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The 9 Most Popular Kitchen Layouts

Whether you are remodeling your existing kitchen or moving into a new home, selecting a kitchen design layout is an essential part of a full-scale kitchen renovation.

There are many aspects to consider with a full scale renovation, including key building dimensions and workflow arrangements. From specific height and depth dimensions to work triangles, understanding these aspects will ensure that you are outlining the most efficient use of your new kitchen space.

We created this guide to help you assess your kitchen's needs so that planning your kitchen layout will be fun and easy. After deciding the best layout for your space, consider what type of kitchen cabinets will best match the shape of your kitchen.

More Kitchen Layouts:

Kitchen Layouts

Explore our guide of concepts with different dimensions to find the layout that best suits your kitchen.

U-Shaped Layout

U shaped kitchen layout

U-shaped kitchen designs, also referred to as horseshoe designs, are characterized by three walls or sections of countertop that create a semi-circle, or 'U' layout. U-shaped designs work best in large kitchen spaces that can afford the room to have three countertop sections. U-shaped designs are another layout that work well with a kitchen island to help add more storage and prep space.

L-Shaped Layout

L shaped kitchen layout

An L-shaped kitchen design is one of, if not the most popular, kitchen designs. The L-shaped design is characterized by two adjoining counters that create a right angle in a corner of the kitchen. Like the galley layout, this type of design also creates a great work triangle when executed properly. An L-shaped layout provides great work and traffic flow through the kitchen so that multiple cooks can work together and others can still walk through the kitchen without getting in the way.

Galley Layout

Galley kitchen layout

A galley kitchen design is best used for small kitchens, but it can be a great layout for medium and large-sized kitchens, too. A galley design is defined by having two walls or two parallel countertops opposing each other. This type of layout is great for efficiency, as it creates a seamless work triangle if your appliances and work areas are positioned correctly. If you have a large kitchen space, consider creating a galley layout with use of a kitchen island.

Single Wall Layout

Single wall layout

A single wall layout, also known as a one wall kitchen layout, is the perfect way to maximize space in a small kitchen. Although the single wall layout does away with the traditional work triangle, it makes up for it by boosting the efficiency between the kitchen, dining, and living areas. By having the kitchen regulated to one wall, this opens up the spacing of the rest of the house or apartment which helps with overall traffic flow and is also great for maximizing natural lighting.

G-Shaped Layout

G shaped layout

A G-shaped kitchen design will only work for large kitchen areas. We recommend making sure you have at least a 10 foot by 10 foot square area to work with when planning for this type of design. A G-shaped kitchen has all of the same benefits as a U-shaped kitchen, with a little extra room. This layout gives you the opportunity to maximize your kitchen area with the appropriate amount of storage and countertop space, while creating an efficient work triangle.

Work Aisles and Walkways

Kitchen work aisles and walkways

The width of your work aisles and walkways in the kitchen are an important part of your kitchen layout. Having a crowded walkway can ruin your workflow when cooking and cleaning, and can make bringing in groceries a nuisance. Work aisles, the spaces used when cooking and cleaning, should have a minimum clearance of 42 inches. Walkways, any other space that is used to navigate the kitchen, should have a minimum clearance of 36 inches. These minimums ensure that your kitchen will be able to handle sufficient traffic.

Countertop Dimensions

Kitchen countertop dimensions

Standard countertop dimensions guarantee that you will have adequate working surfaces when prepping and cooking. It also prevents you from being forced into uncomfortable postures and working conditions. The standard countertop height is 36 inches, but about 3 inches below your elbow will work as well. Your bar top height should be 42 inches. The standard countertop depth is 23 inches.

Landing Areas

Kitchen landing areas

Landing areas are the open spaces on your countertop that are not occupied by any appliances. Standard landing area dimensions coincide with kitchen countertop dimensions, but are distinctly different in providing prep and work areas that will give you enough space to prepare meals efficiently. We recommend that you have a designated prep area that is at least 36 inches long. Kitchen islands work great as a designated prep area. For a landing area next to your cooktop, give yourself at least 12 inches of counter space. And for a landing area next to your sink, give yourself at least 18 inches.

Work Triangles

Kitchen work triangles

Work triangles are the distance between any two appliances or important areas in your kitchen. Well placed work triangles make a big difference in the efficiency of your kitchen. We recommend putting your refrigerator and pantry near your kitchen's entrance for ease of access when bringing home groceries. We also recommend placing your cooking areas, like your cooktop and oven, closest to your dining area to create a seamless transition from cooking to eating your meals. The sink is best placed in between these two main areas.

When designing your kitchen layout, there are many factors to consider. Before deciding on the design, make sure that you are efficiently maximizing your kitchen area by creating a design that provides sufficient storage, countertop space, work areas, and traffic flow.

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