What Are The Different Types Of Sink, And Which Is Best For You?

copper belfast sink

A sink is a sink, isn’t it? Well yes, they all hold water, drain water, can be used for food preparation, washing hands, and washing pots; but there are lots of different configurations that give benefits from both practical and style considerations. Let’s take a look:

Inset sink

white ellsi 1.5 inset sink

Fitted into a cut-out in the worktop, and sometimes referred to as drop-in or top-mount sinks, inset sinks are the most popular type in UK homes. Starting from very affordable prices, these sinks come with a drainer, a standard hole for the tap, the waste(s), overflow and fitting clips. Easy to use, low-maintenance and durable, inset sinks are available in stainless steel, ceramic or granite composite, so they offer a great choice of looks for a stylish kitchen.

Under-mounted sink

stainless steel ellsi undermount 1.5 bowl sink

For a sleek, premium look, undermount sinks take some beating. With the bowl discreetly positioned beneath the worktop, and the tap mounted above, the worktop area becomes larger, and the kitchen feels very sophisticated.

As under-mount sinks are fitted below the surface, it is best not to install them into any worktop that doesn’t have a solid core (e.g. not for use with laminate worktops, as the water will ingress into the chip-board core), but worktop materials such as granite, quartz, solid wood, acrylic, or compact laminate are perfect. This also means that grooves can be routed into the worktop surface next to the sink, creating a useful and inconspicuous drainer.

Undermount sinks are available in stainless steel, ceramic or granite composite.


copper ellsi stainless steel belfast sink

Also known by many other names such as Farmhouse, Butler, London, or Apron sinks, Belfast sinks are similar to undermounts (see above), and have the same requirements with reference to worktop materials, but - instead of being mounted to the underside of the worktop - sit on the cabinet beneath, and have an exposed front.

Most popular for traditional or classic look kitchens, most Belfast-style sinks are made of ceramic material - with overflow positions either being at the back, or as a weir to one side depending on the model - but there is a growing trend for these sinks in contemporary kitchens in finishes such as copper and gold.

Single bowl

Copper 1.0 Sink

There are a couple reasons why a single bowl sink is the best option for your kitchen; the first being worktop space, as single bowl sinks can come in compact sizes, reducing its overall footprint in the kitchen or extending the drainer area; the second is that the bowls are often bigger, so are great for filling or washing large pans and pots. If you have a dishwasher, then a single bowl sink is often enough for the food preparation needs.

Bowl and a half

Ellsi Elite 1.5 Bowl Sink In Copper or Gold

This configuration of this sink consists of one main bowl with a half-sized bowl next to it, and is often also referred to as a 1.5 bowl sink too. When the main bowl is already full of dishes or being used for food preparation, then having a second smaller bowl is often invaluable as somewhere to pour off water from a pan, or washing hands.