would you add a prep sink to this island?

Mom23EsMarch 3, 2012

We will be installing a single bowl farmhouse apron sink for our main sink by the window. On one hand I see how having a second prep sink in the island would be useful for when the main sink is full of dirty dishes. With 3 kids and 2 adults, there are almost always some dirty dishes sitting around. However, I love the idea of a big island workspace without any interruptions. I imagine rolling out cookies, decorating bakery, and serving buffet style there. A prep sink might just get in the way. We will have a sink in the wet bar/butler's pantry right around the corner, and of course for hand washing the bathroom is nearby too. I feel like we already have plenty of sinks in close proximty, BUT it's different to have one for food prep.

So, what would you do? Prep sink in the island or not? And where would you put it?

Here's a picture of our kitchen floor plan. The room is about 16x13, and right now our KD has the double ovens on the same wall as the refridgerator. MW drawer in the island.

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Yes, I would. Your island is very large at 6 feet X 4 feet, and that much unbroken granite or other surface will in my view look a bit massive. A prep sink will help break up the surface and provide a focal point, not to mention they are very useful. For our island (top is 67" X 33" - smaller than yours) we added a very cool Kohler trough sink with a disposal, plus an Insinkerator hot water dispenser. The shape and size of the trough sink (6" X 19") doesn't dominate the surface, and it's very easy to just push carrot peelings, etc. into the sink. As to where to put a sink, not sure. If you plan on serving meals from the dishwasher side of the island, you won't want a sink in your way.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 2:33PM
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This plan could definitely benefit from a prep sink because of the distance between sink and fridge, with the island in the way... Add in your usual situation of dishes collecting in the sink, and that you'll have helpers, the 2nd sink will really help.

A sink can be an aid in all those tasks you want to accomplish there (adding water to baking recipes, draining and filling pots, washing gooey hands while rolling out cookies, holding ice to chill beverages, seafood, or dips in a buffet).

Proper location will make it useful while not stealing too much area from the island. We have an 18" sink in a 4' by 5' island and it's very valuable for the space it uses, and I have lots of room left to work..And your island is even larger.

I would put it on the corner closest to the oven, so it can be used from the stove side and the fridge side. That's how we oriented ours, and it's great. It does the work of 2 sinks, because of the accessibility from both sides for people doing different tasks. I see that you'd lose some seating, but having someone seated at the corner would be in the way anyway.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Ditto what others have said about the prep sink.

I also recommend moving the DW to the other side of the sink. Then, put in a trash pullout on the left side of the sink. This puts the trash close to all three primary work zones - Prep, Cooking, and Cleanup.

Also, if you intend seating on the right end of the island, increase the overhang to 16"...1" for a decorative door or end panel + 15" clear overhang. I recommend just extending the cabinetry another 3 or 4 inches instead of seating. It's too close to the "dinette" for an adequate aisle and you can always use more storage space!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 3:36PM
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I would put a prep sink on the bottom corner closest to the frig and ovens. It's a perfect location.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Will you have seating at the island?
If you will have seating at the island I wouldn't put in a prep sink.
You do have the extra sink right around the corner in the butler's pantry.

Looks like I'm in the minority on this topic -- perhaps because I did not put a prep sink in my 36 inch by 72 inch island and don't miss having one.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 4:56PM
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My layout is similar, but my island is oriented the other way. I'm putting in a prep sink, but when I add up the total cost of the sink, faucet, garbage disposer, granite cutout, plumbing, and electrical it's a lot more than I thought it would be. I wouldn't do it unless you really want it. In my case I think the functionality is worth it.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Thank you so much for your opinions.

Buehl- I just was mentioning to my DH about the end (right side in pic) seating on the island. I was trying to imagine stools backing up to chairs and was concerned about the lack of aisle and mess of seating. Thanks for mentioning that. It makes me feel a bit more confident about my ideas. :-) And yes, we can never have enough storage. As for the DW, the KD had it on the other side of the sink but I just asked him to move it there. The reason why is because he had the pull out trash can on the left side of the sink, DW to the immediate right, and then silverware drawers to th right of the DW. There isn't enough room to put the silverware drawers on the same side as the trash, and I keep thinking it will be difficult to unload the DW silverware if I have to lean over or close the DW each time. Any thoughts on how you would handle it?

I think we'll go ahead and put a prep sink in the fridge/rangetop corner. I wasn't even thinking about putting it there since it has seating now. Originally we were thinking of seating five, 3 along the fridge side and 2 along the dinette side, but I think we'll be okay with space for 3 just on te fridge side even with the sink. Right? The island top is supposed to be 7x4' right now.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Can you put the silverware drawer in the island? I think you will be much happier with the DW on the right & the trash on the left.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:13AM
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I'd definitely store the silverware and even possibly the dishes on the island in order to get the trash into the right zone placement. Drawer storage is much handier for kids to help out and set the table.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 2:56PM
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Thanks so much. I guess I'll keep sending emails to the cabinet guy. I panicked and sent an email to our archiect as well. Maybe we totally messed up with the size of our kitchen. We bumped it out a foot during our floor plan process, but it's so different now that I see it with cabinets.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:45PM
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I'd skip the prep sink because you have a nice big sink nearby and one around the corner as well. I see vate's island and think the sink breaks up the prep space on that side. If one needs one, such as with a main sink far away, then I'd get one, but usually, a 6 foot island is not big enough to be breaking up the prep space into smaller pieces. Our island is over 9ft long and we have 2 - 36" prep spaces flanking the stove. I would not want either side to be shorter if possible. It doesn't matter much how deep the island is because unless you put one on the far side, negating its prep use, it will get in your way.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 12:29AM
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Is the "dinette" a dining room? Or is there a formal dining room elsewhere? Or are you planning on taking most meals on the island? dinette? I'm just not picturing the whole flow; where the silverware would need to be relative to table setting, for example.

