintenance, plus may factor in heavily to home value.

At Pine Tree Construction, we offer numerous kitchen remodeling services, from upgrading fixtures or appliances to major layout changes you might be considering. When it comes to layouts, kitchen remodeling professionals will often utilize one of two well-known formats: The work triangle or a series of work zones. Let’s compare these two options and discuss their basic tenets, plus which approach might be best for you if you’re changing the layout of your kitchen.

kitchen work triangle zones

Work Triangle Basics and Dimensions

The more traditional of these two approaches, and the one that’s been around the longest, is the work triangle. As the name suggests, this format involves three major kitchen areas: The sink, the fridge and the cooking area.

Generally speaking, per the National Kitchen and Bath Association, each leg of a given kitchen triangle should measure between four and nine feet. The sum of the three sides should not be greater than 26 feet, and no side should cut through an island or peninsula by more than a foot. In essence, no major traffic patterns should cross through this triangle – it should remain open as a major pathway.

Now, it’s important to realize that these rules can be bent in many circumstances. Particular elements of your kitchen may impact the way you lay out the triangle – in fact, some homeowners create a second triangle by adding a second sink to an island, which brings a second work station into the equation.

Work Zones

Work zones, on the other hand, are a nod to more modern kitchens where such a rigid template like the work triangle might not be as viable. The work zone format usually breaks down into four zones: Pantry storage, sink storage, prep storage and cooking storage. However, other zones can be added or subtracted as needed, such as dining zones, working zones or even entertainment zones. The work zone format is one that allows for a bit more flexibility and creativity to meet your individual needs.

Making Your Choice

In nearly every case, this decision will come down to personal preference and the needs of your kitchen. Those who still operate the kitchen in a mostly traditional manner might choose the work triangle, but those with modern kitchens that operate in various different ways might do better with the application of the work zone theme.

For more on each of these kitchen layout themes for a remodel, or to learn about any of our home remodeling or renovation services, speak to the general contractors with Pine Tree Construction today.