Double sink vs single sink which do you prefer

tonyg3July 6, 2009

I'm debating on which way to go. I will be having a 33" base sink cabinet. Thanks for your input.

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One large and one small. Small one for most jobs- rinsing, washing etc. Large one for doing large dishes etc. easier to keep the smaller one clean. The larger one doesnt get used much.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:20PM
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i know that the popular thing here is a single, but there is no way that i could live with that. i only have one sink in my kitchen and it is a double bowl zero radius with the grates. i have the 60/40 split which is so nice for the large pans and pots. i like smaller side for rinsing and draining my dishes. i would never want a dish drainer thing on my counter. even if i had a small prep sink in my island or something, i still would prefer the double bowl.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:27PM
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Due to this forum, I went with a big single and I love it. IÂll definitely go with a single again next time.

Perhaps if I didnÂt have a dishwasher, it would be different.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:44PM
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I went with singles for my main sink and food prep sinks and LOVE them!! When I do hand wash dishes, I use a dishpan. I have had double sinks all my life until now but I'll never have a double again. These single sinks are just wonderful.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:48PM
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I like having a divided sink so I can have a "clean" and "dirty" side. I often find that I'm in the middle of cooking and haven't caught up with the "dirty" stuff but need to drain pasta or rinse berries. So I can keep the dirty clutter on one side while having a relatively clean side to work with.
I'm in the middle of choosing a new sink and will go with another divided (I like the Silgranit!).

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Going to one bowl would require a real change of habit for me. I always hand wash my pots and pans, and anything that I've left soaking. They dry inside the right side of the double sink and there is ALWAYS a big pile of clean dishes there.
Much of this habit is due to an ancient DW. Will a new KA DW change my habits? Will I do as the salesman told me and wash even small loads every night, including pots and pans? He said it's good for the DW and more economical than hand washing. I guess there isn't much difference between opening the DW to put away clean dishes and taking them out of the sink.

Then again, I sometimes like the idea of being able to fill one side with sudsy water and having the other side to rinse. My china and crystal is NOT going into any DW no matter what cycles it offers.
So, no I haven't decided. I know I'll either go one large or equal size doubles.
I do't see the point of one of those really small bowls next to a sorta big one. Do you just do garbage disposal on that side?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:44PM
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I've had both...and I prefer a large single bowl.One can bathe a baby (or easily wash the turkey roasting pan) in a single bowl...not so much with a double.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Except for apartments in our early married life, and we've been married for almost 38 years, I've had double sinks and I would never want a single sink. As others have mentioned, water for washing up is almost always in one sink and I need the second sink for everything else, including the disposal. I can see that having one really large sink would be great for washing up those large pans, but that's the only benefit I see and for me, it doesn't outweigh the positives of a double sink.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:49PM
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I have a large single. The few items that don't go in the dishwasher are stacked on the counter (if they're large) or to one side in the sink leaving plenty of room. They are washed, air dried on a towel and put away -- no dish drainer here. I have a sink grid which makes a huge difference, I think. I would only go double if at least one side was really large because I hate washing cookie sheets and roasting pans in half of a double sink.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:49PM
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We went with a huge single sink...Franke Pro series. That whole half of the house was opened to create a family/kitchen/living/dining area, no walls. So everything in the kitchen was exposed to view. Having a large single sink allows us to hide dirty dishes.

I can also soak large items like cookie sheets, the range top pans, and heavy pots. We have a small bar sink in the island.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:52PM
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I've had both and always preferred a dbl (with one large bowl and one larger... 1 3/4 style like Kohler Executive Chef or Clarity) so that I could wash veggies or trim chicken without working over dirty dishes. Now that I have a prep sink (and a gas range with 24" long catch pans under the burners that could use a good soak), though, I have no real need for 2 bowls in the main sink and wish I had a larger single...But if no prep sink, I'd definitely stick with the 60/40 dbl.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 5:12PM
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I had a large sink with a small disposer sink. When we did our update, we went with a single farm sink. I miss my little disposer sink but we used the old cabinets and the sink had one of those nasty little drawers built into the base cabinet. We had to go with a farm sink in order to get rid of the drawer.

