Here is everything you need to know to layout a basic floor plan for your SuperKitchen! Standard
sizes of cabinets, appliances and sinks plus industry standards for the Work Triangle, countertop
space for task areas. Print out the kitchen planning grid for entering your room measurements
and your 'rough draft'.
Cabinetry is sized using the 3" increment system. While custom and semi-custom (built-to-order)
cabinets may allow some 'odd dimension' modifications, using the 3" system will serve you well
when working on your basic floor plan. Most appliances are standardized sizes, but a few, like
microwaves are not. Always check appliance manufacturer's specifications to be sure you have
allowed the correct amount of space for your final selection in each category!
Dishwashers - 24" wide (for installation in a cabinet, raising the height, allow 27")
Free-standing and drop-in ranges - 30" wide (Professional ranges are available in wider widths.)
Cook Tops - 30", 36" wide. (Some modular units available in 42" and 48" wide)
Wall Ovens - 27", 30", 33, 36" wide. (Note: since wall ovens are always built-in, actual oven
widths vary. The dimensions given here represent the cabinet sizes required.)
Refrigerators - free-standing models, 30 - 36" wide. (Built-in models, up to 48" wide)
Trash Compactors - 15" and 18" wide
Microwave Ovens - Varied
Sinks - Varied, but most are designed to fit in 30", 33" or 36" base cabinets. (Be sure to
check manufacturer's specifications on your final selection!)
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (a trade organization for kitchen and bath dealers,
designers, manufacturers, etc.) has established guidelines for kitchen planning. Prioritize the
guidelines in case you cannot accomplish them all. Check them off as you complete your plan to
be sure you have planned adequate space for each task area in your kitchen. Be sure to have a
kitchen design specialist review your plan before ordering!
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It sounds easy, but what kind of kitchen do you really want? Are you looking to simply increase the
resale value of your home? Do you want to create a new gourmet kitchen for all of your
entertaining? Does your kitchen space need to be expanded to accommodate your growing
family? Remember that form always follows function. So what you're really looking for is a kitchen
that works for you and your family. You want a kitchen that makes your life easier. Define your
goals now, set priorities and create the super kitchen that suites your life.
define your goals
measurement and volume
Measure Your Existing Space
A) Start with the first wall on the left and work to your right around the room. First, measure the
overall length of each wall in your kitchen. Use grid paper to record all your measurements.
B) Indicate all breaks in walls (windows, doors, closets) by measuring from the corner to the
outside edge of the molding. Don't forget to indicate any permanent appliances, air vents, offsets,
C) Measure to centerline of plumbing, ducting and outlets. Remember, plumbing and outlets may
be moved to accommodate a design.
Create Your Floor Plan
Using your kitchen measurements, start sketching your cabinets. Start in the corner of your grid
paper and work out. Note the location of your electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures and air ducts.
You may be able to move major appliances several inches either way to accommodate a layout
guide to kitchen planning
The best kitchen designs are laid out with work zones in mind. Using what’s called “the work
triangle,” kitchen designers place everything from ovens and cooktops to sinks and
refrigerators — as well as the cabinets themselves — within various zones.
Storage solutions are organized by zones as well. These zones include Food Storage,
Tableware Storage, Preparation, Cooking and Cleanup. Specialized Storage Solutions work
within these zones, allowing you to maximize storage, accessibility and comfort in your kitchen.
Review the many options in this section. You’ll see how easy it is to create a kitchen that’s
more organized, more efficient and more livable than you ever imagined.
This zone contains all of your basic food items, including canned goods, dry goods,
perishables, refrigerated foods and bulk storage. In your kitchen layout, it should be placed
near the Preparation and Cooking zones, and should be easily accessible for unloading
groceries. Storage solutions that make this zone work hardest and smartest include lazy
susans, pull-out pantries, multi-storage pantries, a variety of roll-out trays and utility cabinets.
This zone is used to store dishes, glasses, stemware, serving pieces, silverware and other
items that you use in your daily kitchen routine. This zone should be planned so that it is easily
accessible from the eating area as well as the Cleanup zone. Think about storage solutions
like cutlery dividers, china display cabinets, base drawer storage and more.
This is the main work area in your kitchen. This zone will contain work knives, utensils, mixing
bowls, food processor and other small appliances. Of course, it should be designed in
proximity to the Cooking and Cleanup zones. This area will gain efficiency and practicality from
storage solutions, like base pots and pans cabinets with adjustable drawer dividers, cutting
centers, floating island base cabinets, tambour storage, utensil ensembles and much more.
As you can imagine, this zone will include your cooktop, ovens and microwave. It will also
contain your cookware, bakeware and cooking utensils, as well as your spices and cooking
oils. This zone is the true focal point of your kitchen layout. And you can keep the focus on
efficiency with storage solutions, like a base cooking center, roll-out trays, spice racks, tray
dividers and microwave cabinets.
The Cleanup zone is another area that can define your kitchen layout because it most likely
will be dictated by plumbing access or the placement of your dishwasher and windows. This
zone contains your sink and dishwasher, trash and recycling bins, cleaning tools and cleaning
supplies. Make your Cleanup zone more efficient with storage solutions like a sink base door
storage cabinet, pull-out wastebaskets and more.
If you are planning on doing your kitchen remodel as a Do-It-Yourself project, you will need to
consult and select skilled experts in a variety of fields. But, if that seems overwhelming to you,
we specialize in handling the entire kitchen remodel from design through complete installation
and will assist purchase of the products needed to complete your project. We offer this
complete service or "turnkey" approach, too. If you choose your remodel to be a
Do-It-Yourself project, you must be prepared to serve as your own 'scheduling contractor' and
perhaps, even purchasing agent.
Some things to keep in mind to efficiently manage your kitchen remodeling project can be
Put it down on paper. Draw a plan and make a list for your kitchen remodel to help you
determine costs. Decide if appliances will be replaced and what type you want. Check online
for appliance features and stores that offer discounts.
Hire a reputable contractor who is experienced in kitchen remodeling if you aren't going to do it
yourself. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured. Get references from the contractor
and make sure that you have a time frame in writing. Labor costs are estimated at
approximately 30 percent of the total remodeling cost.
Do it yourself. If you are experienced in home repairs, you may be able to do a lot of the work
yourself to save money. Gas appliances need to be installed by experts. Make sure you hire
reputable plumbers and electricians to help with the mechanical aspects of the kitchen
remodel if necessary. Depending on the age of your kitchen, mechanical remodels can take as
much as 30 percent of your budget.
Keep at least 10 percent of your budget for those unexpected costs. You might have termites
or dry rot in wood, which will need to be replaced. Wiring may be old and not up to code. Old
water pipes could be leaking and need to be replaced. Always keep a "contingency fund" for
just such repairs.