What Is the Capacity of a Sink?

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The capacity of your sink determines how much it will hold.

Sink capacity is important for determining not only the type and style, but the size of the sink to put in your home. This is a useful way to install the right sink in your new kitchen. Capacity affects your ability to perform certain washing and cooking tasks, and it determines how effective your sink is in the long run.

What is Capacity

Capacity is the amount a certain vessel will hold. Capacity relates to individual units; for instance, the capacity of a theater is measured in persons, or it is a volume measurement, like when a container capacity is measured in liters. Either way it tells you how much something holds or contains. Not all items have a capacity measurement, but that does not mean there is no way to measure it.

Sink Capacity

Sink capacity is not measured by the manufacturer and it is not listed as one of the measurements on the sink's specifications. However, there is a way to determine it. Measuring capacity is the same as measuring volume in most cases where the vessel or container holds water or another liquid. Since sinks hold water, measuring the volume gives you an ideal capacity measurement. Use this measurement to compare the capacity of different sinks.

How to Measure Sink Capacity

When purchasing sinks you see three main measurements. This includes the length and width of the sink along with the bowl depth. Remember that the length and width of the rimmed sink is not the same as the bowl dimensions. To find the sink capacity, always use the sink bowl measurements, not the overall sink dimensions. Simply multiply bowl depth by bowl width, and multiply that by the sink's length. In double bowl sinks, there are two separate bowls, and each is a different size. So, find the capacity for both separately and add them together.

Large Capacity Vs. Small Capacity

There are advantages to a large capacity sink. It holds more dishes, fruit and water for cleaning for one. However, large capacity sinks require more countertop space; therefore, you have less room to prepare food. Large capacity sinks also weigh more when full, so they will pull down on the countertop and put more weight and pressure on your cabinetry. This places stress on your cabinets and countertop. This is especially true in undermount sinks that mount under the countertop. These require a strong, solid countertop surface like granite or marble to perform properly.


Steve Smith

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.