Layout of Kitchen Appliances

The three primary items for the layout of your kitchen appliances that you need to plan for are the sink, the range and the refrigerator.

Once you have these three items placed in your work triangle, add the other kitchen appliances. this is considered an efficient kitchen layoutThese are the dishwasher and wall ovens. If there is going to be a kitchen island, now is the time. Then the kitchen cabinets, counters and eating areas are added. The dimensions of each item will play into how your floor plan fits together.

At this stage of the remodel, it is really easy to erase a line and move something. One technique that although very old and still works great and is a good one for the not so advanced computer users.


  • go get some graph paper and use a scale of ¼” equals 6 inches or 3 inches (what ever will fit your drawing on one page);
  • cut paper templates for the sink (single 25” wide by 22” deep, double bowl 33” or 36” wide by 22” deep, or whatever size your sink is);
  • refrigerator (28” to 36” wide, 28” to 32” deep and 58” to 72” high, built-in refrigerators are 24” deep);
  • stove (24”, 30”, 36” wide and 24” to 27” deep, 36” high); and
  • everything else you want included, breakfast table, etc.


Draw the basic outline of your current kitchen configuration showing doors, windows, electrical switches and outlets. Also add the current plumbing connections.

If you intend to move into adjacent rooms or expand out of a side wall, this method will allow you see how everything fits together. Now you can move the entire floor plan and the kitchen appliances around with very little effort.

Keeping all measurements to scale is important as you may plan to put the dishwasher in a specific place. If you do not allow 24” inches of width, it might not fit. Actually, there is an 18” apartment model, hard to find (usually special order) and usually expensive.

Ask me how I know! We bought a small house several years ago with an 18” dishwasher that was going to have to be replaced.

Below on the left is a picture of the kitchen when we bought it. As you can see, it was the under the counter model. I had never seen an 18” dishwasher, so I assumed it was 24 inches.

When I drew up the floor plan to include the kitchen appliances, the dishwasher would not fit. Because I didn’t measure and only assumed it was 24”, I had to redo the plans which threw our time schedule off.

We did, however, finish and below on the right is a picture of the finished kitchen.

For those that are advanced on the computer, there are several CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing) programs that are terrific. Autocad is without a doubt the most robust, most expensive and has a learning curve that looks like a vertical line, professionals use this one to a very large degree.

If you are looking for something more user friendly, I have personally used PUNCH, Professional Home Design. It is a wonderful program which goes way beyond a basic floor plan design.

You can layout the house, do fly-throughs that see what the placement of the kitchen appliances will look like. You can add a deck and design the landscaping with the ability to see what the vegetation will look like in future years.

I have also used Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer 6.0 (I think 7 is now the current version). This one allows you to assemble a drawing based upon basic dimensions and then assemble the entire floor plan.

These are very good if you are computer savvy. Both of these programs allow you to paint the walls, plan textured features and place kitchen appliances. The list of user possibilities is almost endless.

Do the lights fit the plan and give the best illumination for the work area or are you working in your shadow? How about a desk to plan the meals and work on family bills. Don’t forget a place for a telephone, internet connection for computer access and a TV connection.

Of course, my personal favorite is the internet connection for the refrigerator. THAT’S RIGHT! For the smart appliances, placing a CAT5 cable for later use when this feature becomes available, is a good idea. Something I have found it to be helpful is to wait 24 hours then look at the plan again. I always change something.

Careful measuring will enable you to visualize how your kitchen appliances will look and increase the satisfaction of a job well done the first time. Plan every detail in detail!

Dave Altman

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