BTW, we plumbed our dishwasher through our disposer. Keeps the disposer very clean. My MIL's disposer isn't connected this way and she is forever having to clean it (It gets smelly). You do have to make sure there is nothing in the disposer before doing dishes but I don't like food hanging out there anyway. I run the disposer anytime I put scraps down it anyway.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 5:40PM
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Well... I have a double know in a 36" base and will get a large single for my remodel.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 6:26PM
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In my next kitchen, I really want a large single bowl sink and Double Dishwashers :-)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 6:33PM
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Double for me, for many of the reasons others have suggested. I"ve always had a double and often have soapy water in one side and need to rinse or have dirty things in the other. Also, I don't have a prep sink, so definitely double. If I had a prep, I might consider a large single, but never otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 6:35PM
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I never thought I'd be a single bowl person, but my DH, who always washes the turkey roaster on Thanksgiving, really liked the idea. We went with the Rohl Allia fireclay single bowl and I love it! I have two active boys and during baseball season, the dishes pile up. They stay nicely hidden in this sink until I can get to them. This is the only sink that I found that actually suggests using abrasive cleansers on it if there is any stubborn stain. It is my favorite thing in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 6:52PM
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i put a large, two bowl sink in our last kitchen and i swore i wouldn't make that mistake again. i do a lot of roasting which means soaking large pans. it was a big mess trying to get hot water into the pan that needed cleaning and then having to sit it on the side of the counter. this time around i bought a 36" single bowl.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 7:11PM
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I had a double bowl for the past 26 years. With our remodel, I opted for a large single bowl and love it. Most everything goes in the DW. I do hand wash my pots and pans, knives, and wine glasses. Glad I made the switch.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 7:30PM
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My double has a large enough main sink to fit any of my pans to soak. The main sink is about 17 x 21, and I really need the small basin for prep - we don't have enough room for two sinks. It is, however, in a 36 inch cabinet (with an attached drainboard.) I'm not sure what I would do with a 33" cabinet without a prep sink - I would probably go with a single basin sink with a separate possible basin. The Franke Orca comes to mind.

This first link (copy and paste) links to the mini sink that can be placed on the Franke Orca.

The Franke Orca is linked below. It will probably be on display in a high end appliance showroom. It is pricey, however I think that the sink is the "appliance" which gets the most use in your kitchen - think all that you use it for. If you have room for a separate prep sink, a single basin would do fine, though I would still want my present sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Franke Orca

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 8:02PM
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Hi Tonyg3,

I would figure out how you use a sink. In all the places
you have lived from childhood to adult, how do you use
your kitchen sink?

Do you need two sinks for cleaning? rinsing?
Do you like to soak large turkey pans or lasagna pans?
Do you have a prep sink?
Do you like deep or shallow sinks? Are you tall or short
which can mean back issues for the depth of your sink?
What about looks or function? Farmhouse? Triple bowl SS?
Silgranite? Ceramic? ...

Everyone is different and loves what they love.
I love my single bowl sink and would be very sad if I had
to go back to a double.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sinks - double vs. single bowl

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 8:23PM
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I have had three types of sinks in my house. The first was a shallow single sink, the second was a larger double and I then went back to a deep single and would not change that unless I went even bigger! I too didn't like cleaning big tray pans that didn't fit in the sink. A big single sink is easier for me. I am planning a remodel and want to try to keep the sink I have now since it's only a few years old. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 9:23PM
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I had a not-big-enough equal size double for many years, and when we built a new house, put in a double with one large and one smaller side. I loved the big side and hated the small one. That countertop was defective and when it was replaced, I went with a double and liked it. In the new house, I stayed with a double (Blanco diamond double), for many of the reasons posted above. BUT . . . in both the laundry room and the kitchenette, I put a big deep single, so when I need to soak a roaster -- or bathe a baby -- I can do it there.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 9:43PM
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I have a large single bowl sink in my new kitchen and I LOVE it. Will never go back to a double bowl. There's not a single item that won't fit in that sink.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:48PM
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Vote for big single here. Entertain a lot and can't wash the serving equipment in the little double sinks.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 12:10AM
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I've always had doubles, but went with a large single with our new house and LOVE it. I would not have even considered going with a single had I not found this forum before finalizing my plumbing order. Just like so many other have already expressed, I love being able to wash large pans and dishes in it and also being able to fit all the dirty dishes in there and out of sight.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 12:17AM
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What about the Kohler Smart Divide sinks where the middle divider comes up only about 1/2 way? Seems like you could better clean big items but still have the advantage of 2 sinks.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 1:12PM
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I have a double bowl sink with one small and one large bowl...the large bowl is big enough to hold all my pots & pans...including my largest cookie sheet & largest frying pan. But, I do have a 36" sink base, not 33", and I think those 3" will make a difference. The dimensions of my sink & its bowls:

