Choosing a new kitchen sink is an exciting part of remodeling or building a home. With so many styles, materials, sizes and features to consider, it can also feel overwhelming to pick the perfect one. This comprehensive guide covers the six most important factors to weigh when selecting a kitchen sink.

Design and Style

The design and style of your sink will impact the look and feel of your entire kitchen. Consider what design elements are most important to you before zeroing in on a sink choice.

Single vs Double Bowl

The first decision is whether you prefer a single bowl or double bowl configuration.

Single bowl sinks are one deep basin. This creates a seamless, streamlined look. Single bowl sinks are popular in modern and contemporary kitchens. They offer lots of space for washing large pots and pans.

Double bowl sinks have two basins divided by a partition. The two bowls can be used for multitasking – like soaking dishes in one side while washing veggies in the other. Double bowl sinks normally have a smaller footprint, allowing more counter space. They create a more classic look.

If you regularly cook for large gatherings, a double bowl sink could boost efficiency. Busy cooks find they offer more functionality. But single bowl models are trendier and allow for larger basin capacity.

Drainboard Included

Many sinks come with an attached drainboard. This is the sloped ledge next to the basin.

Drainboards create space to air dry dishes or lay out washed produce. They can be the same material as the sink or made from wood or plastic.

Farmhouse style sinks traditionally have generous drainboards. Minimalist modern sinks may not have a drainboard at all.

Consider if an integrated drainboard matches your decor and how you plan to use the space. You can always add a removable drainboard mat later.

Front vs Rear Set

sinks may have the basin set close to the front edge or pushed back toward the rear.

Front set sinks leave little countertop space in front. This makes an eye-catching focal point. It works well with sinks that have integrated drainboards.

Rear set sinks have several inches of countertop space in front of the basin. This leaves room for dish racks or cutting boards. It has a lighter visual impact.

Check where windows, cabinets and backsplashes fall to determine which setback fits best. You’ll also want to think about what you’ll use the countertop space for.

Specialty Styles

Beyond the basic single vs double bowl decision, there are a few specialty styles worth considering:

  • Apron front: The front face of the sink is visible below the countertop. This is typical for farmhouse sinks.
  • Inset: The sink rests inside the countertop hole so the rim is flush. This is a seamless, upscale look.
  • Undermount: The sink rims sits below a solid countertop surface for easy wiping. Most modern sinks use this style.
  • Integral: The countertop surface and sink are molded together as one piece. This is popular for solid surface materials like quartz.

Sink Materials

Kitchen sinks are made from different materials, each with their own pros and cons:

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the most popular sink material due to its classic look, durability and affordability. Pros include:

  • Durability: Withstands heavy use, high temps, scratches and stains. Lifetime of 20+ years.
  • Noise control: Dense material dampens sound from dishes and running water.
  • Low maintenance: Easy to clean. Shows fewer spots and fingerprints.
  • Affordable pricing: Wide range of prices. Good value that fits most budgets.

The main downsides are heat conduction (sink can feel hot) and industrial look. Some types can dent with heavy impact. Consider padded accessories to prevent dish breakage.

Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled cast iron sinks, like those made by Kohler, offer a glossy porcelain finish over sturdy iron. Key benefits are:

  • Beauty: Glossy colored enamels that mimic fine china with chip-resistant surface.
  • Durable: Structural strength and dense mass absorb sound and impact.
  • Heat retention: Keeps water warm for longer in deep farmhouse styles.
  • Easy cleaning: Glass-like enamel wipes clean without staining.

Drawbacks are weight – large models may require cabinet reinforcement. Porcelain can chip if struck hard enough by heavy objects. Prone to showing mineral deposits.

Solid Surface

Integrated solid surface sinks made of quartz or resin materials deliver a sleek, modern look. Perks include:

  • Seamless look: Material integrates smoothly into countertops for upscale style.
  • Hygienic: Nonporous surface resists stains and mildew. Easy to disinfect.
  • Silence: Materials absorb noise from washing.
  • Durability: Resists scratches, heat and impacts.

Downsides are high material costs. Integrated installation is complex. Visible scratches can’t be buffed out. DIY repairs are difficult.


Fireclay sinks have a classic style reminiscent of old butcher shops. Pros:

  • Vintage charm: Glossy traditional style works in vintage and cottage kitchens.
  • Temperature resistance: Can withstand boiling water or cryogenic freezing.
  • Stain proof: Glossy surface stays pristine.
  • Quiet: Porcelain material absorbs sound.

Cons are a heavy weight requiring cabinet reinforcement. Glossy finish shows waterspots readily. Potential for chipping. Limited size options.


Copper has an attractive warm glow that fits well in rustic and farmhouse kitchens. Considerations:

  • Natural look: Copper boasts unique hammered, brushed or polished finishes.
  • Antimicrobial: Copper naturally kills bacteria. Ideal for food prep.
  • Heat conduction: Copper warms up quickly at touch.
  • Develops patina: Surface oxidizes into a lovely aged green hue over time.

