Kitchen Layout and Floor Plan Recommendations From The NKBA

Kitchen design and remodel floor plan and layout

Expert Kitchen Layout Advice From The National Kitchen and Bath Association

Nothing is worse than spending time and significant money on a new kitchen only to later find design flaws like appliance doors that open into cabinet doors or an island that's so close to the wall that it can't be used. Good space planning is essential to develop the best kitchen layout to meet your needs, and best utilize the space you have available.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association is an organization that represents design/build contractors and kitchen and bathroom remodelers. They've issued design guidelines to help you maximize your kitchen space and create both the safety and functionality of your home's kitchen.Don't worry if your budget or space restraints require you to make some design compromises, the only rules you have to follow are your local building codes.

NKBA Kitchen Layout Guidelines

Let's look at ten NKBA guidelines you should follow, whenever possible to create a functional, safe and proportionally correct kitchen.

  1. Door/Entry Width
    Any doorway in the kitchen should be a minimum of 32-inches wide.

  2. Door Clearance
    No entry door should interfere or block appliance doors, nor should appliance doors interfere with each other.

  3. Work Triangle Flow
    No major traffic should cross through the work triangle.

  4. Distance Separating Work Centers in your Kitchen Layout
    In a kitchen with three work centers, the distance between them should total no more than 26 feet. No single leg of the work triangle should be less than 4 feet or more than 9. When the kitchen includes more than three workstations, each additional one should be mo less than 4 feet and no more than 9. No work triangle element should intersect and island or peninsula by more than 1 foot.

  5. Sink Placement
    If a kitchen has a single sink, locate it adjacent or across from the cooking area.

  6. Cooking Surface Ventilation
    Provide a correctly sized, ducted ventilation system for all surface cooking zones (IE stove or cook top) The recommended CFM is 150.

  7. Waste Receptacles
    Include at least two. Place one near the sink and a second for recycling nearby.

  8. Lighting
    Every Work surface should be well-lit by an appropriate task lighting fixture.

  9. Storage
    The total shelf/drawer frontage is 1400 inches for a kitchen that is 150 sq. ft. or less; 1700 inches for a medium-sized kitchen 151 – 350 sq. ft.; and 2000 inches for kitchens over 351 sq. ft.

  10. Electrical Receptacles
    Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection is required for a countertop surface receptacles.

These are just a few of the guidelines recommended by the NKBA. The University of Southern Mississippi has published an in-depth report outlining the complete set of NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines to help you create the perfect kitchen layout that is both safe and functional. It can be found by clicking here.

At Forward Design Build we are members of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and all of our kitchen designs start with a goal of meeting these guidelines. We've provided kitchen and bathroom design build services to clients throughout the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. If you're planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel, give us a call. Our designers are here to help you design your dream kitchen!

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.