The Different Types of Kitchen Sinks: Explained

You might not think about it often, but the kitchen sink is a pretty important fixture in your home. It’s where you do dishes and clean up after cooking, so you use it every day.

You probably have an idea of what kind of sink you want for your kitchen: either a top mount or under-mount stainless steel sink? But there are other types that may suit your needs better!

Read on to find out more about sinks and which one might be best for you.

The Different Types of Kitchen Sinks Explained 1 1

Top-Mount or Drop-In Sink

A top-mount sink is generally found in most kitchens. The lip of the sink sits on the countertop and creates a flush surface with the rest of your counters.

It’s also called a drop-in sink because it literally “drops in” to your existing countertops. This is probably one of the easiest types of sinks to find because you can replace your existing sink with it.

Top mount sinks are usually made of stainless steel, copper, or cast iron. Stainless steel is the most popular material because it’s both durable and affordable, so many people go for this type of sink.

But there can be some downsides – metal isn’t the warmest material for your kitchen, so it may feel cold on your hands when washing dishes or doing other chores (it can be alleviated with rubber mats of course).

And the sink might not be the most aesthetically pleasing. Because of this, some people prefer sinks made of copper or cast iron.

Single Basin/Bowl Sink

If you’re looking for a simple and convenient way to clean your dishes, a single basin sink may be the right choice.

This type of sink is usually small and compact, making it easy to fit in with other appliances or cabinets. It can typically accommodate most kitchen designs without any issues (although there might not be as much space as in double bowl sinks).

It is a general category of kitchen sinks where adding a farmhouse sink and in-counter sin will fit. It does not indicate the size of the sink bowl, but generally includes bowls with less than 10″ in depth.

Undermount Sink

An undermount sink slides in underneath your countertop and is fastened to it using clips or brackets. Aesthetically, this type of sink looks the best because no part of the sink sticks out from underneath your cabinets.

Many people who want a change from their top-mount sink often choose an undermount option. This can be installed easily and you won’t need to replace any existing countertops.

It also cleans up easily and doesn’t rust like metal sinks, although it can dent or scratch if not installed correctly (and may require sealing).

Double Basin/Bowl Sink

Double basin sinks are actually two separate bowls, each with its own drain. This type of sink is ideal for kitchens that do a lot of entertaining because it can be used to prepare food in one section, while the other part can be used to clean dishes.

Many double-basin sinks have racks/drain boards attached so you can easily clean and dry plates.

But, double bowls aren’t always the easiest type of sink to install. Because it requires more plumbing than most sinks, professional installation is often required (although some can be installed without any tools).

You will also need twice the cabinet space for this type of sink, so you’ll want to measure your counter to ensure you’ve got the space.

Drainboard Sink

A drainboard sink, or tray sink, is ideal for kitchens with limited counter space. It’s deeper than other types of sinks, reaching up to 24 inches deep.

This type of sink can be used as a food preparation area (simply place the food on the board itself) and then washed in the adjacent compartment using soap and water.

Drainboard sinks are often made of marble or stainless steel, but they also come in a variety of wood varieties.

This type of sink fits well with most kitchen designs and can be matched with modern, traditional, or country types of decor.

It’s easy to install because it connects directly to your countertops – although it can be expensive, so you may want to check out other options before choosing this type of sink.

Low Divider Double Basin Sink

A low divider double basin sink has two bowls, but the second one is at a lower level than the first. One side can be used for washing food, while the other can be used to rinse dishes.

This type of sink provides ample counter space and comes in many different shapes, sizes, and materials.

The additional large bowl makes this type of sink ideal for big families. It also makes the second compartment great for preparing food, which is why this type of sink is popular in restaurants.

However, because it’s deeper than other types of sinks, installation can be difficult (it should only be installed by professionals).

Integrated Sink

An integrated sink sits inside your countertop, but it doesn’t make contact with anything – there is a gap between the lip of the sink and your countertops.

This design provides much more room in your cabinets, so it leaves you with more storage space.

It’s also good for use as a prep area for cutting/ripping food, without the risk of contaminating other areas with bacteria or seeping juices.

There are some downsides to this type of sink though – it needs more power draw than other types of sinks, so you might need to upgrade your current supply, and the seal around the sink isn’t always watertight.

Why Upgrading Your Sinks is Important?

If you’re still using your original kitchen sink, it might be time to upgrade. Replacing the sink is a relatively easy and inexpensive process (in comparison to completely remodeling), especially if you run into any complications during installation.

Regardless, by installing a new sink, not only will your older one become much easier to maintain; it can also dramatically improve the look of your kitchen.

Most sinks made today are stainless steel, which is a sleek and modern material that looks great in virtually any kitchen.

However, you’ll also find some other materials on the market such as concrete or solid surface. Each one has its own unique advantages and will add an individual feel to your kitchen.

The variety in kitchen sinks is astounding. The choice you make will depend on your needs and preferences, but it’s worth considering the pros and cons of each style before making a purchase.

You may need to consider things like whether or not you’d like two sinks, how large your kitchen is, and what style of decorating you prefer (and if it matches).

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.