Regardless if your kitchen is a tight galley or one of the sprawling island and bar variety, the odds are very good that the sink is the central hub of your food prep.
From rinsed fruits and veggies to their freshly stripped peelings, and on to any number of other varied tasks our kitchen sinks and the areas surrounding them are literal workhorses. Also, this area is the gathering point for pots, pans, dishes, and towels before, during, and after a meal.
Of course, it makes sense that this space is your kitchen’s central core, but depending on where its located, it can create havoc and inefficiencies mainly when you're trying to get a meal ready or clean one up. So what should you do if trying to maintain a sense of order around your kitchen's most important spot is impossible?
A recent design trend in home renovation may very well be the answer—install a corner kitchen sink.
How exactly can moving the venerable sink to a corner of your kitchen be of help? You might be shocked to find how much of your kitchen space is underutilized. Now, there are also a few drawbacks to the relocation, so read on to see if this increasingly popular fix is one that you should consider.
The vast majority of kitchen designs use what is called the kitchen work triangle concept to lay out an efficient workflow for food prep.
The theory works by creating an imaginary triangle that links the stove or cooktop to the refrigerator and then to the sink. Since these three areas are where the main tasks in a kitchen occur, it makes sense to create an effortless flow between them.
Ultimately, this is a fantastic design approach for kitchens, and historically it has served many a cook extremely well. But in our modern age, more than just more than just a single cook frequently populate kitchens.
Further, kitchens not only serve as a space for food prep but in many homes, they become a central gathering spot for friends and family, especially around the holidays.
While the kitchen work triangle is still the best way to layout this widely used part of your home, its evolution has forced many homeowners to rethink how the three workstations come together. And it all starts with installing a corner kitchen sink.
Why The Corner?
Obviously, we’re operating under the assumption that your kitchen comes with a corner or two. If so, take a look at it. What do you see? If you answered wasted space, give yourself a gold star. Even if you use that spot as a random storage area, we are guessing you’d rather have an alternative to keeping clutter on your counters.
With that mindset let’s see the three key benefits of relocating your sink to an out of the way niche in your kitchen.
Free Up More Counter Space
Corners, simply by design, create voids in our counter spaces that often become dead zones with no real function. Storage for a fancy mixer, sure, but really how many of us wish that emptiness is more than just an unsightly depot for small appliances.
Also, if you’re not storing something there, then that hard to reach area becomes a collection point for dust, dirt, and grime. Not the most appetizing thing in your kitchen.
By relocating the sink to a corner, you make use of an underutilized part of the countertop while at the same time freeing up other spaces. This is helpful if you initially had limited or choppy counter spaces throughout your kitchen. A corner sink can address this by creating long, continuous runs of the countertop.
Improve Traffic Flow
In addition to adding counter space, installing a corner kitchen sink will also free up considerable amounts of floor space. By pushing the sink into an area that generally received little use, you also push those tasks associated with that spot away from the main traffic points in your kitchen.
This becomes a huge benefit if your household commonly has more than one person at a time helping to prepare a meal. It also improves the traffic flow which can be beneficial if you have a horseshoe, peninsula, or L-shaped kitchen with an island in the middle.
The traffic patterns will also reap benefits if the original layout of your cooking space placed a couple of the triangle points too close together.
Consolidate Your Clutter
Another benefit of moving your kitchen sink to a corner is the potential to consolidate a lot of the disorder that builds up in and around that space. We mentioned earlier that a forgotten or hard to reach nook could be a troublesome spot for grime. Why not purposely shift the untidiness there?
This is a significant plus if your sink is currently on bar or island where even a small amount of clutter can create an eyesore. Beyond that, a corner sink, as a more natural collection point can better direct people to dispose of plates and scraps of food more efficiently, thus keeping the overflow of dirty dishes off other counter spaces.
Why Should You Install A Corner Kitchen Sink?
So far it seems this whole sink relocation idea is a no-brainer. But alas, there are few things you’ll need to consider before repurposing several areas of your kitchen.
Keep in mind this upgrade isn't possible with a single wall or galley kitchen due to their lack of adequate corners. Further, some of these might even hinder the ability to move your sink without going through a total renovation. Some things to consider include:
- Sink Size
This is probably the number one deterrent to creating a more efficient workspace. Depending on how your kitchen was originally laid out, you could encounter renovation tasks that include new cabinetry, rerouted plumbing, or having to move your fridge or stove to accommodate the new layout.
Not only that, but you will have to make accommodations for moving your dishwasher adjacent to your sink. Unlike a linear counter space, where the sink and dishwasher can sit side by side, you’ll need to give yourself at least two to three feet of clearance. Otherwise, when you open the dishwasher door, you've cut off any direct access you’d have to the sink.
Considering the design of most kitchens, simple geometry tells us that corner spaces tend to increase in size the farther away they get from the counter’s edge. This translates into the need for a smaller sink to fit into the limited set of angles. The larger sink you require, the more sizable the alterations necessary to the surrounding counter.
You will also need your sink to accommodate a garbage disposal, and have adequate clearance on either side for you to maneuver. A possible solution would be a single basin sink as opposed to the more common double bowl options.
We’ve also mentioned plenty of times the dirt and debris that can accumulate in a corner. Even with your newly relocated sink, you'll still have extra, hard to reach space behind it to keep tidy.
This will be vitally important with the introduction of water to the area. You will want to avoid an overabundance of moisture behind the sink to prevent any mold or spore growth where the walls meet.
The final concern to be wary of when considering to install a corner kitchen sink is limited space. Now, you might ask yourself "am I not doing this to increase the space in my kitchen?" And you’d be correct. But to gain space, you will be reducing the area you initially had to work with in front of and beside your sink, particularly when the dishwasher is open.
Obviously, the tradeoff is more room to prep and prepare your food versus more room to clean up what’s left behind. You’re increasing the space where the sink once was, not necessarily where it's going to go.
The other concern with the space in a corner is that the lighting may be insufficient to see what you’re doing properly. Depending on your kitchen's setup, you could alleviate this with more light, but keep in mind you’ll still end up staring at cabinets with shadows cast on the sink itself.
There’s a reason kitchen sinks are positioned under windows or in places that look outward, instead of in; it’s where we spend the vast majority of our time in a kitchen. Just keep that in mind as illuminating your new corner sink area could cost a lot more to make it less claustrophobic.
It's apparent that a lot of factors go into deciding whether or not installing a corner kitchen sink is the right move for you. First and foremost you’ll need to determine if your layout can accommodate such a move and if so, how much time and money are you willing to put forth to achieve a more blissfully arranged kitchen.
If you do decide in favor of relocation, nothing could be better for your food prepping prowess or the ease in which you’re able to clean up the aftermath. From improved mobility around your workspaces to larger pieces of countertop real estate to a less cluttered cooking area, the benefits, in many cases will far outweigh the disadvantages.