01 of 05
Drainboard Kitchen Sinks: Cleaner Counters, Less Energy Waste
They aren't trendy, not even close. But they should be.
Gin, elaborate facial hair, subway tiles, bitters, and suspenders have made a come-back in recent years. Why not that other staple of the 20th century, the drainboard kitchen sink?
What Are They?
- They have an attached apron usually on one side but sometimes on both sides. This apron overlaps part of the counter. This apron--the drainboard--is grooved and tilted down for water drainage.
- Most are drop-in or self-rimming because it makes... sense to extend one side of the rim and make a drainboard out of it. But there are a few under mount sinks with attached drainboards.
- Most are constructed of stainless steel.
- More popular in Europe than in the U.S.
- Occupy either of two ends of the spectrum: small, shallow drainboard sinks for apartments, condos, and RVs or large, expensive premium sinks for high-end homes or restaurant kitchens. Not many mid-range drainboard sinks are available.
- Sink Available For Washing: Instead of using up one perfectly good basin of a large or double-basin sink for a plate dryer, you put the dryer on top of the drainboard. Voila: you can two basins again.
- Eco-Friendly: With a neat place to set wet dishes, you'll find yourself hand-washing dishes more often. Electric dishwashers are energy vampires.
- Cleaner: Drainboards contain the water and channel it where it belongs--down the drain.
- Uses Up Countertop Space: Unlike other items that take up counter space, like microwaves or blenders, these are pretty much permanent.
- Expensive: Expect prices ranging from $1,000 to $3,000, though in this guide I have included one under $1,000 and another under $500.
Not all sink companies make drainboard sinks. This product is surprisingly absent from big sink companies such as American Standard or Moen. Here is what I found:
- Yes: Elkay, Blanco, Oliveri, Reginox, Corstone
- No: Franke, Moen, American Standard
The Blanco Axis series. With its attached cutting board, Axis solves the problem of lost prep space mentioned earlier.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Elkay Lustertone Undermount Drainboard Sink
Shown here is Elkay's consumer-level under mount sink with attached drainboard, in the silky stainless steel finish that they call Lustertone. Found at Home Depot, this item costs less than $1,000 (about $825).
Swanky and modern Elkay drainboard sinks are also available in their Gourmet series (i.e., expensive residential or commercial sinks), including models with drainboards on each side. These run from about $2,200 to $3,200.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Oliveri Puro Series of Drainboard Sinks
Some manufacturers merely dabble in drainboard sinks. Australia-based Oliveri practically specializes in these products. A whopping 12 of their 14 sink collections have attached drainboards, more than I've seen with any other company.
Shown here is a sink from Oliveri's Puro line.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Hard To Find, But Here's One: A Ceramic Drainboard Sink
In the drainboard sink world, most are made of stainless steel because this material is strong when thin: the apron section can lay flatter on the countertop.
But if you don't mind a higher drainboard, there are a few (not many) ceramic products. The Dutch company Reginox has quite a few links of this nature, this one being the RL304-CW (also available in black). In addition, they have a stainless steel series called LyonContinue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Cheaper Drainboard Sinks Possible, But You Need To Go Acrylic
Are there any drainboard sinks under $1,000? Maybe even under $500?
Sure, but you'll need to adjust your thinking. Cornerstone is based in Greenville, AL and has its sinks out there for easy purchase on a number of online outlets ( Wayfar, Lowes.com, etc.).
Good so far. But the material is acrylic, not ceramic. Are you find with that?
Now consider that the drainboard section isn't all that big. This unit installs in a large-sized 37" x 22" countertop cutout, with the... drainboard occupying a part of that cut out--rather than laying on the countertop like other models we have seen.
Note: I am not including Cornerstone's site link in this article because the site is not operational. Go through this PriceGrabber shopping link or Wayfair.