Kitchen sink layout: Undermount or inset?

There are two main ways a sink can fit into your kitchen: undermount and inset.

  • Undermount sinks
Undermount sinks

An undermount sink sits just below the surface of your worktop. This creates a sleek, minimalist look and makes it even easier to clean up, as you can just sweep any crumbs from food prep directly into the bowl!

However, it's important to keep in mind these types of sinks aren't compatible with laminate countertops, as the gap between the work surface and the sink leaves a section of the countertop exposed. A timber or granite worktop will support an undermount sink, and finish off your kitchen in style.

  • Inset sinks
Inset sinks

An inset sink – also known as a surface mount sink – fits into a section of your countertop so the edges sit just above the work surface. These types of sinks are compatible with all different kinds of worktop materials, and can be found in styles that perfectly suit ultra-modern and traditional kitchens.

Which size sink should I choose for a small kitchen?

Sink size

Finding the right sized sink will always depend on the available room in your kitchen, but there are options even if you're low on space:

  • Single bowl: This is exactly what it sounds like – one bowl with a single drain, available in a range of shapes – ideal for small kitchens with little counterspace.
  • Single bowl with a drying area: A single sink that has a tray set beside it that can be used as a drying area – ideal for small kitchens that don't have a dishwasher.
  • 1.5 bowl: The unit has two drains in total, one in a full-sized bowl and another in a smaller, half-sized bowl, which is useful for rinsing or washing smaller items – ideal for kitchens with a limited layout but generous counterspace.

When choosing a sink, think about which facilities you'll need the most each day – will you often need room to dry big loads, or can you sacrifice counterspace to have an extra half-bowl that you'll put to use?

Decide which features you'll benefit from the most and think about if there will definitely be enough room.

Small sinks: Shape and style

Shape and style

Beyond size, the right shape can make a big difference in determining how well your sink integrates into your kitchen.

If you're really stuck for space, a circular or oval-shaped sink takes up less room than a rectangular bowl, and may fit more comfortably into awkward paces. These sinks are also available with an extra-deep bowl, so you don't lose out on much-needed elbow room.

However, most sinks come in a range of rectangular shapes, and the length and depth can make a big difference in determining which one is right for your layout, and finding a sink that does a lot in a small footprint.

If you only have space for a small sink, look for one that has generous depth so you can maximise on washing-up area. Alternatively, if you don't have much spare room beneath your worktops to accommodate a deep bowl, a longer, shallower option might be a better choice.

Shape and style small kitchen

Having a small kitchen doesn't need to stop you from finding a sink that suits your taste and lifestyle – and who knows, with the right style, you might even start to look forward to doing the dishes!

Once you've picked out a sink that you love, you can sit back and relax as it's professionally fitted into your kitchen. We provide expert installation services, so you can have peace of mind that your sink will look and function perfectly.