I think the utility of a prep sink depends a lot on how you cook and who you cook with. I had never had one before but find myself doing all tasks at both sinks pretty much evenly. I find it a huge boon in cleanup especially, to have two sinks going. But how you use space and water is something only you can know.

What's the foyer for between kitchen and 1/2 bath? You might want to think about a pocket door in the doorway b/n mud rm and foyer. Seems like a lot of wasted space to me...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 2:05AM
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Aliris- The dinette area will be our main eating space. I'm planning on using the island for casual breakfasts, snacks, homework, and of course food prep. I'm attaching a pic of our whole first floor. You will notice that we are building a house with traditional rooms, but we are repurposing them. DH needs an office at home, and because we are both musicians we need a large space for that. Should we ever want to sell, there is obviously a formal dining room, but since we rarely do formal entertaining (something I wish I had known when I got married and got all that super nice/expensive china) we've decided to go without. The entire main floor (except the mudroom) will be hardwood floors, so if we need to make a larger dinette space while entertaining we can do that pretty easily. We have been discussing a pocket door in the mudroom; I can't imagine closing that door often and the open swing door will just be in the way.

If anyone has ideas or suggestions, PLEASE let me know. I'm so scared that we're going to mess something up. We have a builder and their architect, and we've hired an independent architect to oversee the build process. I just can't seem to get comfortable with the amount of money we're spending and the enormity of each seemlingly little decision.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 12:21PM
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No, but I'd put a prep sink by the fridge...and put the microwave there, too. Great snack area, since you have the island for baking :)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Hi Mom23:

I am not a fan of sinks in islands. That said, with the current set-up you have, with cabinetry along the side of the island nearest your main sink, and seating on the side facing the refrigerator, where would you put a prep sink that would have cabinetry underneath, and not interfere with seating--other than directly across from the main sink?

If you reconfigured where on the island the cabinetry would be, you would lose seating area.

A few other observations:

The walkway space between your range/cooktop and the island seems tight.

The overhang of countertop on the seating side of the island (on the refrigerator wall) seems too large without any support on the one corner. If you are using stone, maybe rodding it would solve that. I am not a stone expert, but I think anything more that about 12" needs to be supported in some way. You have the post on one side but what about the other corner? this would be something to check out with your fabricator or contractor.

I would consider rotating your island 90 degrees, so the length of it is oriented the other direction. With a 6'6" island, and 15'8" to the counter along the refrigerator wall, you would still have 3'7" walkways between the main sink counter and the island, and the island and the refrigerator-wall counter. That is not generous, but not bad. You would then be able to have a more generous walkway along the long side of the island--between island and range, (which you want if you have 2 cooks in the household). You would also have more space between the dining area and island seating. You could keep the cabinetry under the same section of the island as in your drawing--except now, it would be in the corner of the island closest to the refrigerator, which is where you want the a prep sink if you have one. It is also not going to interfere with seating there. rotating the island gives you many benefits--and if you will not have seating on the short ends anyway, is a viable option.

Another alternative to consider is doing a more "triangular-shaped" island with a straight side along the "sink wall" and the "Range wall," with the third side having a curve to get more seating. The island seating would then not interfere with the dining area, and with the curve, you would get more seating. You would be limited by allowing for the pantry door swing--and that would dictate how big the curved side could be, and how much seating.

Just some thoughts..

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:13PM
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Hmmm, I'm NOT a layout guru. But it strikes me that I would move the wall oven to the bottom wall where the fridge is and move the fridge to the other end of that run of counters. Depending on how big they are, that would leave you a 30"-36" open area between (depending on size of ovens and refrigerator...just big enough to make sandwiches, store snacks, maybe put the microwave or coffee maker. That way, kids getting water, ice or snacks from fridge can access it and stay out of your work zone.

I"d probably still want a small prep sink on the island at the left, so I could take stuff out of the fridge, turn around and rinse/drain prep right there on the island or on the newly created stretch of counter to the left of the range.

As I said, I'm not one of the forum's layout gurus and I may be overlooking some obvious flaw to this. I'd be interested in what others have to say about it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I could see swapping the oven and fridge, especially if you'd appreciate a baking center type of space, Mom23Es. I wouldn't want the fridge any further away from the stove.

If you're more interested in that being a breakfast/snack counter on the bottom wall, I think I'd leave it as it is... Either way with the prep sink in island corner.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 3:02PM
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