Single sink advantages?

mtimmerJanuary 17, 2014

It seems many here are advocates of the single sink...we like the idea but we're about to embark on a new house and kitchen and we're not fully sure of the benefits.

Currently, one side of the sink in our current home is where we have a rack to drain dishes since we don't have a dishwasher, but our new kitchen will have a dishwasher. On one hand, that seems to make the drainage rack redundant. At the same time, it's also a great place to dry veggies after we've washed them.

PS We're also likely to have a prep sink in our new kitchen to the extent that it may affect your comments.

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We've got a large "D" single and a dishwasher and everything is fine.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 12:16AM
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I have had a large single bowl sink for 13 years now and in our current kitchen remodel we are going with an even larger single bowl sink. If you have a dishwasher, I see absolutely no benefit to a double sink. I have many larger pots/pans that I would have to take to the basement utility tub to wash if I had a double thank you!! When I work in other people's kitchens that have double bowls I feel sorry for them! I guess you can see I am a huge fan of the large, deep single bowl sink! BTW, my single bowl sink is big enough to wash on one side and have a drainer in the other side if you still wish to work that way.

Edited to add that I do not have a prep sink so my large single bowl is my only sink.

This post was edited by dcward89 on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 6:57

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 6:56AM
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I have a large single bowl and no prep sink. I also used my second sink for the drain rack in the old kitchen. While I love, love, love the large single sink, I do miss having the second side for the drainer.

There have been several threads on here about where to put the drainer, where to put dishes to dry, etc. Most people seem to dry their dishes and put away the drying rack or towel.

We tend to have a few large pieces that need to drain overnight - coffee thermoses being the biggest problem. No way to dry them other than drain rack.

So, my drying rack is sitting on the counter beside the sink - but I don't like it. In a perfect world, I'd have the large sink for washing dishes plus the second sink for the rack.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:35AM
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We have a large 30" single with a bottom grid. We have no prep sink. We use the bottom grid as a drain rack for things like the French press and the Vitamix when I am too lazy to dry them. I also use it to drain veggies early in my meal prep. I think a single with a bottom grid is the best of both worlds. I can wash really large pots and pans but also have the benefit of draining with the grid. With a larger sink it would be even easier, but 30" is all I had room for.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Single basin here. IRL homes that I see with double basins tend to pile stuff in one side instead of putting things in the dw or drying and putting away. If I hand wash stuff I don't use a drying rack. I just put a towel on the counter. Let things drip for a minute, then dry and put away. Washed veggies go in a colender then to the counter. I think a single basin is more convenient for washing things of any size. If you have a GD and two basins then you have to decide which side will get it or have two.

With a single basin you can't just pile things in there and leave them. This is a good thing. It makes you put dirty dishes in the dw which they should have been put in the first place! No drying rack means that you will use your dw more and any items that are hand washed will get dried and put away.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:00AM
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I have a 30" single-bowl sink, no prep sink. I too feel sorry for people with shallow, double-bowl sinks. That was me for most of my life and I didn't know any better. :)

You can set up wash, rinse, and dry zones in a large single-bowl sink, but if you have a dishwasher, you may find it unnecessary. I wash all my pots and pans by hand. Sometimes I wash other things, since it's just me and I don't use a lot of stuff for each meal. I don't mind a little rack next to my sink, but it fits just as well within the sink.

As nycbluedevil says, if you have a grid in the bottom of the sink, it can function as a drying rack, even for food.

It's a whole 'nother way of how a sink can work for you.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Single 36" sink, no prep sink. We have an across the sink drainers that holds a few items like plastics that don't quite dry in our DW. I am very happy with it. I love being able to soak big pots and pans and baking dishes that I used to have to wash in stages with our double-bowl.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:16AM
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I have a large 1 1/4 bowl with bottom grate now and really like it. The only thing I use the small bowl for is the garbage disposal. I am putting the really large single bowl in my cottage kitchen. There will be no garbage disposal there (:( septic system) I also always feel badly for friends who have double bowl sinks--they don't know what they are missing.
I put one of those drying mats on the counter for the few items that need to dry overnight. Then I roll it up and put away.
My favorite thing is my kick switch for the garbage having to touch switch plate with yucky hands.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:41AM
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I spent a lot of time considering how I work in the kitchen before I made my decision. Everyone works differently. I knew we couldn't have a prep sink, so the one sink in my kitchen has to function as a prep sink and a clean-up sink. I spend a lot of time soaking greens and cleaning vegetables. I find it handy to have a double sink, with a small 9" side and a decently sized 21" side. The large side is plenty big for cleaning cookie sheets and roasting pans. The small side is great for soaking a bunch of chard, and that leaves me the big sink to fill a pot of water or clean the skillet. If I'm working at the sink and DH needs to wash his hands, there's room for him to do it in the other basin.

I've never let dishes dry in the sink. I have a small silicone mat next to the sink for small things and a dish rack under the sink that I bring out for the occasional big dry (dinner parties, really pot-heavy meals, etc.).

I am not immune to the appeal of a large single sink, but in my kitchen, this double sink works perfectly. (If you have a prep sink, much of what I'm talking about here is moot, lol.)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 11:14AM
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We just put in a large single bowl sink in our remodel. We also have a 16" round prep sink.

