Sink Location, or: will I ever make up my mind?

justmakeitDecember 3, 2012

Seriously, never thought I'd spend this much time worrying about a few inches in my kitchen, but I'm back at it. I've decided, with your help, to lose the prep sink and go with a double sink, 21 inch bowl next to a left hand 9 inch bowl. I know that this is the kind of sink I want, best for the way I work in the kitchen, even though the GW tide is decidedly in favor of large single bowl sinks.

So here's the question: is it best to center the sink on the window run, in which case I have a scant 24 inches between it and the corner with the range run? Or would it be better to scootch the sink down the run away from the range, by flipping it with the dishwasher, and buy myself another two feet of space between the sink and the range?

I'd like to think I'll be prepping on the peninsula, but I'm worried that the absence of water there might pose a problem, and if I keep the sink centered, I'll be prepping jammed in between the sink and the corner. Oh, I should add that the counter runs out to meet the windows on the sink run, so it's 36 inches deep there, and the counter on the range run will be about 27 inches deep. So there is more space than it looks like, but it's in depth of counter, not width.

There's also the small problem of where the dirty dishes get put -- normally in our house, they're to the left of the sink until someone moves them to the dishwasher. We keep a dish rack and drainer to the right of the sink. *hanging head in embarrassment*

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about this. Here's what the centered sink looks like:

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I have no idea.
However, I had to laugh at your "handle" and your dilemma..

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Lol! I hadn't noticed that...

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Rachiele, LLC

You might reconsider the double bowl sink. What would you do with a 9" bowl? Nothing will fit in it. Even a 21" bowl is difficult to use. I would consider a single bowl sink if I were you.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Rachiele, LLC

Please do not take my link as an attempt to sell you something, that is not my motivation at all. I have just found that so many folks have never really thought out how kitchen sinks can function. I wrote the attached essay to give some perspective on how the kitchen sink evolved over time. I hope my research is of some value.

Here is a link that might be useful: History of the kitchen sink

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Dino -- I had actually read your interesting essay on the history of the sink before, and I have in fact taken your comments about sink depth to heart. But I really have thought through how I work in the kitchen, and every time have arrived at the two-bowl solution.

I eat a lot of leafy greens, and I get them from the farmer's market or my CSA. I clean them by running a few inches of water in the big sink and allowing the greens to soak for a period of time. But what if I need to wash my hands in the meantime? I don't want to wash them over the soaking kale, and I don't want to remove the kale yet, and I don't want to have to run to the bathroom sink. This happens regularly, nearly every day. I also find it convenient to scrape the carrots or cut off the celery roots into the small bowl, and still have another sink bowl in which to rinse off the cutting board or drain the pasta.

I do look forward to having a sink bowl large enough to lay the cookie sheet flat in. I've done a fair amount of measuring of cookie sheets and pasta pots, and the large bowl of this double sink will accommodate the ones I have. While the roasting pan is soaking in the large sink bowl, I can be peeling beets under running water in the small bowl.

I understand that single bowl sinks are more convenient for many people, and they have an important role those people's kitchens, but I have spent a truly coma-inducing amount of time thinking about the way I use my sink, and this is one of the few decisions about which I have near certainty. I do appreciate your help, though -- my solution is clearly not the right one for everybody!

"stepping off soap box now"

This post was edited by justmakeit on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 16:25

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Rachiele, LLC

Hi Justmakeit! Great commentary. I have to agree, not for everyone. Some, however, use a Tupperware container to substitute for the second bowl for soaking. Well thought out. I wish everyone thought out their sink use as well as you have! Great job.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:34PM
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I just wanted to comment on the 90" wide dining area. I used to have a peninsula layout similar to yours and the area you have allocated for a table and chairs will really feel tight, especially as it appears you are considering a round table and shelving in that area.

Everyone constantly bumped their chairs into the walls and the back of the peninsula, with marks all over as evidence.

I strongly urge you to do a mockup of your layout and try it on for size to avoid aggravation later on.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:35PM
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If your DW will ever be open while you are prepping and cooking at the stove, I think you will want the DW to the right of the sink. Otherwise, you could trip over the open DW door. Add to that a pot of boiling pasta water, and it could get downright nasty. I'd hate to see someone fall and spill boiling water b/c they didn't see the open DW door. Ouch!

A better option might be to move the DW to the bottom of the sink run, and put the 2 15"ish cupboards together. This would give you extra prep space, and you'd still have room for your dish draining rack on top of the DW. (Ours is always out, too. Actually, I have 2 of them, one sets into one half of my double bowl sink, and one on the counter, but we have a big family, so lots of things drying out.)

Actually, if the 2 15"ers were combined into one 30" drawer stack, you'd gain a bit of storage, since there wouldn't be as much room eaten up by drawer stiles and sides.

Best wishes. : )

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:40PM
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OK, I'm one of those two sink people too--I know how I would like to be able to function. If it helps any, my current single sink is only 21" and I've never found anything that won't fit in it flat (turkey roaster, cookie sheets, platters, frying pans, etc) so I'm not sure what folks are putting in their sinks that won't fit in your big side. Also, you can stack dirty dishes in the large side, leaving the small side to rinse hands, veggies, etc to get those dishes off the counter.

