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Pros and Cons of 5 Common Kitchen Layouts

Updated on January 17, 2014

The Kitchen is an important room in most homes, it’s where families cook and eat together, hang out together and entertain guests. If you are planning a kitchen remodel you should consider whether your current kitchen layout allows you to enjoy the space as needed. When considering a new kitchen layout it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each. Some layouts are more social than others, while some simply do not offer enough space for two cooks to work at the same time. Use the information below from a granite and marble countertop provider in Durham to make an informed decision by discovering the advantages and disadvantages of each type of kitchen layout.

Single-Line Layout

Appliances and countertops are lined along a straight wall.

  • Advantages
    • Saves space – it’s the most space-effective layout option you have.
    • Great for small kitchens.
    • Requires a smaller investment in appliances and countertops.
  • Disadvantages
    • Designed is best for one cook – two cooks using a single-line layout are bound to bump into each other.


Galley Layout

Similar to the single-line layout, only that the cabinets, countertops and appliances are organized in two rows.

  • Advantages
    • Great layout for smaller kitchens and enables you to fit more in a relatively narrow space.
    • Does allow for an efficient work triangle
  • Disadvantages
    • Not an efficient layout for large and wide kitchen spaces.
    • Like the single-line layout, you may have some traffic flow issues.


L-Shaped Layout

Takes up two adjoining walls, allowing you to create an effective work triangle between appliances and countertops.

  • Advantages
    • Layout works with almost any small-medium size kitchen.
    • All elements of the kitchen are easy to access.
    • An eating area is usually easy to incorporate.
  • Disadvantages
    • Not an efficient use of space in a larger kitchen.
    • Like the Single-line and Galley layouts, it might be tough to have extra cooks in the kitchen.


U-Shaped Layout

Cabinet and countertops, appliances, and other kitchen elements surround you on three sides.

  • Advantages
    • Provides ample work space and kitchen storage.
    • Allows room for guests and helpers in the kitchen.
    • The recommended work triangle is easy to incorporate, and might minimize the distances you have to travel between sink, stove and fridge.
  • Disadvantages
    • Can be used effectively only in medium-sized or large kitchens. A small space will feel cramped.
    • Requires a heavier investment in countertops and appliances as you have more room to fill up.


Island Layout

Consists of a large island countertop around which the appliances and other work spaces are installed.

  • Advantages
    • Looks great, especially in spacious kitchens.
    • Invites socializing and discussion, since guests can crowd around the island countertop.
    • Allows the cook and his assistants to take an active part in the socializing.
    • Provide additional work space
    • For snacks and quick meals, you can contain the mess and needed cleanup in the kitchen if your island has seating.
  • Disadvantages
    • Can make the kitchen feel cramped if the island is too big for the space so it’s best in a medium to large size kitchen.
    • Again you may have a bigger investment as an island means additional cabinets and countertops.

The kitchen layout you already have may not be the best for your space, so the first step of your remodel should be assessing the space you have, measuring and determining a layout to suit your needs and wants. Whatever layout you end up with, you can easily incorporate beautiful marble countertops - available in so many colors, and if taken care of properly can be a great investment for your home and last a lifetime.


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    • Better Yourself profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Yourself 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks pstraubie48 for stopping by! Yes, the 3D tools are a great tool for planning. Our kitchen is our hub as well so I understand as much as you do how important the layout is.

    • Better Yourself profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Yourself 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      RTalloni - So glad the hub was helpful and all the best if you move forward with a kitchen reno!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from North Central Florida

      Use of 3d planning is such a smart idea. You get a real feel for how the plan will work. In my home the kitchen is the hub of all activity. Having a floor plan that 'works' is just essential for a kitchen that is welcoming and functional. thanks for sharing.

      Angels are on the way ps

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We're rethinking our kitchen layout so coming across this is timely--thanks!

    • Better Yourself profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Yourself 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Agreed! Thank You WiccanSage!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 years ago

      Kitchen layout is so important, I hate a dysfunctional kitchen that doesn't flow well. It just makes things awkward. Nice work.


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