Best Place For Prep Sink

quiltgirlNovember 27, 2012

Where is the best place for a prep sink? Is it on the periphery close to the stove or across the aisle from the stove on an island?

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Depends on the layout. I like to have it handy to the stove for filling/emptying pots, as well as prep, but I also like it to serve me as a multi-purpose fixture... So proximity to other work areas and accessibility to other workers is nice, too.

Usually, the island is a nicer location than on a perimeter counter, so you can prep facing people and the room, instead of a wall. This isn't true in all situations, but most, I think. On the island it might also work during buffet serving to fill with ice to offer canned beverages, or bowls of dip, shrimp, etc. that you don't want coming to room temp.

I'm linking a post I did on my blog showing the zones in our kitchen ... You can see that the prep sink has a strong relationship to both our cooking and baking areas, is near enough the microwave to be of service when using that, is a good place to wash fruit, wash hands, fill water pitchers and pet dishes. Being on the island corner, it can be used by more than one person, from the side or end of the island.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen zones and workpaths

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:39PM
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I agree with Rhome, the layout expert. It completely depends on the layout. Mine is on my island facing the family room. While I really like this placement as it allows me to prep while interacting with my family and guests, I'd be fine with a perimeter prep sink as long as it gave me a large prep area between water and fire. IOW, having adequate counterspace matters more to me than the actual perimeter vs island placement. And it IS possible to design a kitchen without an island. ;)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:34PM
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And it IS possible to design a kitchen without an island. ;)

WHAT?!!! Sacrilege. ;-D

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:56PM
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Ditto depends on layout, but I like having a sink on the same wall as the range so I don't have to twist around or drip water on the floor in between. My kitchen does not have an island anyway.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:48PM
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I opted to put it with a work space to the side of the range instead of on the island. Although I wrestled with the decision at the time, now I wonder why since there are so many advantages to pairing it with the range. The best reason for having it there is because the majority (way more than half) of what I clean/cut up at the prep sink finds its way to the range afterward (and vice versa sometimes, too) so being able to move easily between the two places is super convenient. It's also been handy being able to have the stove top within my peripheral vision while prepping since prep often continues after the cooking has started (in this kitchen, anyway).

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:06PM
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We have our prep sink across from the cooktop. I love this location but I agree that it would depend on your layout. I think as long as it is not more than a few steps from your cooktop you will be fine. A friend of mine says she almost never uses her prep sink. Her problem is the location of her sink. It is too far from where she actually preps. Too bad she didn't know about GW when she remodeled her kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 1:40AM
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And it IS possible to design a kitchen without an island. ;)
WHAT?!!! Sacrilege. ;-D

Very funny!! Yes, E. It's possible. Although not likely this day and age..... :)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 3:01AM
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I think having it on an island has one other, as yet unmentioned, advantage: having it not near the range on the same counter run eliminates a potential locus of worker conflict by separating the two work positions a bit more.

My prep sink position will be in the island for this reason, plus my range is against an exterior wall and I live in a very cold climate and eliminating water pipes there whenever possible is a good thing.

I hadn't really thought of the view I might have during prep: either across to the other side of the kitchen vs looking out a window when facing the range. My kitchen is a separate room, unlike open plan houses.

I did think about the loss of being able to watch my pots whilst prepping. This was the main issue. I decided that I would have my main meal-prep surface beside the stove with the prep sink across the 42" (or less) aisle. The price was a few drips on the floor.

This was resolved (like most kitchen design dilemmas) by paying close attention to the amount of time I spent at the tap during different kinds of prep. I was able to see that for most "make it and eat it" meals, I spent less time using water during prep, mostly for initial washing of hands and produce and hand-washing after handling meat, aside from adding a bit of water to the veg and filling and draining pasta. The water use was short-duration abd episodic.

Salad making which requires more intensive water-play with rinsing, spinning, etc. is often done by my DH, and in that case having the prep sink a little removed from my bailiwick at the stove was better. Our island is quite narrow and the sink is accessible from both sides, by design. He can work on the far side of the island, while I am stewing away on the other and we won't be stepping on toes.

And during tasks where I was primarily prepping in a big way (say cutting up a lot of chickens for freezing, prepping for canning) it would be less likely that I was also preparing a meal where I had to keep a close eye on a skillet or pot. In those cases I could work on the island with the prep sink at my elbow.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 4:54AM
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Kris_ma, I can see having the sink on the same run or just around the corner from the stove would eliminate food/water being deposited on the floor between stove and island. I also like the idea of the sink on the island, but I also like having my kitchen table in the middle of the kitchen in lieu of an island. I guess my dilemma is which one to choose? If I do an island with seating, can I make it lower than 36"? I am short and I hate hopping up on a stool. I would rather sit at table level. How would that affect the use of it with a sink?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 11:48PM
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There are those who have designed an island to have a table height section attached (essentially bi-level island with both counter and table heights) -- that might be an option for you. I'd think a prep sink at actual table height, though, would be uncomfortable to work at. Here's annekendo's island:

Here is a link that might be useful: Farmhouse table or Island thread

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:45AM
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My kitchen is not wide enough to do the above configuration. I am not crazy about that look as well. My dilemma is fitting in a prep sink somewhere convenient to my work area. I guess an island is a good solution. However, I do not want a "box" sitting in the middle of my kitchen. I really do like the looks of having a table there. But looks and efficiency are two different things. Maybe if I could come up with an island that looked like a piece of furniture with seating and a sink, then I might like it. Another thing about sitting at an island is the height. I am short and I hate hopping on to a high seat!

I have a 15 inch cabinet to the right of my stove and then I turn the corner. After turning the corner, I have a 21" space before a large window (90") begins. I do not want to put the prep under that window because that is an area I wanted to drop down for baking. Would the 21" space be too close to the stove and too small for a prep sink? Does not feel like good "work flow" there. My fridge is to the left of the stove.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Do you have a layout that you could post?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Deedles, Here is a layout of the room. I do have a plan drawn for each of the three walls as well. Need to make final changes soon as the cabinets will be started right after Christmas.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:37PM
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