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Kitchen sink placement help needed

Posted by junicb (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 18, 12 at 20:51

So, we're coming down to the wire with our layout, and we keep vacillating about where to put the sink.

If we squeeze the sink and dishwasher onto the fridge wall, things look a little squished over there, but I have an acre of countertop available on the other leg of the U for prep. Also, that keeps the dishwasher closest to the wall that will have the most linear feet of upper cabinets (and, presumably, dish/glass storage).

sink on north wall

If we put the sink on the south wall, I'm able to look out the window (through the mudroom) into the yard. Plus, it makes things feel more balanced. On the downside, I would have to pivot/reach for uppers storage to put away dishes (or, heaven forbid, walk the 5 feet to the other leg of cabinets).

sink south wall

Your input would be most welcomed!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

I prefer the 2nd plan with sink under window.


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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

I prefer the second one also. You can have cabinets on either side of the window and over the counter near the stove for dishes if you like.


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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

I love to have the sink under the window. Good luck!

Claudia


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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

The second plan for sure.


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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

Not so fast. The problem with the 2nd plan is that the sink is right against the corner. And there is only 18" of counterspace between the corner and the range. Almost all of your prep will take place here.

The 1st arrangement has some advantages. You would have (slightly) more room between the sink and the corner, and more room between the corner and the range. This would probably be nice to work in.


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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

Thanks for the input so far!

I am having the same dilemma as the group - when I look at the plans, I prefer the feel of the 2nd (with the sink in front of the window). But, I also love to spread out when I prep meals, which would lend itself to the first plan.

Hmmm.....


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RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

I agree with Angie - but I would...

  • Switch the left corner cabinet to either a 36" corner susan OR a 33" corner susan (33" x 36" - with the 33" on the "top" dimension)
  • Move the range to the left
  • Shorten the right corner cabinet to a 42" blind corner cabinet

    ...to give you even more room b/w the range and right corner & sink....like this:


    Layout #1 (36" corner susan & 42" blind corner):
    junicb's Kitchen #1


    Layout #2 (33" corner susan & 45" blind corner):

    junicb's Kitchen #2


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Or, something a little different...

    (open shelves above the sink - or glass-front cabinets to make it more spacious above the sink)

    Layout #3, Corner sink:
    junicb's Kitchen #3


    Layout #4, Corner sink plus close up the doorway to the Mudroom by 6":

    junicb's Kitchen #4


    To me, this last layout gives you the best of both worlds:

  • Sink in front of the window
  • Plenty of prep space - with a bonus that it is also in front of a window
  • DW out of the way of the Prep Zone (space b/w the sink and range)
  • A sink base in the corner also frees up space for more useful cabinet storage. Sink bases and corner cabinets (especially blind corner cabs) waste the most space; so, by putting a sink base in the corner, you put a less useful cabinet in the same space as the blind corner and can now put more useful cabinet space where the sink base would have been.

    But...you may not like a corner sink. In general, only one person can work at a corner sink at a time. But, with a small kitchen and limited locations for the range & refrigerator due to the windows & doors, it is an option to consider.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Buehl - THANKS! That is really impressive. We are absorbing and discussing those options now, but I wanted to check in and let you know I really appreciate your feedback.

    More later...


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Having just moved into my kitchen - I am noticing most the prep space and funcionality - as well as the ease (or lack thereof) of emptying the dishwasher. Think about whether you want to reach above an open dishwasher to put things away in the cabs directly above. Or if it's easier to pivot. For me, close by but not directly above is best for putting away. Prep space is also key. Are you getting a large sink? Either way, do consider a matching cutting board. I got one and it turns my sink (1/2 of it anyway) into a prep zone. Great when people put stuff down on counters beside the sink and you're trying to get dinner ready.

    All that said, I like the sink near the window and the corner option is a good idea to consider.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    I like the corner sink. It gives you so much more counter space between the stove. Had one in a previous home with a large inset wood counter for under the window. It worked great and didn't have the crowd hang around in a small corner. You won't lose the blind corner storage using this option and a larger sink could be installed.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Agreed with the corner sink and moving the stove. I was thinking about getting the stove over by the fridge and then just having the sink under the window, but the corner set-up is nice!


