Why You Need A Double Sink

May 30, 2007 · Print This Article

Undermount Doublesink

A double sink is more useful than a single sink

Are you wondering whether to install a single sink or a double sink for your kitchen remodel? Imagine the convenience of chopping up your carrots, and sweeping the carrot-end into a garbage disposal.

Switching to a double sink, after using a single sink for so long, is like gaining a helper in the kitchen who organizes your cleanup.

Nearly 80% of kitchen remodelers at Elegant Kitchen Cabinets choose a double sink. Although you can get large single sinks at a premium, double sinks are normally larger.

Double Sink Advantages

Double sinks have the following advantages over single sinks:

  • Normally larger, allowing two users
  • Second drain allows for garbage disposal
  • Organizes your pots, pans, and dishes for cleanup

A wide sink allows two people to clean dishes at the same time. The second basin normally has a garbage disposal attached to the drain. An undermount sink is useful because you can sweep food right into the basin, avoiding the topmount lip. For cleaning, you can fill one sink with a couple of inches of soapy water. Given the advantages of double sinks, when is the best time to upgrade?

Upgrade During Your Remodel

The best time to upgrade is when you’re already changing out your kitchen cabinets, because undermount sinks are impossible to remove without damaging the countertop. If your sink is a topmount, then it’s simple to change to a double sink.

How do you guys use your double sinks? Leave a comment and let me know!

Comments

  • Jessica

    I am actually remodeling the opposite way going from a double bowl to a single bowl 33 X 22 sink. My current sink has a 3/4 large bowl and a 1/4 smaller bowl with disposal. But I prefer to be able to have a large fry pan, baking tray, or huge soup pot be able to soak flat without having to tip an end up. There just isn’t enough room with a double bowl to lay a large pan flat (not even in the new Kohler smart divides). My garbage disposal will be attached to the one hole on my new sink. I never chop in my sink anyway, so I’ll still be able to throw my carrot ends from the counter into the one hole disposal. I have a dishwasher so I don’t need a second set of hands to help me wash and dry. The bigger, deeper sink will also allow me to hide my dirty dishes in the single bowl instead of piling them on the counter like I have been doing. Not sure I understand the Bandwagon mentality of the 80% who prefer double sinks unless all of them don’t have dishwashers.

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Hi Jessica,

    I’ve had clients keep their single sink (or upgrade to a larger one) because of the ability to put larger pots and pans in the sink.

    The advantage of a double sink is its ability to organize the cleanup if you don’t have a dishwasher. You can keep the dirty dishes in one bowl, and transfer the soaped dishes to another bowl for rinsing.

  • redtricycle

    I went to a double sink from a single sink. I like the separation for utensils and bowls/plates.

    I think it’s all in how you use the divider because you’re not always washing pots and pans

  • Cassandra

    What is required to convert a single to a double sink? Is this a DIY project or should it be left to a plumber? Is it easy to remove the old sink? The home was built in 2003. thank you

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Cassandra,

    I recommend using a plumber if you’re going to upgrade to a double sink, because of the following:

    1. You need a separate drain pipe for the second sink
    2. The closer sink hole may need a longer drain pipe
    3. You may want to upgrade the faucets while you’re upgrading your sink
    4. You may want to attach a garbage disposal to one of the sinks

    Although there are many references online on replacing a sink, homeowners can easily overlook subtleties.

    Best wishes,

    Lionel

  • Jane Meyer

    I am installing a large deep single bowl sink. I am not sure whether to install a garbage disposal as I normally compost all vegetable waste in a worm bin and would only us it for tiny scraps. I do not want a permanent hole ( for things to fall into) but a strainer. Can a stainer be used with a garbage disposal?

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Jane,

    Yes, you can use a strainer with a garbage disposal.

    Any strainers that fit without falling in will suit perfectly. For example, wide rimmed strainers.

    Let me know if you’d like more help choosing a strainer for your sink!

