Double bowl vs. single bowl sink?

MarinaGalNovember 21, 2012

I am having the hardest time buying a sink for our kitchen remodel. For 10 years I have been mostly happy with my 32" wide stainless double bowl sink (smaller sink with disposal). I don't have a prep sink in my current kitchen and won't have one in my new kitchen. I like having the side bowl for prep. I don't like the size of the main bowl for washing big items.

For my remodel, here is what I do know: I want stainless, I can go up to 36" width, undermount, and prefer the straight-edged corners/more modern look, over the rounded corners. In the kitchen I am remodeling the current sink has only one drain w/disposal, centered in the cabinet.

The easiest and lowest cost solution would be to buy a 36" single bowel sink with a center drain. More expensive would be to buy a 36" single bowel sink with an offset drain and move the plumbing. Or, I could buy a large double bowl sink - with more plumbing costs/complexity and lose the ability to wash larger items easily.

Have any of you who have made a transition from a double bowl sink to a single bowl sink regretted it? Remember that I won't have a prep sink....


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I had a 32" porcelain double bowl (60/40) and changed to a 32" stainless single bowl. Overall I am very happy with the change. I have bottom screen and that provides sufficient isolation that I can prep in the sink and not get it into the water from other activities.

I too had a disposal but I decided to go without the disposal this time. The large strainer basket works well, even if you have to empty it periodically, so I am holding without a disposal. If I should change my mind, it is easy enough to add later.

As for the plumbing I don't see the problem. You don't have to move the plumbing just do it under sink. Parts are readily available and it really isn't a challenge.

Center or offset drain is a preference that has little to do with the setup so get what you want.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I have a single 30 inch, no prep and I am happy. There has been some talk here on GW about the straight edges and getting gunk caught. Perhaps you can find it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:46AM
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In my last kit I had a large SS sink 60/40 and no other prep sink. This kit is smaller so I went with a large single. I really miss having the the double. I kept the 40 side clean and could always swish greens in a sink of water etc. Drained the rare thing that didn't fit in the DW. The 60 side fit all pots/pans. The advantage to the larger single is now a cookie sheet fits flat as well as my oven racks. I wash more veggies than bake cookies so it didn't mean much to me.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:14PM
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skidkid - thanks for the feedback. For some reason I thought I would have to move my whole disposal set up with an offset drain, but happy to hear that is not the case!

sixtyohno - I was afraid that there might be a gunk problem with the straight edges. I will investigate. I do love the modern squared off look.... thanks!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Elraes Miller

I just installed mine a month ago with disposal. Son did it and took an hour. Very little plumbing change. Thought perhaps the disposal would be louder, but is far quieter. I love the sink, feels like the kitchen is larger. Did buy a couple of chrome items to attach to side for dirty silverware, etc. if I haven't unloaded the DW. And also for the sponges. It is so great to put large pans/cookie sheets in and easily wash up. Really pleased I made the decision.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:28PM
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I'm still trying to clear my head of the image of a "double-bowel" sink! :)

Aside from that I am in the same place you are. We're swapping a double sink for a stainless steel single with square corners (Kohler Vault). The sink is not installed yet but it looks promising sitting in our guest room!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Last fall, I went from a double sink, no prep, to a single sink, no prep. The sink is one of the best things about my new kitchen. I have a Kraus 30" with a rack in the bottom. The corners of the Kraus are pretty tight, but not 90 degrees, and I never have gunk issues. The Kraus also comes with a rack on the bottom. Someone was saying recently that silverware dropped through the wire on their sink rack, but my grids must be smaller because that never happens to me. There was also some discussion about single sinks being awfully large to fill up to wash dishes. I don't wash dishes that way. I either fill up the largest pot in need of washing and use that for the rest, or I put soap on the sponge and wash the good knife or cutting board or whatever directly. As far as rinsing fruit & veggies, I either hold them under the faucet and scrub (potatoes, squash, apples) or put them in a strainer and rinse (green beans, berries). I do not miss a smaller side. I love that when I rinse the turkey tomorrow morning, the whole operation can happen inside the sink. When I bake pies today, I'll be glad that all bowls and trays will fit fully in the sink until I wash them. I am definitely a happy camper on this one.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I had a double sink in my first house then moved to a place with a single. I liked the single 25" bowl It was small not taking to much away from the counters but big and deep to wash pots and baking trays. But if you had no dishwasher and were trying to clean as you cooked this was a problem as washing a veg or fruit around dishes is a pain.

