Erica Dean | Kitchen Designer | Dean Cabinetry
By Erica Dean

There are many factors to consider when deciding where to place your kitchen sink. Hopefully, some of the following questions will help you get a better understanding of where your sink would be best situated in your kitchen.

Is your kitchen “from scratch” or a remodel? Where is the existing plumbing?

If you are building a new home, with a kitchen that is “from scratch,” you have countless options. A traditional approach is to put it under the window. But where you choose to place your kitchen sink will depend on your lifestyle and several other factors. Continue reading to learn more!

If your kitchen is a remodel, you may have more limited options in terms of sink placement. A common decision is to keep the existing plumbing where it is, as it reduces costs. Although, if you plan to change major components of the old kitchen layout, it might make more sense to change the plumbing. This would allow you to have more flexibility with your sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator placement.

Farm Sink Under Window in Dean Cabinetry Custom Kitchen

Should I put my kitchen sink under the window?

Though modern dishwashers take over the main dish cleaning duties, there are still many tasks that require large amounts of time to be spent at the sink. Because of this, many people like to have a nice view from their sink.

If your kitchen window has a stunning view, your best option may be to stick with tradition and center the sink under the window. An additional benefit of positioning the sink under a window is the natural lighting.

Aluminum Farm Sink in Kitchen Island in Dean Cabinetry Custom Kitchen

Should I put my kitchen sink in the island?

Alternatively, you might like to face your sink towards a living or dining area. Some people feel that placing the sink in the island would make it easier to have a conversation with guests or family members seated at the island or in the adjoining room.

However, I usually suggest against this. Sinks tend to attract clutter, dirty dishes, and, often, become an area for clean, drying dishes. Putting the sink in the island also means that guests will be looking directly at all of the food scraps that end up in the sink.

I suggest, instead, that the cooktop be placed in the island. This way, you get the same benefits of being involved with conversation and entertainment without having a messy sink for all to see. Also, guests will enjoy the “show” of seeing food being prepped and cooked, rather than viewing dishwashing and cleaning.

One way to keep a sink in the island while avoiding mess is to put the main, cleaning sink against a window or wall and put a small prep sink in the island. This will promote a cleaner, sleeker-looking island.

If you have an open kitchen layout, you may still be able to face the sink toward guests and family members without placing the sink in your island.

Dean Cabinetry John Dean Custom Cabinetry Wood Stain Full Access Full Overlay Island Sink
Prep Sink in Kitchen Island in Dean Cabinetry Custom Kitchen

Should I have more than one sink?

In large kitchens, some clients prefer to have one main sink for cleaning, along with a second, smaller prep sink. 

Having an additional sink is also helpful for homes with large families or people who plan to entertain frequently. It could be located in a wet bar, or near an area for making and serving drinks. 

Smaller sinks can also be used for getting water, hand washing, and food prep. This is beneficial when there are multiple chefs who all need sink access. This way, they can all have fun cooking together, while maintaining distinct work areas, and having plenty of space to move around.

Prep Sink in Kitchen Bar Area in Dean Cabinetry Custom Kitchen

Where should the sink be located in relation to other appliances?

Two of the most common appliances to be paired together in a kitchen is a sink and a dishwasher. Ideally, these two are placed directly next to each other. This arrangement makes it easy to transfer dirty dishes from inside and around the sink into the dishwasher. Additionally, when dishes are done washing, you can unload and store them in nearby cabinets.

Many clients also like to keep a trash pullout near the sink, usually on the opposite side of the dishwasher, to further ease kitchen cleanup.

Dean Cabinetry Fabuwood Stock White Framed Full Overlay Kitchen Trash Pullout Green
Trash Pullout Next to Dishwasher & Kitchen Sink in Dean Cabinetry Stock Kitchen

Another important concept to keep in mind is the relationship between the sink, the cooktop, and the refrigerator. This relationship is known as the “kitchen triangle.” 

For more information on sink placement in regards to the “kitchen triangle,” read my blog: 7 Elements to Consider When Designing a Functional Kitchen Layout.

Regardless of where you place your kitchen sink, you will want to make sure to have at least 20 to 24 inches of countertop space on each side of the sink. This will give you enough room to leave drying dishes, or to prepare food for cooking.

Ultimately, the placement of your kitchen sink should fit your intended design, your needs, and your preferences. You are designing your kitchen for you, and it should make you happy before anyone else!