6 Types of Kitchen Sinks

Leah Dean | Kitchen Designer | Dean Cabinetry

By Leah Dean

One of the most used features in a kitchen is the sink. With so many types available, you should be able to find one that fits your style and is highly functional. 

Kitchen sinks have changed quite a bit in the past 20 years. You can find sinks in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and they can include accessories such as cutting boards, utensil trays, drying racks, and colanders. 

kitchen sink options
Rivati Undermount Sink with Cutting Board

In recent years there has been a trend to move towards single basin sinks. Years ago most kitchens used to feature a double-bowl sink (usually of equal size). Families used to wash all the dishes, and all the pots and pans. Nowadays most families use their dishwasher for washing dishes, and the sink for washing pots, pans, baking sheets, and items that don’t fit in the dishwasher. 

We often talk with clients about choosing one oversized sink. I like to explain that they are gaining sink space, but losing counter space, so I help them find a happy medium. 

I can honestly say that I LOVE my sink; stainless steel, undermount, 29” wide, 9” deep, curved corners. This works for me and my family, but what is the right sink for you? In this article, I am going to focus on 6 types of sinks that we most commonly discuss when our clients are choosing a sink for their kitchen. 

undermount kitchen sink
Stainless Steel Undermount Prep Sink

1. Undermount Sink

What is an undermount sink?

An undermount sink is installed directly “under” the counter. This creates a sleek and seamless look from countertop to sink. With an undermount sink, one of the benefits that I love is that there is no “lip” between the edge of the sink and the countertop. With one wipe, any debris on your counter goes directly into the sink, and nothing gets caught on a lip or rim. 

Is a stainless steel sink a good choice for my kitchen sink?

With most clients choosing a solid surface counter like granite, quartz, or quartzite, the stainless steel sink is very popular because of its undermount capability. It is both heat and stain-resistant and is available in a variety of types, styles, and sizes. If a homeowner is hard on their sink (i.e. they tend to “toss” things into their sink), stainless is often the best choice. If you are leaning towards a stainless steel sink, you should look for one that is either 16 or 18 gauge stainless steel. The lower the number the thicker the stainless steel. Either is a good thickness and will work well in your kitchen. 

farmhouse kitchen sinks
White Farmhouse Sink

2. Farmhouse/Apron Sink

What is a Farmhouse/Apron sink?

A farmhouse sink mimics the style of a vintage rural kitchen sink, with a deep rectangular basin, and an exposed front. It is most commonly used in a country-style or farmhouse kitchen. These sinks provide a bold statement and act as a focal point. Also known as an Apron sink, they can either be undermount or extend over the edge of your counter. They typically are found as fireclay or cast iron, and are easy to clean because of their nonporous material. Farmhouse sinks have a deep basin perfect for big families, lots of dishes, and cleanup. They are available with a single bowl or double bowl, but most often we see clients choosing single bowl farmhouse sinks.

Which is better; Cast Iron or a Fireclay Farmhouse sink?

3. Cast Iron Sink

Cast Iron sinks are sprayed with a porcelain coating that gives them a glossy white finish. They tend to be heavier and more durable than other sinks, but the porcelain can chip easily. One should not use abrasive cleaners as they will wear down the enamel coating. You’ll also want to be careful when washing dishes since the hardness of this sink can easily chip your dishware.

4. Fireclay Sink

Fireclay sinks are very close to cast iron sinks, but they are slightly more durable. They won’t chip, etch or stain, and unlike cast iron sinks, you are able to use abrasive cleaners. Fireclay sinks are usually more expensive than cast iron, due to the more extensive fabrication process. They are made from clay and glaze that fuse together at a very high temperature (up to 1600 degrees).

types of kitchen sinks
Atlas Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink in Kitchen Island

5. Prep Sink

Do I need a Prep Sink?

Generally smaller, prep/entertainment/bar sinks are usually shallower than your average type of kitchen sink, and are most often used as the second sink. They can be used not only for preparing food, but also as an extra space for drink making, convenient cleanup, washing hands, even chilling wine. Clients with very large kitchens will often opt for a second sink. It can be located in an island, coffee area, beverage area, patio, or terrace.

6. Granite Composite Sink

What is a Granite Composite Sink?

This type of sink is constructed by gluing crushed granite together with a resin filler. It is very durable and stain-resistant. Granite composite is very dense and has a high sound-absorbing effect due to its density. These sinks are very heavy, so check with your cabinet provider to see if it may need additional structural support to accommodate the extra weight.

kitchen sink cabinets
Undermount Prep Sink

With online shopping, it’s easy to begin your search for the perfect sink. It’s also a great place to read reviews in order to get other opinions on each sink. Some clients find that it is helpful to stop into a local showroom to look at different kitchen sink options. Having a chance to touch and feel your potential sink, might make choosing one just a bit easier!