The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. It’s where families gather to cook, eat, and spend quality time together. Given its importance, the kitchen should be not only functional but also beautiful. One overlooked design element that can dramatically impact the aesthetics and usefulness of your kitchen is the sink window.

Kitchen sink windows come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. They allow natural light to pour into the space while providing views of your backyard or garden. When renovating your kitchen, carefully considering your sink window options can take the design to the next level. Read on to learn everything you need to know about selecting, installing, dressing, and maintaining kitchen sink windows.

Choosing a Kitchen Sink Window

When selecting a kitchen sink window, there are several factors to consider:


Kitchen sink windows typically range anywhere from 24 to 48 inches wide. Measure the existing window opening to determine what size replacement will fit. Generally, larger windows allow more light and a better view. However, the existing wall framing could limit how big you can go.


Double-hung and casement are the most common kitchen window shapes. Double-hung has an upper and lower sash that slide up and down. Casement windows hinge open to the side. Picture and bay windows are also options that can provide interesting architectural details.


Wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum are common kitchen window frame materials. Wood provides a classic, natural look but requires more maintenance. Vinyl and fiberglass are low maintenance options. Aluminum gives a sleek, modern look.

Energy Efficiency

Look for Energy Star rated windows offering insulation from weather and noise. Key factors are glazing (double or triple pane glass), window coatings, gas fills, and sealants. Energy efficient windows may cost more upfront but pay off through utility bill savings.


Tempered glass makes windows safer and more resistant to breaking. Also consider child safety features like window opening control devices.


Kitchen sink window prices range from $150 on the very low end to $1500 or more for a large, high-end window. Vinyl is the most economical option. Wood is often the most expensive. Shop sales and rebates to save on energy efficient models.

How to Install a Kitchen Sink Window

Once you’ve selected the ideal window, it’s time for installation. Replacing a kitchen sink window involves careful removal of the old unit, preparing the opening, installing the new window securely, sealing gaps, trimming it out, and adding finishes. Follow these key steps:

Remove Existing Window

Start by carefully prying off any interior trim and taking out the window stops. Cut through any sealant or paint sealing the window in place. Remove the sash and any remaining frame pieces. Scrape, patch, and refinish the interior wall as needed.

Prepare the Opening

Check for level, plumb, and square. Make any necessary adjustments to the rough opening so the new window will fit properly. Also confirm structural integrity. Add headers or other framing if the existing wall framing seems inadequate.

Insert New Window

Place the window into the opening and shim as needed to level it. Attach through the side jambs into the framing using galvanized finish nails or screws. Check for plumb and square as you fasten. Avoid distorting the frame.

Waterproof and Insulate

Caulk around the exterior side of the window frame using quality, exterior-grade caulk. Then install backer rod and sealant between the window frame and rough opening on the interior side. Low expansion spray foam can also be used to insulate gaps.

Install Trim and Complete Installation

Add new interior trim pieces around the window to cover gaps and provide a finished look. Use finish nails and wood putty as needed. Also caulk along the bottom where the window frame meets the counter. Finally, attach any hardware like locks, lifts, or limit devices.

Dressing a Kitchen Sink Window

Once your new kitchen window is in place, it’s time to decorate it. Window treatments not only make the space more attractive but also add functionality:

Window Valances

A fabric valance is a simple way to introduce color, texture, and softness above the sink. Valances can be tailored with crisp pleats or relaxed ruffles. Mount them on a wood board or directly to the wall.

Cafe Curtains

Crisp caf� style curtains are ideal for kitchens. Choose a washable fabric like cotton or linen in a solid color or fun print. Hang them with decorative rods and rings or clips.

Blinds and Shades

Consider durable faux wood or aluminum blinds. Raise them to let light in or lower to reduce glare. Or install shades like bamboo rollers or Roman shades to control light and visibility.


Layer airy, lightweight sheers behind valances or curtains to filter light and allow some visibility. Choose neutral solids or tones for an unobtrusive look.


Swags layered over the window add softness and volume. Choose complementary fabrics and hang them high using decorative brackets. Accent with trim and tassels.

Mix and match different treatments like a valance with sheers and shades to customize your kitchen sink window. Adjust and rearrange until you find the perfect blend of style, privacy, and function.

Maintaining a Kitchen Sink Window

Kitchen sink windows require occasional maintenance to operate properly, look attractive, and maximize longevity:

  • Wipe down glass frequently using a glass cleaner or mild vinegar and water solution to prevent buildup and etching.
  • Vacuum window tracks regularly to remove dirt and debris that can impede opening and closing.
  • Lubricate rollers and hinges every few months using silicone spray lube to prevent squeaking and sticking.
  • Check for gaps in exterior caulking and re-caulk as needed to prevent leaks. Use a quality outdoor caulk.
  • Wash window curtains/valances/treatments in cool water on a gentle cycle according to fabric recommendations. Iron or steam if needed.
  • Inspect blinds and shades for dust buildup. Vacuum using a brush or dusting attachment. Spot clean slats as needed.
  • Make minor repairs immediately, like reattaching loose curtain rod hardware or fixing loose trim pieces around the frame.
  • Have windows professionally reglazed if glass becomes severely cracked or fogged.
  • Repaint trim as needed to refresh the look and protect from moisture damage.

Regular cleaning and inspection will help your new kitchen sink window function properly for years to come. Contact a professional for more significant window repairs.

Common Questions About Kitchen Sink Windows

What is the best height to install a kitchen sink window?

The standard height is 36-42 inches off the floor to the window sill. This allows easy access to open the window while standing at the sink, without being so low that it restricts counter space.

Should my kitchen sink window open?

Generally, yes – having at least one operable window above or near the kitchen sink provides important ventilation while doing dishes and other messy prep work. Casement windows that crank open offer optimal airflow.

How do I decorate a small kitchen sink window?

For small windows, minimal treatments like a short cafe curtain valance or simple roller shades work best. You can also create the illusion of height by extending the window trim or flanking it with tall plants.

What type of curtain rod should I use for a kitchen sink window?

Sturdy bracketed curtain rods are best for spanning a kitchen sink window. Look for solid wood or metal brackets that mount securely into wall studs on either side.

Should the kitchen sink window have the same treatment as the other windows?

Not necessarily – it’s fine to use complimentary but different styles between the sink window and others. For example, cafe curtains on the sink window and Roman shades on the adjacent windows. Just use colors and fabrics that coordinate.

How often should kitchen sink windows be cleaned?

Clean the glass at least once a week using glass cleaner or mild soap and water. For heavy use kitchens, wiping down the glass daily helps prevent odors and buildup. Vacuum tracks and dust blinds every 2-4 weeks.


The kitchen sink window often gets overlooked, but with careful selection and creative styling, it can become a decorative focal point and valuable functional asset. As you renovate your kitchen, take time to consider the perfect window solution to fit your space and lifestyle. Maximize sunlight, ventilation, and views with the right size and design. Dress up your window with elegant yet practical coverings to control privacy and lighting. By turning this utilitarian area into an architectural feature, your kitchen is sure to be the envy of friends and family.