Theres a common saying... "Everything but the kitchen sink".

Even though it means "a much larger number of things than is necessary" it also implies that the immovable foundation of your kitchen just so happens to be your sink!

When you think about it, is there anything else in your home that gets used as often? If it does indeed get used frequently could say its one of the most important kitchen choices you will make.

We put together a guide on how to make the best sink purchase possible based on your home, style and habits.

Sink Configurations

A large, single sink.

Source: Southern Hospitality

Pros: a single, deep basin means you can easily soak or wash a big pan or prep large quantities of food. The most common size people opt for is 33-36 inches wide and 8-10 inches deep.

Cons: not very versatile or handy when it comes to multi-tasking. However, there are lots of different add-on options to give the sink more versatility.

Two basins of differing sizes (a 60/40 or offset sink).


Pros: two basins allow you to perform separate tasks, such as cleaning dishes and preparing food, with ease. A 60/40 sink has one basin that is usually about 18 inches wide and another that is 14 inches wide.

The idea is that you can clean up in the large basin and prep in the smaller one. Dual basins also come in handy when you are washing items you don’t want to put in the dishwasher (soap in one basin, rinse water in the other).

Cons: a smaller basin makes it harder to wash and soak large pans.

Two basins of equal sizes (a 50/50 sink).

Source: IHeart Organizing

Pros: Has the benefit of allowing separate tasks (washing and drying). Ideal for individuals who like symmetrical design.

Cons: large dishes could be soaking on the counter.

Three basins (two large ones and one small one with a garbage disposal).

Pros: you can use the garbage disposal independently of the sink.

Cons: in some models, such as this one, you can’t sweep food scraps off the counter and into the disposal (this could be remedied with a cutting board insert). Because it is a wider sink, more space is needed.

Choosing the Shape of Your Sink


Pros: many farmhouse sinks are simply single, large basins. The difference is their distinctive apron front, which has a vintage vibe many homeowners love.

For a typical sink, the basin can be 4 inches away from the edge of the countertop, but this sink can sit a bit beyond the counter line. For people of shorter stature and kids, a farmhouse sink can be more accessible. If you choose a porcelain or ceramic farmhouse sink, there are a wealth of color options.

Cons: a farmhouse sink makes a deliberate design statement that will be with you for a long time — which is wonderful, unless your tastes change.

Double farmhouse

Pros: same benefits as any other double sink.

Cons: it does not have the true vintage style of a single-basin farmhouse sink.

Rounded sides

Pros: many homeowners consider a curved sink easier to clean than one with square edges.

Cons: if a sleek, minimalist look is your kitchen style, this might not be the look you’re after.

Built-in drainboard

Pros: great for draining dishes, so if you do a lot of hand washing, it’s convenient. The drainboard can also allow fruits and vegetables to dry after washing.

Cons: this is a wider sink that eats up countertop space.

Choosing the Material of Your Sink

Stainless steel

Pros: this is a very durable, easy-to-clean material and blends into nearly any style of kitchen.

Cons: the metal can scratch, but the marks can be buffed out of brushed stainless steel. Most manufacturers offer bottom grids (wire trays that are placed in the bottom of the sink to prevent scratching). Also, if you live in a area with hard water, water spots can be a problem.


Pros: this is a traditional material that looks authentic in kitchens with a vintage style. For people who love color, the choices are endless.

Cons: porcelain sinks can chip. Metal pans can also leave marks or scuffs that are difficult to remove.

Granite composite

Pros: this material resists scratches and chips. It also does not show water spots.

Cons: lighter-colored granite composite sinks can stain, and some special maintenance is required.

Natural stone

Pros: soapstone is the most common type of sink here. With all the options available it should be easy to find something that can exactly match your existing countertop material.

Cons: this material is generally more expensive, and it can scratch and chip. Special cleaning products may be required.

Specialized Sink Configurations

Sink systems

Pros: more manufacturers are making very specialized sink systems, such as the galley sink. In units such as this one, everything from rinsing to chopping to serving happens at the sink.

Cons: this sink can take up a lot of space, although the prep areas it provides may make up for that.

Because it’s so involved, this option is not for the casual cook. The industrial look makes a strong statement.

If you plan to use your sink as a serving center, it’s best to have a secondary sink.

Lowered Divider

Pros: want to have a double sink and be able to comfortably wash or soak a long-handled pan? A sink with a lowered divider might be for you.

Cons: if your cooking style demands deep water, this is not an ideal configuration.

Sink Accessories

Pros: sink manufacturers are making the sink work harder with myriad accessories built to perfectly fit on the lip of the basin. The choices include cutting boards, prep bowls, knife blocks, colanders and racks for dishcloths or cleaning utensils. These items can centralize and organize prep work.

Cons: to achieve a perfect fit, it’s best to buy directly from the manufacturer. If you subscribe to the “basic is better” school of thought, sink accessories are not for you.

If you need an installation after purchasing your dream sink, post your project with TradePros, get a quote and hire us instantly.