9 Kitchen Sink Styles for Your Consideration

Dina Cheney
Written by Dina Cheney
Updated November 10, 2021
Woman washing dishes at farmhouse sink
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Sink into our guide to find out about the different styles this hardworking kitchen fixture comes in

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If you find yourself browsing the home improvement store for hours and feel overwhelmed by all the options, you can start by upgrading your kitchen sink. Once you get the low-down on styles and materials, you should be able to pick a fixture to improve your space quickly. Read on for descriptions of the nine types of kitchen sinks and the three most popular materials.


Sinks come in nine basic styles. Keep in mind that one sink can be more than one type, such as both the top-mount and single-basin types. If you’re watching your budget, plan for around $400 to install a new kitchen sink, with the cost running as high as $2,000, according to HomeAdvisor. Your sink installer will explain how the style you choose affects the price, with undermount and farmhouse sinks costing more than top-mount or bar ones.

1. Top-Mount

Top mount kitchen sink in butcherblock countertop
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These sinks, also called drop-in or self-rimming, are dropped into countertops from above. Installers caulk their rims to countertops with silicone to secure them in place. Unfortunately, the rim can collect grime and make it harder to sweep water and debris from the counter into the sink. Also, the rim makes it look less seamless. 

On the plus side: These sinks tend to be economical, costing $60 to $500 (without installation), and are easy to install on your own. After removing your existing sink, set the new one in the countertop hole so it fits. If you need to enlarge the opening, use a jigsaw, router, or tile cutter. To determine the correct outline, turn the new sink upside-down where you intend to place it. Trace the design, and then use a jigsaw to cut it out.

2. Undermount

Undermount sink on white marble countertops
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Undermounts are installed from below and opposite from a top-mount sink. This means these sinks don’t have a rim, so the look is more seamless. Plus, water and debris can be swept directly from the countertop into the sink.

One disadvantage of undermounts is that gunk can still collect where the countertop and sink meet inside the basin. These sinks also tend to be pricier to purchase and install. They cost between $170 to $2,000 without installation.

3. Double Basin or Bowl

Double basin stingless steel sink in modern kitchen
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These sinks feature a divided basin and let you wash items on one side and rinse or drain them on the other. However, it can be more difficult to fit in larger items like baking sheets since the basin is divided. Plus, if you ask us, double bowl sinks tend to look more utilitarian. 

Some double-basin sinks are known as low dividers, meaning the partition between the basins doesn’t go up all the way. For this reason, a double-basin sink can serve as a single-basin sink if you fill it with water or if you fill only one side partway with water. 

These sinks cost between $200 to $2,000 without installation.

4. Single Basin or Bowl

Single basin stainless steel sink in small kitchen
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This type refers to sinks with undivided basins. They tend to be smaller overall, making them ideal in more compact kitchens. Despite their less generous size, their basins are usually larger than half a double bowl sinks, meaning it’s easier to fit large items. These sinks typically cost between $100 to $250 without installation.

5. Farmhouse or Apron

Farmhouse sink with chrome faucet mounted in cream cabinets
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Farmhouse sinks are large, deep, and extend over the counter’s edge, so its front wall is also the front of the counter. Thanks to its large basin, it’s easier to wash more oversized kitchen items, like baking sheets and casserole dishes. Usually made of fireclay or cast iron (which are both durable and easy to clean), these sinks are best-suited design-wise for traditional- or farmhouse-style kitchens.

On the con side:  They tend to be expensive, costing $360 to $2,000 without installation. Plus, if your farmhouse sink is made from cast iron, its enamel coating can chip or crack over time. You may also consider a copper farmhouse sink, which are durable and visually appealing but require special care. These deep sinks are also more expensive to install than their shallow counterparts. Plus, if your farmhouse sink is made from cast iron, its enamel coating can chip or crack over time.

6. Drainboard

Single stainless steel sink with drainboard
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These sinks are relatively rare in the U.S. and smaller than the other styles. But their built-in drainboard makes them ideal for kitchens without much counter space since you can drain items on the drainboard rather than on the counter. If you have a dishwasher, though, you’ll probably find a drainboard sink less useful.

7. Island, Prep, or Bar

Small black square single basin sink in wet bar
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These single-basin sinks are small and shallow. They’re typically used in wet bars, outdoor kitchens, and as secondary sinks. Put them to work when making drinks, doing prep work, cleaning, and when multiple people are cooking. Without installation, these sinks cost $110 to $500.

8. Integrated

Integrated white sink in gray speckled countertop
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These sink basins are molded into solid-surface countertops for a seamless look. Since there’s no rim, lip, and undercounter seam, no debris can get trapped. 

As for cons: These sinks can’t be removed once damaged. Other than replacing the entire countertop and sink, your only option is to hire a sink repair professional to fix them. Plus, integrated sinks can get pricey.

9. Corner

A kitchen corner sink on a granite countertop
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This term refers to double-basin sinks set slightly apart and installed in the corner of a kitchen to maximize counter space. Since cuts are made into the countertop for installation, the countertop structure can be compromised. Plus, these sinks can be expensive, ranging between $300 to $600, and may be challenging to install.


Here’s a roundup of the three of the best materials for kitchen sinks.

Stainless Steel

Sinks in this material are light, easy to install, resistant to heat and staining, low maintenance, inexpensive, and versatile design-wise. With so many pros, they’re quite popular. On the con side: They can dent and scratch easily. If you can, opt for a brushed finish, which helps hide these imperfections. Make sure you care for your stainless steel sink with regular cleaning.

Cast Iron

These metal sinks are sprayed with a porcelain coating for a shiny white finish. Durable and easy to clean, they’re often used in farmhouse or country kitchens. As cons: The porcelain can chip, and the hard material can also damage dishware. Plus, since these sinks are heavy, they should be installed by a professional who can incorporate structural supports.


Although fireclay looks like cast iron, it’s a combination of clay and glaze. Frequently used in farmhouse-style sinks, fireclay is a bit more durable than cast iron, but unfortunately, also pricier.

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