Layout Help

buehlJanuary 3, 2011

Layout Help

We often get requests to help with layouts. Many of us enjoy doing this but it would help if you can post a copy of your floorplan or layout, preferably to-scale.

  • The best place to start is to draw up your kitchen (to scale, if possible) either without cabinets & appliances if you don't know where to start or with your proposed new layout if you have something to start with. Regardless, measure and label everything...walls, ceiling height, widths of doors/doorways & windows, distances between windows, walls, doors/doorways, etc.

If you cannot move plumbing or gas, mark them on your drawing as well. Mark all doors/doorways & windows (with dimensions) and label them as to where they lead. If they're actual doors, mark how they swing. It also would be helpful to see the connecting rooms, even entire first floor layouts (or whatever floor your kitchen is on), so we see how they interact with the kitchen and/or extend the kitchen feel and flow. Make note of traffic flows in and out of the kitchen

Make a list of things like:

  • What are your goals? E.g., more counter space, more storage, seating in the kitchen (island? peninsula? table?), etc.

What is your family composition? Adults? Children? Age ranges of children? Current? Future? How many kitchen workers are there? Cook(s)? Cleanup? Helpers? Now? Future? (E.g., if you have young children, plan for them as teens for both "sizing" of seating as well as helping in the kitchen in general) Do you or anyone in your home cook? (No, this is not a facetious question. Some people do not cook and their kitchen is a show place only. If that's what works for you & your family, that's fine! We just need to know that.) How do you see your kitchen used? Just for cooking/cleaning up? Children doing homework while you cook? Party place? Do you entertain a lot? If so, formal? Informal? Do you want your kitchen to be a "hang out" place? Parties only? Everyday? Do you have a separate DR? Do you use it frequently? Infrequently? If infrequently, do you want to begin using it more frequently (e.g., for daily/nightly family meals)? Would you like to open up the kitchen to adjacent areas? Close it up? Do you plan to merge two rooms/areas (e.g., Nook and Kitchen into a Kitchen only) Where are you flexible?

  • Can windows or doorways change size?
  • Can they be moved or eliminated?
  • Can windows be raised/lowered?
  • Can any walls come down?
  • Does the sink have to be centered under a window?
  • Does it have to be under a window at all?

Note: The more constraints you put on a space (e.g., sink centered under a window, not willing to move plumbing, electric, or gas lines), the fewer options there are. So, be sure any limitations/constraints you mention are true constraints. You could say you'd like something to not be moved/changed or placed in a certain location, but if it's not a must or truly impossible, then mention it's a preference but that you would consider something...

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[Please, do not bump this thread!]

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 5:21AM
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A few things to keep in mind:

  • Aisles widths...are determined by measuring counter edge-to-counter edge, not cabinet-to-cabinet (unless there's no counter, of course!)

    For appliances, measure from the part that sticks out the furthest (usually the handle...this info is contained in appliance specs).

Seating overhang...for counter-height seating should be a minimum of 15" (I think you already have that, and more, but I thought I'd mention it just in case you don't...and for anyone just lurking and reading this thread to learn more!)

BTW...if you put decorative doors on the back of the island, they will take away approx 1" from the overhang. Walkways....In a seating area, 36" of clearance from counter/table edge to wall/obstruction if no traffic passes behind seated diners. 65" of total clearance when this includes a walkway (i.e., traffic). [From the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines With Access Standards] There are three primary work zones...Prep Zone (70% of kitchen work/time), Cooking Zone (10% of kitchen work/time), and Cleanup Zone (20% of kitchen work/time)

Of these, the Prep & Cooking Zones work best when either next to each other or across from each other, but across no more than a 48" aisle.

The Cleanup Zone usually works best if it's separated from the Prep & Cooking Zones. Sometimes that means different parts of the kitchen (usually with a prep sink in the Pep Zone), other times it means the only sink in the kitchen separates them...Prep & Cooking Zones on one side of the sink, Cleanup Zone with DW on the other side of the sink. Trash & recycle best in the Prep Zone, near the Cooking Zone, and, if only one and possible, near the Cleanup Zone. Far more trash & recyclables are generated while prepping and cooking than while cleaning up. So, if you have to choose, put the trash & recycle in the Prep Zone instead of the Cleanup Zone. (That's the biggest mistake I made, I put it in the Cleanup Zone across a 6' aisle from the Prep's my biggest regret by far in my kitchen.] Prep sinks...should be no smaller than 12" x 12"...and bigger is better - I recommend no less than 15" in each direction, 18" would be better, IMHO. Anything smaller is not very useful for prepping. Those smaller sinks are often called "bar sinks" b/c they're really only big enough for filling a glass with water or dumping a glass. They're not big enough to clean veggies/fruit or empty a colander. Zone protection...strive to protect the Cooking Zone from traffic - both through-traffic as well as in-kitchen traffic. While cooking, you are dealing with very hot pots/pans/food and you don't want to be tripping over or dodging traffic, open DW doors, etc. This usually means putting the Cooking Zone in the most "secluded" area...but not always, it depends on the workflow in your design. Work/Landing Space...Be sure you have adequate work and landing space near/around appliances and...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Is there a specific place to post for layout help?


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 3:07AM
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Start a thread on the Kitchens Forum on the Discussions side asking for help and include the above information.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 12:42AM
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