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U Shaped Kitchen Layouts

A U-shaped kitchen is the most functionally sound kitchen layout. This type of layout creates balance and symmetry due to its even, three-walled design, making it an ideal layout for the coveted kitchen work triangle. A work triangle, or the space between your stove, refrigerator and sink, supports functionality since it separates three major elements of your kitchen.

With a U-shaped layout, you get the most counter space out of any layout option. Due to the extra counter space and the three-walled design, you also have extra storage by adding cabinets below and above the counters.

If you're interested in remodeling your kitchen to follow a U-shaped design, you might be interested in replacing your old cabinetry. If so, check out our extensive selection of ready to assemble kitchen cabinets. For more reading, visit our glossary page definition on U-shaped kitchens.

U-Shaped Kitchen Layouts

When designing a kitchen, one of the first things you should consider is your workflow. That's why a work triangle is so emphasized. For the best work triangle design, place your stove, refrigerator and sink on adjacent walls and counters. It's also best to place your refrigerator and your sink on the tips of the ‘U' so that they don't break up your counter space.

If you can, pair your sink underneath a window. This will provide natural lighting and the illusion of a more open space while you're working on prep work or washing the dishes.

Use our tips below on designing U-shaped kitchens regardless of the size of your kitchen. We cover the pros and cons of different sizes with options for adding different design elements such as a kitchen peninsula or kitchen island.

Small U-Shaped Kitchen

small u-shaped kitchen
small u-shaped kitchen

Layout Tips

A small U-shaped kitchen can be defined as one that has about 42 to 48 inches between the facing aisles. A U-shaped layout can work great in a small kitchen, but it does come with minor drawbacks. One common issue with small kitchens is that you lose necessary storage and counter space, but with a U-shaped design, you will still have a sufficient amount in both since it capitalizes on storage and counter space specifically.

The main point of contention with a small U-shaped kitchen is that you can only fit one cook in the kitchen at a time due to the confining nature of the U-shape.

Medium U-Shaped Kitchen

medium u-shaped kitchen
medium u-shaped kitchen

Layout Tips

Medium sized U-shaped kitchens have around 6 feet between the two facing counters. A U-shaped layout is perfect for medium sized kitchens because you get ample storage and counter space without sacrificing walking and standing room inside the kitchen. Medium U-shaped kitchens can fit two cooks comfortably, so if you like to cook with a friend or family member, this layout will suit you well.

Large U-Shaped Kitchen

large u-shaped kitchen
large u-shaped kitchen

Layout Tips

Large U-shaped kitchens have at least 8 feet between opposing counters. There are many design options you have with a large U-shaped kitchen layout, like adding a kitchen island or an extension to one end of the counter, effectively creating a ‘G' shape. You can even put a dining table in the center of your kitchen layout if you have sufficient clearance on either side.

U-Shaped Kitchen with Peninsula

U-shaped kitchen layout with peninsula
U-shaped kitchen layout with peninsula

Layout Tips

Utilizing one of the legs of the U-shape for a bar peninsula is common with U-shaped kitchens. You can accomplish this if you have one counter leg that doesn't connect to a wall on either side, which creates an open counter area for seating. Kitchen peninsulas are great for entertaining friends and family for breakfast, appetizers or drinks.

If your biggest concerns are storage and counter space, you can't go wrong with a U-shaped kitchen. If you are interested in more inspiration for your next kitchen remodel, check out our kitchen design ideas. We cover everything you need to know about remodeling your kitchen, so that you can create the kitchen you've always dreamed of.

More Kitchen Layouts

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