Choosing a Single Bowl Sink or Double Bowl Sink
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Elkay.
Often times, I head to Instagram stories to ask your advice on something for my home. About a month ago, I was trying to figure out if I should have a single bowl sink or a double bowl sink installed in our new kitchen. I innocently asked the question on Stories and then went to bed for the night. Holy smokes, I woke up to hundreds of direct messages with passionate opinions for each side. Wow! I had no idea sinks could be so controversial.
After reading through all of the comments and suggestions, I was more confused than ever. Should I go with a single bowl sink or a double bowl sink in our new kitchen? Each side had such great arguments for their choice and I found that I had to sit down and write out the pros and cons for each to really wrap my head around what would work best for our family.
Growing Up with Double Bowl Sinks
I have actually never owned a single bowl sink! Growing up, we always had double bowl sinks and that’s what I’ve had in all of my homes as an adult.
As a kid, my brothers, my sister and I were always on clean up duty after dinner time. We would have three people on dish duty and the fourth would wipe down the counters and sweep the kitchen floors. (I usually liked that last job because I could dance around the kitchen while I worked.) After loading up our dishwasher, it was time to clean the pots and pans and we had an assembly line for this. Someone brought the dirty dishes to the counter on the left side of the sink. Someone would wash the dish in the left bowl in hot soapy water and then rinse in cold water on the right side. The next kid took that clean dish and dried it and put it away. Our little kitchen crew was rarely efficient (the boys would often chase the girls around whipping their towels at us and we would shriek and run away), but eventually we got those dishes clean!
All of this is to say that a double bowl sink is all I’ve ever known! I originally planned to do a double bowl sink in our kitchen and I didn’t even really think about a single bowl. That is, until I asked on Instagram and started to turn to team single bowl…
Arguments for Single Bowl Sink
Photo via Elkay
So my first thought about single bowl sinks was that they just looked pretty. I never really thought about the function of one. But so many of you RAVED about your single bowls. The biggest argument for it was that you can fit so much in the large basin. Large pots and pans are easy to clean because they can fit in the bottom. And cookie sheets are so much easier to scrub! No more having them stick up, out of the water, while soaking them.
Photo via Elkay
Because the bowls are so large, many of you remarked that it’s great for entertaining. If you have dirty dishes when guests come over, you can easily “hide” them in the large basin and they won’t stick up, making the kitchen look messy.
And let’s discuss my favorite reasoning for a single bowl basin…baby baths!! I mean, what’s cuter than a naked baby bathing in a large farmhouse sink? Um, nothing! Many of you said once you introduced solids into your baby’s diet (we just did that last month with Rory and it is messy!), you can clean off the baby in your big sink after meal times. Genius!
Arguments for Double Bowl Sink
Even though we’ve always owned a dishwasher and wash a majority of our dishes in there, we typically wash larger dishes by hand. For me, that means we do the washing just as I did as a kid…soapy water on the left, rinse on the right, and hand dry.
Now that we have so many bottles to wash, we almost always have a basin full of soapy water. When Rory is done with a bottle, we throw it into the water to soak and then when I have a few minutes throughout the day, I’ll rinse the bottles and put them on her little bottle drying rack. We also rely on our garbage disposal and I like that it’s accessible in the main sink, even if the other basin is full of water or unwashed dishes.
Other Sink Options
Photo via Elkay
So clearly, there are pros to both sink types! And I didn’t even realize this until a few readers told me, but there are even sinks that are double, but with a really large main bowl. So instead of the divider being 50/50, it’s more like 70/30 or 80/20. That way you can have your large basin, but still have that small one if you need it! Or there are even sinks where the divider is really low (like these), so from far away it has the look of a single sink, but the functionality of a double sink.
My Favorite Sinks
Here are some gorgeous sink options to choose from. I knew I wanted a white sink, but Elkay offers stunning colors if you want to change things up. (How about that pretty mint color?)
Black Quartz Single Bowl // Quartz Single Bowl with Drainboard // Single Bowl Farmhouse // Farmhouse Workstation Sink // Stainless Steel with Interchangeable Apron // Mint Undermount Sink // Double Bowl Farmhouse Sink // Double Bowl Workstation Sink /
Your Cleaning Style
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer! I think it all comes down to cleaning style. Do you like to clean as you go or do you do all of the dishes at the end? Do you like to hand wash most of your items or do you rely on your dishwasher for everything? Sitting down and thinking through how you want your kitchen to operate is really helpful when it comes to deciding.
So what did I go with?
The Sink I Chose
I knew that no matter what, I wanted a farmhouse sink with the apron front. I was between this double bowl farmhouse and this single bowl farmhouse. I ended up going with this large farmhouse style sink from Elkay! Even though I’ve been a double bowl girl my entire life, I am eager to try out the single bowl. I like the option that I can always put a large bowl or Tupperware in the basin of the sink with hot and soapy water if I need it when washing dishes my old-school way. That tip really sealed the deal for me.
Farmhouse Sink // Polished Nickel Faucet // Pot Filler // Counter Stools // Aged Brass Pull // Aged Brass Knob // Colorful Rug // Light Fixture // Artwork // KraftMaid Cabinet Colors “Bonsai” & “Cottage”
As you saw in last week’s post about the kitchen layout, the new sink will be in the kitchen island and it’s going to be a showstopper. I can just picture the baths I’ll give Rory in this gorgeous sink. I also chose this faucet and this pot filler to complete the space.
My new sink has arrived and it is waiting in the garage ready to be installed! I cannot wait…
Catch Up On Our Kitchen Renovation
- Kitchen Before Photos
- Hiring a Designer
- Our New Kitchen Layout
- Design Plan & Mood Board
- Single vs Double Bowl Sink
- Ordering Our Kitchen Cabinets
- Tasks To Do Before a Kitchen Renovation
- Our Old Kitchen Is Out
- Creating Our Electrical Plan
- Our Kitchen Cabinets Are In!
- Kitchen Hardware Guide
- Dining Nook Design Plan
- Choosing Quartz Countertops
- Painting the Kitchen
- Our Dining Room Nook
- Finding a Kitchen Runner
- Our New Lighting
- Our Wood Butcher Block
- The Kitchen Renovation Timeline
- The Big Kitchen Reveal
- What I Learned from Our Kitchen Renovation
- Kitchen Before & After Video
- Our Kitchen Appliances
- Renovation Budget & Cost
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.