Pros and Cons of Sink in Island

queenofmycastle0221December 7, 2010

It is probably going to be a year or so before I can really do my "dream" kitchen but after much deliberations I am thinking I will flip flop my master bedroom and kitchen when I do. (It was what the floor plans called for but folks who built home changed it!) It will put the kitchen in the rear of the house near the patio, outdoor kitchen and hot tub. I have talked to a friend who is a contractor and he thinks the best route would be to change the current double window (centered on the only exterior wall)to a set of french doors that opens out onto the patio. If I did this the sink would have to face an interior wall I have that setup now!:UNLESS I put the sink in the island facing the french doors. I was hoping you could share some pros and cons of placing it there. I would rather close in the majority of the space to have a smaller window over the sink but I can see his point since my back view is beautiful!


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I don't have that configuration myself but I've often thought about how an island sink would work in my home. I have a few inspiration pics for you! Some of these are GIS grabs for "sink in island", some are from mags and some are from GWers (if anyone recognizes any of these kitchens and can give me the name of the owner/s, I'd like to change the tags in my Photobucket to "Whoever on GW Kitchen"-thanks!).

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:02PM
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I thought about that idea--very briefly. But then I thought about the dirty dishes sitting out on the island all the time. Even when I'm keeping up on the dishes, there's usually something dirty sitting around. I decided I wouldn't want dirty dishes so visible to me and to anyone else who walked in. Those pics look great. Think about how they would look after a meal. If you are fanatical about keeping dirty dishes/utensils/glasses off the counter, then go for it. I think a wall-facing sink is better than island sink, but you might be different.

Is there any other way to reconfigure your space to get the sink somewhere else? If you post a detailed floor plan with measurements as described in the "Read Me" post, you'll get lots of good ideas.

BTW, on that second pic from bottom--I think that is just a prep sink, not cleanup sink.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:28PM
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I have this set-up and love it! I love working at the island - either at the sink or chopping or whatever - and looking outside. My table and a rocking chair are also in that direction, so I'm talking, too.

I just snapped a couple pictures - not really a GW-approved layout, but I really love it and it works so well for me.

So a picture with dishes drying and my husband's lunch bag and coffee mug sitting on the island. I also just finished a batch of Christmas cookies, which was great to spread out on the island before they went in the oven. While I wouldn't be thrilled if a visitor dropped in now, I can't imagine it would be a lot different if the sink were on the other wall. And hopefully they'd be distracted by the smell of fresh-baked cookies!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:48PM
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The pic with the purple flowers or the aqua cabinet kitchen? Purple flowers is the "Something's Gotta Give" kitchen and aqua cabs is the 2000-something Coastal Living Idea House kitchen which is also a main sink.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 8:19PM
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If any one knows who the first pic belongs to, I'd love the info. It has an open floor plan that is very similar to our design, and I'd love to see more pics or more info.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 8:59PM
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We are building a new home and the kitchen sink will be in the island. We are closely following a layout we found in a model home so, since I have seen it already, I know I will like it. This one has a raised "breakfast bar", for lack of a better name, that will hide a lot of clutter. My view from the sink will be into the family room. I think it'll be good. But time will tell!

We are also doing a raised dishwasher next to the sink. [The bar is same height. All one piece of granite.] It's kind of hard to describe. That'll be different from the model home so I am keeping my fingers crossed that looks good and functions better. The dishwashers in the stores all look so low these days. My back can't take all the bending down.

I am looking forward to the countertop over the dishwasher being a nice display area for a vase of fresh flowers. I don't have that now.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 10:30PM
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The first pic is from jaymielo's kitchen--one of my favorites! (link below)

As for the OP's question, I think it depends on the size of your island. If you have room for a really big island, like some of those pictured, I think an island sink can be a great choice. For a more average sized island, a clean-up sink can overwhelm the space and make the island seem perpetually cluttered.

Do you have the option of having a clean-up sink and a prep sink? If so, you could put your clean-up sink on the perimeter and the prep sink in the island. The prep sink takes up less room, tends to have less accumulation of clutter, and will splash others less than a main clean-up sink, making it more suitable for an island. Also, when I'm cleaning up, I don't especially like to linger at the sink, so the view isn't so important. When I'm prepping, that can take much longer, so being able to have a nice view matters more.

Here is a link that might be useful: jaymielo's gorgeous kitchen

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Holli--thanks for posting that die for! Goodness....the tile, the soapstone, the QS oak! Droooooool.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:23AM
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They just addressed this issue on This Old House. They said a sink/stove in the island is a waste of usable prep space. And there will be issues of water splashing on books and people. Not a good idea.

I do not like sinks facing a wall either.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:04AM
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I think working at your sink and looking out at a pretty view is a great idea!

If your sink faces the french doors, how many people are going to see if you have a dish or two sitting on the island?

Design your kitchen for how it will work for you and your family...that's who is going to use it every day :)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:14AM
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I think a sink with a view is most important if you are lucky enough to have one. It makes work that much more pleasant. It certainly helps if your island is a decent size.

inthehollow...I love your kitchen. Do you have more photos? What color are your cabs?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:52AM
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We have our prep sink in the island an it's a fairly big island (10.5 ft x 3 ft). I love it but I can't imagine the cleanup sink in the island if the island will have stools for sitting. I like my cleanup area out of the main flow of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:51AM
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I really like my sink in the island facing the outside view. I get most stuff in to the DW after using it and stack stuff in the right side of a the 1 3/4 size sink. With sink grids you can leave handwashed stuff to drip dry in one side of the sink. I also tend to put washed, clean pots over to the far right on the stove to dry. This works well for us and still leaves a lot of island countertop (11 feet x ~ 4 feet) for prep, a seated visitor, or a tray of food during entertaining. I never wish I had placed the sink someplace else.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 12:13PM
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We have a sink in our island that was put in by previous owners. It doesn't bother me one bit, I get to interact with my husband or guests while working at the sink (the dining room is directly in front of the island).

Water does not splash on people or the dining table like I thought it would and I get to look out of the windows that are on the opposite side of the kitchen.

Go for it!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 3:42PM
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Another vote in favor of an island sink here! My only other choice was against a wall, and that's just not my idea of a fun way to do dishes. Most of those here have a lot of room on the counter between the sink edge and island edge; we only have 14" -- which I think is about the bare minimum to avoid splashing over (we have no problems with splashing or anything, and the seating is at the other end of the island where there's more room). Having the sink open to the family room keeps me engaged with the activities there, and at the same is a great incentive to keep the area tidy (and to clean-up pretty quickly after each meal)! I like keeping it looking spiffy anyhow, and having a new kitchen has been a terrific incentive in that regard -- helps me keep that "brand new feeling".

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 4:23PM
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Hi oldhouse1 - Thanks for the compliment! Our cabinets are sage green. If you search my username, you'll see some other posts/pictures. Still waiting to install the mantle over the fireplace before posting finished pics.

Our island is 83 x 44, and I don't notice any splashing beyond more than 3-4" behind the faucet.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:22PM
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