Single-bowl sinks... drain centered? Offset? Pros/cons?

purrusAugust 13, 2014

Hi all,

I am on the hunt for my kitchen sink. I will have a nice large sink base, so the size is a non-issue (though I want something nice and big after living with my tiny shallow double-bowl sink for years). I want a large, stainless-steel single bowl sink that is relatively rectangular and deep.

What I don't know, however, is whether I care about the placement of the drain. I never even thought about it until my KD said that it can be nice to have it offset so that you have more usable space in the cabinet underneath (so the disposal doesn't get in the way). Also, she pointed out that sometimes you might want to put a big pot or a basin on one side and still have the disposal be accessible.

What are your experiences? Does it matter? Strong feelings one way or the other? Examples of sinks you love that fit my description, whether the drain is centered or not? (I'm looking to find a good deal, hopefully from Costco or overstock...)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 30" rectangular Silgranit and like the drain offset so I can use a dishpan on the other end if I want.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 33" (I think...36" sink base) Silgranit Diamong Super Single with the offset drain and I'm loving it. Though it's only been 3 days. :)

I appreciate the space underneath, though I haven't filled or organized it as we're still having other stuff installed...DW today.

We got the grid for it. I was skeptical about it but having read good things about it on here, I went ahead with it. When our sink/faucet was finalized DH was very excited to put the grid in. I told him to open the box carefully because I wasn't sure I'd want to keep it. He insisted he wanted it and now, I totally agree. Besides having room for a dishpan at the other end, we've also been using it for a place to leave a few things to dry.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had my supersingle with offset drain for over a year now and love it. Your kitchen person is right - it's great to have dishes or pots on one side but still be able to use the drain. Having better storage underneath is great too.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a Shaw farmhouse single-bowl sink with offset drain. The drain in on my left (when I'm facing the sink). This is random with Shaw sinks - drain can be on left or right.

I like having the offset drain.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have 36" single with a right rear drain and love it. Can't think of a single con with having an offset drain. Love being able to have large items in the middle of the sink and still having access to the drain. It gives you a much larger area to use without having to worry about impeding the drain.

You mentioned wanting a deep sink. You may want to rethink that. Deep sinks can cause backaches as you bend or hunch over to reach down into them. The sink I put in my former home was the biggest, deepest double bowl that I could find. And as soon as I started using it, I found the depth caused my back to ache. The sink I put in my current kitchen is 8" deep and is so much more comfortable to work at. Something for you to think about.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 22"W sink with a rear drain and I like it a lot. I considered getting the rack for the bottom that was made for the sink but at $70 or whatever it seemed overpriced. I happened to see a rack in a thrift store that looked like about the right size so I got it for $2 and it fits perfectly! It's doesn't cover the entire bottom of the sink, just the full width and up to the drain, but it functions perfectly for my needs. In a perfect world I'd have a separate small bowl with the disposal so that stuff in the sink isn't sitting in any crud while I'm washing up, but the rack pretty much takes care of of that issue. And with my rack, the offset drain is out of the way, too.

That's sort of a tangent, I guess. I just get excited about my sink and $2 rack.

Oh, and my sink is a Vigo, 16 gauge stainless, 22x17 i think, and was $215 from Overstock.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 36"W sink (also Vigo, 16 ga stainless, undermount, apron front from Overstock and cost $385, which included the huge grid...awesome price!!). My drain is centered width wise but is at the rear of the sink. Combined with the grid, I absolutely love it. There is plenty of room on either end of the sink to set the biggest pot I have and still have the drain accessible. I went with a deep sink, 10" and I love it. I am short, 5'2" and I don't have any issues with it bothering my back but my husband feels like it is a bit too low for him...he is 6'2"...but he doesn't do much clean up so it's fine for us.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, message deleted, wrong thread.

This post was edited by spanky_md on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 8:39

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, this is why I love you guys!! Offset drain it is. I just have to find a good one on a budget.

I will have a 42" sink base so I can have a really big sink. I can't describe how happy this makes me. It will also be under mount which I suppose will make it deeper. I am 5'10" so the comment about deep sinks being rough on the back struck me. I have also had some lower back issues and I know it would be a problem for me to lift my Le Creuset pots out of a sink that deep. What depth would you guys recommend as my max depth considering it will be an undercount sink?
Oh and keep the recommendations for sinks coming. Again, I am splurging on countertops so I need to save on things like the sink, faucet, backsplash tile, light fixtures etc.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My drop-in sink has an inside depth of 8". I am 5' 7" and it is exactly right for me!

