Kitchen sink ideas are easily overlooked in favor of more glamorous fittings, but this hard-working element of kitchen design is more than just practical. From material choices to size and shape, there are plenty of kitchen sink ideas to transform your space.
Despite the fact that the kitchen sink is no longer the workhorse that it once was, it is still a stalwart of your kitchen ideas. It must be able to handle the largest pans and the most delicate of china, all the while maintaining a flawless appearance.
Here, we take you through our favorite kitchen sink ideas – and our experts bring you some useful advice, too.
Kitchen sink ideas
Your kitchen sink ideas have to be able to withstand the knocks and scratches most cooks will throw at it, and it also has to be easy to clean, but its material, installation type and even shape and size can have a big impact on how your kitchen looks. So, when considering your long list of traditional kitchen ideas, add the kitchen sink – and the faucets that go with it – right at the top.
It is also important that you consider how to design a kitchen sink area to ensure your kitchen sink ideas remain the star of the show.
1. Bring classic elegance with a Butler's sink
Butler sinks have a timeless style that makes them one of the most iconic kitchen sink ideas, a veritable icon they can be seen in vintage kitchen ideas through to modern kitchen ideas. Originally designed for use by the staff in grand households, they are renowned for their durability, elegant looks and generous size. Characterised by a deep single bowl and crafted from hard wearing fireclay, the design has remained largely unchanged since its introduction in 1897.
2. Make a statement with a scalloped sink
Opting for kitchen sink ideas with a difference is a great way to add character to your space. 'Statement sinks are a trend that continues to gain momentum,' says Adrian Bergman, design manager at British Standard (opens in new tab). 'More and more clients are focused on finding 'the one' when it comes to their kitchen sinks with vintage and vintage-style pieces, such as this fluted farmhouse design, amongst the most covetable.'
A feature sink like this is an ideal integration to farmhouse kitchen island ideas, where the unusual shape brings personality to a functional countertop.
3. Add a warm tone with copper
A versatile choice, copper kitchen sink ideas can sit just as comfortably in rustic kitchen ideas as they can in a more modern or industrial scheme. As well as its timeless appearance, copper is also naturally antimicrobial, helping to keep it clean and hygienic – essential for the kitchen. Add texture by opting for a design with a hammered finish, like that featured here.
4. Opt for concrete for an industrial edge
Concrete has quickly become a popular material in the functional rooms of the home, whether as a countertop material or for kitchen sink ideas, especially in industrial designs. Since the sinks are cast rather than moulded they are available in a range of colours and shapes. However, concrete is naturally porous and therefore will require sealing in order to prolong its life, but, once sealed it is extremely durable, as well as being resistant to heat and stains and will last for decades.
5. Add interest with an illustrated sink
White apron front kitchen sink ideas provide an under-utilised canvas in the kitchen. While scalloping is a popular way to add a decorative flair, consider illustrative designs for something a little more unique. With beautiful artwork detailing, Shaws of Darwen (opens in new tab)’s Gallery range features abstract patterns and decorative illustrations baked into the sink as part of the glazing process to bring works of art into your space.
6. Think about shape as well as style
Shape can also make a difference when it comes to kitchen sink ideas. Of course, the classic is the rectangular basin, however, this doesn’t mean that it’s the only option. For supernumerary sinks, such as when the main sink is located in a utility, consider a smaller, circular design. Sunk into the worktop it is practically invisible, while still providing a useful spot to wash hands or rinse a mug.
7. Add heritage with a reclaimed piece
If you're looking at farmhouse kitchen ideas, then it is worth considering reclaimed kitchen sink ideas – there are many salvage yards, try your local salvage yard for a wide range of materials and styles. Stone sinks are highly durable, and while displaying characterful evidence of age will still be more than up to the practicalities of the job.
8. Select stainless steel sink for a low-maintenance option
Stainless steel kitchen sink ideas offer a hardwearing and modern look to your kitchen. Easy to maintain, it is a great choice for a family kitchen ideas. With no worries about chipping or cracking, they are low-maintenance, resistant to heat and stains and one of the most affordable options. Stainless steel sinks can be inset into a countertop or can be open-fronted like this design.
If opting for this classic material, make sure you know how to clean a stainless steel sink to keep it streak-free and shining.
9. Integrate a sink into your island
When designing a kitchen island, it is worth considering how you can incorporate amenities into the space, kitchen sink ideas are such a worthwhile addition.
‘Adding a sink or hob into the mix will boost the functionality of your kitchen island ideas. This will make cooking and cleaning tasks a breeze whilst still allowing you to be part of the conversation,’ says Tom Howley (opens in new tab), design director at the eponymous kitchen company.
10. Be inspired by classical elegance
Marble is a luxurious material and as such can instantly elevate your kitchen’s appearance, especially when used as part of kitchen sink ideas. However, as well as its age-old elegance, it is also almost indestructible so long as you periodically reseal and avoid abrasive or acidic cleaners. If opting for this high-end material, opt for a Belfast or Butler-style or an integrated design to show off its beauty to the best effect.
11. Make a statement with black
If your kitchen countertop ideas are favoring black, teaming a black kitchen sink with them will give you a sleeker, more modern finish than a contrasting white kitchen sink. You can still have a classic feel – as shown in this kitchen above, where a traditional-shaped Butler sink is impactful in a new colorway.
