Choosing the right kitchen sink is an important decision that can dramatically impact your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetics. With so many styles, materials, sizes, and features to consider, it can be overwhelming to select the perfect sink for your needs. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the key factors to take into account when shopping for a new kitchen sink.

Determine Your Sink Configuration

The first step is deciding on the type of sink configuration you need. The main options are:

Single Basin

A single basin sink contains one main bowl for washing dishes. This is the most common and affordable style. It works well for smaller kitchens.

Double Basin

A double basin sink has two equal-sized bowls side-by-side, allowing you to wash dishes in one and rinse in the other. This adds convenience and multitasking.


Farmhouse sinks are single large, deep basins meant to evoke a traditional style. They are installed under-mount or as part of an exposed apron front.

Prep Sink

For larger kitchens, a prep sink is a small secondary sink used for tasks like washing produce. It’s often installed near or in the island.

Choose Your Mounting Style

Kitchen sinks come in three main mounting styles:

Top Mount

Also called drop-in, top mount sinks rest above the counter with a visible rim around the bowl. They are easy to install and affordable but harder to clean around the edges.


Undermount sinks are installed below the counter for a seamless, built-in look. No rim means easy wipe-downs but a more difficult installation.


Flushmount, like undermount, rests below the counter but has minimal overhang for a discreet, trendy appearance. The install is simpler than full undermount.

Select Your Sink Material

Kitchen sinks come in a diverse range of materials, each with their own pros and cons:

Stainless Steel

The most popular material, stainless steel is long-lasting, dent-resistant, inexpensive, and comes in a range of styles. It can be noisy and show water spots.

Cast Iron

Cast iron offers a traditional look, great heat retention, and sound dampening. But it’s heavy, requires frequent re-sealing, and is easily damaged.

Composite Granite

Composite granite is durable, scratch-proof, and mimics the look of real stone. It can chip over time and is moderately expensive.


Ceramic and porcelain sinks boast a glossy surface that resists stains, scratches, heat, and chips. But the material can crack under heavy impact.


Copper is naturally anti-microbial and develops a unique patina over time. But it requires frequent polishing, is expensive, and stains easily.


Fireclay has a classic farmhouse look and resists chipping, scratches, and stains. It’s heavy and can be prone to cracking.

Determine the Appropriate Size

When selecting a kitchen sink, be sure to measure your existing space and factor in what tasks you’ll use the sink for.

  • For a main cleanup sink, a standard single bowl size is 22″ x 33″ or larger.
  • For a prep sink, 15″ to 18″ wide is common.
  • Depth is usually 7″ to 10″, with deeper sinks around 10″.
  • Consider your kitchen traffic flow and if people need working room around the sink.

Factor in Special Features

There are a number of optional features and accessories to enhance sink function:

  • Drainboards provide extra space for drying dishes and utensils.
  • A divided bowl helps organize washing tasks and limits splashing.
  • A front-mounted faucet ledge allows you to mount the faucet on the sink itself.
  • Soundproofing material like pads and spray coatings reduce noisy water sounds.
  • Grids, racks, and cutting boards can add more work surface area.

Match With Your Faucet and Countertops

Be sure to select a sink style that works with your existing or planned faucet, both visually and functionally. Also consider how the sink material and color complements or contrasts your countertop selection.

Know Your Installation Options

Some sinks require expert kitchen contractors for proper install, while others can be DIYed. Understand if you need to reinforce cabinets for a heavier material. Be ready for potential plumbing modifications.

Set a Budget

Kitchen sinks span a wide range of prices depending on material, size, features, and quality. Set realistic expectations and determine what you can spend. Quality stainless steel and porcelain models run $200 to $500 or more.

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink – FAQs

What is the most durable kitchen sink material?

Stainless steel and porcelain tend to be among the most durable kitchen sink materials. Both resist scratches, chips, stains, and heat damage better than many alternatives.

What is the quietest kitchen sink?

Composite granite, fireclay, and cast iron sinks tend to be the quietest kitchen sink options. Their dense materials muffle water noise well. Adding sound-dampening pads also helps reduce echo and splashing sounds.

What is the easiest kitchen sink to keep clean?

Undermount stainless steel or porcelain sinks are generally the easiest kitchen sinks to keep clean. Their smooth non-porous materials prevent dirt buildup and offer no crevices or edges for gunk to settle in.

Should I get one bowl or two bowls in my kitchen sink?

For busy cooks who multitask, a double bowl sink allows you to wash and rinse at the same time. If you mainly hand wash dishes sequentially, a single bowl provides ample room. Double bowls take up more counter space as well.

How do I choose a kitchen sink faucet?

Look for a faucet in a style and finish that matches your sink hardware and decor. Ensure it has adequate height clearance, reach, and spray settings. Select a durable construction like metal that resists corrosion and hard water buildup.

What is the standard kitchen sink size?

The most common kitchen sink size is 22″ wide x 30″ long for a single basin sink, or two 22″ x 17″ bowls side-by-side for a double basin. Sinks typically range from 7″ to 10″ deep. Farmhouse-style sinks may be larger and deeper.


Choosing the perfect kitchen sink involves carefully weighing your needs, preferences, and kitchen design. Focus first on the sink configuration, mounting style, and material that best suits your space and lifestyle. Be sure to measure your existing area, factor in special features if desired, and find the right balance between aesthetics, durability, and budget. With some thoughtful planning, you can select the ideal sink to enhance your culinary workspace for years to come.