What is the kitchen “work triangle” and why is it important?
December 31, 2014

A kitchen work triangle is one of the most functional design principles applied by Toronto architects in the kitchen layouts. The main objective of an efficient kitchen work triangle is to place the three primary work sites in such a distance apart that the traffic gets minimized through the work zone.

Typically, there are three main work sites:

  • Refrigerator – for cold storage
  • Sink – for cleaning/preparation
  • Stove – for cooking

These three elements represent the kitchen work triangle. If these elements are placed too far from each other, there will be wastage of steps, and if they are placed too near, you will have a cluttery kitchen which runs out of place to work.

Importance of work triangle

One of the primary reasons for implementing work triangle is to minimize the number of steps it takes to get to one work zone from the other, and making the space much easier to manoeuvre. Keeping work triangle in mind can provide you with an enjoyable kitchen experience.

Below are the various kitchen layout models and the importance of work triangle on them.

L-shaped kitchen

  • Provides easy storage and cooking space.
  • Allows having a dining table in this layout.
  • Protects the homeowners from financial market.

Island shaped kitchen

  • Provides extra counter space to easily cook meals.
  • Allows more than one person work in the kitchen.
  • Provides additional storage space.
  • Allows creating a toolbar to sit.

Peninsula Design

  • Ideal for entertainment purposes.
  • Provides an open space.

U- Shaped kitchen

  • Allows multiple cabinets.
  • Provides ample space for cooking and cleaning purposes.
  • Allows integration of an island into the project.


  • Allows containing several cabinets in the draft.
  • Suitable for medium sized kitchens.
  • Provides an orderly design of the kitchen cabinets.

The work triangle may be close to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ way to design kitchens, but it’s not the only design consideration that Toronto homeowners should take into account. There are no hard and fast rules for these guidelines. Sometimes, the possible layout for your kitchen may break a rule. Because kitchens are now bigger and often feature multiple work stations, there may be a possibility of more than one work triangle.

For a better idea of what kind of kitchen’s will best suit your household, speak with a residential architect. There’s a good amount of thought goes into building a good kitchen, and if you’re planning on spending most of your time cooking, it’s worth it.