Sizing Up Your Sink: Choosing the Right Dimensions for Your Maryland or DC Kitchen
When it comes to your kitchen sink, it turns out that size really does matter. Most folks may assume that a sink is just a sink, and there isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to choosing one. But although sink size might not be foremost in your mind, it can still impact the functionality and flow of your kitchen.
Keep in mind that a contractor’s sink dimensions will be different than ours. For example, a contractor’s depth measurement refers to the distance from the front to the back of the sink. However, for the sake of this article, we’ll use the following measurements:
- Length: How far along the countertop the sink runs
- Width: The distance from the front of the sink to the back
- Depth: How deep the bowl is
You might want to clarify these details when it comes time to work with your contractor.
For a single bowl sink, the typical dimensions are approximately 27 inches long by 19 inches wide and 7-8 inches deep. The countertop will give additional depth after installation. If you’re pinched for space, you may want to go with a 22 – 24 inch-long sink.
In average-sized kitchens, sinks are around 30 inches long, while larger ones can range from 33 to 36 inches. Double bowls can be up to 48 inches in length.
Sink Installation Techniques
Undermount. Undermounted sinks are the most commonly purchased types of sinks in the current home renovation market. They’re installed in your base cabinet from underneath your countertops, and give you a nice, smooth finish. It should sit perfectly or near-perfectly flush with your countertop. You won’t see a lot of extra nooks and crannies, which makes it easy to keep clean.
Overmount. Overmount or drop-in sinks are installed over your countertop. They usually have a lip that curves over and rests on the edge of the counter. While they can be just as visually appealing as the undermount sink, they’re often less expensive and are much easier to install. They can, however, be a bit tricky to clean, as grime and soap scum can sneak into the cracks around the sink.
Apron-front. These sinks are growing in popularity, and are longer and deeper than your average sink. They slot into the cabinet space underneath the countertop, leaving the outer edge exposed for a more industrial look. They extend past the flat face of the cabinet and usually have rounded corners for easy cleaning.
Determining The Right Sink Size
The right sink size depends on the size of the base cabinet and the method of installation. Depending on the sink you already have in your kitchen, your replacement size choices might be limited. This is especially true if you’re only replacing the sink itself and not the base cabinet it’s mounted on. While you can definitely expand the hole to fit a larger sink, we don’t recommend trying to install a smaller sink in a larger hole – you won’t get the prettiest result.
The typical formula for finding the right undermount sink size is to take the size in inches of the base cabinet that will hold your sink, and then subtract three inches. The resulting number is the biggest size of sink you should get. Any bigger, and you’ll have issues with installation as the sink needs space to clamp onto.
Pros and Cons of Various Sink Types
A deeper sink can make it easier for you to wash large pots and pans, but taller folks may find themselves leaning down or straining their necks unnecessarily.
Drainboards integrated into your sink can be handy, but you can end up losing a lot of real estate on the countertop and with the sink itself. Most people would probably agree that a bigger sink is best; you certainly won’t have any issues getting all your dishes in there. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll probably want to leave some landing space on either side of your sink to stack dishes once you’ve cleaned them.
Ultimately, choosing the right sink comes down to the size of your base cabinet, the installation method, and your preferences for utility and aesthetics. If you need a professional opinion or want a beautiful finished product without thinking about it too much, reach out to the pros at Winthorpe today. Our kitchen design experts can help you choose, design, and install a sink that will fit your needs perfectly.