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    One point, though. I think you're planning to do ikea, junicb? If so, they don't have a large corner sink base like the one in buehl's plan. Many people use the big corner wall cabinet as a sink base (this sink is bigger than it looks, although I forget the exact size):

    Or you can use a regular base cabinet placed at an angle, as in this kitchen, but it loses some space:

    I believe that's a 24" sink base, although it's not a great photo.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    When I saw your OP, I instantly thought of a corner sink placement which solves all your checklist, and which is what I have, and then Buehl wrote about it so perfectly. I like my corner sink location so much, that in any future kitchen I might have, I will have a corner sink.

    Here are the advantages I have experienced:
    - leaves uninterrupted expanse of countertop
    - allows tons of room under the sink for disposal, plumbing, storage, etc.
    - uses what otherwise would be a dead space
    - allows room behind the sink for single handle faucet (some faucets have handles that need a lot of room as they move from on to off).

    There are a couple of disadvantages, but everything in a kitchen design always has its pros and cons:
    - only 1 person can stand in front of the sink at a time, which some people think is the biggest issue. For me, it rarely comes up that two people need actually to stand there for any length time, and if someone needs to use the faucet while I am working at the sink, OK, I stand aside for 30 seconds, no biggie.
    - if your sink is heavy because it is made out of fireclay or enameled cast iron, it will be a difficult and more expensive install, because of the extra support needed for a heavy sink in a corner. However, if you have a stainless sink (like I have), or a Silgranit sink (many on this forum adore those), the weight is not an issue.

    For anyone contemplating a corner sink, the one design requirement is that a dishwasher not be exactly next to the sink, but should have a cabinet between the corner sink and the DW. If you have a DW directly next to the corner sink, you will be "trapped" when the DW door is open. I have my pull-out trash cabinet next to the sink, and then the dishwasher, which is a perfect location for both. You'll see that Buehl's plans above address this.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    I would add that another thing I personally like about a corner sink is that if you have an eat-in kitchen the sink and its contents aren't so in your face. If you look at the second photo I posted above, that's from a complex where everyone has the same basic kitchen layout, and most people have the sink where the DW is in that picture, which means that when you are eating at the table you are very aware of the sink area. The corner location makes all the pots and pans much less obtrusive.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Another corner sink owner here. We have a 30" Blanco Silgranit Super Single sink in the corner of our 11'x11' kitchen. The corner sink solved all our layout problems. The sink is in front of a window too. The area under the sink is so spacious, we can even fit our mini stepstool in there (no other room for it otherwise--yet one more problem solved by corner sink location). We did have to notch the sides of the base cabinet to get the sink to fit properly in the cabinet, but it was not a big deal, especially since the weight of the Silgranit sinks is light. On one side of the sink is a drawer stack and on the other side is a trash pull-out. We have encountered the thing about 2 people standing at the sink at once, but it is not anything near all the advantages we gained with the corner sink.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    So, a couple of questions:

    - How much wall space does a corner sink cabinet take up?

    - In a previous apartment, we had a corner sink and it seemed to be set further back than the average sink, which meant we had backaches from leaning forward while doing dishes. Is that a complaint with corner sinks in general, or was that just our crummy apartment?


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    I like the corner sink idea. The apartment setup is probably a modification with little thought for function.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Another corner sink owner here. I like the corner sink because it allows me to have more prep area on either side of it - just as Buehl's plans indicate. For the corner sink she has given yyou a 30" sink whereas you initially showed a 24" sink. Someone mentioned about a backaches when bending over a corner sink. There is a bit of a juggling act when figuring out sink size, cabinet sink size and amount of width in front of the sink. You want minimum amt of counter width in front of the sink while getting as big a sink as possible but without a huge cabinet.

