Special Nonexistent Furniture

Guide to Kitchen Sink Styles

There are a few things to think about when choosing a kitchen sink. First is the overall look that you want to achieve. Does your kitchen design lean more sleek and contemporary, or vintage and relaxed? Then, think about the way you work in the kitchen. Are you a foodie who needs lots of room in your sink to prep and cleanup, or is takeout food more your style and you mostly use your sink to rinse glasses and plates? 

Finally, think about the layout of your kitchen. You may have limited space and a challenging floor plan or plenty of room to accommodate even a second, prep sink. Whatever your requirements, there is a kitchen sink to meet your needs. Below, we explain the five most popular styles (including mounting options) and breakdown the basics of single, double, and triple bowl configurations.

5 Most Common Sink Styles

Undermount Sinks

1. Undermount Sinks

  • Installed below the countertop
  • Can only be used with solid-surface counters
  • Gives a smooth look that's a rising trend
  • You can wipe directly into the sink
  • Easy to clean

Drop In Sink

2. Drop In or Self-Rimming Sinks

  • A rim that sits on the countertop supports the sink's weight
  • Self-rimming sinks have a slightly higher rim
  • Most popular style
  • Easiest to install, usually about an hour
  • Affordable, durable stainless is the most popular material
  • Also available in cast iron or porcelain

Farmhouse Sink

3. Farmhouse Sinks

  • A deep, rectangular basin with an exposed front
  • Also known as apron sinks
  • A vintage, country style that's becoming more popular

Bar Sink

4. Bar Sinks

  • Usually range from 9.5-18 inches wide
  • Good for limited counter space
  • Sometimes used as a prep sink 
  • Available with one or two bowls
  • Either undermount or drop-in mounting
  • Rectangular, round, or square shapes

Corner Sink

5. Corner Sinks

  • Smart solution for U- or L-shaped counters
  • Can help achieve an efficient ?work triangle? 
  • Space-saving choice 

Number of Sink Bowls

Single Bowl

  • Generally as wide as 33 inches
  • Good for large dishes and large pots because they are not divided
  • Overall, take up less space than other sinks.
  • Smart choice for a small kitchen or as a secondary prep sink. 

Double Bowl

  • Generally as wide as 48 inches
  • Provide separations for washing and rinsing dishes or food prep and cleanup
  • Standard, most popular configuration
  • Sometimes, the two bowls are different sizes (one deep and one shallow, or one large and one small)

Triple Bowl

  • Generally as wide as 60 inches
  • Have a small, shallow third basin that's usually used as a prep sink
  • Often accessories, such as cutting boards, fit into the third bowl
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Sink Measurements

  • Be sure to measure your countertop and cabinet depth before purchasing. Standard cabinets are 24 inches and standard countertop depth is 25 inches. 
  • Different styles of sinks require a different amount of clearance around them. Farmhouse sinks have an exposed front which protrudes a bit and drop-in sinks have a rim that sits on top of the counter.
  • Be sure to note the interior and exterior measurements of a sink. The exterior measurement is needed to ensure that there is enough clearance to install it in your chosen space.
  • Try using a large piece of butcher paper to draw and measure the placement of your sink before making your purchase. This will help you to visualize it in the space and make sure it will work.

Number of Faucet Holes

Once you've chosen a sink, you want to make sure it has enough faucet holes for all of your needs. Kitchen faucets most commonly require three holes. If you want a soap dispenser, a side sprayer, or a filtered water spigot, you may need more. If your sink comes with more holes than you need, hole covers can be used to disguise them. Also, many sinks offer cutout holes, where you can simply punch out the hole if you need it. Before making a purchase, be sure the number of holes on your sink and faucet match up.