Corner sink question

kodak1March 16, 2010

Does anyone know what is the maximum size sink that can fit into a 36" corner cabinet?

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A corner sink cabinet is one of the most unsupported spots for your countertop. In a regular sink base, you have the sides and bck of the base right there no more than 36" x 24" apart to support that sink full of water. In a corner situation, you basicaly have a big 36" square with one corner clipped. That's not as strongly supported, and it's why corner sinks are regularly done incorrectly by many KD's and granite fabricators.

To get a sink forward enough in a base without scooping the base (never a good idea, but potentially really disastrous in a corner sink installation) you need a larger base than most people think you do. A 36" corner sink base will successfully accept the installation of a 25" sink without scooping the sides. If you "have" to scoop the side, then you haven't used a large enough base. If you scoop the sides, you've just voided your cabinet warranty and your installer will need to install extra support in that base to compensate for the support you just chiseled away.

If you want a 33" sink in a corner installation, you're better off with a 48" base plus adding a sink cradle. If your line doesn't have a 48" base it can be created with a door front and fillers used as supports. It will also need wall cleats and interior support. 48" is too large a space for most people to give up, so they end up with a 42" base and the sink either more than the 3" back from the edge, or they end up scooping the sides to pull it forward. I've seen several installations where the sink was back 5"-6" from the edge, and that's just uncomfortable for your back. I already told you how disastrous scooping the base can be in a corner installation. So, that leaves using a larger base, or a smaller sink if all you have is 36" to dedicate to a corner. Or put the sink elsewhere.

This is why I don't care for corner sinks. They're awkward to use in the kitchen unless you only have a 1 person kitchen, and they're difficult to really do correctly in installation so that a stone counter is fully supported. They're also completely unsuited to using with a laminate countertop, so they aren't budget friendly choices.

If your design is locked in, you can get a LOT of dishes in a 25" single sink! Single sinks are more "the rule" nowadays than the exception. They can suit a modern DW using family more than having a double sink can.

You will have some people say I'm overcautious in my recommendations, but when dealing with hundred pound slabs of stone in your home, I much prefer the safer engineered approach rather than the, "It'll be allright."

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 10:13AM
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I am sorry Live_Wire_Oak but I disagree with you. I have a corner sink in my kitchen for the last 4 years. I love it! I wouldn't do it any other way. Really, in any future kitchens I have, I will want a corner sink. The advantages are:
- leaves uninterrupted expanse of countertop
- allows tons of room under the sink for disposal, plumbing, storage, etc.
- allows room behind the sink for single handle faucet
- uses what otherwise would be a dead space.

I'll address some of Live_Wire's points:
As to the idea that only 1 person can stand in front of the kitchen at a time, that is true, but honestly, it rarely comes up for me that two people need actually to stand there for any length time, and if someone needs to use the faucet while I am working at the sink, OK, I stand aside for 30 seconds, no biggie.

Regarding weight/support/scooping - I do have a stainless steel sink which is light and easy to install--it would be tough to install heavy fireclay or enameled cast iron in a corner but it has been done successfully by several on this forum. My cabinets were semi-custom. I have a 33-1/2" corner cabinet base, which was notched, plus there is some filler cabinetry on either side (my cabinet company and GC took care of those details, so I am sorry I am not sure exactly what they did, but it looks great). My sink is 27" wide (interior). I have 4.5" of granite countertop in front of my sink (plus an ogee edge overhang), and it is my understanding that you need 4-5" of countertop in front of an undermount sink REGARDLESS of corner installation or not, for the integrity of the counter. I have my sink filled with water all the time, and nothing has ever happened.

Also, it is important not to have the dishwasher directly next to the sink, or you will be "trapped" by the dishwasher door. I have a trash pull-out to the right of the sink, then the dishwasher, and it worked out perfectly.

I agree that you need a skilled experienced cabinet installer and skilled experienced countertop installer for a corner sink installation to be done properly. But frankly, don't you want skilled people working on your kitchen regardless?

As to the OP's 36" cabinet and what size sink--OP, can you talk to your cabinet company or GC about this question, and get their opinions on largest sink you could fit?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:01AM
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99.9% of the time I agree with Live_Wire's posts. But I have to agree with akchicago on this one.

