Article By: Jennifer Ott
I tend to think bigger is always better. Maybe it's because I live in Texas. So when it comes to working in my own kitchen, I do love having a nice, wide sink. It offers plenty of space for food prep and cleanup, perfect for our two-cook household. But what about bowl depth? Sure, an extra-deep sink is good for hiding dirty dishes, but it can also do a number on your back, especially if you are of a shorter persuasion.
Here are some tips for selecting the correct sink depth for you and how you use your kitchen.
Kitchen sinks have been steadily growing in bowl depth. Most sinks used to be as shallow as 6 inches or less; the average today is 8 to 10 inches, and they can go as deep as 12 inches. If you repurpose a vintage sink, such as the one pictured here, it will likely be on the shallow side.
When to Go Shallow
A shallow bowl depth — say, less than 8 inches — is going to be the most comfortable bowl depth for those who are 5-foot-4 or shorter or who are very tall (6-foot 2 or taller). A shallower bowl depth allows a shorter person to work in the sink without having to lean into it to wash items in the bottom. Taller folks can work in a shallower sink without having to crouch down or hunch over.
Shallow sinks also take up less space in the sink cabinet below them. Not only does this free up storage space, but it also makes it easier to install and access the garbage disposal and the plumbing fittings. Shallow sinks also tend to cost a bit less than deeper versions.
When to Go Deep
For those who, like me, seem to dirty every dish in the house when making a meal, a superdeep sink is ideal. You have plenty of space for prepping meals, and in a pinch you can hide your dirty dishes in there until you are able to wash them. This is a nice sink for bakers or others who are regularly washing large sheet pans and cutting boards, too. A sink depth of at least 10 inches will give you the room you need to wash larger dishes without splashing water all over the floor and surrounding countertops.
Keep in mind that if you are going with an undermount sink, you will gain the additional depth of the countertop thickness. You can offset this, however, by using a raised sink grid, as shown here.
Try One On for Size
When selecting your kitchen sink bowl depth, it's all about finding one that is just right for your height and how you use your sink. If you can, check out kitchen showrooms that have a variety of sink sizes on display —mounted at the standard 36-inch countertop height — to see what sink depth feels most comfortable.