‘We chose a black Belfast sink in this oak Henley kitchen,’ says Meaghan Hunter, Neptune (opens in new tab). ‘Not only is this a modern take on a classic, it also blends seamlessly with the work surface and sets off the black-bronze handles beautifully.’
12. Consider handcrafted copper
Do you love modern farmhouse style? Then this copper beauty, which has been subtly hammered to achieve a rustic style, is the perfect piece. Copper doesn’t just look beautiful, it’s recognized for its anti-bacterial properties too, making it a great choice for a kitchen sink.
Whether you keep it polished or let it develop a rich patina is up to you. There’s the option to have it oxidized for a beautiful burnished effect as well.
13. Team with brass fittings
Country kitchen ideas call for faucets in a traditional material. And where you have opted for a traditional range cooker with brass fittings or have chosen cabinet and drawer handles or hardware in the same warm metal hue, a burnished brass will blend perfectly with the metallic finishes.
‘Brass ages beautifully and its warmth complements the cool color scheme here,’ says Merlin Wright, design director, Plain English (opens in new tab), they also pair beautifully with a wide range of kitchen sink ideas.
14. Opt for sturdy and stylish stone
Easy to maintain, extremely hard- wearing and beautiful to boot, Lundhs (opens in new tab)' Antique stone surfaces are a wonderful choice for kitchen countertops. So why not go one better with stone kitchen sink ideas for seamless style?
Many of Lundh's stone surfaces are made from igneous rock formed from the cooling of magma millions of years ago, and quarried in Norway; they are known for their blend of blue and brown crystals, which work especially well with wood grains and other natural earthy materials, or in a black kitchen where some texture is needed as relief.
15. Keep it delightfully discreet
If you prefer not to make a feature of the sink, an undermounted model, with a drainer carved into the countertop, will discreetly disappear while giving you ample space for the practicalities of cooking, preparing or clearing up after a meal.
16. Go for the double
If your kitchen is large enough and you’re a keen cook, then explore double kitchen sink ideas.
‘Although popular for its luxurious aesthetic, one of the main benefits to a double design is the space to separate items, whether this is clean and dirty dishes, heavy and fragile items or food prep,’ says Ben Burbidge, managing director, Kitchen Makers (opens in new tab).
‘However, think about the design of the cabinets under your sink at an early stage as the deep dimensions need to be factored into your plan.'
17. Create character with Carrara
Marble is admired for its natural beauty, and these spectacular kitchen sinks are made from a single block of Italian Carrara marble.
Known for its nuances, this material best suits those who like their kitchen to develop character over time as Carrara will mark and age quickly, however, once it has ‘settled in’ it will last a lifetime and offer a luxurious twist to utilitarian farmhouse style.
18. Pick a vintage look for farmhouse kitchens
Traditional kitchen ideas call for timeless, vintage kitchen sink ideas, with this fluted design our favorite front-runner. The width of this kitchen sink design allows for a shallower depth – an ideal design if the person who does the dishes is tall, as deeper kitchen sinks can create discomfort and backache.
19. Choose a small sink for a tiny kitchen
Small kitchen ideas dictate the need for a small kitchen sink ideas. To keep the space feeling sleek, have the sink under-mounted or moulded from the same material as your countertop and backsplash ideas. Also, have fluting cut into the countertop material so that you drain dishes without the need for a space-eating rack.
20. Fit a surface-mounted sink for a rustic appeal
A countertop-mounted ceramic – or indeed stainless steel – sink is the easiest of the sink styles to install and replace, making it a popular choice amongst renovators. Beware with ceramic sinks that they can be prone to tiny scratches and cracks that can show up stains. If you are going for a rustic appeal, this may not matter to you; however, if you want a streamlined modern look, you may want to choose a tougher material, such as a composite.
What is the most popular kitchen sink style?
Countertop-mounted kitchen sinks are the most popular because they are easy to install – or to remove and replace compared to other kitchen sink ideas. However, when choosing a kitchen sink style, you need to consider how often you entertain or cook for a crowd and whether others like to help with the prep.
‘The style of sink you choose should reflect the size and shape of your kitchen as well as your aesthetic and lifestyle,’ says Ben Burbidge, managing director, Kitchen Makers.
What is the best kitchen sink configuration?
The best kitchen sink configuration is one that has at least one bowl a minimum of 8in in depth. You will find some sinks that are even deeper than that, and the deeper the sink, the easier it will be to fill and wash large pots. Some sinks also feature a smaller, shallower bowl intended just for use with the garbage disposal.
Think about whether you want a left- or right-hand drainer, or even both. ‘A drainer is handy even with a dishwasher,’ says Helen Parker, creative director, deVOL (opens in new tab). ‘We always suggest grooves in a stone worktop for draining. Wood drainers are an option, but need drying after use and oiling.’
How do I choose the sink size?
Think how you’ll be using the sink. Is it just for filling pots and washing up or are you a keen gardener who may be harvesting muddy veg?
‘The sink has to suit all your daily needs, as well as how you’d like it to look,’ says Annie Tullett, home designer, Neptune.
'The sink is somewhere you use frequently, so our advice is to go big. A sink can be so beautiful if you get it right,' adds Helen Parker, creative director, deVOL.
What type of sink is easiest to clean?
‘Stainless steel is functional and the easiest kitchen sink to look after, but doesn’t age as well as copper and brass,’ says Helen Parker, creative director, deVOL. ‘Marble can stain, but keep it clean and it will serve you well.’ Durable and easy to clean, ceramic is good for a busy kitchen, however, avoid placing hot pans onto it.