If you’ve ever wondered where a sink should be in a kitchen? then you know the tricky task of finding the perfect placement.
Kitchen sink ideas are easily overlooked in favor of more glamorous fixtures, but this hard-working element of kitchen design is more than just practical, and the placement of this kitchen workhorse is paramount.
When designing a kitchen from start to finish or planning a kitchen remodel, you have countless options for a good layout. However, if you are only reconfiguring the wet area, it may make more sense to change the installation.
If you have an existing kitchen with very little space for large remodeling, you may have more limited options when it comes to sink placement. A common decision is to leave the existing plumbing where it is as it reduces costs.
Where should a sink be in a kitchen?
The placement of a sink in a kitchen is important for many reasons. While a sink won’t be your first thought when planning a kitchen layout, you’ll be amazed at how often you use this unassuming workhorse.
First, think about how you are going to use the sink. Is it just for filling pots and washing up, or are you an avid gardener who might be harvesting muddy veggies? “The sink has to meet all your everyday needs and how you want it to look, so placement is fundamental,” says Annie Tullett, interior designer at Neptune (opens in new tab).
Ben Burbidge, General Manager, Kitchen Manufacturer (opens in new tab) agrees: “Consider how often you entertain or cook for people and whether others are happy to help with the preparation. “Sink placement should reflect the size and shape of your kitchen, as well as your aesthetic and lifestyle.”
1. First consider the installation
Milano penthouse washbasin in Carrara marble, £3,050, deVOL
(Image credit: DeVOL)
Heating pipes and drains may sound boring, but without a detailed plan, your plumber can’t get to work. The location of your sink and dishwasher is largely determined by the proximity of your main drain — and a key reason they’re typically placed against an outside wall. It is possible to place them more centrally (on an island), but the slope for pipes needs to be steeper, which can mean additional digging and expense.
You need to ensure that it can connect to existing drainage positions, which are sometimes difficult to move. Consider the drainage path of the sink, dishwasher and washing machine and make sure they are not too far from the ground and from vent pipes or external storm drains.
Traditionally, the sink was installed under a window to allow a view while washing dishes, but if you prefer to let a dishwasher take the load, save the view for a place you can linger longer, like the main prep area or at a breakfast bar. To make using the sink comfortable, do not place it too tightly in a corner and keep the area above free of cabinets.
However, if you are doing an inexpensive kitchen renovation, you should reuse your existing plumbing as much as possible. If your kitchen layout is really dysfunctional then this might not be an option.
2. Get an overview
(Image credit: Shaws of Darwen)
Creating a calm atmosphere is more important than ever, and that should be your goal when installing a sink in a kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen that overlooks a beautiful view, consider orienting your sink to enjoy the beautiful view.
3. Consider the lighting
(Image credit: deVOL)
It’s no secret that the best kitchen ideas involve plenty of natural light, and that’s especially true around the sink area. Natural light from windows or skylights over a sink is fantastic during the day, but provide extra light over and around a sink area at night. Skylights and glass walls offer stunning natural light and great views during the day, but can turn into black holes at night.
Kitchens usually need to include task, mood and function lighting. Task lighting is the most practical, covering hard-working areas like the prep area, cooking area and sink; Mood lighting creates different atmospheres, and feature lighting is eye-catching and can just add a bit of character.
4. Place a sink near a dishwasher
Henley Oak Kitchen, Neptune
(Image credit: Neptune)
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often people forget that the dishwasher is in close proximity to the kitchen sink. Surely you want the dishwasher and sink to be next to each other. This makes loading the dishwasher easier and more efficient; You can simply scrape or rinse your plates in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher.
5. Don’t turn your back on guests
(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)
When you regularly use your kitchen for entertaining, you don’t want to turn your back on guests when you don’t have to. This is the ultimate kitchen furnishing idea for hosts who love to host: you can use it to prepare, cook and continue conversations well after dinner – or to keep an eye on the children with their homework.
For those who like to watch their family and friends do the dishes but don’t necessarily want the clutter in the kitchen to take full advantage, there are many efficient ways to organize the sink area to get the best of both worlds.
A paneled opening or raised countertop above the sink can act as a visual barrier to hide debris in or around the sink. It provides a nice buffer to the area beyond where guests hang out with drinks and chat while you finish dinner prep.
6. Work with multiple sinks
Spitalfields kitchen, simple English
(Image credit: Plain English)
If your kitchen is big enough and you are an avid cook, then explore double kitchen sink ideas.
“While popular for its luxurious aesthetic, one of the key benefits of a dual design is the space to separate items, whether they’re clean and dirty dishes, heavy and fragile items, or food preparation,” says Ben Burbidge, Managing Director by Kitchen Makers. “However, think about the design of the base cabinets under your sink at an early stage, as the depth dimensions must be taken into account in your planning.”
7. Create efficient work zones
(Image credit: Roundhouse)
If your floor plan includes a kitchen island, consider adding a kitchen sink or stovetop to create an efficient workspace. A well-equipped kitchen sink with draining space on both sides is useful. “Get the largest sink you can fit in,” advises chef and food writer Judi Rose, Franke brand ambassador (opens in new tab).
“The most important thing to keep in mind when planning a layout is practicality,” says Deputy Regional Manager at Harvey Jones (opens in new tab), Sally Hinks. “Think carefully about which parts of the kitchen you will use most when cooking and how easily you can switch between them. Use the kitchen triangle method as a guide and focus on the refrigerator, sink and stove as the key elements when planning your space.’
Where should the sink be in the kitchen island?
The position of the sink in kitchen islands is usually on the side; This is because island sinks are often smaller and simply for washing food before preparing it, or for washing hands before or after touching food. It is unusual and inadvisable to place a kitchen sink used for washing dishes on an island; because your island, the most visible part of your kitchen, then becomes the focal point for dirty dishes and pans. Better put your sink in the cabinet at the edge of your kitchen and leave room on your island to prepare and eat alone, or maybe add a flat cooktop for cooking.
Should a kitchen sink be under the window?
There are no hard and fast rules that say a kitchen sink should or shouldn’t be under a window; If a breakfast bar is part of your kitchen remodeling plans, you might prefer to place it under a window that offers a nice view so you can enjoy it while you eat. That being said, putting a kitchen sink under a window gives you a look to ponder while you do the dishes, which is always a bonus.