Sinks contribute to kitchen efficiency by playing a central role in kitchen design

The kitchen layout is most important to maintain the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality and turn it into an efficient workspace. Did you ever find yourself in a situation when all your culinary tasks end up in a tiny corner of the kitchen with barely 2 feet usable space on the countertop between the refrigerator and a Kraus black kitchen sink? Then there must be grossly wrong with your kitchen layout that defies the traditional layout best known as the kitchen triangle. The theory considers that the three main work areas of the kitchen comprising of the stove or cooktop, the refrigerator, and the sink should be placed in such a way so that it forms an imaginary triangle.

The kitchen triangle

Developed in the earlier part of the twentieth century, the theory of the kitchen triangle, also known as the golden triangle, gained wide popularity during the middle of the twentieth century and remains highly relevant even today.  Every kitchen design makes use of the theory to plan out efficient workspaces with clearly demarcated traffic lines. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, each arm of the triangle should measure between 4 feet and 9 feet, and the sum of the distance of the arms of the triangle or the perimeter should be between 13 feet and 26 feet. The stipulated distances ensure that there is optimal space maintained between the equipment, neither too much nor too little. Whenever the gap between the equipment falls short of the minimum space, it creates a bottleneck and reduces the comfort of working in the kitchen and lowers efficiency.

Enhancing the effectiveness of kitchen triangle

In addition to the above guidelines, there are a few more stipulations to increase the efficiency of the kitchen triangle. No side of the triangle should encroach into a peninsula or island by more than a foot or 12 inches. No traffic patterns must cross through the triangle.  Although a kitchen typically comprises one triangle, for larger kitchens, it is possible to create a second triangle by adding a fourth wall to a peninsula or a sink in the island. It helps to create a workstation for vegetable preparation or baking of any other specialized work. 

History of the work triangle

The concept of workplace efficiency gained prominence between the late 19th century and early 20th century as manufacturers and industrialists started taking an interest in it. The industrial boom that followed the First World War turned the focus on enhancing industrial productivity. Frederick Winslow Taylor, an efficiency expert and a pioneer in time-motion studies aimed at understanding how the efficiency of operations at the workplace. Taylor based his studies on scientific management systems, which, as a theory, is still controversial for its effectiveness at the workplace. However, the idea of studying working methods to assess economic efficiencies at the workplace gradually found its way into home design and appliance design. The Frankfort kitchen was the first to apply the Taylor principles in kitchen design.

The Frankfort kitchen

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, an Austrian architect, was the first to design the Frankfort Kitchen in 1926. Giving due importance to domestic work, the kitchen gained its entity in home design and separated from the rest of the home. It gave birth to the idea of using the kitchen exclusively for domestic work and nothing else. Until that time, all activities like cooking, eating, bathing, ironing, socializing, and sometimes even sleeping used to take place in the kitchen. The Frankfort kitchen recognized that kitchen work was important enough and deserved not only a space of its own but must also be designed for efficiency.

Focus on workplace efficiency

It was the first fully fitted kitchen designed for an affordable housing project in Germany and introduced for the first-time cubbies and built-ins for storing specific items.

After the Second World War, the trend of designing kitchens exclusively as household workroom got a boost as homemakers reduced the dependence on servants and maids.  So, one person did all domestic tasks and kitchen work like prepping, cooking, cleaning, baking, and ironing. It resulted in giving more emphasis to workplace efficiencies and optimization of the kitchen, which was earlier a typical workplace. Finally, the rules for efficient kitchen layout was established in the 1940s that took shape in the kitchen triangle.

Sinks Enhance kitchen efficiency

The concept of the kitchen triangle creates a certain level of efficiency, but it is up to the user to enhance it further by choosing the right type sink. A variety of kitchen sinks are now available with the single bowl kitchen sink being most popular due to its affordability and simplicity of design and installation. By installing a double bowl or triple bowl sinks, it is possible to enhance the work speed and efficiency. it depends on the available space not only for installing the sink but also for complying with the kitchen triangle concept.

Double bowl sinks for modern kitchens

Most modern kitchens feature double bowl sinks to give more flexibility to users and increase operational efficiencies. These sinks are ideal for those who wash dishes manually because they can wash dishes in one bowl and use the other bowl for rinsing the dishes.  The design of double sinks varies in not only the overall size but also the size and depths of the bowls. For example, you can choose two bowls of the same size but different depths or the size of the bowls can be different, but the depth remains the same. The choice of design depends on the available space; the place of installation; the type of kitchen activity; and the manner of use of the sink.

Stainless steel is the most preferred material for making sinks which are also available in ceramic and granite. While the sink design determines the versatility of the essential kitchen equipment, the choice of material contributes to the aesthetics, which is no less important than creating a highly efficient workplace.

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