Sinks -- Single vs 70/30

aloha2009December 4, 2011

I thought we were going to go with a 70/30 only to have my DH say that though he'd be fine with a 70/30 sink, but a single bowl sink is his preference.

I've read so much about both sizes of sinks and have examined my thoughts on each but I don't feel 100% either way.

When I read the threads though, a common question I have is what exactly is the interior sizes of the sinks when a person is indicating a single, and what are the bowl sizes for the 70% and 30%. There seems to be such a range of interior dimensions and some are using a 30" cabinet and others 36".

Please identify the interior sink dimensions you have and why that works for you better? Do you have a prep to go along with your sink? Thanks a bunch.

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I have the Kohler Cape Dory, interior dimensions 29 X 15 and I love it. I had a single in my previous home, remarried, sold my home and moved into DH's home in another state - he had a 60/40 I think and I loathed it. Roasting pans, cookie sheets, even some fry pans had to be soaked leaning against the side of the larger sink. I never had a prep sink and I didn't want one in this new house, I have an 8 X 4 island so I had enough room for one but just didn't want one.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:38AM
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I have the Swanstone supersingle: 33x22, overmount in a standard 36" sink cab.

I think if you're going for a double, a 70/30 in the largest size possible might be workable. It isn't for us - we originally had the Kohler ExecChef and we both loathed it. I have some extremely oversized cookware and serving platters, and they simply do not fit into any divided sink.

With the supersingle large items are a breeze to handle. But most people don't regularly use half-sheet cake pans, 15-qt stewpots or 16" woks with double handles! So a lot is going to depend on what your cooking/prep style is.

I'd suggest that once you narrow down your choice of sink material and style, you find a place with one or more of them installed (or with similar dimensions, at least) and bring in a box of dinnerware and cookware to see if it fits and will work for you.

This was one of the best suggestions ever in the Appliance Forum, when we were considering what DW to buy. The loading racks are so different these days from mfg to mfg, and model to model, that taking your stuff in to the store and actually trying to fit it in, is the only way you can be sure whether a particular DW will work for you. I would have loved to get a Miele, but our stuff simply would not fit!

The salesman was very taken aback when we brought in a filebox full of dishes and cookware. But I was glad I had done so, once I saw how true it was that so much depends on your own individual style of cooking.

Although a divided sink wouldn't work for us, many people like them.

Why did we even install a divided sink? Because previous to that I had an old, single, smaller sink that was shallow. So I thought having a bigger overall sink, but with the divide, would work okay.

But it didn't. Had I the foresight to have brought in some of my oversized cookware and actually tried to simulate washing them in the ExecChef, I would have seen how difficult it made clean-up, and thus eliminated it from consideration. Instead, we bought it, then discovered the problem, and suffered with it for 14 yrs before we replaced both counters and sink in an updating.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 11:43AM
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I'd like a single sink or a double sink...I don't have the 70/30, but it sounds like the little sink wouldn't be much use. Maybe one large sink and a prep sink, in another area? (Although, that may not work, in your space.)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:23PM
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No prep sink.

I have the Rohl Allia undermount. Large side is 18 1/4 x 18 3/4. The smaller side is 11 1/8 x 16 1/4 ... perfect for all my hand-washed items, but it was a little difficult finding a dish drainer that would fit.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 3:42PM
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I loved my single sink. With a double, I find the disposal is never where I need it (need it in the big side to get rid of gunk after washing out pots and pans; need it in the small side after preppy veggies, etc.)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:44PM
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The reason I like a double (whether 50/50 or 70/30) over a single bowl, is that I like to rest my pots and pans on the divider when I scrub them, which for me is more comfortable than leaning down into the sink to do so.

I've had 50/50 at this house, and re-ordered the same thing for the new kitchen. I had 70/30 at the last house, it was very large (sorry I don't remember the dimensions, but was one of those Blanco no-radius types) and I loved it too. There was enough room in either bowl. It was a little too deep though. Loved its looks but honestly the boring old normal sink is more user-friendly for me.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:18PM
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Hi Aloha, I was washing a sink FULL of chafing dishes and assorted dirties from a party and actually thought about taking a pic to post how much you can pack into a big single!! Decided nobody wants to see dirty dishes that are not their own.

So when I have a party or big dinner, instead of piling all the dirties on the counter to hang out until I'm ready to wash, everything goes into the sink out of guest's sight to be washed when everyone leaves. The kitchen and counters look clean and I get to the dishes when everyone is gone so I can enjoy my guests. I couldn't imagine having a split sink for my lifestyle. My sink and base is 36". The original sink was a split and that was the first thing I knew I wanted to change.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:20PM
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I thought this was funny and might sway your decision!