Now I still have a small kitchen It had a 32" double bowl but no dishwasher and not a lot of counter space. So now that I am updating I have put in a small moen sink with two bowls I special ordered at Lowes it has a basin about the size of a 32" on the left and a narrow more shallow one on the right I have a dishwasher too now but will wash or put used pans in the left and rinse or use the right side as a prep sink. For me it works and the sink is a very nice nickel stainless steel.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:03PM
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I'm in the middle of the same tough decision. I don't want to give up the ability to soak kale in the sink and still be able to wash my hands. Kitchen's too small for a prep sink. I have found a few double sinks, zero radius (that's what the squared off thing is called), which have a 21 inch bowl and an 8 inch bowl. Soak your greens, wash a cookie sheet flat on the bottom, and still have a place to wash hands or scrape carrots. I just have to stick to my guns and realize I am not single bowl material. Definitely in the minority here.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:05PM
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I have the 30 inch Krauss, with grid below. I had a two bowl sink before. The Sink has proven to be one of the best appliances in the kitchen. Mine is deep 10 inches for the sink, plus the ceaserstone it's almost 12inches from counter to bottom. Love It! I can stack food on one side, work on the other, and the kitchen always looks clean. Very very happy with it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:17PM
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In our kitchen remodel we went from double ss sink to 40/60 ss, I really like it as I can have dirty pans soaking and still be able to clean veges or scrape off plates. I had debated between the single or double and found that I can soak my large pans and sheet cake pans in the large side of the sink. I also think that I would waste more water having to fill up a large single sink compared to a smaller sink.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:06PM
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I will only ever have a Giant Single bowl sink. They have
to be wide enough to fit a roasting pan and deep enough
so my elbows could sink in if I were washing a small baby.

I recommend, you imagine how you like to clean. Think
about what you cook often and how you clean cookware.
I personally detest leaning a lasagna pan on a middle
double bowl sink divider so I can scrub it.
I prefer to have it flat while I clean it.
Never liked leaning stuff to clean them.
My sister likes her double bowl low divide but I am
someone who like a giant bowl sink to hide dirty dishes

Do I waste water? Not at all. I do not need to fill the
large sink up. I can fill a separate pan if I need too or
better I just rinse the dishes before putting them into
my dw. As for the Turkey roasting pan? that can now fit
into the large bowl. Love it!!!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Whatever you do, make sure you can fit your large pots and pans in the sink and that you can wash them inside the sink. I was just visting my brother and SIL. Their new house has standard size double sinks. It was PITA to clean up the large roasting pans in the sink because it was too small to fit it in nicely.

I use bowls inside the large single sink to soak whatever I need to soak. I am single bowl gal myself.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:44PM
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I struggled with this same thing last year. I had a 70/30 split and the 30 side was useless and shallow so all it did was make a mess - even to wash hands in - HATED it.

So when we decided to change sinks I opted for a 60/40 ss split and in general I like it. It doesn't annoy me like the 70/30 but...I do wish I'd have just made the jump to a single bowl. Even with the split I find most times I need to hand wash I fill the largest item with soapy water like suzannesl stated above. I can fit *most* of my baking pans lying flat but some fry pans and cookie sheets I still can't so soaking is not possible in the sink. Oh - and it is our only sink.

We are planning a build in a couple years and I am certain I'll go for the single next time. :)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Hi Marina,

I went from double to single and never regretted it. The adjustment was maybe a few days, and then I never looked back. The divider in the double bowl was always getting in the way when I was trying to wash large items.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:27PM
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this is the sink I got I like it and like the double bowl. yes if I had a large kitchen and room for a large single bowl sink and a prep sink in a separate island that would be most ideal but I have a smaller kitchen and I'm okay with that since it's just me and my partner and we are not wealthy. I did bring home a single bowl first but there were protests so I found this Moen Camelot model on Lowe's site and went in to order it. It's pretty cool for those that want 2 basins in a 27" or 30" sink base cabinet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moen Camelot 20-Gauge Double-Basin Topmount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Thanks, everyone - this has been super helpful! I think my heart is in a single bowl sink and I just wanted to hear that others had made the transition happily (oh, the things we worry about....). Although I don't have a prep sink, I do have a separate sink in the pantry - with a disposal - so I do have some flexibility.

