Kitchen Layouts: Our Complete Guide to Every Type of Kitchen

Kitchen layout ideas
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Kitchen layouts come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from galleys to U-shaped and every layout in between – giving homeowners plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’ve recently bought your property or are considering a complete kitchen redesign, your floor plan will be the thing that helps you to create the kitchen work triangle. This a principle often used by architects and designers, and is the path that is created between your sink, fridge and the oven area – so when choosing the best layout for you, you should keep the triangle in mind.

Space will of course be a factor when choosing the best layout for your kitchen, and the placement of cabinets and drawers will be determined by your storage needs. Typically, there are 5 different types of layouts for kitchens and we’re going to explore each of them here.

Single-wall kitchens

Single-wall kitchens are often found in properties that have limited space. The appliances in this type of space tend to be assembled all along the one wall – and because of their design, the triangle doesn’t necessarily apply in a single wall kitchen.

At its core, the kitchen’s job is to be a functional part of the home that can be utilised day in and day out – so while space might be limited, you need to ensure each component can still do its job. Efficiency is the focus word of single-wall kitchens and by running your units from end to end, you can make the most of the single line and benefit from a stretch of kitchen counter space that’s not broken up by odd angles.

You should also be able to keep costs down with this sort of kitchen, as all units are displayed along one wall, removing the need for cabinets on all four walls. In terms of kitchen layout ideas, there’s not a lot you can do with the main appliances, so it’s more about considering your cabinets and using storage creatively.

Top tip: focus on the vertical. To make the most of the space you’re working with, build cabinets upwards and utilise space above and around them.

Galley kitchens

galley kitchen with food on worktops
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

A galley kitchen resembles a corridor, and this often means a kitchen with a walkway that’s situated in the middle of parallel cabinets or appliances. This type of kitchen generally has two areas for cooking, on either side of the narrow walkway. As with the single wall kitchen, this layout is often found in smaller properties as it allows homeowners to make the most of the space they have.

Galley kitchens require some careful planning to elongate the space, but this can be achieved by positioning vertical kitchen tiles for splashbacks to draw the eye upwards. As well as this, you can get smart with your flooring, too. If you’re opting for tiled floors, use large format designs and lay your kitchen floor tiles lengthways, ensuring that they run in the same direction as your cabinets.

If you’re able to have your cabinets run floor to ceiling, this will save precious space which will only appear maximised if you choose to hide kitchen appliances behind closed doors. Other ways to be smart with your storage are to opt for roll out shelves and drawer dividers.

Top tip: be smart with colour choices – darks will overwhelm the space and make it appear smaller so make sure you spend time finding the right colour and size for your kitchen wall tiles.

U-shaped kitchens

A U-shaped kitchen can work in spaces of all sizes. It comprises three walls which create the U-shape – sometimes referred to as a C-shaped kitchen – and benefits from continuous worktops. The space between the two facing walls often differs in width and length – but keep in mind when designing your layout that smaller spaces can feel cramped if you have protruding appliances and accessories.

With U-shaped kitchen layouts, you can enjoy ample food preparation areas, as well as storage opportunities. The cabinets themselves can span around the three sides of the room providing plenty of overhead space and therefore freeing up your floor area for appliances.

However, for smaller U-shaped kitchens, you’ll want to avoid displaying cabinets on every wall, as this will overwhelm the space and make the room feel cramped. Instead, choose one or two walls where you can maximise the storage options and build your cabinets here. The open end of the kitchen allows easy access into the area, which makes cooking a breeze.

Top tip: a U-shaped kitchen is among the most efficient types of layout when it comes to the triangle. The ability to move around freely means navigating between the sink, oven and fridge can be done with ease – so if time and efficiency are factors for you, this is one to consider.

L-shaped kitchens

green L-shaped kitchen

As the name suggests, an L-shaped kitchen uses its walls, cabinets and worktops to create the appearance of an L. This style of kitchen typically opens onto another room – making it an ideal option for those who regularly have guests and entertain.

If you imagine an x and y axis, this is how an L-shaped kitchen works, when two walls meet at a corner point. This frees up plenty of floor space and with the sink on one axis, the other provides a continuous stretch of worktop space.

Wall lengths can differ in an L-shaped kitchen and they don’t have to match – so even modest spaces can utilise this layout. Due to its versatility, this kitchen layout lends itself to a variety of designs – from modern and minimalist to rustic chic, so you can have fun experimenting with what works for your home.

Top tip: if you’re working with a larger space, you could consider an island for this style of kitchen. Walkways should be at least 42 inches wide, so you’d need to ensure you could comfortably accommodate an island before you start building.

G-shaped kitchens

An expansion of the U-shaped layout, the G-shaped kitchen offers up three walls of cabinets and worktops and then adds in a fourth worktop that runs half the length or width of the room – creating the G shape. This makes the entrance to the kitchen area smaller, but provides practicality in terms of additional workspace.

This type of kitchen layout is ideal for those who want bags of space for food preparation and cooking. With several surfaces to choose from, occupants can use different stations for a variety of needs, including the cooking itself and the clean up.

The additional counter is the real benefit of this kitchen, with the added part often used as a breakfast bar. Stools are typically placed on the outer side of the kitchen area so as not to take up valuable space within the main kitchen. You’ll need plenty of square footage to be able to make this layout work.

Top tip: G-shaped kitchens are ideal for busy homes with multiple occupants, especially if several people need to be in the kitchen at once, as this will allow different members of the household to utilise different workstations at the same time.

Armed with our complete guide to kitchen layouts, you can start exploring the option that’s best suited to the space you have in your property – factoring in your needs and budget to ensure the end result is a kitchen you simply can’t keep out of.

To order your kitchen tiles with Tiles Direct today, simply browse our range and pick out a few samples to try!

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