Basic Kitchen Sink Types

A Run-Down for Kitchen Remodels

I have assembled a list of common kitchen sink types you will find when renovating your kitchen. Note that categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, I list top-mount and double-basin as two separate common sink types, yet you will also find a category of top-mount double-basin sinks.

  • 01 of 10

    Top Mount or Drop-In

    Corian Sink Drop In
    Corian Sink - Double Bowl, Drop In Style. © American Standard

    What Is It?

    The most common type of kitchen sink, the top-mount installs from above. According to the template provided by the sink manufacturer, a hole is cut into the counter material and the sink is "dropped" in from above, the rim of the sink caulked with silicone to the counter.

    Pros

    Drop-in sinks are DIY-friendly. No special skills are needed, as long as the hole in the counter is already cut.  

    Cons

    Sink's rim prevents you from sweeping water and debris from the counter straight...MORE into the sink. Also, the rim adds yet another part of the sink that needs to be cleaned.

  • 02 of 10
    Kohler Single Bowl Undermount Kitchen Sink
    Kohler Single Bowl Undermount Kitchen Sink. © Kohler

    What Is It?

    Traditionally, sinks have been installed from the top-down, the lip of the sink resting on the edge of the counter material cut-out. Undermount sinks are the opposite: the sink is attached to the bottom of the counter.

    Pros

    Oh, glorious under-mount sink!  We love you. We love it when the kitchen sink is pooled up with ocean-sized amounts of water and unidentifiable gunk, and all we need to do is sweep it straight into the sink with a sponge. These sinks have no lips to get in the way.

    Con...MOREs

    Gunk can build up under the counter, where the sink and counter meet.

  • 03 of 10

    More About Sinks

    Kitchen sink
    Fazimoto/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • 04 of 10
    Farmhouse Style Sink
    Farmhouse Style Sink. © Franke

    What Is It?

    Farmhouse (apron) sinks are large single basins distinguished by their front wall, which forms both front of the sink and the front of the counter. The most popular type of installation is as shown: level and integrated with the counters. However, apron sinks are sometimes installed "country style": on top of a cabinet or freestanding table (fixed against the wall) on their own and not surrounded by counters. Apron sinks are nearly always single-basin.

    Pros

    These...MORE generously-sized sinks allow for big casserole and baking pans. Because there is less room between the sink and the edge of the counter, the person using the sink can get in a little bit closer to the sink, helping to avoid fatigue. 

    Cons

    When the front edge of aprons sinks drip, they drip straight onto the floor.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Island, Bar, or Prep

    Island or Prep Sink
    Island or Prep Sink. © Kohler USA

    What Is It?

    A sink smaller than a regularly sized sink installed in kitchen islands as a supplementary sink for food prep.  It's also used in bars.  Island/bar sinks are nearly always single-bowl.

    Pros

    If you've got the dough and ​space, prep sinks are invaluable. Install one in your kitchen island and have your unpaid kitchen "assistants" wash the kale for you. These bonus sinks add resale value to your house.

    Cons

    Island sinks don't have many downsides, due to the fact that they...MORE are only supplementary sinks. Perhaps the most significant "con" would be that some homeowners install these sinks with good intentions in mind, yet rarely end up using them.

  • 06 of 10

    Double Basin/Bowl

    Blanco Diamond Undermount Kitchen Sink
    Blanco Diamond Undermount Kitchen Sink. © Blanco

    What Is It?

    The most popular type of kitchen sink basin arrangement, the double-basin (or bowl) allows for washing on one side and rinsing or drying on the other side.  

    Pros

    A multi-purpose sink in a relatively small space.

    Cons

    Either side can be too small to accommodate large pots, baking pans, or casseroles.  

  • 07 of 10

    Single Basin/Bowl

    Elkay Avado Undermount Kitchen Sink
    Elkay Avado Undermount Kitchen Sink. © Elkay

    What Is It?

    A kitchen sink with no divided basin. It's the layout for farmhouse/apron sinks.

    Pros

    Plenty of room to wash those large items listed above that the double-basins cannot accommodate.

    Cons

    Be prepared to have a drying area on the side of the sink, as single-basins have no room for this. Subsequent buyers of your home will look askance at your single-basin sink, already calculating in their minds how much it will cost to replace it.

  • 08 of 10

    Double Basin With Low Divider

    Kohler Smart Divide Kitchen Sink
    Kohler Smart Divide Kitchen Sink. © Kohler

    What Is It?

    A double basin sink, but instead of the divider rising to the level of the top of the sink, it is only half of that height. 

    Pros

    It's like a combination of single-basin and double-basin sink. When you fill one side low with water, it works as a double-basin sink. But if you need extra room for big pans, simply keep filling higher so that the water overflows the divider.

    Cons

    Only a limited number of manufacturers currently make low divide kitchen sinks.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Integrated

    Staron Integrated Kitchen Sink
    Staron Integrated Kitchen Sink. © Samsung

    What Is It?

    Integrated (or integral) sinks are the only type on this list that has ​nothing to do with sink manufacturers; they're produced by counter manufacturers, such as DuPont for its Corian line and Samsung for its Staron line (both solid surface materials). Integral sinks are the same material as the counter and are fused in place in the factory.

    Pros

    All of the downsides of top-mount sinks (the rim) and downsides of under-mount sinks (the gunk-collection zone) are eliminated with...MORE integral sinks. The counter flows seamlessly into the sink.

    Cons

    Ever so expensive--if you can even find them. Integral sinks are mainly seen in bathrooms. An integral kitchen sink is a rare bird, indeed.

  • 10 of 10

    Corner

    Teka Double Bowl Stainless Steel Sink
    Teka Double Bowl Stainless Steel Sink. © Teka

    What Is It?

    Rarely seen and hard to find, the kitchen corner sink has double basins which are set at right angles to each other to make use of corner counter space. 

    Pros

    Built-in drying area, though small. Corner sinks cleverly make good use of counter corners--notorious space wasters.

    Cons

    When you can find them, corner sinks are expensive. Also, these sinks require custom cuts in the counters.