Single bowl sink with no other prep sink--your thoughts

needinfo1February 8, 2013

I keep reading how so many people here love their single bowl sinks, and I am trying to decide what to do (keeping my current sink is very much in the running).

We have a vintage/period kitchen with 1920s-1930s style, and we do not have a prep sink area. Our current sink is what is referred to as 1 1/2 bowls I'd guess; it has a nice size 17" or so wide, 10" deep sink on the left and then a smaller only 5 1/2" deep by 7" wide bowl on the right. The smaller bowl is where our disposal is (don't really use the disposal much), but is nice to have the additonal bowl available for draining things or scrapping plates or doing a quick veggie wash or rinsing off something small while the other large bowl is full of dishes and/or soapy water.

So, my question is whether all of you one large sink bowl lovers also have a prep area. If not, do you feel constrained by only having the one large bowl? I am not contemplating a farmhouse sink because it does not blend in with our house. And, stainless doesn't go with our house either.


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I have a single 30" sink and no prep sink, and I find it to be one of the best changes in our kitchen. HOWEVER, it turns out people use their sinks differently and actually have philosophical differences in their approach to sink use. Who knew? There are a number of sink threads where folks lay out their cases for why they do and don't like various configurations. The biggest difference of opinion is single sink vs. other. I think if you like what you have, you may want to stick with that. Do you have friends with other kinds of sinks? Maybe you could try them out.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:40AM
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I had questioned this myself. I thought going to single most had prep sinks but it didn't seem the case.

I had strongly considered a 70/30 split but finally realized it was ALL about placement of the the drain to the side and preferably back.

Here is a link that might be useful: Single vs 70/30

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:45AM
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I've always had single bowl sinks and, due to a lack of space, never had a prep sink.
It's just the 2 of us in our house, so dirty dishes go straight into the DW.
Except for the occasional soaking pan or casserole dish, there's nothing that lives in the sink for very long.
When we reno-ed our kitchen, 2 years ago, we went with a Blanco Super Single sink with a grid.
It's larger and deeper than our old sink and because of it's size, easier to use.
It will hold my largest stock pots and full size baking sheets, making clean up so much easier.
On occasion, I have used double bowl sinks but found them to be difficult because even the largest bowl was too small to accommodate a 10 or 12" pan with its handle or baking sheets.
I suppose it all boils down to personal preference, but if I had my druthers, and the space, I'd sink a bathtub into my countertop ;)

This post was edited by willtv on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 10:09

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:53AM
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We're going to have a single-bowl sink as our only sink. It's a very small kitchen so a second sink isn't possible, and frankly, I don't think I'd get one even if I had all the room in the world. Because I've only ever operated with one sink for everything, it's just what I know. We also have a dishwasher and wash pretty much everything in it, so I felt comfortable with the single sink vs. a divided sink. We have a divided sink right now (maybe a 60/40) and we only use the big side anyway.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:24AM
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I have a 30" single-bowl sink. I'd never even heard of a separate prep sink until I joined GW, so I do not miss what I do not have.

I went from a shallow double-bowl to a deep single-bowl, both stainless. For the first week or so, it seemed very weird and cavernous. I had to learn how not to splash (I've been moderately successful).

I clean as I go, so dirty things don't sit in the sink. I often wash by hand and use a draining rack on the counter. I know some people consider that a cardinal sin, but it doesn't bother me.

If I got another sink, I might consider a different material, but I'd keep it single-bowl.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:35AM
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My last kitchen had a single bowl sink (thanks to this forum) and no prep sink (kitchen too small). My current kitchen has a ginormous triple sink that I HATE! I can't lay my cookie sheets or pans flat to clean - drives me nuts! The middle sink has the disposer - very small and totally useless.

We are planning a complete kitchen reno and I can't wait to get a single sink again. :-)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:59PM
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I'm going through this dilemma myself. I currently have the apparently LEAST popular sink, which is a 50/50 split. I've actually liked it, because I can be rinsing out recyclables or produce on one side while soaking dishes on the other.

The idea of having a sink large enough for the fridge drawers or cookie sheets to lay flat, but the truth is those things are much rarer events in my house than the day to day recycling, rinsing and soaking activities. I do really like the idea of a single drain, preferably in the back, to allow for more usable space under the sink.

Right now I'm considering going with some kind of single bowl that has integrated goodies to get some of the function back from a double bowl. Someone posted one here on GW recently, though I'm still figuring out how it can be used as an undermount. (The video is clear is can be) It comes with "a large 9" single bowl sink, colander and bamboo chopping board". I'll include the link. There's a nifty little demo video.