Take that for whatever it is worth, I have no idea how to translate that to your situation. But I guess I would not go any deeper than that, considering the approximate inch and a half of countertop over the top of the sink.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Has anyone bought the Wells brand? Or, has anyone here had a sink that is this shape?

It's asymmetrical .I don't like the look that much (at least not at first--I really prefer the plain rectangle sink), but I could see how the function could be excellent.

Curious as to your responses. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wells asymmetrical sink

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To me, the depth isn't bad for things like lifting out a pot, I think it can be bad for things like scrubbing the bottom of the pot for more than a couple minutes. That being said, I'm 5'2" and I find the opposite problem most of the time. I say this wearing my kitchen clogs so I get a bit more height can comfortably chop on a cutting board on the counters.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For those who have a drain on the right, is it a problem if your faucet lever is on the right attached to the base of the faucet? Also, do you tend to keep the faucet directed over the drain, or does it end up in the middle of the sink? I just ordered the Moen faucet below, and I want a right rear drain. If the faucet is directed over the drain/disposal, I'm afraid I'll have a wet arm more often than not. Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moen Arbor 7294SRS

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jumping in on the sink depth issue:

- At not-quite-5-foot, I assure you that too deep is awful. The sink in my break room at work is extra-deep, and I HATE washing even my few lunch dishes in that sink. It is definitely a back breaker.

- My current kitchen sink is nothing to brag about, but at a standard 8ish" deep, its depth is just right for me. I can reach across to the back, and it causes me no back ache. Don't forget, too, that drop in vs. under mount makes a bit of difference.

- In contrast, my bathroom sinks are pretty (shell shaped -- it was popular in the 70s and is still nice), but they are very shallow. If the water is turned on more than a trickle, water splashes back up at you, wetting your clothes. My kids had wet shirts until they reached middle school. I miss the plain-but-functional sinks in my old house, which were quite deep for bathroom sinks -- probably in the 8" range. No splash back and great for soaking lingerie. Not long ago I was at IKEA, and their bathroom sinks are even more shallow -- maybe 5" deep; what a huge mistake that would be!

You're right to collect information on sinks. Used constantly, they're important to the function of your house, and I think they're a good place to splurge. When sinks are right, you don't notice them . . . But when they're wrong . . . They're a constant annoyance.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just to let you know that a center drain sink in a large single bowl is not a bad thing. I could not find what I wanted in a sink DH would agree on. Mine is 31+" interior width with a center drain and I'm actually quite happy with it. I think it might even be better. I can set a cookie sheet or roasting pan flat on one side and still set other dirty dishes on the other and have full access to my drain. On a smaller sink, the offset drain would be more important.

One other factor on my sink, the drain is center but a rear placement. The disposal and drain pipes are to the back of the cabinet and I told (told might be an understatement ;-) )the plumber I needed to maintain the space inside the cabinet (my trash and recycling are on either side and there is a basket of cleaning supplies front center in front of the disposal and drain). That made it all work for me.

As for depth, at least for me, depth is not as important as the reach. If your sink is not pulled forward and/or your faucet does not reach out forward enough, you will always be leaning onto the sink. That is more likely to be causing back strain than the depth of the sink. I am 5'12" and have a 10 inch depth sink. I would have to bend more than the average person to reach the bottom of a deep sink, and I promise you I do not have gorilla arms. My fingertips and knuckles do not touch the bottom of the sink when I am standing straight and I do not have a problem even when doing large amounts of dishes at the sink. I hold most dishes up to clean them and rinse them. I don't wash and rinse on the bottom of the sink - only large, heavy pans. I also use a dish wand for a lot of those, so I reach less, but even when I have to scrub, I don't find it a problem.

A deeper sink can hold more, splash less. My best advise would be to test them the best you can at showrooms, friends homes or where ever you can. Pay attention to not only size and depth, but also the depth of the set back from the front edge of the counter. the reach and height of the faucet and the location of the water stream. Apply those to how you want to work.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm with lascatx, I have the center drain, and love it!
One pro is that the faucet lines up with the drain, with a no splash result...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 25" single bowl with drain in the far left rear corner. The faucet is mounted center and swings over the drain/disposal where it stays most of the time. I love having the most of the sink bare of drain for pots, prepping, stacking for dishwasher, etc. I plan to change out the sink sometime (soon, I hope) and I will stay with single bowl, offset drain. The best combination!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the Franke Europro:

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 4:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Single bowl / offset Silgranit here. I think it's awesome. Also it was the easiest sink I've plumbed, ever!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 5:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We purchased a used single bowl center drain off of CL as a trial to see if we wanted a single bowl long term. Overall the experiment tells us yes but there are some downsides.