Here is a link that might be useful: A solution for messy sink area...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:40PM
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I followed Beuhl's advice and went for the same type of sink in a 39" cabinet. Like you I hemmed and hawed, and flipped and flopped and I am so glad to have the second smaller sink. It adds convenience and options without having to give up the workablity of a large "single" sink that sits right next to it. Over Thanksgiving I repeatedly complimented myself on my wise decision to go with the two!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:58PM
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NOT 70/30 !

The small sink is COMPLETELY USELESS.

The larger one is too small too, and you'll curse the 30 for all the pots that can't fit in the 70 because of it!

If your faucet is on the side of the 30, its range will be limited over the 70 part, you'll be using the spray ALL THE FRIKKIN TIME!

I spent 20 years with a 70/30 abomination, I have a single now and I am a happy woman again. Single sinks are MARVELOUS after being stuck with 70/30. Smash them with hammers!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:58PM
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I know this forum tends to bow to the god of the single sink but it's not for me.

We have a single at the cottage and I abhor it. Personally I like to have soapy water in the sink as I prep on the other side, and clean as I go ... with the single at our cottage I can't do that and dishes pile up as I prep and then I just totally hate doing them afterwards. I don't have to wash ginormous pans often enough to make the tradeoff worthwhile, so at our new house I went with a 70/30 (well it's really more like a 65/35) and I LOVE IT.

My sister just remodeled her kitchen and we talked a lot about this. She's always had a single and she put in a new silgranite single and she thinks I'm nuts for thinking she is nuts, lol. :-) She has two young girls and does a lot of baking and likes the large single sink for washing cookie sheets and things like that. In contrast, I do very little baking but a lot of 'smallish-meals-for-two' prepping (washing veggies and fruits in the small side while I have the large sink full of soapy water to wash the pots & bowls I'm using as I go).

Bottom line, you just need to decide for yourself how you'll use the kitchen and your sink. There's no one true answer -- it really does depend on your cooking and prep patterns.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 10:20PM
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The possible sizes of the interiors of single and double sinks will depend on the overall cabinet base used...

No one can say one or the other is too big or too small as a general statement. It depends.

I have a 70/30 double-bowl sink in a 36" sink base. The interior bowl sizes are perfect! The large bowl is big enough for all my pots & pans (including handles), all my cookie sheets, all my refrigerator bins, and all but one shelf (the full-width, 36" wide shelf), and my Vent-A-Hood insert/interior. I can also fit several mixing bowls along with miscellaneous other items in the large bowl at one time.

The small bowl is perfect for filling pots (all but my 12qt pot fit in the sink)...with a pulldown, I find pot filling works best when the pot is in the sink (there's no "hook" to the faucet head to hook it on the pot like my pullout has). It's also small enough that if I want to soak utensils, etc. I can do so without wasting water or having to find space for a dishpan (or finding someplace to store the dishpan when not in use).

Do I have a prep sink? Yes, I do! Honestly, I find having the equivalent of three sinks (double bowl cleanup + single bowl prep) very useful when I have others helping me in the kitchen and/or someone cleaning up while others prep.

For a cleanup sink (and secondary "prep sink"), two bowls also provide a natural "division" for dirty dishes vs clean/empty sink. We usually put dirty dishes in the large bowl and leave the small bowl "empty". It's nice to have that empty bowl when it comes time to rinse something out or if someone else is prepping along with me (I get the prep sink!)

All that said, if your sink base is less than 33" wide, I think the bowls in a double-bowl sink probably will be too small...possibly even in a 33" wide sink base. So, if you have a smaller sink base cabinet, I would most likely recommend a single bowl sink. If you have a wide sink base, then it comes down to personal preference and how you use your sink.

My sink (Ticor S405D)...


Large bowl at work...

Small bowl at work...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:53AM
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I'm glad to see every thread that arises on this topic, as it is one of those questions I keep musing about and waffling back and forth on. I was almost completely sold on a 30" cabinet with a 30" single sink. But, I have a 50/50 now and on a day to day basis, I really use the 2 bowls and appreciate having both bowls and the division between. On rarer occasions, as in when cleaning the fridge shelves/bins, I curse it.