For the sink, it looks like a good placement. Is the peninsula a long ways from the sink (I can't read all the numbers). If not, you can do a lot of prep there. You also have the room between sink and stove. The problem I see is that if you move the diswasher to the end of the run, how does it impact foot traffic from the opening? If the open dishwasher would't impede foot traffic, then you have more flexibiity to move it to the end (not that you will leave it open except when filling or emptying).

I think you'll find the peninsula an easy landing area for taking things out of fridge, so it would be good for prepping veggies, etc. This does leave clean-up across the open area, though.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:40PM
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You're right, it's highly doubtful that you would ever prep on the peninsula given it's lack of and distance from the water source. Re your other option, flipping the sink and DW would put the DW smack into your prep space. You would be moving every time something had to go into the DW. No bueno.

So, I vote neither but you do need more prep space, so I suggest that you move the sink and DW down until so the DW is the last thing at the bottom of that run. You can then center the sink and faucet (or just the faucet, since it sticks up and commands attention that's the important thing) on the second window from the bottom. Your dirty dish spot and dish drainer can stay to the left and right of the sink, respectively.

As an aside, your seating area looks very tight. If you don't already have that setup, I would mock up that space with the table, chairs, and cardboard boxes for the peninsula to make sure you can really deal with it..

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Helene -- thanks for mentioning the size of the dining area. Fortunately, it's pretty much what we have right now, so we know it's workable. Maybe not as spacious and airy as my dream kitchen, but comfortable and cozy, especially since it's mostly just dh and me now.

cathy725 -- I'm so glad to hear that your 21" sink can hold cookie sheets and such! This gives me hope for my double sink being able to do the same. Phew! I know the peninsula works well as landing space for the refrigerator, since that's where it is now, too. As you point out, I just have to figure out how the absence of water will affect being able to use the peninsula for prep work.

laughable -- thanks for the good wishes. I am worried about the placement of the DW, which seems to be in the way wherever I put it. I'm not as worried about it being in the work zone as I might have been, because it's currently located at the end of the peninsula, and we've managed not to have any major run-ins with it so far. I LOVE the idea of putting the 2 15 inch drawer stacks together to get more useable space. Now I just have to figure out if the dishwasher can slide all the way down the run to the wall.

tracie-erin -- I agree that putting the DW at the end of the run would improve the placement of the sink and give me better counter space (even for my dish drainer, sigh). Do you think people entering the kitchen there might run into the DW door, and/or have to wait for it to be closed? That's the problem KD was foreseeing.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:01PM
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I think you just need to be honest with yourself. If you think the call of all that open space on the peninsula will entice you to wash in the sink then carry to the peninsula with water dripping all over, which then needs to be cleaned up, then go for it. Some people can do it. It's not really a big deal.

I, however, am too lazy. I have come to terms with this, and since I have been working with my laziness my life is better. I even chose my new Bluetooth earpiece based on the fact that it can use the same charger as my phone in the car because the odds that it will ever be BOTH charged AND in the car are slim otherwise.

I would end up prepping in the corner all the time. If it were my kitchen, I would either have to accept that and plan accordingly, or add the prep sink that would draw me to the peninsula.

Figure out what your tendencies are and go with it. You may value space above all, and the walking and water on the floor are trivial. If it works for you, go for it!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:05PM
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I agree with what others have suggested above, push the dw to the end of the run and scootch the sink down those 15 inches. The extra space will be invaluable for your prepping, and you definitely don't want the dishwasher in your prep zone if you can avoid it (which in your layout, you can). Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:26PM
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williamsem -- I laughed when I read your comment. Yeah, I know myself. "Lazy" R us. I'm having a lot of trouble imagining myself shlepping the dripping kale to the peninsula to chop it. It's looking more like I need to move that double sink...

taggie and others -- does anybody see a problem putting the DW at the end of the run, where it might cause problems for people entering the kitchen from the back hall? For some reason, that seems more worrisome to me than having it in the middle of the work zone.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Glad to help. If I can get someone else to embrace who they are, then they've learned that lesson easier than I did. The best feature in my new bathroom is the new vent fan. It's on a timer, and the fan and light are controlled together. If I want to see in the shower, the fan is on. The only way to turn the fan on is to select a time frame, so it will always turn off on it's own. It's fantastic!

I don't think the DW will be an issue at the end of that run. Mine is actually in a similar location. Chances are if the DW is open, you are probably standing there loading or unloading it for just a few minutes. Anyone entering from the hall will at least see you, if not the open DW. Or you would likely see them and warn them.

If it's in the prep zone, there's the chance someone could be at the sink loading or unloading it, and someone is at the stove and heads to the sink quickly without realizing the DW is open and falls. Or you could be at the sink, and need to get to the stove quick (boil over, smoke, burning smell, etc) and you would have to go all the way around the open door before heading to the stove, where your instinct would be to take the straightest path right accross the open door resulting in a fall (plus whatever you were rushing to attnd to will get worse while you are on the floor).

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:50PM
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