1. The size and profile can be cumbersome.
For starters, one downside is the amount of counter space consumed. A double-bowl unit can measure 40 or even 48 inches long (you can even buy a triple-bowl unit, which may be as long as 60 inches), and don’t forget that even more counter space is needed on both sides of the sinks for stacking unwashed and clean items. In a small kitchen, that’s a lot of real estate. “Here in San Francisco, people do the arithmetic and find that they just don’t have enough counter space to give away for two good-size bowls,” says Williams.
2. It eats up under-counter storage space.
Another minus: You’re also sacrificing under-counter storage space, since a sink base cabinet has no shelves or drawers. (And that garbage disposal takes up space.)
3. Ironically, it can mean less space for washing large items.
Finally, there’s the issue of sink size, especially when one bowl is smaller than the other. “It’s just annoying to have a second bowl that’s not very big,” says Williams. “It makes it hard to wash bulky items like roasting pans.” Some double-bowl units have a lower interior partition that makes cleaning large pots easier.
Is a single-bowl sink less expensive?
It can be. For example, a Kraus Undermount 33-Inch Double-Bowl Sink costs $299.95 at Home Depot, while same model as a single-bowl sink—the Kraus Undermount 32-Inch Single Bowl Sink—is slightly less expensive, at $224.95. Installation generally costs more for a double-bowl unit, and you may need two faucets.
Can I swap a single-bowl for a double-bowl sink?
That would depend on available counter space, obviously, and also on the cabinetry and countertop material. You’ll likely need to enlarge the cutout to accommodate the new unit, which will be more difficult with, say, a stone countertop in place.
Are there other ways to get the benefits of a double-bowl sink?
Here’s an old-school idea: simply drop a plastic basin into your single-bowl sink and fill it with water. Afterwards, empty it and store it under the sink.
Another option: Two single-bowl sinks installed in different spots, say one on the main countertop and one on an island. (See 10 Genius Double Sinks, Utility Edition for some ideas.) “A separate bar sink is great when you have two people who are active participants in the kitchen,” says Buttrick. If there’s room, you can even make the second sink a full-size one. There will be extra plumbing costs, but the busy cook will appreciate space opening up around the sink (and having an extra hand).
Trying to decide which kitchen sink is right for you? Consult our guides:
Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose your kitchen sink and faucet in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Sinks & Faucets.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 21, 2017.
Low-Divide Kitchen Sinks: What to Know Before You Buy
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ideas. For years, cooks who appreciated the merits of both single-basin sinks and double-basin models still were forced to choose between them—assuming they didn't have the kitchen space to install two sinks. It wasn't until 2006 that a U.S. sink manufacturer recruited a product designer to come up with an elegant solution.
This solution, called the low-divide or dual-capacitykitchen sink, provides two basins but with a center divider that rises only partway to the top of the basins. This may well be the sink for you.
Single-Basin and Double-Basin Sinks
A single-basin sink, as the name indicates, is just one big tub installed within your kitchen counter. It is perfect for washing giant casseroles, turkey pans, baking sheets, as well as for smaller items.
But the lack of a second basin means that there is no reserve of fresh water to rinse items. Also, many homeowners like to locate their dish-drying rack in the second basin to allow for water to drain right into the sink drain. No second basin means no sink space for a dish-drying rack. So, the dryer must be located on the countertop, taking up precious countertop space and sometimes making a watery mess.
Is the solution to have a sink with two basins? Partially. But in a double-basin sink, the individual basins are smaller—often too small to handle those big baking sheets. The washing side of the sink is much smaller than the baking sheet, the drying side may be too small to rack the pan, and the pan may not even fit under the faucet for rinsing. If you're lucky enough to have a hand-held sprayer kitchen faucet, you can spray it—but you may end up with water all over your kitchen countertop and the floor.
The other problem with full-rise sink dividers is that it's difficult to fit large pots underneath the faucet: the divider gets in the way.