My dh wanted a double bowl sink but I insisted on the single bowl. In the old kitchen, he liked to fill one side with soapy water for washing and rinse in the other. My argument was, you can put a plastic basin in the single bowl sink to make it a double. But you can't make a double bowl sink, a single bowl. So I bought dh a plastic tub to wash dishes when he washes (I just use a sponge with dish soap). The basin goes under the sink when it's dry.

My sil keeps a dish rack in one side of her large single bowl sink. It stays there and never leaves. My preference is a dish rack on the counter when I hand wash and we put the dishes away immediately. Dish rack also goes under sink when done.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 11:47AM
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I use a small bowl or pot, usually one that is getting washed with the others and fill it with hot soapy water. I place a drying rack on the counter, hand dry right away, place the drying rack under the sink cabinet and dry off the runnels with a paper towel. The deep single sink keeps dirty items out of sight till a larger batch gets cleaned.

This post was edited by Quadesl on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 12:10

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I had a double bowl all my life, so when I went looking for a new sink a little over a year ago, I had never considered a single. That is until I saw one, and how much more usable space there is! I also had never seen nor heard of Silgranite which is what I ended up choosing, and love it!
I keep this grid by OXO in half of it full time, and it works great for drying and keeping a few things out of the water. I also do as others have said, and use a large salad or mixing bowl to fill with soapy water for hand washing...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Single bowl sink, no prep sink. I have a clear, plastic drain tray on the left side of the sink..this is a corner that would not be used anyway. We always leave things on the tray to dry. My brother and SIL have a double bowl and whenever they are over my brother always curses their double bowl and loves my big sink. I think it's way easier to wash larger things especially and you can always put a smaller bowl or drain tray if you want to....more options.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 1:32PM
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I have a 45" ss kohler sink and I LOVE it. I cannot recommend it enough, although I dont really cook. I do have a second smaller sink on the island. When I had friends staying here, I think they used it for cooking, but I never do.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 3:43PM
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twosit: having a septic system doesn't necessarily preclude a garbage disposal! IIRC the rule of thumb is that it counts as an "extra person". It's possible it's against a local ordinance but frankly I'd put one in anyway.

I don't use it for much--most food waste goes in the trash or compost--but there's no substitute for not having to clean soggy cereal out of a drain basket.

I had double sinks all my life until Wednesday when the plumber hooked up my 30" single bowl. I already love it immensely!

Caveat: we handwash very little and have never had an always-available drain rack. Virtually everything goes in the dishwasher and the majority of the things that do need to be handwashed are because they're too big for the dishwasher (sheet pans, roasting pan, etc.) which means they're also too big for the bowl of a standard double bowl sink. Instead you end up balancing it on the divider and getting everything wet in the process.

The only way I'd ever consider going back to a double bowl is a 70/30 split or something along those lines. And only after measuring my biggest pans and making sure they'd fit in the 70.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 3:47PM
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I love my single sink. I can wash large pots and small dogs. Particularly small dogs....

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Thanks all for the replies. Appreciate all the insights, including that our drain rack (or some variation) can still work even if we have a single bowl sink. That said, we've certainly developed a rhythm over the years of using the smaller sink to drain dishes and dry veggies! Plus, the whole concept of having a prep sink is new to us!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 12:46AM
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I have the 33" Kohler Irontones Smart Divide. It's about a 70/30 with a low profile divider- 4" high. I can have a divided sink or fill over the 4" height & have a single large sink. I just finished washing all my pots, pans & large cookie sheets (moving into the kitchen after reno) & was able to fit everything in the "big sink" with water on both sides. I also liked the option of going from one large sink to a divided sink by letting just the small side drain.
It was also nice to have quick access to the garbage disposal and a small area for rinsing when I used a Brillo/SOS pad, without emptying the whole sink.

This post was edited by romy718 on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 11:33

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:05AM
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I have a shallow double sink in my 1956 kitchen that will be remodeled soon than later. The shallow (8") depth sucks because water splashes out a lot onto the floor and then gets tracked everywhere. We roast a lot of veggies in the winter on 1/2 sheet pans and soaking them on the countertop because they can't lay flat in the sink often results in spillage onto the countertop (ugh). I prefer washing veggies in a salad spinner (it uses less water and I'm sure it's not contaminated by raw meat, which I often handle in the sink).

I look forward to a large single sink. I anticipate still using a silicone drying mat to dry some items that I'll put next to the sink but I might try an in-sink rack that some seem to like too.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 4:58AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

DH and I argued the issue quite intensely...he liked the double bowl using one side for drying...I liked the large single bowl so you could wash refrigerator parts and cookie sheets without making such a mess.

We ended up compromising and are pleased with the result. We got a single bowl with a built-in drain board.

