Cabinets Above and Below Sink, and your Dish Drainer

ironcookFebruary 11, 2011

hi... can any of you help with these questions?

1) did any of you NOT modify your above sink cabinets?

i had planned to do a reduced depth cabinet above the sink, but then i realized it complicates the crown molding. dh is doing the install, and i'd like to keep it simple!

the places i've seen the cabinets all the same is usually where storage is at a premium, but i wonder if people bonk their heads...

2) i'd like to do full-height doors under my sink, but i don't know if the top of the sink base cabinet is any different than a regular full-height door cabinet.

3) do any of you have a really NICE-looking dish drainer or creative way of stashing an ugly one?! this is a small kitchen, so space is at a premium.

thanks in advance! :)

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Fori is not pleased

1. You won't smack your head but you might smack dishes. You also might feel claustrophobic. Usually there are shorter cabinets over the sink, not shallower. That won't affect crown moulding and gives a nice spot for a decorative something.

2. There shouldn't be anything special about the doors on a sink cabinet.

3. Aren't you supposed to just stuff it under the sink? :) You can hang it from the inside of the door if you do it right, or even glue hooks to the underside of your sink.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:46PM
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I currently have one that is in 3 pieces....stainless rack, pan with drain into sink that fits under rack and a cutlery rack that fastens to the side. Everything comes apart in about in seconds and fits against a side wall under the sink.

I would like to get one of those that use a stainless pan and the rack just folds up inside the pan to stow away.Or try out one of those sink grids for draining and ditch the rack altogether.

We run our dishwasher every 2 to 3 days. We don't put the pots and pans or the corning ware in the DW so I need the dish drainer.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I have a regular sized cabinet over my sink and I HATE it. It's very annoying to be trying to do something at the sink and have someone come up and try to open that door. You feel like you are going to get smacked in the face when the door over the sink is opened. I also feel very separated from what I'm doing in the sink, like there is an obstical between me and what I'm cleaning. Right now it's particularly bad because my dishwasher gave up on me so I'm having to wash all my dishes by hand. We either have to open that door before we start washing (so someone can be drying and putting away at the same time) or stack dishes on the counter until we finish then put them all away at the same time. I wouldn't recommend this set up. If you must get a cabinet over your sink, get a shorter one and mount in at the same height as the other cabinets as suggested.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 5:56PM
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thanks, everyone... fori you always crack me up.

yes, i am hoping to improve on the "stuffing under sink" method with a new kitchen... but maybe not.

i forgot to mention i'd be putting glass in the cab, but sumnerfan makes me think i'd better not leave it the same height...

contemporary kitchen design by new york architect Coburn Architecture and Interiors

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 6:11PM
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Fori is not pleased

I think Sumnerfan had the worst of all worlds--storing the stuff you're washing over the sink! I had a glass fronted display cabinet over mine. It was a corner sink and I think it was set back a little bit from standard because of that but the base of that cabinet was still all chewed up from the occasional pan smack.

Yeah I had big dreams about keeping the underside of the sink organized. I put a pullout in the base of the cabinet and it helps sort of. But I need to nail down some dividers or something. Or attach some darn hooks to the bottom of the sink to hang my dishrack.

There are beautiful dishracks out there. I don't have one.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 7:01PM
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Fori, I have to laught at the comment that my kitchen is "the worst of all worlds." If you don't know by now, you should know I hate my kitchen and with good reason. You are absolutely right. We store plates, cups, and bowls right over the sink. Definitely not something I would recommend. Even if the cabinet was display, I think it would still feel like an obstacle between you and the sink.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 7:14PM
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Ask your KD about full height doors on the sink base. My Fieldstone cabinets have full height doors on the 36" sink base. They are the same as the full height doors on two other 36" bases in the kitchen. I love them even though the underside of the sink is visible when the doors are open. The extra light and space as well as ease of use are worth the trade off.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 7:24PM
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i wish we had those above the sink cupboards with the drain boards in them.

here are some things i found:

from (too kitsch?)

from (cabinet pull-out dish drainer)

from ikea (asker series)

always wanted to try this, but don't understand how the water would just drip in the sink and not on the counter...

progressive collapsible

yombex "Dry Gent"

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 5:33AM
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I have a reduced depth cab over my sink. I don't remember the exact depth but I know it is at least 2 glasses deep. The only issue it presented is when I looked for a goose neck faucet none looked good because they came to close to cab bottom. I ended up going with a Kohler Fairfax faucet.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 7:43AM
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We made our cabinet shorter and store mixing bowls above the sink. We had runnels put in the granite so rarely do we need a dish rack. Here's an unfinished pic of sink area

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Andrea345 in the Finished Kitchens Blog had a cool solution: she put a dish rack in an upper cab, just to the right of the sink, with some kind of cool material absorbing material underneath, so things drip-dry out of sight. I think they do this in Europe, or I may just be hallucinating. Check it out (plus, her kitchen is one of the richest and most gorgeous kitchens I've ever seen.)