Kohler's Dual Capacity Sink and the Third Zone
Even though it's now called the Smart Divide Sink, Kohler initially patented the idea in 2006 for what they then called a dual-capacity sink, meaning that one capacity is double-basin (soapy water in one side, clean in the other, for example) and single-basin (water all throughout).
As with most inventions, there are precedents. One early solution was a convertible sink that had a removable divider. But the convertible sink inventors didn't recognize that kitchen sinks get dirty; the grooves on the convertible sinks constantly became clogged with gunk.
Kohler felt that it made more sense to create a solid product that had no moving parts and no grooves to cause cleaning problems. So Kohler inventors Tod Babick, William Gordon, and Richard Kuether came up with the Smart Divide.
Kohler's plans originally allowed for a divider that was anywhere from 20-percent to 70-percent of the height of the outside rim of the sink. In other words, if the basin was 10 inches deep, the divider might be as low as 2 inches or as high as 7 inches. But this proved impractical, because a 2-inch high divider didn't allow for any room to fill up the separate basins, and 7 inches was nearly identical to a standard double-basin sink. When full, the single-basin (what Kohler calls The Third Zone) was nearly level with the outside rim of the sink. So Kohler designers settled on a divider that rises to 50 to 60 percent of the basin height.
Manufacturers of Low-Divide Sinks
- Kohler: Kohler developed the low-divide sink carrying the brand-name Smart Divide. It's made of enameled cast iron and comes in four models. Kohler provides the most choices in low-divide sinks, though they are also the most expensive.
- Elkay: U.S.-based brand Elkay makes a variety of low-divide sinks in stainless steel and quartz.
- Swanstone: Swanstone makes an under-mount sink with a low divider with its signature Swanstone material.
- Blanco: Blanco's Performa Silgranit is that company's low-divide sink series. The material is composed of 80-percent granite.
- Ruvati: Ruvati makes stainless steel low-divide sinks with a divider this is about 4 inches lower than the full height of the sink. There are both fifty-fifty sinks (both basins are of the same width), as well as sixty-forty sinks (with one basin occupying 60-percent, the other 40-percent, of the total sink width).
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Try these farmhouse sink divider insert options and turn your single basin into a double basin. Whether you want to maximize your current fixtures or buy new ones, here are some great ideas and alternatives.
You can also check out our farmhouse sink accessories guide, for even more functional additions.
What is This Feature?
Essentially, this feature is a removable partition that you can use to convert a single basin option to a double bowl option.
Normally, you can’t buy these partitions separately. Instead, you have to purchase a particular type of fixture that comes with one.
You may have seen them called combination bowl sink, or other, related names. They typically have two drains, despite being a single basin. With that, you can place the partition in the middle, and divide the basin in half.
In that sense, they’re actually similar to a farmhouse sink with low dividers. With these, the partition sits lower, so water can freely flow from one basin to the next.
With a removable partition though, you can completely separate the basins whenever you want. It’s a better blend of both basin types.
What is the Benefit of This Feature?
One issue with any apron front fixture, is that they tend to be single basin. There’s a lot of benefits to single basin fixtures, but there are a few downsides as well.
The biggest one is that it takes away the organizational ability that you get with two basins. Having two separate bowls allows you to divide tasks, which is a lot more functional when you’re cooking.
You can get some accessories that help with organization, such as a sink caddy, or organizer. However, these have their own downsides, and won’t work for every single basin option.
With a removable partition, you get to add back in that organizational ability. You can switch between the basin types, depending on what you need at any given time.
This gives you a freedom that you don’t typically get with fixtures.
Are there Combination Bowl Apron Front Options Available?
As stated, there are sinks that convert from one basin to two, and they’re relatively easy to find.
Unfortunately, the main option available isn’t in an apron front style. All options also tend to be stainless steel. If you want a different style or material you may not be able to find one.
A good alternative option is to consider a workstation instead. These fixtures are designed to hold multiple additions, including bins and strainers.