What's nice about it is, the drainboard is very shallow so we were able to put the dish towel cabinet underneath it, centering just the sink over the sink base.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oliveri drainboard sinks

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 7:30AM
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I've always had a single and I moved to a new place with a double and I hate it.
(1) My 12" (10"?) frying pan does not fit with handle in for soaking.
(2) I will not be able to wash the cat litter box in this double. (I'm in between cats now but will be getting one soon).
(3) The small part is the part with the disposer where scraps and debris can go. But it just barely fits a dinner plate and leaves little room for stacking rest of dirty dishes. I probably should be using the large part for that, but not with the disposer in the small part.

My style is offset design so I was looking into any single sink offset designs that would fit the same granite cutout. I came across one by Franke that I fell in love with. (but it didn't fit my shape, alas). It is single sink but has lips along the edge that can hold drain accessories.

Very cool. Almost makes me want to replace the granite just to get this sink!!

Franke Orca sink

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Justmakeit's sink is my ideal, similar to my mother's. The little sink has the disposal (and they are on septic) and the large side can hold a big turkey roaster! We moved into a kitchen with an integrated corian twin sink. I like the corian, and the integration, but wish it were anything but a twin sink.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:13AM
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The sink was my most difficult decision since I spend way more time there than any other place in the kitchen. After reading all of the GW threads I got very confused, everyone was very passionate about whichever sink they'd chose ( or wished they'd chosen).

After much deliberation, I chose Kohler's Whitehaven, 70/30 split with a low divide in Cane Sugar. It's beautiful! I love it for its versatility. I won't repeat what Romy said since she hit most of my points!

Good luck with your choice and renovation.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 1:23PM
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I absolutely LOVE my SS single bowl Kraus KBU14 30 inch undermount sink!

I do not have a prep sink since my kitchen is small.

I previously had a 23 inch white enamel single bowl that was only 5 inches deep. It was so hard to wash pots, pans and baking cookie sheets, pizza pans, etc in it because it was sooo small. Had to shift things around and scrub them on a cutting board on the counter next to the sink and then rinse them carefully so water doesn't go all over the counter.

My new sink is 10 inches deep and fits just about anything. When it was first installed, I thought it was like a small bathtub... how will I get used to something so big? Now I can honestly say that I think it is one of my favorite things in my new kitchen. I absolutely love this sink! I think having a single bowl gives you so many more choices of what you can do in it. You have so much more room. If I need a smaller space to soak something small, I bought a small black plastic tub (at IKEA) that fits to one side of my large sink. It's perfect for soaking or washing small items and still leave room in the big sink for other things. When done, the tub neatly stores away in pantry. I also use a small dish rack to the right of the sink for things that don't go in the DW.

We used to rent a small house that had a double bowl SS sink and we didn't really like it. Too confining space wise.

I am very happy with my decision to do a large single bowl. The size is just right for our small galley kitchen.

P.S. My husband commented, the other night, on how nice it is that he was able to wash a large pizza pan completely flat in the sink! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Little portable black sink tub

This post was edited by NWRain-Gal on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 2:14

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 7:40PM
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My wife wanted a double sink and I wanted a big single sink. So we compromised and got a Blanco SILGRANIT Performa 1 3/4". It is a double bowl but the middle divide is low leaving 4" clearance. Everybody is happy.

Blanco SILGRANIT Performa 1 3/4" Medium Bowl

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:44PM
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For me the main advantage of a single sink is that it doesn't matter where my family ours their dirty dishes as far as food debris. Right now they can't respect that the dirties should only go on the disposal side and I end up having to clean good gunk out of the second side with a some rather than rinse it down the disposal with a sprayer. That in itself is enough for me to go single large sink.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:33AM
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I have a single bowl sink in the kitchen that fits large pots and baking sheets. And I find it very comfortable and provides ample drying room surface, and is neat. I love the its large feature style, and uninterrupted sink space.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I have an offset double bowl, with GD on the small side. The larger bowl is 15-3/4" x 18-3/4" x 9" (10" deep with countertop). My largest mixing bowl and cast-iron frying pans fit easily in the large side, and the small side is not much smaller than one bowl of my old double - even though the new one fits in a 30" base cab! I think this is really the best of both. We only hand wash large pots and pans, which get dried immediately.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 1:08PM
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Some of the "large sides" of the 70/30 sinks are as big as the single bowl I replaced!

If I had a huge counter with room for such a sink I would consider a 70/30, low divide. But I do like my 27" single bowl very much and would not have even considered a double in that size. I have no issues with drying -- sometimes I use the dishwasher as a drying rack, sometimes I use a drying mat on the counter, sometimes I use my footed colander on one side of the basin (especially for food or small items).

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:19PM
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I have a single Rohl Allia and love it. Actually if I ever get a new sink, I would have Julien or Rachiele make me a super large 42" single sink. My Rohl is over 30" and fits my jelly roll pans, cookie sheets, roasting pans and platters without any issue. If I were to get a double sink, it would have to be at least 48" wide :-). Ann Sacks used to carry a single sink fire clay that was 40" wide but I think it is discontinued.

Good luck with your choice.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Home pro, if all of that fits in a 30" sink, why would you need a 42" sink?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:26PM
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No reason but just that I can. I do run out of space when I am cooking on Sundays but beyond that the sink is beyond adequate. I saw the Ann Sacks sink recently and I was envious:-)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:47PM
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