What Is A Workstation Sink? – (And Should You Get One?)
Are you wondering what a workstation sink is? Have you come across the term and are clueless as to what it means? Fear not! The information from this article will help answer all your questions.
In this post, I’ll explain what a workstation sink is, its pros and cons as well as answer some frequently asked questions about the topic.
Let’s get into it!
What Is A Workstation Sink?
A workstation sink is a smart solution for small kitchens with limited workspace. A modular set of accessories (chopping board, colander, drying rack) drop into the top of the sink onto an integrated ledge and convert a typically underutilised section of your kitchen into a real workhorse.
Often referred to as ‘the swiss army knife of sinks’. It is configured to your needs and desires. This allows it to turn into a cutting board with an integrated bin to collect the scraps and food peel. Wash your dishes and put them to dry on a roll-out drying rack to drip dry dishes without leaving any mess on your countertop. Or use a bowl platform and colander to drain your pasta without removing the dirty dishes at the bottom of the sink.
All those little chores that you typically have to shuffle stuff about to get done, you can do them all using your workstation sink.
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Workstation Sink Construction
The workstation sink is typically deeper than your traditional sink. Order a workstation sink with a top-mount (inset), undermount, or apron design. The difference between a traditional sink and a workstation sink is a mounting ledge that runs around the top rim. You use the ledge to set your drainer, cutting board, or colander and create a seamless transition between your sink and countertop.
Some sinks even offer a dual-tier ledge so accessories can slide above or below one another, creating different working levels.
A grate positioned at the bottom of the sink allows for the stacking of plates and cups without blocking the waste. So you can rinse your fruits and veggies without emptying the sink. This bottom grid also helps to prevent scratching the sink base.
These sinks come in a variety of widths and configurations. They may have one large single bowl, a 1.5 bowl or two smaller ones. Some even come with the option of including a glass rinser that adds even more versatility to your sink setup.
Consider: If you have a very small kitchen, you may have decided that a 500mm wide sink would do the trick and give you a little more room for food prep. If you upgrade to the workstation sink, you actually add all that room to your functional counter space without giving up the big washing up sink for dinner parties.
Pros Of A Workstation Sink
- Additional Counter Space: Cover the sink with the cutting board accessory, and now you have an extra spot on the kitchen counter to put your bowl or pots. Stow the accessories under the sink in the cabinet when you need to do the dishes.
- Tidies Up the Kitchen After Meals: Workstation sinks are deeper, which means you can put the dirty plates at the bottom and cover them up with the cutting board for an instantly neater kitchen. Do the washing up after your guests have gone.
- Reduces Cross-Contamination: Stop cutting meat and vegetables on the same worktop where the kids dropped their backpacks. Using a designated cutting board reduces the chance for food to be contaminated by schoolyard germs.
- Customises Your Kitchen: Select the accessories that will be most used by your family. Pick the colander for pasta night or a condiment station if Taco Tuesday is your thing. If you never use wine glasses, skip the stemware drying rack.
- Declutter the Kitchen: Take a look at your worktop right now. Just imagine if you got rid of the drainboard, cutting boards, colanders, and the drying rack for your sponges. The workstation sink can put it all out of sight.
Cons Of A Workstation Sink
- Pricier Compared to a Traditional Sink: A regular sink will run you around £100 at the building supply centre. A workstation sink will cost anywhere between £400 and £2,000 depending on its size and quality. This is a significant upgrade.
- Limited Options for Compatible Accessories: Once you buy your workstation sink from Franke or Ruvati, you will be tied into their brand of accessories. Other cutting boards or drying racks may not fit the dimensions of your new sink. Upgrading in the future may be frustrating or impossible.
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Are Workstation Sinks Hard To Clean?
No, they are no harder or easier to keep clean than a traditional sink. You can find them available in stainless steel or as custom quartz or stone designs. Scrub them clean with regular washing up liquid between uses.
All the accessories can be removed for proper scrubbing, leaving your sink available for deep cleaning.
Some DIY shows say that the silicone bead on the ledge of the sink will collect grime and dirt. However, your traditional sink also has a silicone bead around its exterior and is usually not a problem to keep clean.
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Are workstation sinks popular?
Workstation sinks are becoming more popular recently, with more and more clients requesting them.
They have been on the market in some form for many years but with more manufacturers creating their own versions and promoting them more they seem to be getting a bit more of the spotlight.
What Accessories Can You Get For Workstation Sinks?
The most popular accessories available for workstation sinks are colanders, bamboo or solid wood cutting boards, dish drainers, and a grate for the bottom of the sink. Other options include a drying rack, condiment centre, drain strainer (sink strainer), and bowl platform. Some even offer custom accessories such as knife blocks and stemware racks.
Top Tip: Wait to buy all the accessories until you have lived with the sink for a while. Many owners find that they never use the condiment station or the veggie strainer, even if it looked like a great idea at the time. It just ends up taking valuable space in the cupboard.
Are Workstation Sinks Worth It?
For many people that live with small kitchens, the workstation sink is a lifesaver. Its smart design works flawlessly with all the accessories which helps to minimise the need for storage while providing a clean spot to handle food and dishes while improving the kitchen’s functionality.
However, homeowners with larger kitchens may find the workstation sink unnecessary as there is plenty of space to chop food, rinse out a glass, and use a dishwasher to hide the dirty pots and pans. You have to decide if it is right for your home and lifestyle.
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Who Makes Workstation Sinks?
A number of reputable sink manufacturers such as Franke, Shaw, Elkay, Ruvati and Kraus offer workstation kitchen sinks in addition to their traditional line.
Top Tip: Make sure to order your accessories from the same manufacturer as the sink to ensure they are properly sized.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about workstation sinks and whether they’re the right choice for you.
The swiss army knife of sinks. A workstation sink can be a fantastic option to improve the function and usability of your kitchen, especially in kitchens short on valuable counter space. However, with a higher price tag and many accessories you might never really use, is it a sensible upgrade or a wishlist item?
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.