Do I need a prep sink? Pick apart these layouts

Molly PhillipsNovember 15, 2012

I received a cabinet quote today and along with it came a different layout that I'd like to get your perspective on.

First shot is the current layout, minus the island (I AM NOT DOING AN ISLAND SO DON'T BOTHER HATING ON THE FIRST PHOTO.)

Second shot is what I thought would work best based on the feedback here - move the fridge, which would mean moving the sink and DW down, and adding a corner sink by the stove.

The third shot is the new one I got today. It would move the fridge to another spot in the kitchen, allowing the sink and DW to (basically) stay where they are, so no big plumbing job. However, I don't know if the prep sink is helpful with the fridge that far down. DH is not convinced we need two sinks in our relatively small kitchen.

As an aside, I can't figure out where to put the microwave. Most people suggest where the third picture guy thought it should go, but I'm concerned that will block off that corner to the right of the stove because it will stick out farther than a regular cabinet.

(sorry that I'm not technologically savvy enough to figure out how to post multiple photos in one post so you'll have to scroll through the first three posts here. Imagine living with me! Loads of fun)

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Molly Phillips

Here's the first big option of change. Only thing that's not correct is that I'm not going to widen the entrance into the DR anymore than the 47" it already is, so I'll have more cabinet/counter space on the wall "U" by the stove.

Again, DH isn't convinced we need that second corner prep sink. Also, is it horrible to have the fridge where you'd see it walking in from the living room?

And finally, I'm thinking of dropping the corner tiny "L" over on the sink side and just extending that straight to wall to avoid two lazy susans.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Molly Phillips

And finally, the layout I received today from another custom cabinet guy. He thought it would be nicer to move the fridge away from where you'd see it from the living room and we could save money from needing to move the sink and DW.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:56PM
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To be honest with you, I would prefer to see your doorway to DR moved all the way to the right. This would give you room for an L shape kitchen and keep traffic flow out of your work area.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:53AM
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I'm no layout expert. I just know that without a prep sink, I would want to shove an ice pick in my eye working in either of your last two plans. Right feet between water source and range would be the end of me. I use water constantly when prepping, either to wash an ingredient or my hands. I wash or just rinse my hands or fingers many, many times while cooking. My old kitchen had about a 6" aisle between water and fire. It's one of the things I hated most about my kitchen. YM(and cooking style)MV.

I would insist on a kitchen with a smaller aisle or closer prep sink.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Molly Phillips


That's what I was thinking. But I'm in the minority. My parents are visiting from out of town and they and DH have ganged up against me on the prep sink - they say it's over the top and unnecessary and too expensive. And my mom is an avid cook (but also very frugal) so she feels like she is an expert - she thinks I'll hate losing the counter space that a sink would break up and the extra width in my floor "is not that bad." I'm concerned I'm going to do all of this work and still be mad that it's not there because it will STILL be "that bad."

Moving the doorway to the DR may be the way to go, except I still have problems with the distance of the sink and the cooktop unless I do major plumbing work...and that seems costly. I definitely don't want to move gas lines. There is also a window in the DR that brings light into the kitchen that I'd miss if I moved the entrance.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:51PM
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"All I want for Christmas is a New Prep Sink, a new prep sink, a new prep sink." Sorry, I never have been much of a singer. Christmas is coming, can you put it on your wish list?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Why don't you want to move gas lines? Remember its YOUR kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Molly Phillips


Budget has seemed to explode from a small project to a major reno.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Did you actually get a price on moving the gas line? My DH is all DIY but a few here on GW has posted about it only being like $200 to have someone move the line. Some things aren't as expensive as we think and other things are more.

Before you discount the idea find our exactly how much it would cost if you can't DIY it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:13PM
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Just my quick two copper coins, but...if you can't come up with a functional layout that actually WORKS with your spending limitations at this point, I wouldn't reno right now. I would, actually I did in fact, wait and save until you have the money to move what needs to be moved, out in what needs to be put in, etc instead of spending tens of thousands on a kitchen that doesn't function well in the end. I was of the mindset that all that money would have been wasted had we reno'd before we had the proper funds to do the kitchen right. I'm so happy we did!

I'm not saying you're out of options already for a good plan with your limitations. Just sayin'. :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:47PM
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"There is also a window in the DR that brings light into the kitchen that I'd miss if I moved the entrance."

did someone want you to move the DR doorway to another room? or just open it up wider? making it wider should allow more light into the kitchen.