    Best wishes,
    Lionel

  • Kathleen

    I have the Kohler Lakefield double basin sink and love it. It’s the best of both worlds IMO. The large basin can hold stock pot, baking sheet, etc. and the very small basin is perfect for quick rinses where you might not want to mess up the entire large sink. We use the small side for rinsing out the espresso maker head, wringing the kitchen cleaning cloth, washing off small quantities of fruits or veggies and rinsing out/prewashing the more dirty containers to keep sludge water out of the large bowl which keeps overall maintenance down (less wiping and rinsing of the larger surface area). I would definitely do this all over again.

    Like someone else wrote, I compost or feed my veggie scraps to the wild birds so I have no real use for a disposal. I’m surprised that more people are not giving up that wasteful habit – just trim and cut over a board and a bowl. It all has to be processed by the city when you put it down the disposal. But as it’s not sewage, it could be easily put into flowerbeds (when blenderized w/water) or a composter and provide benefits rather than take resources to treat at the treatment plant.

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Excellent advice about composting, Kathleen!

    In addition to helping the city save money on their waste processing, you can also save money on the garbage disposal!

  • Bob A

    I’m considering switching to a large apron style sink with one basin. I want to reinstall my current disposal (I currently have a double basin). Will I have problems with the disposal hooked up to the only drain?

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Hi Bob,

    You won’t have any problems having the disposal as the only drain. The garbage disposal plumbing will take care of your non-solids, and if you need to take care of solids, you can turn your disposal on.

    Best wishes,

    Lionel Young

  • Kay

    I have a 33″ sink base and would like to know if there is an undermount double sink that will fit in that space. I wlll be getting new countertops but cannot get a larger sink base.

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Hi Kay,

    I have some Undermount double sinks available that will fix a 33″ sink base.

    If you want to buy from us, you can pick it up at our showroom if you’re in the Bay Area, or I can ship it to you.

    Best wishes,
    Lionel Young

  • Marilyn Eisenstadt

    I don’t understand the advantages of a double sink. I find it very difficult to clean off food to go into the garbage disposal in the small sink because it is so small. I try to wash the dishes in the large sink, but the water is always filling up and without a disposal, it takes forever to drain. I don’t understand how it works. Are both sinks actually connected to the garbage disposal? If not, how does one keep the larger sink from clogging up? I find it is cumbersome and difficult to use and it makes wanting to cook in my kitchen a nightmare, because I know that clean up is so much harder with a double sink. I can’t wait to swap it out with one big sink.

    Marilyn

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Hi Marilyn,

    Both sinks are connected to the same plumbing in the end, but the smaller sink has a garbage disposal in between. Here’s a good picture of the plumbing: http://www.nettally.com/palmk/KitchenDrain.jpg

    Many people pair up their garbage disposal with a dishwasher, so I find a lot of families empty their large scraps into the garbage disposal and put their plates into the dishwasher.

    If you do a lot of cooking with large pots/pans, then a wide and deep single sink may be your be choice. In this case, the garbage disposal is connected to the only drain.

    Hope that helps,
    Lionel Young

  • Emma B.

    I use my double bowl with the disposal on the washing side and the drainer on the other. I have to bowls the same size. The only advantage I see to the double sink is that you don’t have to keep your drainer up on the counter. You just have to be careful of silverware going down the disposal.

  • lucy lauren

    I could not decide between a very large bowl or a double bowl. I also have a dishwasher. I decided to go for what I previously had = a double bowl. I wash up in one bowl and rinse dishes in the other. How do you rinse dishes when you are washing up in the same bowl?? That is the advantage of double bowl for you people out there. No one seems to have mentioned that. Am I the only person who uses a double bowl unit like that?

  • Shawn

    @ lucy lauren. Glad you mentioned what I (also) thought was soo obvious! Wash in one..rinse in the other. OR..perhaps use one for prep (cleaning foods before cooking) and leaving the other side free and clean. Can you imagine preparing a Thanksgiving dinner and having that big ole turkey occupying your ONLY sink??
    There are various benefits of using a double sink.

    I have used dbl sinks most of my life, but somehow ended up giving up my dbl sink for a single when i got married (the things wedo for love..LOL). Anyway, we’re in the process of re-doing the kitchen and 1ST on the list is a nice dbl sink!!! I cannot wait. I also want the soap dispenser as well.

