Kitchen floor plans come in many configurations, including L shapes, U shapes, galleys, and more. Use this guide to find the best kitchen layout for your remodel.

By Jessica Bennett
Updated October 02, 2020
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Choosing a layout is a key part of kitchen design. The floor plan determines how you'll move through the space while cooking or entertaining and how well it functions for day-to-day activities. The best layout will depend on the space available and the level of efficiency and convenience you desire. In general, the placement of the work triangle dictates 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 kitchen layout for your home, make sure to consider the work triangle that will work best for you and the room.

country style gray kitchen
Credit: Jeff Herr

Types of Kitchen Floor Plans

Kitchen layouts come in many shapes and orientations, but the configurations of cabinetry, appliances, and seating often fall into a few specific categories. Check out our guide below to learn about some of the most popular types of kitchen floor plans.

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1. L-Shaped Kitchen Floor Plan

An L shape is one of the most common layouts for kitchens. It requires less space and offers more flexibility in the location of workstations. This plan works well when the kitchen adjoins a casual space.

red stools and rug with open storage racks kitchen
Credit: Laurie Black

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. This open area can also be filled with a kitchen cart to expand storage and prep work space. The sink and dishwasher are often located along one wall with the refrigerator and range on the other wall, which creates a large work triangle.

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2. Island Kitchen Floor Plan

Islands tend to work best in L-shaped kitchens that measure at least 10x10 feet and open to another area. You can increase the functionality of your kitchen by equipping the island with a cooktop or sink. To create space for casual dining, outfit the island with barstools for seating.

Kitchen with island and wooden floor
Credit: David Tsay

This L-shaped kitchen layout features an island in the middle. A built-in island also provides an opportunity to install plenty of storage options. Utilize drawers and open storage within the island to increase the kitchen's storage capacity, which will leave long runs of counter space to make prep a breeze.

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3. U-Shaped Kitchen Floor Plan

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.

open white kitchen with small island
Credit: Jay Wilde

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.

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4. Galley Kitchen Floor Plan

A galley kitchen features cabinetry and appliances on two sides with a corridor running down the middle. The key to not closing in a galley kitchen floor 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.

White kitchen wood floor trays on wall
Credit: Brie Williams

Small kitchens, such as an 8x10 galley layout, are typically designed for a single cook. Smart space planning will help optimize functionality in a tight space. Spreading the appliances along the two sides keeps the work triangle open. The stone countertops in this galley kitchen are perfect for working or serving food and the light-colored cabinets help the space feel bright.

P-Shaped kitchen floor plan
Credit: Illustration by Ann Mackey Weiss

5. P-Shaped Kitchen Floor Pan

In this kitchen layout idea, P stands for peninsula. The P-shaped layout stems from an L-shaped or U-shaped plan, extending one stretch of countertop into the room to form a peninsula. This creates an additional workspace in the kitchen without occupying a lot of floor space.

white island and kitchen table with navy walls and brass metal chairs
Credit: Kim Cornelison

To maximize this home's layout, the designer chose a P-shaped plan. The peninsula's countertop and base cabinets add extra work and storage space to the U-shaped perimeter. The open design connects the kitchen to the adjacent dining area.

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