I don't think I'd do a diagonal in the corner area - it does cut into your floor space and crowds it. You can still have a prep sink there w/o the diagonal.

I'm not one to push for a prep sink in a smaller kitchen - but in yours I think it is needed. Or you could put the cleanup sink on the peninsula or the 'lower wing'. Crossing that aisle with a full/heavy pot of water - and worse yet a pot of hot water to empty is just too dangerous.

you could have a cutting board (or some other topper) made to cover the prep sink when you need more counter space.

I'd be insisting on the prep sink in your case. Unless your mom or dh are gonna be doing ALL of the cooking there.

your corner areas could open into the other rooms - with doors or drawers.

do you want your fridge closer to the breakfast area or the DR?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:55PM
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You need a prep sink, period. I have a very similar layout and the presence of the prep sink is one of the key items that makes it work.

Your DH and parents know not of what they speak!

You are NOT in the minority here!

If you have a basement under the kitchen (i.e., not on a slab), then moving water and gas lines will most likely be one of the least expensive things you do!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:48PM
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How about something like this?

Layout #1 would require moving the gas line and the water lines. Are you on a slab or do you have a basement or crawl space? It's not moved by much, I wonder if it could moved from above the floor? I'm not an expert on gas lines - I recommend getting two or three estimates for moving the gas line as well as moving the water on the sink wall and adding the prep sink. If you have a basement or crawl space, you may be pleasantly surprised about the cost...

If you do get estimates, get multiple estimates and what is included in the estimates including the approach they take for moving/adding...some plumbers charge more than others b/c they're either lazy and take the obvious and often more expensive option or they lack imagination/analysis skills (or they don't want to do it, so they give you a ridiculous cost so you'll say "no").

This layout gives you much more useful counterspace - and where it's needed most!

I showed two possible locations for a MW - the more expensive option is the MW drawer and it does take up a 24" cabinet.

BTW...I think your aisle b/w the peninsula and sink run will be more like 45" to 46", not 48"...still a respectable aisle width.

Here's another option, but I prefer Layout #1 above b/c in that layout, the refrigerator is more accessible to both the kitchen and the DR and the DW is not in the aisle b/w the peninsula & sink wall....

Layout #2

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:58PM
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I totally agree that you need a prep sink! It will completely change the function of your kitchen. You have a great prep space there to the left of your range. With a prep sink on that side of the kitchen, you'll have water where you need it and it will allow the other side of the kitchen to function as a cleanup zone or space for a second person to work. Your kitchen also has a walkway right through the middle of it (like mine). Without a prep sink you'll be crossing back and forth across the kitchen and across that walkway and you'll find yourself trying to force that area over the DW to work as a prep space because that's where the water is.

Can you get by without a prep sink? Of course you can. I bet you can probably get by with your old kitchen too. But you're spending a ton of dough to make your kitchen into an efficient, pleasant place to prepare meals for your family and guests. In this case, the extra money for a prep sink will go a long way towards that goal and turn this into a very efficient layout.

I personally like the fridge located near the peninsula. That puts it close to the counter and eating area where it will be accessed most often. Plus it puts it closer to the area where you'll be doing the vast majority of your prep.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Overall, I really like the plan Beuhl's drawn for you (don't you love her pictures, they're so crisp and easy to understand.)

Usage wise, I wonder if it would make more sense to group all the food storage at the peninsula end. It's just a step across the aisle, set all the ingredients on the end of the peninsula, and go. Otherwise, you could be traipsing end to end to gather everything. Looks wise, the big guys on each end of the sink might look more balanced.

I'm still a little concerned for you that you are a bit short of dirty dish landing space on the sink side. I have 2 feet on either side of my sink right now, and it is one of the things that makes me bonkers about my current kitchen. It depends some on how you cook, I guess. Are you a clean-as-you-go girl, a pile it to one side of the sink until the end of the meal, or a whirling dirvish of kitchen flurry, and shovel the whole kitchen out at the end? None of them is wrong, mind you, it just will make a difference of how much space you might need by that sink. : )

I too am rooting for you to get the prep sink. I think you'll value it, especially as your children grow and are more involved in the kitchen. Is there another area where you can compromise a little, maybe a less costly countertop or some such thing, to make it more palatable to your DH?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:40PM
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