If money is no object (lol), why not just buy a dishwasher drawer to install next to your sink and let things dry in there. I heard that on this very forum.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Fori is not pleased

Ikea has a couple wall mount ones, so does Lee Valley Tools. I think they have a drip tray. They just make me nervous for big things though.

I saw a scrollwork double decker similar to the apple one. They aren't bad at all!

The ones thathang on the side of the sink, IN the sink seem so great. I got one. Not that great for us but someone a wee bit more organized might be able to make it work. Or someone with a double bowl sink large enough. As it is, on our single bowl sink, the stuff drying never gets dry as the splatters keep coming.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 12:49PM
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thanks for the ideas/pointers, all!

i feel like the very unglamorous version of boxerpups!

dish drain in cupboard (not hallucinating, jenny1963!)

from (i kid you not)

Dish Doctor:

from kaboodle:

from slashgear:

andrea345's cupboard drainer linked below (thanks, jenny1963):

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:39PM
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I do all my pans, extra large mixing bowl, and sometimes casserole dishes by hand. I just lay a towel out on my counter. When I'm done washing them I go on to other things and come back a little while later. Pans are dry (I rinse in very hot water), I put them away, and the towel is hung on oven handle to dry and counter is clean. I will probably continue doing them this way since I don't want to take up space under my sink to store a dish drainer.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Isn't there some super-awesome towel from BB&B that works well for dishdraining?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:56PM
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@sumnerfan: i think that's what jenny1963 was referring to when she said Andrea345 lined the bottom of the cupboard.

i've seen it at the BB&B and wondered if it is "super-awesome" myself... guess i need to get a coupon and try one!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 3:16PM
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@sumnerfan: oh that came out wrong... hope it didn't sound sarcastic. i did wonder that because it really DOES seem awesome. sorry for that! :(

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 3:25PM
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Not a problem. There has been some talk about it here, but I forgot what it was called besides of course super-awesome. :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 4:16PM
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Fori is not pleased

Yeah I just got one at BB&Beyond. I'm not sure it's much better than a towel. It's certainly not as big.

Some of those look like bedpans!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 8:16PM
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Here's another take, if anyone's interested, on the drainers that hang in the sink like Fori mentioned. I've been using mine for a few weeks. It can also stand on the counter next to the sink. And yes, it gets stuffed under the sink when not in use. :-) I don't have much in that cabinet yet, so it hasn't been a problem.

I'm really liking it so far, with none of the splashing problems, perhaps because the sink is big enough (single bowl, 34" wide and 10" deep). The drainer takes up the top half of the right third of the sink, and I can even set a pan or dutch oven to soak UNDER it, while I wash the rest of the dishes on the left side of the sink (usually in a bit of soapy water in the biggest bowl or pan to be washed). Really big pans, though, are too much for the drainer, and get set on a towel on the counter to the right of the sink.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 10:32AM
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Some of those look like bedpans!

omg, fori... i almost needed one from laughing. now i'll never be able to buy one.

thanks for the feedback, everyone!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Well, thanks guys for compliments about my kitchen. It's been 5 years now & we still love it and are very happy with the performance of everything we have.

The material I lined my cupboard with is the Hafele Undersink Matting and it's worked out very, very well. We cut the strips to size & then hot glued it together. It's fitted exactly into the cabinet.

We actually like this set up very much & use it all the time for very wet items. We've not had any damage after all these years. The Hafele product keeps the moisture away from the cabinet. We love having our counterspace available with the added benefit of hiding all the drying plates, glasses, and utensils.

I'd thought about upgrading to a more professional set up, but decided against it b/c this setup works just fine and I'm not messing with the cabinet structure itself at all. Why bother, I figure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hafele Under-sink Kitchen Matting

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:43PM
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