Everyone has different preferences and needs for their kitchen, and this is why choosing the best kitchen layout to make the most of your available space is very important, so that the kitchen space can function according to your needs.
Here, we will discuss five of the basic kitchen layout types available, as well as their pros and cons. Before we begin, however, let us discuss the concept of kitchen triangle, which will be an important consideration when choosing a kitchen layout and designing your kitchen.
The Kitchen Triangle
The concept of ‘kitchen triangle’ or ‘kitchen’s golden triangle’ has been developed in the early twentieth century—so it’s fairly old—. However, it’s still one of the best ways to design a kitchen, and should be your main consideration when deciding on a kitchen layout or remodeling your kitchen.
The main idea here is that there are three most important items in a kitchen: the kitchen sink, the stove (or the oven), and the refrigerator. These three main work areas should form—you guessed it— a triangle. The distances between the three points shouldn’t be that far so that the one working in the kitchen can move seamlessly between the three.
1.The Kitchen Sink
The sink is usually placed on a kitchen island, or on the kitchen’s perimeter. Keep in mind that only the main sink is considered in the triangle.
2. The Stove/Oven
If the stove and oven are not combined, they should be located within 3 feet of each other. The wall oven is usually not included in the triangle, except if the kitchen is used frequently for baking.
3. The Refrigerator
Usually the refrigerator is considered the least important point of the triangle, and so is often place further away. The main principle is to have the door of the fridge opens in the direction of the triangle.
The three ‘legs’ of the triangle should not be more than 9 feet each and no less than 4 feet long. The total between the three legs should not exceed 26 feet. This way, you’ll have the optimal distance to maximize the kitchen’s workflow.
When considering the kitchen layouts below, the kitchen triangle should be one of your main considerations.
Popular Kitchen Layouts
As the name suggests, in this layout type every appliances, cabinets, and even refrigerator is concentrated on one wall. This is the most basic kitchen layout, as is also one of the most popular.
Why One-Wall Kitchen?
- Simplicity is the main advantage of using this kitchen layout. It’s simple to design, and installing all the appliances will be relatively easy.
- Single-wall kitchen typically uses fewer cabinets than other layouts, so it’s usually more affordable.
- Due to its linear design, it’s easy to navigate around the kitchen.
Disadvantages of One-Wall Kitchen
- Limited counter space, usually kitchen islands are placed parallel to the cabinet to counter this issue
- If the layout is too long to accommodate all the appliances (or if the wall space is too long in the first place), navigation can be exhausting
- Cannot, or very difficult to incorporate a kitchen triangle design
2. Corridor (or Galley) Kitchen
Corridor-style kitchen, or often called ‘galley’ kitchen is characterized by two parallel cabinets creating a corridor. Typically the space between these ‘walls’ are around 45-50 inches apart, so it’s relatively tight. This is a common kitchen layout for small spaces, for example in condos and apartments.
Why Corridor Kitchen?
- Saves space, giving more floor space to other rooms
- Functionality-wise, everything is within close reach
Disadvantages of Corridor Kitchen
- Very limited space, so virtually impossible to include a dining table or islands. However, usually kitchen islands aren’t necessary in this configuration because the counters are placed closely to each other.
- Poor resale value if the corridor layout is used in a bigger house that can accommodate other kitchen layouts
3. U-Shaped Kitchen
A U-shaped layout—also called ‘horseshoe kitchen’ —, as the name suggests, consists of three different cabinet sections creating a U-Shape. So, to implement this layout, we need three available walls with one end open. Alternatively, we can replace one of the side walls with a kitchen peninsula, consisting of cabinets and a counter-top.
Why U-Shaped Kitchen?
- If you have the available space, the U-shaped layout is probably the best because it provides so much space and can include more services.
- You can include more upper wall cabinets, especially if you use three walls
Disadvantages of U-Shaped Kitchen
- Need a large space if you want to include a kitchen island in the middle.
- Forms a dead end in the house
4. L-Shaped Kitchen
The classic kitchen design, and probably the most common in medium-sized houses. In this layout, the cabinets extend in two different directions creating an L shape. Usually one section is longer than the other.
Why L-Shaped Kitchen?
- The most compact and cost-effective design that can utilize the concept of kitchen triangle. The sink is usually placed in the center of the ‘L’, and the refrigerator and the stove/oven at either ends.
- Can maximize corner space while opening up floor space. You can easily add a dining table or island with this layout.
- Since this is a common layout choice, most manufacturers offer matching kitchen sets for L-shaped design.
Disadvantages of L-Shaped Kitchen
- The corner space is usually the weakness of this layout, where corner cabinets are difficult to access.
5. G-Shaped Kitchen
The ‘G’ layout is similar to the U-shaped layout but includes an extra peninsula that extends off one of the walls, creating the G shape. This is a great layout if you want to maximize corner space and when you have three available walls.
Why G-Shaped Kitchen?
- You have more flexibility to add wall kitchen cabinets and you have more base kitchen cabinets than the U-shaped layout
- Many options to include the kitchen triangle concept in your design
- Very flexible, you can easily add kitchen island or dining table.
Disadvantages of G-Shaped Kitchen
- You need a bigger space than what’s required for a U-shaped layout to allow clearance between all cabinets and appliances
- Complicated layout, and will require more preparations and design efforts.
The five basic kitchen layout each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the most important thing is to consider the available space in your house and think of how you can include the kitchen triangle on the space.
Before you design your kitchen or choose your appliances, it’s very important to first decide on a layout so you can choose the right items and make the necessary preparations.