Suzanne - thanks for the info on the "gunk" issue, or lack thereof - I think I will go take another look at the Kraus single bowl sinks now!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - hope you don't spend too much time with your sinks tomorrow! :)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

This was a big argument for us. At the old house we had a double bowl and all we ever used the second bowl for was as a dish drainer. I hated it though as there was no way to wash a cookie tray or other large item without getting water all over the floor. So here we compromised and got the larger single bowl with a built in drain board. This has worked very well...we now can wash larger things and the drain board keeps dishes out of the way.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:21PM
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No, I haven't switched from a double to a single and been sorry. But I DID switch from a single to a double and hated it! I much prefer a single sink. If there are some circumstances where you'd find a double sink helpful, you can always use a dish pan, or even a mixing bowl inside your single sink to somewhat simulate a double sink. But you can never simulate a single sink wtih a double one.

I am counting the days until I can replace my double sink with my true love---a single sink.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:33PM
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I've been trying to figure out a solution for this too. We currently have just a single sink ~ 20". In our new kitchen I wanted a double bowl but it's really difficult to find one that has at least 20" on one side and at least 13" for the smaller one. I didn't want to go any smaller than 20" since that would be smaller than what we have now. So what I think we will end up doing is purchasing two individual sinks and placing them next to each other. There will be a 3" granite ledge/counter between them. I will likely go with these two Artisan zero radius sinks:

21" interior:


13" interior:

Combining these 2 sinks requires a 42" cabinet but I found that many of the double sinks require a 36" cabinet so it's just an extra 6" that I will find a way to squeeze in. Will also try to get cabinets with pullouts to make use of all that space underneath.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 2:12AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Not sure I would be happy with your solution, laurat, in that I can see someone (DH???) having that faucet running over the granite between the 2 sinks with water going everywhere....

On the built in drainboard, it is shallow enough that it can extend beyond the sink base over top of another cabinet....we extended ours over top of a dish towel holder cabinet...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:14AM
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How about the double bowl with low divide as a happy medium?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:20AM
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The only thing I miss about the double bowl is the ability to wash things like chicken in the smaller side. Now I have to clear out the whole sink, and then wash the entire sink. But other than that I love the large, deep single bowl and glad I have it. I don't have a prep sink, either.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Good point about the splashing on the granite ridge! I originally did find a Franke sink with a 21"/13" combo that requires a 42" cabinet which I had planned on using but I didn't like that the smaller sink was also shallower. Hmmm...need to rethink this one.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:18AM
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I currently have a shallow double bowl and I am going to have a deep low divide double bowl 60/40. Maybe the Silgranite? I like having a divide for one side for dirty dishes and being able to use the disposal, wash pots, pans, hands on the other side. I don't use the sink to soak. I'll fill up a big pot and put everything in it. I do get frustrated when I can't wash something large, but with the low divide I'll be all set.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 10:42AM
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olivertwist - someone on a sink discussion recently (this fall for sure) said that they really liked their double bowl with a low divide and gave a fairly lengthy explanation of why. If you're considering one like that it might be worth going back and finding that discussion.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Boxerpups' leaning lasagna pan image brought back bad memories. How many times I thought I could actually balance the pan on the divide, full of hot soapy water? How many times it got away from me and flung the water all over the counter, floor and me?

I went from shallow, double s/s to deep, single s/s. I wasn't sure I liked it...for about a week. It just seemed weird and cavernous at first, but I got over that quickly with how well it accommodates all the functions I need. I don't have a prep sink, but tend to clean as I go, so I don't really have a lot of dirty things piled up and in the way. As others have suggested, making the largest pot or bowl a washing container actually mimics what a double will do.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:01PM
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I really meant to say, a large single can mimic a double, but not the other way around. Once that space is permanently divided, you're stuck with it.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:03PM
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I have a 65/35 double sink which I would not trade for a single since I use it for both prep and clean every day, and don't like the idea of having raw meat and dirty veggies in the main sink I use for cleanup at the same time.

But there are about 4 to 6 occasions per year that I wish I had a larger sink ... especially when I want to soak my 20" rangetop grill.

What I did was bought a super-large roasting pan (24x14) that I can use as a temporary "large soaking sink" when I want to clean the grill. Got that idea last Easter when I realized that's how I washed my 17" roasting pan ... i.e., filled it with soapy water and let it soak on the counter beside the sink. Thought then, "hey if only this was bigger I could wash the grill at the same time". So I bought a bigger one, and now I have the best of all worlds that works for me.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:03PM
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