Bluewater Interiors Designs by Roxanne

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Ever hear the saying “everything but the kitchen sink”?

Fun Fact

This expression was identified by Eric Partridge in his Dictionary of Forces’ Slang (1948) as being used in the context of an intense bombardment in which the enemy fired everything they had except the kitchen sink (or including the kitchen sink!). 

Hence, it became common after WWII then it moved into mainstream vernacular.

Well, when it comes to kitchen renovations, you want everything including the kitchen sink.

But we don’t really think about the sink, do we? We think about cabinet styles, countertops, hardware, and faucets. Only when a particular sink is desired – like a farmhouse sink – is the sink front and center.

So why don’t people put more thought into the sink when renovating their kitchen? I don’t have an answer for you but by the end of this blog you will be thinking about sinks differently. Trust me.

What I do know is that your kitchen sink is (arguably) the most-used fixture in the room, you need to choose the right one for your kitchen and your needs. So you and everyone else doing a kitchen reno should be thinking about this!

I’m going to go over types of sinks, sink sizes, single vs double bowl sinks, and so much more. So, let’s get on with it!

Types of Sinks

Drop In Sink: fits into a cut-out in the countertop, with the rim resting on the counter. These are not popular these days, especially if you are installing new countertops.
Undermount Sink: installed under the countertop. These can be single, double, trough or bar sinks.
flush mount sink
Flush Mount Sink: creates a seamless beautiful profile.
a prep sink
Prep Sink: smaller than a regular sink, prep sinks come in all sorts of shapes.
Apron Front Sink: generally longer and deeper than average, is installed so that the front, or “apron,” is exposed for a cottage-y look.

And that would be it, folks. There are 6 general types of sinks. Oh, I forgot the island sink! Well it is a ‘type’ of sink but can be any of the above. But it does count for the 6th type of sink. 

That’s it. That’s all for this section.

Moving on…

Size Does Matter!

Sinks come in all sorts of sizes and it depends on whether the sink is a single bowl or double bowl.

While the front-to-back dimensions of the sink remain standard due to the typical size of countertops and cabinets, the width of different types of sinks can vary dramatically. 

Single bowl sinks come in sizes as wide as 33 inches, while double-bowl units can measure up to 48 inches. Can you imagine having a 4 foot long sink? You gotta love washing dishes if you invest in a sink that large!

Bar sinks average 12” x 12” and can help with food prep but are usually just for water.

bar sink
Single bowl sink with bridge faucet.
sink with side platform
Single bowl sink with built-in drainboard.

The size of the sink you choose should fit into the cabinet that holds the sink. Or vice versa – choose the sink then determine the cabinet size needed. Either way…

24” cabinet: 22” wide sink

30” cabinet: 27” wide sink

36” cabinet: 33” wide sink

Any sink larger than 33″ will require a custom made cabinet.

A word on depth…

Most kitchen sinks vary from 8 to 10 inches in depth. While a sink with a 10 inch depth makes it easier to soak pots and pans, deeper sinks can be more uncomfortable for shorter family members to use.

Shallow sinks allow for easier reaching and prep work. Some prep sinks come with a depth of just a few inches and are often installed alongside a standard sink for cleaning vegetables. 

With an undermount sink, you must keep in mind the counter thickness when looking at the depth of the sink. The box may say it is 7.5” deep, but in reality, it is deeper because you add the counter thickness to the depth. Right? 

The actual depth off the installed sink is deeper than the sink itself.

The Great Debate: Single Versus Double

With the single bowl sink having a moment right now, it doesn’t appear there is much debate happening. Single bowl sinks fit better in smaller spaces and they are roomier for washing large pots and pans.  

With single bowls, undermounts are the choice as they appear smaller. Apron sinks of the same size can look too large in a small kitchen. So even though you may love them, if you have a smallish space, you may want to reconsider.

Double bowl sinks were popular before the invention of the dishwasher and in recent years have fallen out of favour. They are advantageous if you do not have a dishwasher and they come in various bowl size combinations.

You need to decide whether a single bowl sink or double bowl sink is more feasible given your lifestyle. Do you wash a lot of large dishes because you entertain a lot? Then go with the single bowl. If you prefer to hand wash all your dishes, a double bowl is the way to go.

So how do you choose a kitchen sink?

Besides the cabinet size being a constraint, you might want to consider the following factors:

  • Kitchen size
  • Storage needs
  • Usage

Kitchen size

The overall size of your kitchen is a huge factor in sink size. I know, right? It’s crazy but it is true!

In a smaller kitchen, where space is limited, a large sink means less counter space as well as less cabinet storage space. And a large sink would look, well, just odd. The type of sink matters too. A large apron-front sink will overpower a small kitchen but an undermount of the same size won’t.

A massive space can accommodate two large sinks; a small sink will look silly in a large kitchen. The scale and proportion are really off and you will notice it.

A tip for you…

Place a piece of paper cut to size of the sink area or map it out with masking tape to see how it will look in relation to its surrounding area. Does it look too small below the large picture window? Will you have enough space to prep food, store dirty dishes, air dry clean dishes, etc. Is there still space for everything else – soap, scrubbies, handcream, etc?

Storage Needs

If you have storage needs, they may trump sink size. Sinks do take up valuable storage space, the bigger the sink, the less storage. You may have to compromise one or the other depending on the size of your kitchen or the layout restrictions.


How do you use your sink? Do you use it for more than just dishes? Do you bathe children or pets in your sink? I know, but some people do! I think there are a couple of photos of me in a sink full of bubbles!

You may also want to take a closer look at your cooking and cleaning habits. If you clean up as you go, your sink doesn’t have to be large, but if you like to let the dishes pile up, consider a bigger size.

If your big roaster only gets washed at Christmas, you can manage with the inconvenience of wedging it into your sink once a year; if you bake regularly, you’ll want a larger sink for those cookie sheets.

See what I mean? What will you use your sink for?

baby in sink
dishes in sink

A Final Word

So tell me….are you thinking differently about sinks now??

This is what I do. I think about sinks, storage, layout and so much more when I am planning a kitchen. What you don’t know is I listen very carefully to everything you say to me and each other so I can design the best kitchen for you. I come up with solutions that you didn’t even know you needed until I pointed out something you said two weeks ago!

I gotta say, I love my job. Very much.

Do you want to know more about my Renovation Design Plan service? Set up a 20 minute discovery call with me or call me directly at 519-494-8965.

Until next time, stay safe my friends…


P.S. if you want more information about Design Your Renovation – an innovative online guided design process – contact me and let me know. I’ll add you to my list of those who want to know when it launches!

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Hi, I am Roxanne

Interior Decorator + Designer

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