The layout of your kitchen layout determines your efficiency when you are in it, so choosing one depends on how you use it. When planning a kitchen remodel, the tendency is to keep the layout the way it is and simply bring in new stuff, such as kitchen countertops. However, that might be a wasted opportunity, as this is the perfect time to mix things up.

On the other hand, some homeowners take this to extremes and change the layout even when it is not necessary or even desirable. Deciding which way you should go can be hard, so you should find out more about the pros and cons of different layouts. This is particularly important for your kitchen countertops, as the layout you choose will have a big impact on their effectiveness. Here are some key facts about layouts and kitchen countertops.

One-wall layout

The one-wall layout is one of the simplest and most cost-effective layouts for new and remodeled kitchens. Everything in the kitchen is along one wall, including countertops, cabinets, sink, and appliances, so that means just a linear configuration for plumbing and electrical wiring. 

Most kitchens with this configuration are small, although this can work just as well for large kitchens. The size of your available space is not going to help you decide to choose this layout, but the pros and cons below might.

Pros

  • Workflow is relatively free, and more than one person can work at the same time without constraint
  • Lack of barriers promotes openness
  • Design and construction is relatively simple as all plumbing, gas, and electrical wiring are along one wall
  • Works best with an open space layout, which is common in many homes today
  • Larger kitchen areas with an open layout allows the addition of a kitchen island of any size

Cons

  • For smaller homes, this means a limited workspace and no seating area
  • Kitchen work triangle is not possible
  • Longer foot travel for larger kitchens

Galley-style layout

The galley-style or corridor-style kitchen layout replicates the conditions prevailing in ships, where space below deck is often restricted. The galley refers to a long, narrow space, and in the kitchen, this means putting the kitchen features on one of two opposite walls, usually leaving just 48 inches of aisle space.

A galley kitchen may be open on both ends, or closed at one end by a wall or door. This is a good layout when space is at a premium, such as in many small apartments and condos. 

Pros

  • Double the storage and workspace relative to a one-wall layout
  • Utilizes the kitchen work triangle, making it more efficient
  • Narrow space typically implies easy access to everything in the kitchen

Cons

  • Typically a one-person kitchen due to the lack of aisle space
  • If used as a throughway, it might be hard for people to pass if some is using the kitchen
  • Potential space wasted for closed-end layouts
  • Narrow space probably precludes seating areas
  • Open doors of the oven or dishwasher can impede movements considerably

L Shape layout

Most kitchens use the L-shape layout, whether the home is an open space layout or not, and typical for packages for 10 x 10 square foot kitchen packages. In this layout, the kitchen countertops and cabinets line two walls perpendicular to each other. In most cases, it is open ended as the kitchen placement is in one corner of the home, accommodating the L-shape very well. In some older homes, the kitchen is self-contained, or in a separate room from the rest of the home, and might have two sets of L-shaped layouts.

Pros

  • Ideal layout for a classic kitchen work triangle
  • Considerably more storage and workspace than galley or one-wall layouts
  • Eligible for the addition of a kitchen island to extend workspace and storage further
  • Seating areas are definitely possible

Cons

  • In larger kitchens, the kitchen work triangle might place one or more major feature of the kitchen at a considerable distance from each other
  • Results in awkward spaces such as corners that might require the installation of special drawers and cabinets to utilize the space

Double L layout

Mainly a replication of the L-shaped layout, the double L kitchen typically involves the installation of a full kitchen island with a sink and/or cooktop. This might also involve a mix of a one-wall kitchen layout and full kitchen island in some cases.

Pros

  • Significant amount of countertops spaces as full islands are usually wider than the typical 24.5 inches of depth of regular perimeter countertops
  • Wider aisle space allows multiple people to work in the kitchen at the same time, particularly if there are two sets of sinks or cooking areas
  • Seating is possible, making the kitchen multifunctional

Cons

  • Typically takes up a significant amount of space due to the kitchen island, which may not be an issue if the home has an open space layout
  • A full kitchen island might involve additional cost for the extra utilities required to equip it

U Shape Layout

A U shape layout is similar to the one-sided galley style layout, but with much wider aisle space. This is because the parallel walls are further apart. The closed end is thus wide enough to accommodate one or more appliances, a pantry, or utility closet.

Pros

  • Eligible for a classic kitchen work triangle for work efficiency
  • More storage and work space by putting the closed end to good use
  • Depending on the aisle space, it might be able to accommodate more than one person working in the kitchen

Cons

  • A kitchen island might not be possible unless the walls are far enough apart to accommodate one and still maintaining a minimum 48 inches of aisle space on all sides
  • Accommodating a seating area is not easy in most cases

Conclusion

All of these kitchen layouts are excellent under various circumstances. The trick is identifying which one will be the best one for your circumstances. It is usually a good idea to consult with professionals to help you with that decision, especially countertop specialists as kitchen countertops play a major role in any layout. Keystone Granite & Tile is your best bet in the areas of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware cities, Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We have showrooms in Lancaster and Horsham, Pennsylvania as well as New Castle, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. We will walk you through each slab and explain how each can benefit you in your kitchen or bathroom remodel. If you prefer engineered stones, we also carry the top brands in the industry such as Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all with manufacturer warranties.

Once you have chosen your slabs, we provide free professional design consultation and quotes so you know exactly where you are before committing. We also have a quick turnaround, so you will get your products on time and on budget.

We are experts at fabricating and installing engineered stone and granite countertops, so you can be confident that you will get the very best in product and service quality. Give us a call or send us an inquiry through our website to get the ball rolling!