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Looking for a New Kitchen Sink? Know the Different Types at First

types of sinks
Written by Lewis Turner

Nowadays there is a great range of kitchen sink types. Types of sinks aren’t something that usually preoccupies us unless we are remodeling or building. They are one of those built-in fixtures that we install and basically forget about, but use daily.  The days when there was very little choice as to style, color, etc, are gone. Whether you are redecorating, remodeling or building from scratch, you will want your type of kitchen sink to blend in with the decoration or motif that you have chosen.

Remember, these are permanent fixtures that aren’t liable to be changed for many years and so they need to be, not only functional but pleasing to the eye and not clash with the rest of the kitchen style. For this reason, it is good to take a look around your local suppliers for kitchen sink ideas and even online to find exactly what you want. You can even get custom made ones that will be made with the materials that you request.

Different Styles

Styles range from the rustic, solid farmhouse and cast-iron finish, to sleek and shiny stainless steel or glossy porcelain.

Kitchen Sink Types

Kitchen sink types come in single or double basins. Deep and wide or small and shallow. Free standing or integrated, depending on your needs.

Different Types of Sinks

sink types

Top-mounted: double basin sinks that are set into the counter top. They have a rim. Usually made of stainless steel, but they can be made of any material. Also, single basin. Easy to install because they have a rim that holds the sink in place and only needs to be glued under the rim. Also called self-rimming or drop-ins. Probably the most common type because they are economical to buy and are very long lasting.

Undermount: fitted from below and glued to the underneath of the counter. Undermount sinks are heavy and single basined. A bit more difficult to install, but they look smart because the countertop covers the edge of the sink and nothing, dirt or debris, collects in the join between and the counter.

Flush mount: doesn’t have a lip or rim. Called flush because they are fitted flush with the counter top. Harder to install because of that, but has the same sleek look of an undermounted sink. It might be a good idea to forget DIY and call in a plumber to get the level absolutely right.

Single: only one basin, but with plenty of depth and room. Usually made of stainless steel and small to fit small kitchens where there is little counter space.

Double: double basin sinks that can come in any design or material. They are good for separating things, foods or cleaned from dirty dishes, and doing two things at the same time.

Farmhouse: farmhouse sinks come in either single or double basin. They are also known as apron sinks because of the lip and are undermounted. These are large and deep, made of non-porous such as porcelain and cast-iron. Can only be installed in thick and solid countertops because of their weight. Increasingly popular in urban homes. Generally, more expensive. Good for large families or people who love to cook and entertain.

Bar: small and single basin sinks that with limited depth. Especially designed for wet bars and patio use. Usually undermounted. Good for entertaining as there’s no need to use the kitchen sink for rinsing, mixing or dousing glasses.

Corner: as stated, they fit in the corner of two countertops. Contain two basins at right angles to each other, with a draining board and faucet between them. Top-mounted. Again, a bit trickier to install because most countertops are edged with a seal and that has to be removed. Another good solution to lack of space because it is tucked away in the corner.

Kitchen Island: made to fit a free-standing counter and are small. Can be a single or double basin, one slightly smaller than the other. Undermounted and can be fitted into any type of counter. Good for a food preparation counter when the main sink is occupied.

Sink with Drainboard: traditional type of sink that includes a draining board and a single basin. Good for leaving dishes and other things to drain and dry. Excess water drains into the sink instead of collecting on the countertop.

Elkay Quartz Classic ELGRU13322BK0 Black Single Bowl Undermount Sink
  • Sink Dimensions: 33" X 18-7/16" X 9-7/16" Min. Cabinet Size: 36"
  • UNDERMOUNT INSTALLATION: Sink is installed beneath the countertop creating a seamless appearance between the sink and the countertop.
  • SINGLE BOWL: Bowl gives you uninterrupted space for washing and stacking dishes or other household tasks.
  • EASY TO CLEAN & STAIN RESISTANT: Coordinate your sink color with your décor and style; washes clean with soapy water; food and liquid won't stain.
  • IMPACT, HEAT & SCRATCH RESISTANT: Molded from fine quartz sand to resist banging, chipping and scratches; heat safe up to 535° Fahrenheit.

Other Types of Materials

Traditional porcelain has given way to different and more surprising materials to make sinks out of. Here are some of them.

  • Stone
  • Bamboo
  • Fireclay
  • Mahogany
  • Onyx
  • Resin
  • Sandstone
  • Teak
  • Travertine
  • Composite or Granite
  • Acrylic: tough hardened plastic
  • Copper

Bathroom Options

As well as remodeling your kitchen you may be thinking about redoing your bathroom too. Bathroom fittings now come all sorts of exotic types, styles, shapes, and materials. Here are some elegant options.

  • Countertop: also known as tabletop or vessel sinks. They come in a variety of materials and shapes are very popular at the moment. They can be made of almost anything, wood, glass, copper, or resin, etc. Shapes range between rectangular, oval, round and square. Some are fixed on top of a counter or can also be recessed slightly into the top. The countertops themselves come as part of a cabinet with drawers or doors and storage space inside for all the bathroom accessories. Some granite sink models come in countertop style.  The countertops can also be made of quartz, marble or wood.
  • Console: wall-mounted and supported by legs. Mainly porcelain with metal supports. The outside rim of the sink forms a lip that rests on top of the metal supports. Although the sinks are square, the actual bowl may be rectangular, round or oval. The sinks are open, without any surrounds. The supports can be of chrome or brass. These have an old retro look and are very stylish.
  • Wall-mounted: fixed to the wall of the bathroom. Small and doesn’t take up much space, so these are good for those with a reduced room where a counter or cabinet would make a small bathroom look even smaller and crowded.
  • Drop-in: a more traditional type sink set into a counter, cabinet or vanity. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to suit the rest of your bathroom décor. Some people confuse them with undermount sinks but they are different.
  • Pedestal: the basin sits on top of a single column and covers the plumbing fixtures. Again, it has an old-style look but comes in modern designs. Pedestal sinks can be wall-mounted or free-standing.
  • Corner: a variation of the kitchen corner sink, but for bathrooms. Again, wall-mounted, with a single basin and designed for bathrooms with limited space.

Bathroom Sink Shapes

  • Square
  • Round
  • Conical
  • Cylindrical
  • Oval
  • Rectangular or irregular

It is just a question of choosing the type, style, and material that suits your vision of what you want your bathroom to look like.

Whatever your requirements, it is best to shop around and see what’s on offer. It is important to get it correct as sinks aren’t replaced from one day to the next. The above lists are only partial, just to give an idea of what’s out there. Talk to your local kitchen outfitters or go online, and you may be surprised by the type of sinks available.

About the author

Lewis Turner

Market Researcher

Lewis has been a contributor to FaucetsReviewed for the last five years. After graduating in Marketing and Business Administration, he joined a multinational farm that used to be a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures and appliances. His professional experience opened doors for him to the diversity of the industry. His deep insights and product analysis add to the site’s authenticity. He is an avid reader and spends most of his past time studying. Lewis is also a trained photographer. He does the most photography of the site. His in-depth reviews are highly informative and insightful.

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