If a kitchen is small, it can totally make sense to do a corner sink. Like akchicago said, it allows you two nice lengths of counter space.

>They're also completely unsuited to using with a laminate countertop, so they aren't budget friendly choices.

I'm curious why you think this? Perhaps this is true with a rolled edge laminate, but a square or beveled edge, it works fine.

I usually use an angled sink front....not the entire cabinet. You will have to scoop the adjacent cabinets just a little bit. I disagree that this will cause structural problems. The WEIGHT on the cabinet is distributed at it's 4 corners....not on the sides of the cabinet. Will it void a warranty? Possible on the two cabinets that were cut. But I've been in business for 27 years and have yet to have a warranty issue on cabinets falling apart. Most of my warranty work is replacement hinges or drawer guides....and very few of those. I have also done 100s of corner sinks in a little plat neighborhood here with small kitchens. So far, in 27 yrs., not one has failed or had a disastrous outcome.

What I do agree with LiveWire if your kitchen is on the large side...a corner sink is not the best design. I reserve corner sinks for small, space challenging kitchens.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:25PM
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Thanks for posting the arguments for and against the corner sink. We are currently finalizing our plans and are trying to decide whether or not a corner sink would work for us.

Kompy - We do have that small awkward kitchen that you consider a candidate for a corner sink. It's 10X12 roughly. So it's good to know that we may be on the right track.

My DH's big concern is whether he can live with a single bowl or not. I know that I can but I'm not the cook.

Akchicago - I would love to see a picture of your kitchen sink

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:29PM
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I should also say that my comments above were referring to framed cabinets. If you're doing frameless should not 'scoop' the sides of the cabinet. In that case you need to do a larger sink base.

Also, if you do a top mount sink, you CAN fit a double bowl sink in a 36" or 42" corner sink space.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:02PM
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Thank you for all the information (pros and cons)about corner sinks. I am in the planning stage of my kitchen and I've spoken to a few kitchen designers about my kitchen/dinette space(approximately 23' X 13'). Cabinets will run along 14' of walls on each side of kitchen and I'm hoping to fit an island or peninsula in. One KD suggested a corner cabinet so I can get a longer run of counter space but I'm still waiting on some designs to come back. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a design soon and see what everyone thinks.
I would also like to see some pictures of your sinks and know what the dimensions are.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:17PM
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I have a corner sink and I love it for my small space. I don't find it awkward to work at one bit. I have a ticor S405 D shaped sink. My installer shaved a tiny bit from the cabinet sides to fit the overhang using this sink. I could have fit a similar D sink without shaving anything if I'd gone with a slightly smaller sink made by Blanco. (I can't remember the model but the overall width was about an inch smaller than the ticor.)

In my old kitchen I had a corner sink with a laminate counter - it had been there for 10 or 15 years and there were no problems.

If you want to have 2 people working at the sink at the same time then the corner isn't great for that, but my space is so small and that was never possible anyway.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:37AM
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    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:50PM
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we have a corner sink in our renovation plans - will it make a difference if the 42" cabinet has a 5" *step-back*? (i don't know if that is the correct term )

we really would prefer the diagonal counter line go straight across instead of being indented, as the k.d. is suggesting - now that's a confusing sentence, isn't it! - can anybody understand what i'm so awkwardly trying to describe?

thank you,

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 1:13AM
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We too have a small kitchen and are considering a corner sink. Here is an image I found online that might be helpful for those of you thinking of using a corner sink.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:27AM
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What do you mean by "step back"? Do you mean recess it back similar to Marandall's sink? See the link to her sink pictures...

Do you mean a diagonal front vs 90o corner? Diagonal is better, IMHO, b/c it's easier to work at plus it brings the entire sink closer to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marandall's Corner farmhouse sink

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 4:01PM
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kodak - thanks for sharing your post --

buehl - I suspected *step-back* wasn't the correct term - probably *recessed* would be a more apt definition -

marandall's corner sink seems to be an example of BOTH - (*recessed* in with the pullouts) - and then straight across diagonally (pilaster/sink/pilaster) -- whoa, how excuriatingly confusing was that run-on sentence!

the example of the farm sink that remodelmama posted is what I was THINK I am talking about.

hope I haven't caused extreme dizziness in anyone try to decipher my rambling -- thank you --

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 1:06AM
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