More people choose double-bowl sinks for kitchen use.
A quality sink can last for 15 years or more, but even the best sink can suffer scratches and wear over time due to frequent use. When it's time to replace your sink, narrow your search based on size before focusing on cost, finish and other features. By understanding standard sizes for kitchen sinks, it makes it easy to design your kitchen, plan cabinets and find the right sink for your needs.
The average kitchen sink measures 22-by-30 inches. While the front-to-back dimensions of the sink remain standard due to the size of most countertops and cabinets, the width of different types of sinks can vary dramatically. But some homeowners opt for deeper countertops measuring 30 inches or more, which can accommodate a larger sink than the standard countertop. Single bowl sinks come in sizes as wide as 33 inches, while double-bowl units can measure 48 inches.Triple bowl units may be as wide as 60 inches. Narrow trough sinks, designed for easy food preparation, generally measure 8 to 14 inches front-to-back and can stretch 50 inches or wider.
Most kitchen sinks vary from 8 to 10 inches in depth. While a sink with a 10 inch depth makes it easier to soak pots and pans, deeper sinks can be more uncomfortable for shorter family members to use. Shallow sinks allow for easier reaching and prep work. Some prep sinks come with a depth of just a few inches, and are often installed alongside a standard sink for washing dishes or cleaning vegetables. When choosing sink depth, keep in mind that under-mount sinks sit about 2 inches lower than drop-in sinks, which can make the bottom of the sink more difficult to reach.
Even the standard 22-by-33-inch sink may seem too large in small kitchens. For rooms smaller than 150 square feet or 10-by-15 feet, skip the big sinks and stick to models that fall below the standard size range. If your kitchen exceeds 150 square feet, look for larger units, including double- or triple-bowl units that are better equipped to meet the needs of larger families.
One of the most important criteria for choosing kitchen sink size involves finding a sink that comfortably fits the kitchen's base cabinets. Average cabinets measure 24 inches deep, 36 to 42 inches high and 25-1/4 to 26 inches wide.The standard 22-by-33 inch sink fits well within these dimensions. If your base cabinets are larger than this standard size, you may be able to accommodate a larger sink. Measure depth, height and width of cabinets, then subtract 2 to 3 inches from each measurement to find the right size sink for your cabinets.
Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.