Overall/exterior Dimensions: 35-1/38" x 20-7/8"
Interior of Large Bowl: 21-3/8" x 18-3/4" x 9"
Interior of Small Bowl: 10-1/2" x 15-7/8" x 7"

Large bowl at work:

Small bowl at work:

Largest cookie sheet:

How do we use our sink? Well, the small bowl is used to soak things like flatware & utensils while we're cleaning up. The large bowl is used for scraping things into the GD, holding a pan/pot while it's soaking, etc. We do have a separate prep sink but we find that we still use/need a double-bowl main sink. During the day, we stack the dirty dishes in the large bowl and still have the small bowl clear if we need it.

In our old kitchen, we had one of those equal-sized double bowl sinks in a 36" sink base and hated it (bowls ~17"x17")! The bowls were too small for some of our pans (cookie sheets, 9x13 casserole dishes w/handles, etc.) but too big to soak flatware, etc. w/o wasting a lot of water. Early on we debated a single vs double but quickly realized that the way we use our sink really dictated a double we got one of the biggest we could find that fit our needs.

BTW...I respect that people say you can just use a dishpan to get a double-bowl function in a single-bowl sink and that's fine for them. But the last thing I want to have laying around or have to find a place to store is a dishpan! A double-bowl sink meets all our needs & no need to "make do" w/a dishpan.

So, analyze your needs. How do you use your sink? Will you have a prep sink?

Then, do some research to find out what size sinks are available to you for a 33" sink base and see if you can find one to meet your needs, first, and wants, second.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 6:26PM
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We have a double silgranit sink by Blanco, one side is deeper and bigger than the other and I love it. The large side has never been too small for anything we use to cook with and the other side with the garbage disposal is perfect size for rinsing or draining. I don't think a single basin would work for our needs. I know a lot of people here in the forum swear by them, but IMHO they seem less functional. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 6:52PM
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Vote for a double bowl here. I had a single in my last two kitchens and it drove me batty. I like to use one bowl for washing and the other for rinsing. Or having stuff soaking in one side and I can do whatever in the other. If you're getting a prep sink it may not matter, but it really depends on how you're used to doing things I think.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 8:43PM
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I agonized over this question and love the Orca I finally splurged on. It is available from online discounters. I got it with the tray colander and 3 grids. I can wash on one side and place items up out of the water on the upper grate or tray on the other side. I think it is the best of both worlds unless you do a LOT of hand washing every day.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 1:17AM
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Posted by kateskouros (My Page) on Mon, Jul 6, 09 at 19:11

That is exactly my reasoning. I had and lost a web site listing a 36 inch farm sink. Where did you get yours? Is it a drop in, under mount, or farm house sink?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 2:04PM
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We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and also have a 33" base sink cabinet. We currently have a double and will be replacing it with a large single sink. It makes it much easier to wash the the big pots, pans, baking sheets and platters.

Here is a link to the sink we purchased (stainless steel undermount, 15 gauge and you can't beat the price!!). We actually only paid $300.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Pinch me,
I have linked the Franke 36" Apron front sink below. There are several others, Shaw and Whitehaus make one too. There is also a 40" single sink made by Michael C. Loft for Kohler.

I personally have a single Rohl Allia 30" undermount fireclay sink. I love it. I have had a double Allia in a previous home and love the functionality of a single sink more. I think it depends on how you wash dishes and interact with your sink. Some people hand wash, I do a combination of handwashing and dishwasher washing. I have jelly roll pans that I use for all my baking and these would not lay flat in my previous Allia. I have roasting pans that would not lay flat either. I have multiple things happening in my sink at all times. I have foot thawing a bowl, pots soaking before scrubbing and random pieces of stuff from cooking waiting to be put in the dishwasher or handwashed and put away.

