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The purpose of this buying guide is to help you find great deals when researching and reviewing kitchen sinks online.

Here are links to all parts of this buying guide:

Buying something as large and as expensive as a kitchen sink online means making you as prepared and educated as possible. We hope this buying guide is a great resource for that

Here in Part 1 we’ll discuss briefly the common types of kitchen sinks


How To Buy A Kitchen Sink

Popular Types Of Kitchen Sinks

Undermount Kitchen Sinks

Kraus KBU14 30-Inch Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink PicA popular example is the Kraus KBU14 Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink pictured right.

Mounted under counter w/ clips. Easier to push crumbs and such into sink from counter. Installed below the countertop surface. The edge of the countertop material is exposed at the hole created for the sink (and so must be a carefully finished edge rather than a rough cut).

The sink is then clamped to the bottom of the material from below. Especially for bottom-mount sinks, silicone-based sealants are usually used to assure a waterproof joint between the sink and the countertop material. The advantage of an “under-mount” sink is that it gives a contemporary look to the kitchen but the disadvantages are extra cost in both the sink and the counter top.

It is very popular because of its seamless appearance. It is also easy to clean and take care of.

Drop-In Kitchen Sink

Swanstone QZLS-3322.077 Drop-In Large-Small Bowl Kitchen Sink PicA popular example is the Swanstone QZLS-3322.077 Drop-In Kitchen Sink pictured right.

Sink with a lip around it to keep it from falling through the hole in the counter. Differs from a Self-Rimming Kitchen Sink in that the drop-in sink is also called semi-recessed because 2-3″ of the sink is above the counter and 2-3″ below the counter. Self-rimming just have the rim sitting on the counter, supporting the basin which is entirely below the counter.

In other words, self-rimming and drop-in are indeed the same in terms of how they get installed. A hole gets cut in the countertop and the sink dropped in the hole from above, the raised profile edge on the sink rim creates its own rim. Only the ones with higher rim profiles were “self-rimming”.

Generally speaking for sinks (kitchen, bathroom, etc) the cast-iron and ceramic made sinks have the higher profile rim, while stainless steel kitchen sinks tend to be low-profiles.

It is the easiest type of sink to install, and they can be replaced without destroying
your countertop. You can use a it with variety of countertop materials, so you are sure
to find one to fit the style of your kitchen.

Top Mount Kitchen Sinks
a.k.a. Self-Rimming Kitchen Sinks

KOHLER K-3361-4-NA Staccato Large-Medium Bowl Kitchen Sink PicA popular example is the KOHLER K-3361-4-NA Staccato Self-Rimming Kitchen Sink pictured right.

These kitchen sinks sit in appropriately-shaped holes roughly cut in the countertop (or substrate material) using a jigsaw or other cutter appropriate to the material at hand and are suspended by their rim. The rim then inherently forms a fairly close seal with the top surface of the countertop, especially when the sink is clamped into the hole from below.

Similar to a Drop-In Kitchen Sink from an installation point of view, differs mostly in aesthetics.

Other Types Of Kitchen Sinks

Wall Mount Kitchen Sink

This type of sink uses porcelain or ceramic that uses a backsplash which is situated over the countertop.

This type can be cleansed easily however it comes with a limited design.

Vessel Sink

Looks like a bowl attached to counter. A free-standing sink, generally finished and decorated on all sides, that sits directly on the surface of the furniture on which it is mounted. These sinks have become increasingly popular with bathroom designers because of the large range of materials, styles and finishes which they can show to good advantage.

The big advantage is mostly that it looks very posh and of high-end design.

Farmhouse Sink

Big sink with front edge. Takes up a lot of space, but beautiful (in my opinion). Needs modifications to cabinet and counter for installation. Set onto a countertop, the finished front of the sink remains exposed. This style of sink requires very little “reach-over” to access the sink.

You can almost think it looks like someone took out your normal kitchen sink and put in a mini bathtub.

Again this is an aesthetic choice, since installing it requires some major custom cabinet modifications.

Single Bown vs Double Bowl

All sinks will also have a number of bowls in the description: Single Bowl, Double Bowl, and theoretically more can be done as well (Triple Bowl, etc). The two most common are Single Bowl and Double Bowl

Single Bowl Kitchen Sink

Kraus KBU14 30-Inch Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink Pic

Pictured above is the popular Kraus KBU14 Stainless Steel Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink.

This is made of one bowl, which is what most shoppers want. If you’re after to save space in your kitchen, then single bowl comes in compact sizes. It offers a larger space for washing the dishes and cleaning the area is not an issue. A single bowl sink is easier to clean and maintain as compared to double bowl sink.

Double Bowl Kitchen Sink

Kraus KBU22 Undermount 50-50 Double Bowl Kitchen Sink Pic
Pictured above is the bestselling Kraus KBU22 Undermount 50-50 Double Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink.

This type of bowl comes in different styles; it could have equal lengths and depths or it could vary. It has 2 bowls which serves different purposes. You’ll have to ensure that using double bowl sink will not be an issue when you’re going to clean large pots.

Usually you will see something like “60/40 double bowl” or “50/50 double bowl”. This simply refers to the ratio of sizes of the bowls.

  • 60/40 Double Bowl: One bowl takes up 60% of the area, the other takes up 40% of the area
  • 50/50 Double Bowl: Both bowls take up 50% of the area. In other words, the two bowls are the same size.

That Concludes This Portion Of Our Buying Guide

Now that you have had our “intro” to purchasing kitchen sinks online we will move on next time to the different materials used when constructing kitchen sinks. So be on the lookout for Part 2: Kitchen Sink Materials

Here are links to all parts of this buying guide:


Check out all our reviews of kitchen sinks online