There might be other options like this out there, but it seems to allow the functionality of a double bowl without the commitment to one.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Standard sink

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:19PM
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We also only have one 30" deep single sink and love it. However, we had a 19" single sink pre-remodel, so I was never used to using a double bowl sink--can't speak to the adjustment. Things that I find handy in having a single sink: colanders (we use these regularly for draining pasta, veggies, etc., so even if there is a dish in the sink, I just slide it over and set the colander in), sink rack, dish rack on the counter, and over-sink cutting board (handy if I want to chop vegetables while there's a dish soaking below). We don't have a disposal, though, and collect food scraps rather than scraping them into the sink--that might also make a difference.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:35PM
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The reason I love my single bowl is not because I have a prep sink. My prep sink is needed because of the zoned layout of my island kitchen. It is not there to be a second sink bowl -- it is there to be a second sink where a second function is needed. The larger sink still handles prep work when there are multiple cooks as well as the clean up and most other functions. Having a single bowl sink works because your work style can adjust to it, not because you have a prep sink. I love single bowl sinks -- with or without a prep sink.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I am well aware I am in the minority with my opinion. In my last house I had a 60/40 sink and I loved it. All of my pans minus cookie sheets fit in the large bowl and I always had a clean sink for washing veggies and fruits as well as drain the knives and rare pan that didn't fit in the DW. My present house the kit was small so I did one large sink and I really miss the "clean" sink. I wash a lot more veggies than I bake cookies and the cookie sheets were never really dirty as I use parchment paper. I guess it really depends on how you work in your kitchen as the right answer.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:44PM
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>though I'm still figuring out how it can be used as an undermount.

According to the reviews, it also comes with the clips for undermounting.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Our current sink is like the OP's sink (double sink, one bigger one smaller) I am going to a 36" Whitehaven. Think how much fun these two could have had in that...

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:47PM
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We put in a 33" single bowl sink and have no prep sink. It's much, much better than the 50/50 double sink we had. However, I have always put my pots/etc. on a dish drainer on the counter to the left of the sink and continue to do so....I don't mind having them out, but then again I don't mind having my small kitchen appliances on the counter. I love that I can soak large pans in the sink and still have room left over.

That being said, if we could have, I would have put a prep sink on our island just for washing fruits/veggies. But we have a stainless steel table as an island and it just wasn't worth it for us in the budget to put an island in with a prep sink. HTH!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:40PM
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I have no prep sink and have a single 36" sink. I don't have a single regret... it's awesome.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Thanks for all the varied responses (and the link to the previous discussion on this topic). I guess it really must boil down to personal preference and cooking and clean up style.

I had always kind of assumed (erroneously it now seems) that everyone who has a large single bowl sink and loves it also has as second sink in a prep area.

I do have to say that the comments about needing a second space more often for everyday activities and a huge sink less often for washing large cookie sheets or pans etc. did hit home. In the big picture I too don't wash those types of large items all that often.

And, in the other link I also saw a comment that if one has a 30" base cabinet, then it is inadvisable to get a divided sink. So, my dilemma returns.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:32PM
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In reference to your 30 inch base question... I have a 23 inch SS single-bowl in a 30 inch base and opted for this size because I have a small kitchen and preferred counter space instead of a larger sink (no prep sink either). I measured and found that the sink depth (mine comes to a bit over 9 inches including countertop) - and my choice of a high-arc faucet with a pull-down - was just as important as the width of the sink. I cook daily - and bake often - and wanted to be able to clean pots/pans/cookie sheets easily - which I can do with my 23 inch. I quickly move DW items into the DW so don't use my sink to stack/store so much. Like artemis above, I also have over-sink colanders that I love to use as I do lots of veggie rinsing/prepping and moving the over-sink items around on a single-bowl is super easy.

I think it all comes down to use and personal preference. Note how you use your current sink - if you love it - keep it! Perhaps a change in faucet - or some new sink colanders/cutting boards - might make all the difference.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Re the 30" base. I've never seen it in person, but the "daughter sink" in this thread from ikeafans seems to be pretty popular over there with folks who want double bowls in a 30" sink. Linking the whole thread since there are several others mentioned:

Here is a link that might be useful: Is this sink too big?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:44PM
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You may not wash large items that often, but how many cookie sheets with water running all over your counters and/or floor does it take to make you regret a divided sink? If you think you will miss not having the second bowl, I would greatly prefer the uneven division like you have over the IKEA one above. But as suggested, take some time to look at how you use the sink everyday as well as for holidays and special occasions and then weight those needs to determine what will best suit you.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:27AM
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