These are small, unfortunately, so they’re not exactly a basin replacement. But they’re still a good way to make a single basin more functional.
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These fixtures come in a wider range of styles and materials. Although, if you want an apron front, your selection will be more limited.
They also come with a lot of helpful accessories that you usually have to purchase separately, including:
For more information on these fixtures, you can check out our farmhouse workstation sink guide.
Can I Buy a Partition for My Current Fixtures?
Unfortunately, the short answer is no. There’s no way to purchase an acrylic glass sink divider that will exactly fit the basin of your existing fixtures.
For this to work, you’d have to be able to purchase the partition separately, almost like a replacement part. You’d also need to make sure that the dimensions of your fixture match that of the partition exactly. If they don’t the partition won’t hold back any water.
And even if you found or made a partition, that doesn’t mean it would function well. For most single basin options, there’s one drain, that sits centered in the basin.
That means you’d have to either sit the partition over the drain, or divide the basin unequally. And if you do divide it unequally, one side will be without a drain.
As you can see, it’s a complicated issue. The easier alternative is to simply add another basin.
If you really love the aesthetics and features of certain single basin options, there’s no reason to give that up. All you have to do is add in a basin when needed.
There are actually a number of options for portable, stowable basins. They’re designed to be used for washing, but you can also use them for other things like thawing and soaking.
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With these, you can place them in your single basin on the counter as needed. Then you can just stow them away when you’re done. They’re essentially the same as a removable sink divider, just larger.
The main downside to this is that it’s an extra hassle. In addition to the existing basin, you have to clean and dry the extra one as well.
However, it’s the perfect alternative if you really like your current fixture, or other single basin options.
Is a Farmhouse Sink with Divider Inserts Right for Me?
The reality is, there’s no concrete benefit to this feature. If you’re shopping for a new sink, you’re better off purchasing a regular option that suits you.
If you like the organization of a double basin option, then purchase one. They come in a variety of styles and materials, so you’ll be able to find one that matches your tastes.
Single basin options really only have benefits if you handle a lot of large items. They also have less surface area, which can make cleaning and maintenance easier.
If you want a single basin, or currently own one, it’s easier to just purchase a separate basin. Rather than focusing on getting a partition, use a portable basin that you can remove whenever you want.
If you’re still looking to update your fixtures, another option is to go with a workstation instead. These can come with strainers, bins, drying racks, and even cutting boards. In that sense, they’re the most functional option available.
Alternative Divider for Farmhouse Sink Options
Sometimes it’s not easy to decide between a single or double basin fixture. There are benefits and downsides to each, and often, the best solution is to have a little of each.
Luckily, there are ways to blend the two options together. With a double basin option, getting one with a lower partition is a great alternative.
For a single basin option, there are a lot of great ways to provide more organization. You can purchase an additional basin, or go with a workstation.
So if a farmhouse sink divider insert won’t work for you, consider any of the great alternatives available.
1 or 2 bowl kitchen sink Dawn removable divider--gimick or great idea?
One of the things I like about single bowl sinks is there is one drain. That provides: (1) less bulky plumbing under the sink, so more room for storage; and (2) if you have a disposal, but have a two bowl sink, one of the drain's strainer is filled with slimy stuff you will have to pull out and dump into the side with the disposal. I don't like that. And it always seems that whatever side you installed the disposal on, you wish you had installed it on the other side. Go figure.
So the sink you pictured does not have the 2 advantages I just mentioned that come from having one drain.
Having said that, it sounds like a good idea for people who really don't want to give up two bowls, but want the spaciousness of a one bowl sink, and have resorted to a single bowl sink and a dishpan (I have not done this, but just used the dishwasher, but that is me). What you have pictured in your OP should be better than a dishpan.
Bowl sink single divider kitchen
.Top 5 Best Single Bowl Kitchen Sink - Best Undermount Kitchen Sinks
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