Kitchen Floor Plan Basics

The key to making the most of your kitchen floor plan is to understand it.

Get to Work

Choosing a kitchen layout depends on the space available, efficiency and convenience desired. The work triangle determines the efficiency of the kitchen. This is the area defined by the locations of the refrigerator, the range or cooktop, and the sink. A compact triangle limits the distances between these key appliances. When choosing the right layout for your home, make sure to consider the work triangle.


L-shaped is the most common layout plan. It requires less space and offers more flexibility in the location of workstations. This plan works well when the kitchen adjoins a casual space.

Luxurious L-shape

A benefit of an L-shaped kitchen is the ability to center a table in the space. This puts the family close to where the meals are prepared and draws guests near the cook when the homeowners are entertaining. The appliances are along the back wall and the refrigerator is on the side wall, which creates a large work triangle.


Islands tend to work best in L-shaped kitchens that measure at least 10 X 10 feet and open to another area. Increase the functionality of your kitchen by equipping the island with a cooktop or outfitting it with barstools for casual dining.

Spacious Island

This L-shaped kitchen layout features an island in the middle. Take a cue from this kitchen and install plenty of storage options. The island's drawers and open storage increase the kitchen's storage capacity, and long runs of counter space make prep a breeze.


Pay close attention to the work triangle in this layout. If the appliances are too close together, you'll end up trapped in at the corner. Consider a half-wall to open the room to an adjacent space.

U-shaped Utility

A U-shaped kitchen allows the cook to take care of business while still being a part of the action in the adjacent room. U-shaped kitchens are great for serious cooks because there is a lot of open counter space, which comes in handy when baking or preparing a big meal.


The key to not closing in a galley, or corridor, plan is to try to consolidate counter space near the most-used appliances. To create storage space, consider a pullout tower pantry, a pantry cabinet, or a full pantry in the space adjacent to the galley.

Glorious Galley

Small kitchens, such as the 8 X 10 galley are designed for a single cook. But, cooking for one is still functional in this space. Spreading the appliances along the two sides keeps the work triangle open. The granite countertops are perfect for working or serving food and the light-colored cabinets help the space feel bright.


P is for peninsula. The P-shaped layout stems from an L-shaped or U-shaped plan. It creates an additional workspace in the kitchen without occupying a lot of floor space.

P-Shaped Plan

To maximize this home's layout, the designer chose a P-shaped plan. The peninsula's sink and base cabinets add extra work and storage space to the U-shaped perimeter.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.