The Pros and Cons of Common Kitchen Floor Plan Shapes Described

Common Kitchen Floor Plans: This contemporary kitchen has a different take on the island layout. It is anchored to a wall at one end. Pantries and utilities are on the back wall. The kitchen sink, not pictured from this angle, looks out to the back yard. An oversized kitchen window provides views for the cook, whether from the kitchen sink or when at the island cooktop.

A Look At Five of The Most Common Kitchen Floor Plan Shapes

One of the great things about remodeling your kitchen is the many exciting choices you'll have to make. From flooring to tile, appliances to countertops the design combinations are endless. You can mix and match styles, materials, and other elements like lighting to create a unique design that perfectly reflects your aesthetics, taste, and style while meeting your lifestyle needs.

However, while designers can create a unique design with the various elements, when it comes to kitchen floor plans, there are five standard layouts that designers rely on to create a functional space that works from a flow perspective. These are tried and true kitchen floor plans that will work in most situations.

Let's look at the pros and cons of the five most common kitchen floor plan shapes.

The G-Shaped or Peninsula Kitchen Floor Plan

The “G-shaped” kitchen is used to describe a cabinetry configuration that features a preparation-area peninsula, and four walls of cabinets for storage. It earned this name because, on a blueprint, this configuration resembles the letter “G” on the grid.

The G-shaped kitchen is an extension or variation on the U-shaped kitchen and is a great upgrade option if you already have U-shaped cabinetry in place. G-shaped kitchens increase the number of base cabinets that can be included, which increases storage while streamlining the cooking area.

What makes this design popular is that it offers a tremendous amount of storage space. Actually, this kitchen floor plan is helpful for the chef, surrounding them with a variety of space options and immediate access to supplies. The additional counter space is reachable and usable throughout the entire cooking process. This floor plan provides preparation, cooking and clean-up areas within an easily accessible position, centrally located in the room to facilitate better cooking efficiency. The peninsula also offers a tighter countertop area for larger kitchens.

The L-Shaped Kitchen

This kitchen functions primarily as an l-shaped kitchen, with no island. But note that there is a small return for the refrigerator, making the true shape of this kitchen like a inverted "J" shape.

The L-shaped kitchen floor plan is a long-time standard for home kitchens. It's ergonomic design make it a favorite and sensible choice that's appropriate even for a modern home kitchen design. What makes it so efficient is that it facilitates a sensible work triangle for preparation, cleanup, and cooking. The L-shape is most frequently used in smaller kitchens that don't have the room for an island or G-shape.

The L-shaped floor plan is not dated and can be designed to match any décor. The shape refers to the floor plan layout and doesn't constitute any restrictions or requirements past that. To achieve the L-shape, the kitchen must be built into a corner where two walls meet an form a perpendicular angle. One wall should be twice the length of the other.

This large kitchen has a modified "U" shape. Note that the "U" is interrupted at both corners, leaving no wasted corner cabinet space. An island completes the space.

The Horseshoe or U-Shaped Kitchen Floor Plan

A U-shaped kitchen design features cabinets and appliances lining three walls. It's an efficient design that frees up floor space.

This island kitchen is quite like a galley kitchen, but without the second wall. Galleys and islands are very efficient layouts. A galley has the potential advantage of allowing for wall cabinets to be placed on two walls, not just on a single wall.

A U-shaped kitchen maximizes wall space by using the walls for cabinets and appliances. The design makes it easy for home chefs to access various areas around the kitchen without needing to walk across the room. It the layout of the house prohibits three walls of cabinets, an island can be included in the design that can serve the same purpose. U-shaped kitchens work with many different styles, and the size of the space is not essential. When homeowners are designing a u-shaped kitchen, they should try to place the most used appliances or work areas into a single triangle of space. This will allow them to work more efficiently in their new kitchen.

The Galley or Corridor Kitchen

A corridor or galley kitchen is a small kitchen with more length than width. The galley kitchen features an economical use of space, but it can also be horribly inefficient if not correctly laid out. Many apartments or converted houses incorporate the galley kitchen. While most home chefs would prefer more space than a corridor kitchen allows, it's import to note that the galley kitchen design is the most favored among professional chefs because it can be an extremely efficient way to work if a productive kitchen triangle is incorporated into the design.

Corridor kitchens are best served by open shelving or door-less cabinetry. The use of closed cabinets can visually shrink the space and add a feeling of “confinement.” It's also a popular design choice to incorporate a pass-through window into the space to simplify delivering food to the dining area. Corridor kitchens are a bit cramped, but if properly designed, they can be a great workspace.

The One Wall Kitchen

Like the name implies, a one wall kitchen has the cabinets and appliances built along a single linear wall. This design is typically used in small homes and efficiency apartments because they conserve floor space and offer low construction costs.

Because the cabinets counter tops and appliances are all along a single wall, the homeowner can perform all cooking tasks in a single workspace. Due to limited space, a one wall kitchen will often contain a compact refrigerator and smaller range. These two appliances are typically separated by the sink. Modern one wall kitchens may feature an island that is located across from the wall which gives you more workspace. Other homeowners rely on the kitchen table to provide additional workspace for food preparation. While a one wall kitchen is limited, it does offer benefits. A one wall kitchen allows you to prepare, cook and clean-up in a single space, which is extremely convenient. The layout has also become popular with homeowners who have plenty of space but are looking for an open floor plan design.

A kitchen designer or design-build-remodeler can help you to decide which of these popular kitchen floor plans is the right one for you. All offer benefits and some drawbacks. The floor plan you ultimately choose will be somewhat dictated by the style of kitchen you desire, the space you have available and of course your budget. Whichever design you want, make sure to incorporate smart design like a workable kitchen triangle to keep your space functional and efficient!

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 6/25/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.