Figure 6-13: Clear Floor Space required in kitchens (C) J Wiley, S Bliss Typical Kitchen Design Layouts

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Kitchen design layout specifications:

This article discusses typical layouts used in kitchen designs, including the single wall kitchen, galley kitchen, L-shaped kitchens, and U-shaped kitchen areas.

This article series discusses current best design practices for kitchens and bathrooms, including layout, clearances, work space, and accessible kitchen and bathroom layout, clearances, turning space, grab bars, controls, etc. We include advice on choosing and installing kitchen countertops, cabinets, and kitchen or bathroom flooring, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures and fixture controls such as faucets.

A list of kitchen and bath product manufactures and sources is included.

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Typical Kitchen Layouts

Figure 6-1: Kitchen & Bath Design (C) J Wiley S BlissAs summarized in Chapter 6 of Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction:

Kitchen plans should follow the work flow from the garage or side entrance where food enters the home to the storage area or refrigerator.

[Click to enlarge any image]

From there, work typically flows to the sink and food prep area, then on to the cooktop or oven, and eating area.

Finally, dishes move back to the sink and dishwasher for clean up.

All kitchens from the simplest to most complex should be designed to smoothly accommodate this basic workflow (see Figure 6-10) at left.

[Click any image or table to see an enlarged version with additional detail, commentary & source citation.]

Single-Wall Kitchen Layout

The simplest kitchen plan is designed for one cook and primarily used in small apartments. If the kitchen has a second wall, use it for storage with pegboards or shelving narrow enough to leave adequate clearance.

Galley Kitchen Layout

A corridor or galley-style kitchen can provide an efficient layout for a single cook. If household traffic must regularly pass through, provide at least 48 inches of clearance between counters.

L-Shaped Kitchen Design Layout

This layout provides adequate counter space and creates an efficient work triangle away from the household traffic flow. The large open space can often accommodate a dining area.

U-Shaped Kitchen Plan

Many designers consider this the most efficient plan, since the cook is surrounded on three sides by countertop, work centers, and storage areas. Also, household traffic is naturally directed around the work area, keeping it clear for kitchen tasks.

L-Shaped Kitchen Layout with Island

This combines the compact efficiency of a U-shaped plan with the benefits of a more open plan. The island invites interaction between the cook and visitors or helpers because more than one person can work at the open counter.

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.


Kitchen & Bath Industry Associations

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers(AHAM)

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)

Ceramic Tile Institute of America

Home Ventilation Institute (HVI)

Marble Institute of America Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI)

Tile Council of America (TCA)

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.


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