The kitchen is the epicenter of most homes. It is where we eat, drink, cook, study, share ideas, and even argue. If you are designing a kitchen for a new home or renovating an older kitchen, the right layout is critical. Organizing a kitchen improperly from the start can lead to big problems and inconveniences down the line. Here’s a look at some common layout mistakes that you should avoid as you plan your own kitchen.

Avoid Kitchen Layout Blunders

(Pixabay / ElasticComputeFarm)

Too much or too little space between key appliances

The preponderance of kitchen activities occur in what is often referred to as “the triangle.” The three points of the triangle include the stove, sink, and refrigerator. The sink is the busiest point of the triangle, and it must be within easy access of the other two appliances. Each point of the triangle should be greater than 10 feet apart, but not more than 25 feet apart. If the distance is less than 10 feet, your triangle will be too small, and people will be falling all over each other as they try to work together in the kitchen. If the distance exceeds 25 feet, then working in the kitchen will require so much foot travel and reaching that it will soon become exhausting.

Note that if you need to move appliances to make an ideal triangle, you may have to call in an expert to reconfigure the plumbing.

Too few work surfaces

Countertops are critical for chopping food, drying dishes, rolling out dough, and more. One of the most common problems in kitchens, however, is a lack of continuous counter space. If you don’t have room to extend your counter, try adding a kitchen island or a breakfast bar.

No wall protection

If you are low on cash for your building or renovation project, you might be tempted to forego the backsplash. The backsplash is the panel behind the cooktop and sink that protects the wall from liquid splashes and other debris stirred up during food preparation. You need something to shield your walls from the steam and moisture that rise from the sink as well as from the grease that could stain your kitchen walls. The addition of a backsplash above the counters, sink, and cooktop will actually save you money in cleaning expenses or repair of damaged walls.

Don’t start your renovation until you are certain that you have a sound plan in place. If your kitchen has a practical layout from the get-go, everything else will fall into place.