No outdoor kitchen is complete without a sink. Between washing your hands before you prep food, filling a pot to boil water, or rinsing off a dirty spatula, sinks are an essential component of cooking–even outdoors. So, it’s important to find the right sink that fits your needs, outdoor kitchen space, and aesthetic. As you’re looking to make your outdoor kitchen fully functional by installing a sink, make sure you consider the following factors so you end up with the right sink for you.
Drop-In vs. Undermount Sinks
The first decision you’ll need to make when it comes to choosing the right sink to complete your outdoor kitchen is what type of configuration you’d like–drop-in or undermount. There really aren’t drawbacks with either type of sink, and they are both quite common, so it comes down to the individual preferences you have.
Drop-in sinks became popular in the 70s, and are a bit easier to install. As the name suggests, the entire sink component is “dropped in” to the opening in the countertop. The lip of the sink will catch on the edge of the countertop, keeping the piece in place. Silicone caulking is then used to create a watertight seal between the sink rim and the countertop.
Undermount sinks have a more modern look, though they are a bit more tricky to install and can be more expensive. Again, as you could gather from the name, these sinks are attached to the underside of the countertop where the opening is. They are held in place by brackets or adhesives, and there is a seamless transition between the edge of the countertop and the sink basin.
Ceramic vs. Stainless Steel
Part of your decision between choosing a drop-in or undermount sink can come down to the sink material you want. There are a variety of options for different materials, but two of the most common for outdoor use are ceramic and stainless steel.
Ceramic sinks offer a more classic and elegant look. They are more versatile in color and style, so it’s easier to find the ceramic sink that complements your outdoor aesthetic. People like ceramic sinks for the charm they provide, while still being durable and resistant to fading or scratching. The downside of ceramic sinks is that they can crack if they are exposed to extreme temperature swings.
Stainless steel is the other common choice because of its durability and sleek appearance. This is a smart choice for outdoor kitchens because it is resistant to rust, corrosion, and stains. In general, people find that stainless steel sinks are easy to clean and don’t require too much maintenance. Plus, they typically are available in a number of different configurations, sizes, and styles to fit your unique outdoor cooking and cleaning needs.
Single vs. Double Basin
Another important decision you’ll need to make when choosing a sink for your outdoor kitchen is whether you want a single or double basin. In this case, you may be limited by the size of your outdoor space or the opening that’s already been made in your countertop.
If you have some flexibility, a double basin is a great choice if you want to be able to soak dirty dishes on one side of the sink and leave the other side open for washing hands, cleaning off vegetables, and more.
But, a single basin sink might be a better option if you don’t anticipate washing your dishes outside, and you only need it for easy access to water for washing hands and filling pots with water.