  • Oscar

    @ Marilyn I feel you! We just moved into a new house and for the first time I have a double sink that is 70/30 with the smaller basin having the garbage disposal. I have NOT figured out how to use. I’ved always had a 50/50 basin sink but I don’t know what to do with such a little sink.

    Usually I would put dirty dishes in one (with disposal) and rinse in the other one. NOW I can’t fit all dishes in the one with disposal. The bigh one does not have one so I don’t want to clog.

    This is why I’m here…. I had to search around the internet to see how to wash dishes in a 70/30 basin sink. LOL. I guess keep my dirty dishes outside, pass them by the small basin w/disposal clean and put in big basin to dry? Can anybody tell me?

  • Tory

    @Shawn – the alternative is having two smaller sink bowls, and there’s NOWHERE for the Turkey to go.

    I have a 50/50 sink, and all my cookie sheets and larger pots and pans have to be soaked on one side, cleaned, then soaked on the other side. I cannot wait to switch to a single bowl! I need to be able to soak my pots and pans in the same bowl that has the garbage disposal – the whole point of the soaking is to get off the gunky baked-on food! Heck, the whole point of washing ANY dishes is to get off the food scaps. A large bowl and no garbage disposal makes no sense to me.

  • yaoyao

    I’d like to know why garbage disposal is connected to the small bowl instead of large bowl. To me, it makes more sense to have it go with the bowl that we use most for cleaning. We are in the process of building a new house. I have a 70/30 double sink, the plumber automatically connected garbage disposal to the small bowl. I’d like to ask him to change it, but I’d like to know why it is the standard. It has to be a reason.

  • Val

    I have a double sink undermount with a granite countertop. The sink on the right is smaller with the disposal. I want to switch to a single sink with disposal. Do they make those ready to fit into the curved hole I already have in my granite? I think it’s possible to get someone to cut the granite to accommodate a new sink, but if I can get a nice quality sink that fits, that would be preferred. Also, what sink surface do you recommend? I want something that looks really nice, under $1000, that won’t chip. Thank you.

  • http://www.elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Hi Val,

    Curved single sinks don’t exist that will fit in what you have, so you will have to find someone to modify the granite. However, most granite installers will NOT do large modifications with the granite installed.

    I recommend you check out http://kitchen-sink-reviews.com/ to determine a specific brand, but anything that’s stainless steel at 18 gauge is the most cost effective.

    Good luck,
    Lionel Young

  • donna kay

    hi…currently installing crema bordeaux granite, with Wellborn nutmeg java colored Savannah Maple cabinets. does having all stainless steel appliances require using brushed nickel pulls/hardware on the cabinets? i was thinking of a darker finish that brings out the glazing on the cabinets…Also havent decided fully on tile/backsplash color. Probably a 4×4 tumbled travertine, not sure of Noche, or lighter, like durango cream, & would like a 2×2 glass insert randomly..have Canyon Red Tantrum in mind…any ideas?

  • http://elegantcab.com Lionel Young

    Hi Donna,

    Stainless steel appliances do not require stainless steel pulls. However, if you’re going for a modern look, many people either use brushed pulls or a clean front.

    Best wishes,
    Lionel

  • PaulDFIxr

    I was looking high and low for some clues regarding how double sinks are used when I woke up in my resort this morning to find a double sink. The small, shallow bowl (looks like a 70/30) is directly drained, while the larger bowl has the disposal. We have a single sink at home, top mount white Corstone, and find it nicer than the single, shallower stainless unit it replaced. Our town does not allow disposals because of the additional waste processing load it imposes on the wastewater treatment plant. Also, at home I have a single-handle with integrated pull-out sprayer faucet which is a nice touch. We usually just use the sink to receive, rinse and hold the dirty dishes before loading the dishwasher. The resort here has a fixed swivel-spout faucet which barely reaches the corner of the small bowl and no sprayer. I have to tell them where they are missing the boat! I have usually seen a disposal mounted on the small bowl side of double sinks, probably for disposing of food preparation scraps. I guess the bottom line is, think hard about how you are used to using a sink, disposal, and dishwasher in order to come up with configuration which provides the most useful workflow for you.