If you're a true gourmet chef, you should do everything in your power to make the kitchen a multipurpose workhorse. Every square inch, fixture, and feature should be maximized, allowing you to put your mad cooking skills to the test. Even your sink is an important choice. What type of sink makes the most sense and is the most practical? Will you require a single bowl or double bowl? Should you add one to your kitchen island? All valid questions. But much like anything in your home, the decision to add an extra sink to your space depends on your personal preference and needs. However, there are some pros and cons to mull over.
Pros and Cons
For instance, installing a kitchen island sink will permit you to wash dishes and rinse veggies simultaneously (a multitasker's dream!). And since most islands feature a sizeable workspace, you'll be able to visit with family and friends while you work.
On the other hand, a kitchen island sink can take up valuable real estate; you'll have to keep clutter and dishes neat and tidy since it takes center stage. Additionally, water splashing will be a common occurrence, so you won't be able to leave important items or decor on your island.
And then there is the installation itself to consider. If you feel confident in your plumbing expertise, a kitchen island sink is something you could hypothetically DIY during a remodel, (which is a bonus if you'd like to forgo the cost of hiring someone). But keep in mind that a kitchen island sink will require installing valves and plumbing fixtures, things that are often not for the faint of heart. So if there is any doubt, we recommend hiring a professional.
If you're dealing with a petite space, your dream of an island with a sink may not work. It's generally believed that you need about 42 to 48 inches of open space around an island. And since a sink will need to be placed in a fairly large worktop, to allow enough counter space, the luxe design idea may not be possible with a small kitchen island. And if you'd like to add a cooktop as well, it will need to be at least nine feet wide.
Then there's the bottom line. According to Fixr.com, a 24-square foot semi-custom island with a granite countertop and bar sink will run you about $5,500. HomeAdvisor reports that in general, the average cost of a kitchen island as of 2021 is $3,000 to $5,000 — sinks and dishwashers can be built into this cost as well. Including labor, it can cost $400 to hire someone to install a sink in your existing island, and that doesn't include the materials.
Additional Things to Consider
Also, there are a few mistakes you'll want to avoid as you set out on this interior design adventure — things you'll need to ponder as you gather kitchen island ideas. First, having a dishwasher that's separate from your kitchen island sink equates to drippy dishes that'll get your kitchen floor wet every single day. If you're planning to do dishes there, it's best to put a dishwasher alongside your kitchen island sink. Another mistake you'll want to avoid is not leaving enough room for foot traffic — for example, if your kitchen island sink is right across from the fridge, this area could feel cramped.
As we said, the choice is completely up to you and your lifestyle. In the meantime, get inspired by these kitchen island sink ideas and discover where to shop for them, too.
1. Go down a size.
If you're concerned about saving space on your island, but a sink is calling to you, simply choose a smaller undermount option. In this white kitchen clad in subway tile, and designed by Shea of Studio McGee, a petite, yet useful, integrated sink is an organic part of the marble countertop and doesn't use up tons of valuable square footage.
2. Think big.
On the other hand, if you have space, we say go for it ... sometimes bigger is better. Mar and Ask of German architectural firm Mar Plus Ask designed this slick concrete island equipped with a ginormous integrated sink. It will hold mountains of dishes (which will come in handy after large dinner parties).
3. Mix hardware.
When installing a kitchen island sink, don't worry about coordinating with the rest of the fixtures. In fact, mixing metal finishes, as seen in this cook space designed by Zoë Feldman, can create loads of visual interest.
4. Match the existing palette.
You can also use the tap of your kitchen island sink to firm up the overall color palette. For example, if your culinary space is mostly black, like this striking design by Alice of Alto Architects, an ebony faucet will tie in the dark hues of the cabinetry and the veining in the marble countertops and backsplash.
5. Create contrast.
A kitchen island sink is an opportunity to create juxtaposition in your overall design. In this black and white space belonging to Gina of Style Curator, a jet black sink serves as a contrasting feature within the stark white countertop.
6. Mirror the design style.
For your kitchen island, choose a sink that blends seamlessly with the overall style of your space. For example, a midcentury setup should have a modern, streamlined sink, while a bohemian kitchen would look fab with a hammered copper or natural stone option. A farmhouse design shines when it's outfitted with an apron front sink, as demonstrated by this space belonging to Andrea of Life on Cedar Lane.
7. Make it a focal point.
A kitchen island sink is an easy way to anchor your culinary design scheme. With the right elements, like a polished brass faucet, a terrazzo waterfall countertop, contemporary pendant lights, and black kitchen cabinets, the sink suddenly becomes another artful and interesting piece in this beautiful dusty rose setup, designed by the team at House of Grey. Swoon!
8. Create distance between the sink and seating.
If you're planning on including bar seating with your kitchen island, leave room between the bar stools and the sink, allowing enough space to enjoy meals or spread out with homework. This kitchen island, complete with a breakfast bar and storage space, demonstrates how to do it right.
9. Go for luxe materials.
If you're taking the time to consider the functionality of your cook space, you've probably decided to add a sink to the island. So you might as well go the extra mile and use top-of-the-line materials, too. For example, in this kitchen design, a stainless steel sink is joined by stylish cross knobs and a durable, yet chic, white marble countertop. A food prep area has never looked so good.
10. Be thoughtful with linear details.
To create an eye-catching aesthetic throughout a modern kitchen, emphasize the linear elements, right down to the faucet — something that punctuates the white waterfall countertop of this island. With help from a contrasting color palette, the clean lines continue to prevail through the bar seating, cabinets, and contemporary kitchen lighting.
11. If you have the room, add a second island.
If you have a spacious kitchen and you've got your heart set on an island with a sink (but know you'll miss that extra counter space), why not install two islands? That way, you'll get it all, as witnessed in this culinary dream perfected by Angela and Danielle of Studio Onyx.
12. Center the lighting over the sink.
Since the sink in your kitchen island will undoubtedly be part of your workstation, be sure to give it maximum illumination so you can fully see what you're doing. Emily Henderson centered this modern light fixture over the sink, resulting in a bright area that's ideal for food prep.
Ariane Moore is Senior Design Editor at Hunker. After earning her B.S. in Interior Architecture and Design, she enjoyed working on a variety of projects ranging from residential to hospitality at award winning design firms in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She also served as Design Editor at Natural Child World magazine.