Make the best choice for your lifestyle.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Frank 36

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 3:53PM
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We just replaced the sink that came with our house (standard-size, double basin, 6" depth!! [eek]) with a single basin and I'm loving it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 6:24PM
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One point to consider is whether the new kitchen and/or new appliances will in fact change the way you do things. In our case, choosing a Miele dishwasher has meant that we do much less hand washing because it holds so much more than previous DWs and can gently do stemware & plastics.

Our previous homes had double sinks that were never big enough to hold sheet pans, racks, etc. The final tipping point for me was the concept that a big single can be turned into a double by using one or more dishpans, but a double can never be used as a big single. We love our big single for cleanup. It helps that we also have a prep sink in our cooking/prep area, reducing competition for the cleanup sink.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 11:55AM
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I lived with doubles all my life and couldn't imagine having a single bowl sink until I read about them here and it finally dawned on me that I could have the best of ALL worlds with a single bowl sink.

I handwash a lot of things. I use a small tub in my sink and throw things into hot sudsy water while I'm cooking. If I need the full sink I merely lift the tub out of the sink (still full of small items and water) and place it on the counter next to my sink. The thing about a single bowl sink is that it can be configured any way you want and the configuration can change multiple times while cooking.

The single bowl sink can be configured as a:

SINGLE BOWL--this is rare for me because I generally have multiple tasks happening in the sink at once. But when needed I can put sudsy water in the sink for washing large items. The sink is deep enough that there is plenty of room for rinse water to flow into the sudsy water.

DOUBLE BOWL--As I mentioned above, I usually use a wash tub (or the largest pot or bowl I'm washing instead of the tub) making the single bowl into a double bowl. The tub can easily be lifted out to leave room for any other tasks I want. Dirty items are confined leaving the rest of the sink "clean."

TRIPLE (or more) BOWL--The way I tend to use the sink the most. Sudsy tub of water at one end (or sudsy water in pot or bowl, taking up less room than the tub), colander draining at other end, center drain still clear with plenty of room available for draining water from pots and washing/peeling veggies. Each task takes up only the space needed without a permenant divider determining the amount of space I can use.

I prefer to dry dishes in a dishdrainer on the counter (since there is better air flow than a drainer in the sink. For those concerned about germs, air drying is supposedly better than towel drying.) My mother keeps a dishdrainer in one side of her double and the dry dishes are constantly being splashed which seems to defeat the purpose. Plus if there's soapy water on one side and clean dishes on the other, there's no place to drain dirty water from pots. I'm used to a big open sink and I get frustrated by the confines of her sink when I try to wash large pots since I end up banging them into the barrier over and over. The tub I use in the single bowl is quite short which still leaves lots of space above it for manipulating items.

I do have a prep sink on the other end of the kitchen from the main sink but since the main sink is in my prep and cooking area, it gets used for all types of cooking tasks. At this point, the only reason a double bowl sink would make sense to me is if there is a faucet at each bowl so that it can be a 2 person sink (taking the place of a second sink) but I still think I'd prefer a single sink with faucets placed at both ends.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 2:20PM
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I much prefer a single bowl - just put two of them (cleanup and prep) into the new kitchen. I use the dishwasher for the great majority of items - otherwise I generally just wash and dry as I go (or use a dish towel for large or delicate items to drain temporarily). I especially like a large, deep bowl at holiday time, when there are cutting boards large serving platters and roasting pans to deal with. I did "discover" the bowl within the sink concept in my temporary kitchen, since I don't have a dishwasher there, so I can see the appeal for people who like to hand wash a lot of things or like to soak or dry things for a longer time.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Are there any large singles out there that have a stainless dish pan for one side that looks nice and matches the sink? Or is there one I can buy somewhere? I think you guys are making me want the single now!
Zelmar you are so right that you can use it as both but you can never use that double as a large single.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:02PM
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Franke makes inserts for some of their single sinks, including the Orca. I haven't seen one in in person, though. I figured I could order it if I needed it but was concerned about where I would store it if I didn't use it most of the time.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 12:46PM
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I am lusting for a large single sink for my kitchen. My current single sink is not large or deep and it drives me nuts. It feels like the faucet is always in the way and I have to wash cookie sheets and lasagna pans half at a time. Told DH I want a freaking trough for my new sink. ;)

I grew up with a double sink and it's the current set-up in my parents' and MIL's kitchens. Then and now, the draining/drying side always has a skanky drain, since no one ever moves the drying rack to clean the sink, and it looks messy and cluttered.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 2:03PM
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