I will not have a second sink. I am weighing out whether to break down for the 36" sink base and give something else up...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 2:51AM
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This is just my own opinion and experience. I really like my 70/30 split. I have the garbage disposal on the small side. When I peel carrots or potatoes et al I just peel them into the small side and then whir it away. I have never had a problem with the large side being too small to wash anything. I so infrequently have large items it seems silly to make a decision based on a rare occurrence of need. It's just the two of us though. The large size is 21 x 16 the small side is 10 x 16. That is still a pretty big sink on the large side! I really don't need a humongous sink. My sister has a huge single and it looks so gigantic and like overkill for our needs. I guess it is what you get used to. I also didn't want the garbage disposal on the large sink side it just seems gross to me to have the garbage disposal on the same side you do dishes, they smell sometimes and have gunk in them and it's just gross thinking about that on the sanitary side even when you do your best to keep them clean it still has stuff down in there. My husband showed me what he removed from it and it was awful, lol.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:42AM
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Wow as much reading I have done on sinks there were several thoughts that I haven't heard brought up here that I hadn't read before.

We are currently struggling with the 50/50. It's good for several things but when it's bad it's bad!

At the local Lowes there they have the 70/30 Corian sink we were/are strongly considering. At this point, I'll throw my pride out the door and bring some items in to "wash" like Jkom51 suggested.

The garbage disposal issue is a source of contention with the 70/30. It's even worse when "helpers" don't know.

CML I can see that putting everything away into a single would be nice, but how do you then clean off the countertops when you're sink is full of dirty dishes? Do you just make sure your counters are wiped down before the major pile up?

UroboroS5, can you be clearer LOL?! I'll be checking for sink size at Lowes. I will remember you if we do go 70/30 for faucet placement. You made that crystal clear (and I'm glad you did or we'd be there with the sledgehammer too soon enough).

It's hard when you don't have the kind of sinks that one is considering to test things out. We all make concentions and we don't even realize we are doing it, at least I don't always realize. The other day I was peeling potatoes and found that though I was trying to aim for the corner of the sink, several peels landed up in the adjacent bowl. With the prep side only be 10", my wacky peeling skills would have peels EVERYWHERE.

We have room for either a 30" or 36" cabinet. Though we love corian's integrated sinks, their sizes are very limited. The 70/30 split that's available has the bowls only 7.5" and 4.5" deep. When I read that initially I thought NO WAY especially for the prep side. When I saw it though IRL I thought it could work, though I'm concerned about EXTREME splashing. Actually I could test that with a mock up in our current sink. My DH, though he does a majority of the kitchen work, has only cleaned the dreaded refrigerator out a few times in 33 years. Though it's obviously not an everyday occurence, it might be more often then I do it, if I didn't have to get a bath in the process. I'm wondering how that feat is for others with a 70/30.

The single is 27.5 x 17 x 8.5 which is more what I hear as being an acceptable size. Even though I have room for a 36" cabinet it would be nice to have the smaller cabinet. My DB has a similiar size but lives 1000 miles away so I can't bring my stuff to test it out on. They are happy with there's but they have only used the sink for cooking a dinner I think a handful of times. Besides them, I've never known anyone to have a single, actually nothing but 50/50s.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Aloha: the sink in DH's home was corian integrated and it was a nightmare to keep clean. Just thought I'd add that to your list of considerations.......

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 11:07AM
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I have a 45" Kohler stages single sink and could not be happier! I like having a large basin that never gets in the way. I was forced to live with a 70/30 in my last house and I could not stand it. The little sink is worthless and the large one was just not big enough to wash dishes in it while others were in it on standby. Now I have a huge basin to clean in and a built in shelf that allows cleaned dishes to drain right back into the sink...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:04PM
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I really dont have a particular method. Basically I do a quick cleanup of counters and pile the dirties in. There are 5 of us with crazy schedules so I don't always get to the dishes immediately (run to pick up a kid from lessons etc). But at least the kitchen is clean when I leave :) I then return and put everything in dishwasher and or wash whatever is left like pans etc. It's is really a preference based decision on how you wash!

BTW, I also had an integrated corian split in a cream color in the summer place before we reno'd. It was 5 years old when we moved in and was stained and scratched. I could never get it clean enough. I put a Kohler cast iron single to replace it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 2:51PM
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gr8day - I would love to know what sink you have and it's total length. It sounds like what I want.

I have more or less decided on a Blanco 1 and 1/2 bowl which is 33" wide total with the large basin being 20 x 19.59 and the small basin being 9 x 16.81. Nine inches just seems too small and it seems like other people would agree. I currently have a double bowl with 15.5 x 19 and 11.5 x 16. I don't need 11.5" but that is a lot bigger than 9''! Oh what to do. It is a tough decision Aloha and I am right there with you.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 5:26PM
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Oh dear, it's a Corian integrated sink overall it is 31.5 wide by 20.5 exterior measurements and the interior measurements are: large bowl 20.5 x 16 x 7.5 deep and small bowl 10 x 16 x 4.5 deep I love the depth of it too because it doesn't hurt my back to lean over to wash things in it. I am confused by some of the comments about how things splash and how flinging potato peels fly out of a small sink, that has NEVER happened to me. Yes, sometimes the Corian white sink I have gets a stain but it's 14 years old and looks like new and if it needs a stain removed you can put clorox in and soak it for awhile and it's fine again.