    With a 42" cabinet a 30" sink might have to be set back further then say a 27" sink. So you would have to figure that out.

    In your plans having 2 blind or lazy-susan cupboards is an inefficient use of space in such a small kitchen and I know this from experience. Putting a corner sink frees up some of the side space for more usable counter length and more useful drawer space.

    I do like Buehls plan #4 and then her plan #1. The problem with #1 is the 2 banks of 12" drawers but with plan #4 you have 48" bank of drawers that you could break up in a variety of ways (a 30" plus an 18" which are very useful sizes).

    You sure have lots of great options.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Regarding the setback of the sink...if the sink is installed too far back in the cabinet, you will have problems like you encountered in your previous apartment. As Motherof3Sons mentioned, I suspect whoever put in the sink did it the cheapest/fastest way possible and didn't care about function b/c, after all, they didn't have to live with it! (Similar to the attitudes of many contractors out there, btw - so be forewarned if you plan to hire a contractor to do some or all of the work on your kitchen!)

    I showed a 42" corner sink base - that means it takes up 42" on each wall. There are also 36" corner sink bases out there - I have one for my prep sink. However, they don't fit very large sinks. My prep sink is 15-3/4" square interior/17-3/4" square exterior...too small for a main or only sink, IMHO.

    Note that if you try to fit too big a sink in a corner sink base that the sink will have to be set back farther to fit - unless you can do some on-the-spot modifications (and shoring up) of the cabinet...I'm not a DIYer, so I don't know how much can be done.

    As to using a normal sink base turned 45 degrees (like in WritersBlock's second picture):

  • A 33" sink base would take approx 48" on each wall
  • A 30" sink base would take approx 45" on each wall
  • A 27" sink base would take approx 43" on each wall

    The advantage of the normal sink base is that you could install the sink "normally" - i.e., using the normal setback. You won't have the extra volume of space under the sink that you would have under a corner cabinet, but there should be enough room for plumbing + garbage disposal.

    junicb's Kitchen #5

    The top cabinet space is now just 47", but if you're doing IKEA cabs, they can easily be modified to fit the available space. You may even have enough room for the 48", but I'm not positive...you'll need exact measurements and the cabinets in-place, I think (or someone with more knowledge.)

    Note: My main sink is a double-bowl sink with the larger bowl 21.5" wide (interior). It holds a lot of stuff...see below! So, a 24" wide sink will hold all of this and even a bit more.

    Large Bowl at Work (smaller still)


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Woo! Thanks again for all of the input. My brain is more clear on corner sinks now.

    We are planning on using IKEA/Scherr's for the cabinets, but we had already assumed that Scherr's would need to make some custom cabs for us, so un-IKEA dimensions shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm liking #4, but shortening the mudroom door isn't possible (since it's an old house with already narrow doorways and a load-bearing wall on the opposite side). So, #3 is a good alternative - I don't think having the d/w and range open into each other would really be an issue.

    The other layout caveat is if the range is on the right wall, as in the layouts above, we'd have to build a soffit for the exhaust, since some plumbing already runs through that joist bay. Not a dealbreaker, but something we'll have to factor into our decisions. Since it's somewhat of a democracy, I'll need to run all of this by my partner.

    (P.S. In terms of where one spends most of the kitchen time - does anyone know some stats? As in, is most kitchen time spent prepping? At the stove? In front of the sink? I'm sure it must vary for each cook, but I thought there might be some averages out there...)


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Kitchen work studies show:

    • 70% of the time spent working in the kitchen is spent prepping; some studies put the # closer to 75% to 80%
    • 20% is spent cleaning up
    • 10% is spent cooking (standing in front of the range/cooktop stirring, adjusting heat, etc.)


    The exact numbers, of course, vary from person to person. In my case, I think the prepping # is closer to 90%.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    How wide is the Mudroom doorway? It looks like 42" from your drawing...is it less?

    If 42", 6" less would be 36" - still wider than most room doors (most doorways are approx 33" wide w/32" wide doors).