Downsides are a hefty purchase price and intensive installation. Copper requires frequent polishing to maintain its shine and prevent over-patination. Scratches and dings cannot be repaired.

Size, Depth and Dimensions

Getting the sink dimensions right for your space ensures everything fits together perfectly.

Sink Depths

Standard sink depths are:

  • Shallow: 5” to 7” deep. Best for hand washing or as secondary prep sink.
  • Standard: 7” to 9” deep. Accommodates most tasks while fitting medium cabinets.
  • Deep: 9” to 12”+ deep. Allows soaking large pots. Needs base cabinet depth of at least 36”.

Measure your existing base cabinetry or drawings to choose the deepest sink possible. Just confirm the sink lip clears the countertop edge so you achieve positive reveal.

Length and Width

Common sink lengths are 30”, 33”, 36” wide or more. Measure your existing hole or available countertop space.

For double bowl sinks allow at least 4” between basins so faucets and accessories fit.

Prioritize width over length to make an easy-to-access workspace. Extra length mainly extends the back ledge space.

Drain and Faucet Placement

Pay attention to the drain and faucet hole positions to ensure compatible installation.

Standard configurations are:

  • Center drain: Drain is centered behind a single faucet hole. Most single bowl sinks follow this layout.
  • Offset drain: Drain is placed to one side allowing space for a faucet, soap dispenser and other holes. Common on double bowl sinks.
  • Multiple faucet holes: Holes at the back lip allow for installation of accessories like sprayers, soap dispensers and purifiers.

If your countertop already has holes drilled, make sure your new sink is compatible.

Installation Type

Installation is also affected by the sink type you choose:


Drop-in (also called top-mount) sinks have a rim that rests on top of the countertop hole. Pros:

  • DIY friendly: Easy to install directly into existing hole. No joinery skills needed.
  • Reversible: Sink can be readily replaced or flipped over if scratched.
  • Inexpensive: Mostly used for cheaper stainless steel or porcelain models.

Drop-in sinks rely on silicone sealant to prevent leaks around the rim. Sealant needs regular inspection and maintenance. Rim gets dirty easily.


As the name implies, undermount sinks attach underneath the counter for smooth transition. Benefits:

  • Modern look: Visually sleek style that suits contemporary kitchens.
  • Easy cleanup: No lip means countertop can be wiped straight into the basin.
  • Versatile: Works with multiple countertop materials including natural stone.

Undermount needs a precise installation cutout and strong attachment using brackets or epoxy. The sink itself is permanently fixed.

Prep and Installation Work

To achieve a quality sink installation:

  • Make sure old sink plumbing lines are in good shape. Replace if needed.
  • Measure and cut precise opening for your new sink.
  • For undermount, chamfer the cutout edge so the sink rim fits flush.
  • Seal the sink perimeter with silicone caulk for water-tightness.
  • Attach any mounting brackets or hardware securely before finishing.

Always install the faucet, strainers and accessories after your sink is in place. Use the manufacturer instructions for your sink type.

Additional Features

Specialty sinks can come with bonus features that add functionality:

  • Integrated ledges: Provide extra space for drying, preparation or displaying items.
  • Accessory tracks: Allow you to customize sinks with sliding accessories like cutting boards, colanders or trays.
  • Grates: Let you switch between open basin or grate-covered use for more versatility.
  • Waste disposers: Grind up food scraps so they can wash down the drain easily.
  • Water filtration: Filters remove impurities and odors from tap water at the sink.
  • Motion activation: Touchless faucets turn on via motion sensors so you don’t contaminate handles.
  • Draining boards: Provide additional drying and prep space next to the basin.

6 Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Sink

To recap, take into account these six factors when selecting your ideal kitchen sink:

  1. Design and style: Choose from single, double, farmhouse, modern and more.
  2. Sink materials: Consider stainless, enameled cast iron, solid surface, fireclay or copper.
  3. Size and dimensions: Measure your space’s limitations and needs. Allow for accessories.
  4. Installation method: Factor in how your sink will mount – undermount, drop-in or integrated.
  5. Accessory compatibility: Ensure your sink accommodates your current or planned faucet and addons.
  6. Special features: Decide if you need integrated ledges, drying boards, filtration or disposers.

Weighing these key elements will help you select the perfect kitchen sink tailored to your space, lifestyle and budget. With so many options available, you can certainly find a sink to suit your needs whether that’s a sleek modern stainless model or a classic fireclay farmhouse apron front.

Careful planning and measurement during your selection process will ensure your beautiful new sink installs smoothly. Pay close attention to dimensions so you end up with a sink that fits perfectly within your countertop area and cabinet base.

FAQ About Choosing a Kitchen Sink

Many homeowners have additional questions when researching their kitchen sink purchase. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

What is the most popular kitchen sink material?

