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What is the Work Triangle?

The work triangle is the recommended relationship used in kitchen design between the cooking, storage and preparation areas. Ideally, a person should be able to move effortlessly in the center of the work triangle while quickly switching between stations. There actually are several universally agreed upon guidelines to follow when designing a kitchen work triangle. The guidelines are very specific. They offer actual measurements and literal suggestions. The following is just a sample of some of the guidelines of the work triangle principle.

The sum of the distance of the three sides of the work triangle should never exceed 26 feet. Additionally, each leg of the triangle should be between four and nine feet in length. The triangle designates a clear area that should not have anything within it. At no point should the triangle cut into an object, like an island, more than 12 inches. This is also meant to imply that no major room’s traffic patterns should pass through the triangle. The guidelines become even more specific when considering the placement of permanent fixtures like the refrigerator. For example, if there is only one sink in the kitchen then it should be across from the cooking surface, preparation area or refrigerator.

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