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Oh! I forgot that I made my mudroom door in the drawing to encompass the molding, as well. The door itself is 32", but there's 5" of trim on each side. I suppose the cabinetry could overlap the trim? The framing in the kitchen isn't finalized yet, so gaining or losing a couple of inches could make a big difference.

    Buehl, thanks for those numbers on kitchen time! That's interesting to keep in mind.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    If you can/are willing to place range on fridge wall,what's wrong with the sink under window across from it. You would gain that long wall in between,and have a great sight line straight on. You would gain back two corners for tucking toaster/coffee pot/etc[you lose one with the sink in corner]. corner sinks have a role but in your somewhat small kitchen,the cut into floorspace,utilization of the entire corner like that is a drawback...under the window is better with the range where buehl shows.I would love that whole straight run for usage and what you can do with something on top for enhancing aesthetic.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    But...there isn't room for the sink + DW on the that wall. You would have to put the DW on the "long" run, thereby

    1. Losing some of the nice storage

    2. Putting the DW in the middle of the Prep Zone (so only one person can work in that area at a time)

    3. The DW is now a 90-degree twist instead of a 45-degre twist...a more significant twist to load the DW. Generally, you would want to minimize the twisting to go from sink to DW for usability (and less back pain!)

    Disadvantage #2 above is also a disadvantage with Layout #3, btw - it's one of the reasons I prefer #4 over #3.


    5" of trim on each side...that's substantial trim! (We have 3" on each side of our doors.)

    Is that doorway an actual door w/frame or is it just an opening? If just an opening, do all such openings in your house have this trim? Our house only has trim around openings with doors, but it depends on the style of your home.

    Would you consider changing the doorway/opening to an arched opening so trim wouldn't necessarily be needed/expected? That would allow you to enlarge the actual opening by 3 or 4 inches to 35" or 36" and allow you to utilize the other 6 or 7 inches for the DW. (The extra 10" comes from elimination of the 5" of trim on each side.)


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    BTW, for the 5" cabinet, see the thread below about how someone at IkeaFans constructed a broom closet in that space.

    The pictures can be found at the IkeaFans links I included in the first post of that thread.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: 4'' Broom Closet from Ikeafans


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    In answer to your earlier post about how much setback is needed for a sink. The setback should be 4"-5" for an undermount sink, regardless of whether the sink is in the corner or not. You need the 4"-5" in front of the sink to maintain the integrity of the countertop. (It is for that reason that many people like an apron front sink, which is more ergonomic because your body can be directly against the sink without the slight lean needed due to the setback for an undermount sink, which can cause backache.) Sometimes a sink is just a bit too wide to fit into the corner space with just the 4-5" setback; the solution is either to (a) set it back farther than 5", which makes the sink awkward to use, or, (b) notch the sides of the base cabinet to allow the sink to come forward about an inch. If you have a good contractor, he should know how to do this without compromising the support for the sink. This should be one of the questions you ask when interviewing contractors. If the answer about installing a corner sink is a scratch to the head, or something non-committal, find another contractor. You want the answer to be, "yes, I've done that before and know how to do it". My sink was installed with just a slight notch to either side of the cabinet, and I've never had a problem.

    I thought about installing an apron front sink in my corner location to avoid the stepback issue. Jayjayteacher and Mirandall did it. So it is possible, but it would be a tricky install, and need more room than I had. I am happy with my undermount sink in the corner with about a 5" setback.

    Another thing you can do to lessen the chance of a backache is to install a pull-out faucet, not a pull-down faucet. A pull-down faucet (also known as a high arch faucet) is closer to the rear of the sink, requiring the user to reach farther to rinse something. A pull-out faucet has a longer reach into the sink, so that the user does not have reach as far while rinsing something.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    I'd go with the sink on the straight run under the window (even if it has to be offset a bit). I do like corner sinks sometimes - but not here. It's too small of an area for an angled corner.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Thanks again for all of the input!

    Buehl - our house was built in 1911 and still has the original trim, which is pretty hefty. Currently (or, before demo) it was a real doorway with a door. In the new plan, we're keeping the transom and trim, but removing the actual door.

