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Kitchen Sink Buying Guide

So, you've got everything but the kitchen sink? That's no good - all the activity in your kitchen revolves around the fresh water that comes from the tap and the basin below. There are plenty of popular sink designs right now, and certainly more options than ever, but ultimately it's a question of functionality. Our easy guide lays down the basics of measuring your space and choosing a sink basin that's right for you and your kitchen.

Country Style Kitchen

Size and Measurement
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Solid, watertight installation is essential when installing a kitchen sink. There are three key measurements - width, length, and maximum depth.

If you're building a new counter space, you'll need to measure the cabinet length between joists for the size of the sink itself.

If you're replacing an existing sink, you'll need to be exact on all three of these dimensions. Drop-in sinks are quite common, and they'll usually require a .5-inch lip.

If you have or will be installing a garbage disposal, be sure to include its size in your depth measurement.

Types of Kitchen Sinks


Drop-in sinks are very popular because of their simple design and even simpler installation. The sink basin or basins truly just "drop in" to your pre-cut opening. These may be single, double, or triple basin and can be made of a variety of materials, but are most commonly stainless steel.


The farmhouse style, also called an apron sink, features a wide, deep basin, often with a front that's exposed instead of hidden behind a cabinet. These are traditionally made of incredibly durable white porcelain, but also come in stainless and other finishes.


For a super-slick appearance and easy-to-clean functionality, choose an undermount sink. In styles similar to drop-in, these sinks are installed from below a cleanly cut countertop so there are no visible seams.

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Drop In/Topmount
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Number of Basins

Single Bowl Sink

A single bowl is traditional, but generally seen in fewer kitchens these days. Choose a deep and spacious single bowl and you'll have space for doing dishes, filling pots, and more.

Double Bowl Sink

A two-bowl configuration is simple, effective, and popular. Having two basins allows you to separate prep and cleaning, clean and dirty, or wash and rinse. Some sinks have bowls of equal size while some offer main basin and a smaller, secondary side bowl.

Triple Bowl Sink

A sink with multiple bowls allows you to really customize your kitchen for the way you use it. You can arrange your setup so the faucet and accessories are focused over one or two of the bowls or center everything for total access. These big sinks allow maximum versatility for food prep and dishwashing.

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1 Basin
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2 Basins
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3 Basins

Number of Faucet Holes

Your sink may come with pre-drilled faucet holes for every accessory you add, so you'll need to plan out the entire design beforehand. Here's a look at some of the most common configurations.

Single Hole

For the cleanest look, a single faucet hole and a single-handle faucet offer a simple one-handed kitchen solution.

Two Hole

Add a sprayer, soap dispenser, or hot water dispenser to your single-handle faucet with a two-hole sink.

Three Hole

Three-hole setups are quite popular, accommodating a traditional double-handle faucet or a single-handle faucet with popular accessories.

Four Hole

Four - or more - faucet holes allow you to install just about any faucet you need along with plenty of accessories. Instant hot water, dishwashing sprayers, elegant soap dispensers, and more - if you have the counter space, use a sink with plenty of holes and build the setup of your dreams.

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1 Faucet Hole
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2 Faucet Holes
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3 Faucet Holes
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4 Faucet Holes

Materials and Maintenance

Kitchen sinks are crafted from a variety of materials, some more common than others. The most frequently used material is stainless steel. Read on a quick tour of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing and maintaining different types.

Granite Composite
  • Beautiful stone finishes, eye-catching look
  • Nonporous - resistant to chips and scratching
  • May break delicate glassware
Cast Iron
  • Beautiful glossy finish
  • Super heavy-duty, easy to clean
  • Scratches relatively easy - use racks and rinse baskets
  • Nonporous like composite, glossy finish like cast iron
  • Scratch-resistant, use soft abrasive cleaners
Cast Acrylic
  • Plastic molded to shape
  • Reinforced with fiberglass for strength
  • Easy to clean - buff out scratches
  • Inexpensive material
  • Durable when receiving physical damage
  • Does not conduct electricity
  • Eco-friendly - copper is 100% recyclable
  • Unique, eye-catching color and designs
  • Will develop patina over time
Stainless Steel

See our gauge guide below for SS thickness and quality

  • Great sound insulation and long-lasting material
  • Resistant to chipping, cracking, and peelin
  • Easily shows water spots and soap deposits
Stainless Steel Standard Gauge Guide
Gauge In. (Thickness) MM (Thickness)
4 0.2344 5.954
5 0.2187 5.555
6 0.2031 5.159
7 0.1875 4.763
8 0.1719 4.366
9 0.1562 3.967
10 0.1406 3.571
11 0.1250 3.175
12 0.1094 2.779
13 0.0937 2.380
14 0.0781 1.984
15 0.0703 1.786
16 0.0625 1.588
17 0.0562 1.427
18 0.0500 1.270
19 0.0437 1.110
20 0.0375 0.953
21 0.0344 0.874
22 0.0312 0.792
23 0.0281 0.714
24 0.0250 0.635
25 0.0219 0.556