1. The entire sink gets food particles everywhere when rinsing items. It's time consuming to rinse the particles down the drain (much more then my dreaded equal size double bowls were). I would anticipate a offset drain would help but I'm not certain.

2. Any pans etc that are handwashed, have to be dried on the counter. I can't stack the drying pans nearly as high as I would in the double bowl.

3. I haven't figured out a good way to get my counters clean since I typically wash the pans with a small non scratch pad and have no bowl for washing down the counters. Hoping someone chimes in with an easy way to accomplish this.

Overall though, I prefer the single bowl for reasons stated in many threads.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sink is big and deep with the drain smack dab in the middle. It isn't a problem for me, and not sure why it might be for others. I use a grid, so the entire area is flat and available.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think Lascatz makes a good point about the reach of the sink. The much-hated sink in our break room at work is problematic in BOTH depth and reach. I can't say which one is worse.

CtyCmc, keep in mind that just as drains can be offset, faucets may be set to the side. Thus, with good planning, you could have a right-sided drain with a right-sided faucet lined up right above it.

New Question: if you go for the side drain, do you want the drain towards your dominant hand? Meaning, if you're right handed, do you want a sink with a right handed drain? And should a drain be on the side of the dishwasher? Or do these things not matter?

Linnelle, in my mind, a side-oriented drain isn't a huge pro or con IN the sink . . . I want it for the improved storage space UNDER the sink.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The drain should be on the side of the dish washer to keep plumbing together and maximize space under the sink.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Purrus - check out the Kraus sinks on - I just bought a 32" with an offset drain for $224 and they ship for free.
It includes the grid for the bottom too, and it looks great. The bottom has a nice rubberized coating and the SS seems to be good quality.

I think an asymmetrical sink would make me twitchy, but nothing in my kitchen is going to be symmetrical this time so I guess I'll just get used to twitching.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kraus 32

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Could you post a picture of your sink or tell us which one you have? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also have a single bowl, offset to rear drain. Very happy with it! love the usability of the space in the cabinet from having the pipes and disposer to the rear, essential in my small cabinet.

I wanted one with the drain in the corner, so that I could put my cutting board on one side and sweep into the disposer; but couldn't find one in the size I really preferred. Size won.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

> New Question: if you go for the side drain, do you want the drain towards your dominant hand? Meaning, if you're right handed, do you want a sink with a right handed drain? And should a drain be on the side of the dishwasher? Or do these things not matter?

I'm right-handed and prefer the drain in the left rear. That way, I can use my right hand to sweep food waste into the drain in a natural motion.

The side the dishwasher is on is mostly irrelevant. Most of the undersink plumbing is from the disposer (which is directly under the drain), the hot and cold water valves and intake hoses, the drain, the retracted flex hose for hand sprays, and soap and instant-hot dispensers if you have them. The only dishwasher plumbing in the sink cabinet is a flexible hose leading from the dishwasher to the drain (via an air gap if you have one), which doesn't take up much space and can be fastened to the back wall of the cabinet, out of the way, and probably a thin copper tube leading from the hot water valve.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 7:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help needed with this beam!!!
We had part of a wall taken down in the kitchen &...
Kohler Whitehaven Sink - 33 or 36"?
Does anyone have the 33" Whitehaven single bowl?...
Melissa Silva
Kitchen cabinets - Grabill vs Crystal
Hi. Would love some opinions on Grabill vs Crystal...
What are your thoughts on Ikea Sektion base cabinets?
I've commented here over and over that since this little...
Recommendation for range hood insert?
I need to order one for a custom hood cabinet. The...
Lisa Whalen
Sponsored Products
Couristan Kashimar Oushak Brick Red Oriental Rug - 8415/2215-6.6X10.1
$999.00 | Hayneedle
Drifted Slope Chair in Pop Yellow
$134.99 | Dot & Bo
Four Assorted Woodland Hunting Dog Cereal Bowls
$147.90 | Horchow
Aqua Eliza Shag Rug
$29.99 | zulily
Brookchester Chrome Three-Light Bath Fixture
$64.40 | Bellacor
60" Reese Walnut Double Vanity for Undermount Sinks
Signature Hardware
Six-panel Mahogany-finished Hardwood Pet Gate and Crate Dog Gate
$399.00 | FRONTGATE
Kichler Crystal Ball 8" Wide Silver Mosaic Mini Pendant
Lamps Plus
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™