Confession: I am getting granite installed in January and I loved my Corian 70/30 so much that I went with the Kohler Lakefield 70/30 split in cast iron, white. I don't really want a heavy sink but it looks beautiful and has a positive reveal with a gorgeous rolled edge it is UNDERMOUNT but has a slight reveal that shows the pretty edge around the top. Make no mistake it is not an overmount sink it is undermount but just has a positive pretty reveal that is like a roll. It reminded me so much of my Corian sink that I love so much but it will not really be as functional as my Corian integrated because the Corian sink has that ledge at the back of it that keeps all splashes of water at bay and it also is a great place to set things to drain such as my coffee filter basket, dish brush that sort of thing. I will add a picture for you here:

There are lots of shadows on it as it is dark now but it's still white, I promise and this is it after nearly 14 years. Sorry this is a cell phone picture so poor quality.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 6:04PM
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CML - I checked a few threads after reading about your sink but MOST everything I read was very positive. What did you use to clean it? Some had issues until they found the right cleaner.

Those of you with a 70/30 where is your faucet placement and how does it work for you. I don't want to taking a sledgehammer to the sink.

Never ending. I'm thinking I could use that extra sink often enough to justify it too. Sure we could work around it but an "extra" sink would be nice and only uses up another 6" of my kitchen.

NewSouthernBelle. Misery loves company ;) I thought we had this decided. One of the biggest reasons I want this kitchen done is not to keep second, third, or fourth guessing decisions. I've started bookmarking threads that help me decide something so I have a reference to remind me.

My DH and I are still not on the same page regarding what sink would be best. We both agree that neither sink would be a mistake. In the past though, it seems like when there is a nagging decision to be made, it's nagging because I've overlooked something (ie my layout design always comes to mind).

For both of us we believe that 21"+ would give us the larger bowl we need and several of you confirmed that. My laundry basket had very close to the measurements and I "washed" my cookie sheets and piled the "sink" up with various items. Seemed fine for me.

I think for me it's the gunk factor. I cringe at the thought of filling up a sink with clean soapy water only to find another item, typically some pan, that needs to be rinsed prior to washing. I'd have nowhere to rinse the worse off. Or I think about a pan or two sitting in the sink and I've got peeling of veggies. I'd have to scoot things to the side or else I'd have peelings floating in my dishwater, yuck.

If we were to go with the 70/30 though we have the yuck factor of the garbage disposal (I don't want to have two) not being on both sides.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:47PM
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We put our GD on the large bowl...that's where dishes are mostly rinsed and/or soaked. While we're happy with the GD location in the cleanup sink, I wish I had put one in the prep sink as well. If I had it to do over and was only getting one GD, it would be on the prep sink, not the cleanup sink.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Two sinks to clean...

Two drains to clog up...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 10:46PM
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Never had a kitchen drain clog in my life and it's still the same area to clean whether it's one sink or two : ))) What I have learned reading this forum regarding sinks is that it is a highly personal preference/experience and that folks seem to be passionate about their sinks!!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:00AM
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What about one like mine? Franke Orca. I can wash up the largest trays and pans, while still using draining/rinse shelf. I do use a drying mat to the right of the sink after dinner or baking with lot's of hand washing. However, the mat is only out for the 20 minutes during cleanup time. DH has yet to soak the floor or counters trying to wash/rinse oversize items and no banging the counter edges. Anyway, just wanted to share another option.
Picasa won't let me post photos this morning?grrr You can do a GW search of Orca sink and you will see it. (sorry)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:50AM
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I only had it for one short summer (4 days a week) until that winter we had the big pipe freezeup/gut reno. I had never had corian surfaces and it seemed I was scrubbing that thing more than anything. Maybe the PO's who were full timers, didn't take care of it. I'm sure if it was going to stay I would have researched the best cleaning method, but because it was the summer place and we were only there a few days a week, I didn't bother. It was the scratches that bugged me the most. The bathrooms were also corian counters, but they looked pretty new. It actually looked like gr8day's I believe, but not so nice. The middle divider was scratched and had discoloring around the drain.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:39AM
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