Whether you’re redesigning a kitchen for a new construction or remodeling an existing kitchen, you may be contemplating which is better: A single or double sink? While this is a question that doesn’t come up until you’re renovating or building a home, it’s still an important decision to be made.
Unfortunately, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Whether a single or double sink is better ultimately depends on what is best for you and your family’s needs. However, these needs can be determined based on your budget, how you plan to use your kitchen sink, and the size of your kitchen.
Current kitchen trends are slowly moving away from double sinks, which used to be very popular in the days before dishwashers were invented. The idea behind double sinks was to use one basin for soaking dirty dishes and the other for rinsing the clean dishes. Now since most homes have dishwashers, the need for two sink basins isn’t as insistent as it once was.
When it comes to deciding whether a single or double sink is better, you must consider your dishwashing and cooking habits, in addition to the available space in your kitchen and your budget. With that said, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each sink type to help you arrive at an informed decision.
Pros of a Single-Basin Sink
Simply put, a single sink features one, typically large, basin and does not have a divider. They are ideal for smaller kitchens and come in a wide range of sizes – from small (around 14 inches) to very large.
- Offer more space for washing larger pots and pans. These sinks make it easier to clean your wok, large roasting pan, or even a lobster pot. Not to mention, a big single sink is a great place to stash your dirty dishes in between washes and make your kitchen look more orderly.
- Fit better in smaller kitchens. Single sinks are especially beneficial for kitchens that have limited counter space, offering an advantage over usually larger double designs.
- Oftentimes, easier and more affordable to install than double sinks. They also tend to be less expensive to purchase than their double sink counterparts, on average.
Cons of a Single-Basin Sink
While single-basin sinks offer a number of benefits, it’s important to understand both sides of the story:
- Unable to separate the dirty dishes from the clean dishes. There is no divider that allows you to keep the dishes detached. This also means that metal pots and pans are merged with delicate glassware and contaminated dishes (raw meat) are mixed in with everything else.
- The lack of additional basin meansyou’ll have to airdry your dishes, taking up valuable counter space.
- These sinks are not disposable friendly. When your single sink is filled with dirty dishes or water, your garbage disposal is not accessible.
Pros of a Double Sink
Double sinks, on the other hand, feature two basins that are separated by some sort of divider. You may find double sinks with bowls of equal sizes, but it’s more common to see them with one larger basin and one smaller.
- Ideal for hand washing dishes. Double sinks are most suitable for those who lack a dishwasher, or simply prefer to wash their dishes by hand.
- You can separate dishes for various purposes. For instance, you can stash your dirty dishes and utensils in one basin and use the other for food prep. Or, use one bowl for soaking dishes and the other for rinsing.
- You can install a drying rack in one basin for air drying dishes, which frees up space on your countertop.
- You always have access to the garbage disposal. In most cases, the garbage disposal is installed in the smaller of the two sinks. Therefore, it is always accessible whenever the main sink is filled with dirty dishes or water.
Cons of a Double Sink
Like single sinks, double sinks also come with their own individual drawbacks that should be considered before you make your final decision:
- The profile and size may be burdensome, and not ideal for smaller kitchens. For starters, double sinks tend to take up a considerable amount of counter space. They can measure 40 or possibly even 48 inches in length and additional counter space is needed on either side for stacking dishes while washing.
- It takes up a lot of under-counter storage space. In addition to countertop space, you are also sacrificing a considerable amount of under-counter space with double sinks. Sink base cabinets do not have drawers or shelves and the garbage disposal alone takes up a lot of space.
- Usually not as deep or spacious as single sinks, especially when one basin is smaller than the other. The sizing often makes it more difficult to hand wash larger pots and pans and hide dishes in the bowl.
- The garbage disposal is only on one side of the sink, meaning food particles can easily clog up the drain in the other basin.
Single Sinks vs. Double Sinks
As previously mentioned, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to whether a single or double sink is better. You have to think carefully about what is best for you and your family’s needs and your kitchen, based on the size of the space, your budget, and how you plan to use the sink.
Have more questions about single and double sinks? Or, are you thinking about swapping out a double sink for a single sink (or vice versa)? Call the experts at Anytime Plumbing! We have several decades of experience in the industry and are available 24/7 for all your plumbing needs in Santa Cruz County, and beyond.