    We had to give our final appliance/sink placement to the contractor yesterday. (Drum roll) We went with something very close to Buehl's #2 above. You all really brought me around to the utility of a corner sink in our situation, but I couldn't convince my partner. I even showed him this thread, but our bad apartment corner sink has scarred him for life, it seems.

    Framing is underway now, and in case there's a few inches left over, I've bookmarked the clever IKEAfans broom closet.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Just a note on sizing- if you use a recessed corner sink cabinet, the face is set back in on two "wings- you can fit a big single (28-30") in a 39" cabinet. I do lots of corner sinks in smaller kitchen (and ranges) and almost always use that cabinet.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    In answer to your earlier post about how much setback is needed for a sink. The setback should be 4"-5" for an undermount sink, regardless of whether the sink is in the corner or not. You need the 4"-5" in front of the sink to maintain the integrity of the countertop. (It is for that reason that many people like an apron front sink, which is more ergonomic because your body can be directly against the sink without the slight lean needed due to the setback for an undermount sink, which can cause backache.) Sometimes a sink is just a bit too wide to fit into the corner space with just the 4-5" setback; the solution is either to (a) set it back farther than 5", which makes the sink awkward to use, or, (b) notch the sides of the base cabinet to allow the sink to come forward about an inch. If you have a good contractor, he should know how to do this without compromising the support for the sink. This should be one of the questions you ask when interviewing contractors. If the answer about installing a corner sink is a scratch to the head, or something non-committal, find another contractor. You want the answer to be, "yes, I've done that before and know how to do it". My sink was installed with just a slight notch to either side of the cabinet, and I've never had a problem.

    I thought about installing an apron front sink in my corner location to avoid the stepback issue. Jayjayteacher and Mirandall did it. So it is possible, but it would be a tricky install, and need more room than I had. I am happy with my undermount sink in the corner with about a 5" setback.

    Another thing you can do to lessen the chance of a backache is to install a pull-out faucet, not a pull-down faucet. A pull-down faucet (also known as a high arch faucet) is closer to the rear of the sink, requiring the user to reach farther to rinse something. A pull-out faucet has a longer reach into the sink, so that the user does not have reach as far while rinsing something.


     o
    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    In answer to your earlier post about how much setback is needed for a sink. The setback should be 4"-5" for an undermount sink, regardless of whether the sink is in the corner or not. You need the 4"-5" in front of the sink to maintain the integrity of the countertop. (It is for that reason that many people like an apron front sink, which is more ergonomic because your body can be directly against the sink without the slight lean needed due to the setback for an undermount sink, which can cause backache.) Sometimes a sink is just a bit too wide to fit into the corner space with just the 4-5" setback; the solution is either to (a) set it back farther than 5", which makes the sink awkward to use, or, (b) notch the sides of the base cabinet to allow the sink to come forward about an inch. If you have a good contractor, he should know how to do this without compromising the support for the sink. This should be one of the questions you ask when interviewing contractors. If the answer about installing a corner sink is a scratch to the head, or something non-committal, find another contractor. You want the answer to be, "yes, I've done that before and know how to do it". My sink was installed with just a slight notch to either side of the cabinet, and I've never had a problem.

    I thought about installing an apron front sink in my corner location to avoid the stepback issue. Jayjayteacher and Mirandall did it. So it is possible, but it would be a tricky install, and need more room than I had. I am happy with my undermount sink in the corner with about a 5" setback.

    Another thing you can do to lessen the chance of a backache is to install a pull-out faucet, not a pull-down faucet. A pull-down faucet (also known as a high arch faucet) is closer to the rear of the sink, requiring the user to reach farther to rinse something. A pull-out faucet has a longer reach into the sink, so that the user does not have reach as far while rinsing something.


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    RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed

    Aack, I hit the back button, and my previous post re-posted! Sorry. It's a glitch that GW has with the back button that I keep forgetting about.


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