Stainless steel is by far the most common kitchen sink material. It offers great durability at an affordable price point. The stainless steel surface hides scratches and is easy to clean.

What’s better: single or double bowl sink?

This depends on your needs and preferences. Double bowl sinks offer more versatility for multitasking and cleaning large items. Single bowl sinks create a streamlined, modern look with more usable basin space.

Should I get an undermount or drop-in sink?

Again, this choice comes down to visual style and installation factors. Undermount sinks are sleeker but harder to install. Drop-in models are simpler for DIY replacement projects.

How do I choose the right sink size?

Carefully measure your existing sink or countertop cutout space. Allow room for faucets and backsplash clearance. Confirm sink depth works with your cabinetry.

What’s the standard kitchen sink size?

The most popular kitchen sink size is 33″ x 22″. This fits well into standard 24″ deep base cabinets. Farmhouse and specialty sinks come in larger configurations.

How much does it cost to install a kitchen sink?

For simple drop-in replacement using existing plumbing, DIY sink installation costs $100 to $300. Hiring a pro for an undermount or new drain line runs $400 to $1,200.

Can I install an undermount sink myself?

While possible, undermount sinks require expert precision cutting the countertop hole and securing the sink. Carpenters strongly recommend leaving undermount jobs to professionals.

How do I choose a faucet for my new sink?

Select a faucet before buying a sink. Confirm the faucet body, holes, and reach all work with the configurations of the sink you prefer.


The key considerations when selecting a kitchen sink are the design style, materials, size, installation method, accessory planning and special features. Measure your existing space and understand how you use your kitchen when weighing these factors. With so many types of sinks available today, take your time to find the perfect option to upgrade your culinary space and suit your cooking needs. Careful attention to details like dimensions, hole placements and installation requirements will ensure you end up with a dream sink tailored beautifully to your kitchen.

6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Sink

Choosing a new kitchen sink is a big decision. The right sink should not only fit the overall function and style of your kitchen, but also suit your needs. With many types of kitchen sinks available in different materials, sizes, configurations, and features, it’s important to weigh all the options thoroughly.

Follow this guide covering the six essential factors to consider when selecting a new kitchen sink. Thinking through these key points will help you identify the perfect sink for your home and lifestyle.

Size and Dimensions

The size and dimensions of your sink will impact available workspace and what you can wash in it. Consider these factors:

  • Basin dimensions – Length and width should fit your space while allowing enough room for washing dishes and produce. Standard sizes are 30″ to 36″ wide.
  • Bowl configuration – Compare single bowl, double bowl, and triple bowl setups. Double bowls can add multitasking workspace.
  • Depth – Standard sink depths range from 6″ to 10″. Deeper sinks allow filling stockpots but may not fit base cabinets.
  • Drainboard size – Integrated drainboards can be small or span the sink length. Measure to ensure enough prep space.

Take detailed measurements of your existing sink or countertop area before selecting a correctly sized replacement. Allow room for the faucet and backsplash.


Kitchen sinks come in stainless steel, enamel, composite, copper, and more. Each has advantages and drawbacks:

  • Stainless steel – Most popular material offers durability, affordability, and easy cleaning. Can show water spots.
  • Enameled cast iron – Gorgeous enameled surface but very heavy. Prone to chipping.
  • Composite – Solid surface feels seamless with countertops. Expensive and tricky to repair.
  • Copper – Gorgeous natural patina over time but requires frequent polishing.
  • Fireclay – Classically styled porcelain is sturdy but can be prone to cracking.
  • Granite/Quartz – Matches countertop beautifully. Integrated style needs expert installation.

Consider your aesthetic tastes, budget, and how gently you use your sink when choosing a material.

Installation Type

Installation method impacts the sink’s seamless fit and permanence:

  • Drop-in – Sink rim simply rests atop the counter cutout. Easy for DIY installs but ledge traps gunk.
  • Undermount – Attaches below the counter for a smooth transition. Harder to install but cleans easily.
  • Farmhouse/Apron – Sink front extends onto cabinet face. Supports hefty materials like stone.
  • Integrated – Entire unit with countertop is installed as one piece. Custom aesthetic.

Evaluate your skill level, budget, and desired versatility when weighing installation options.

Design and Features

Beyond the basics, specialty design elements and features can enhance functionality:

  • Draining boards – Allow space for drying dishes or food prep next to the basin.
  • Multiple faucet holes – Open up space for soap dispensers, filtered water, etc.
  • Accessory tracks – Customize your sink with sliding trays, cutting boards, colanders.
  • Rolling grids – Add more uses like draining pasta right in your sink.
  • Waste disposal unit – Grind up scraps so they wash down the drain easily.

Determine if unique designs like apron-front or extras like drying racks suit your workflow.

Faucet Pairings

Don’t forget about the faucet! Choose compatible faucet and sink combinations:

  • Faucet holes – Ensure your sink and chosen faucet align on