Kitchen sink ideas - Grand Designs Magazine
kitchen sink ideas: handmade fireclay butler sink

10 stylish kitchen sink ideas

Make washing up and food prep a pleasure with designs that combine good looks and practicality

By Paula Woods |

These kitchen sink ideas will help you find the right fit and functionality for your self-build or renovation. Whether you’re looking for something compact, classic or contemporary, take a look at these popular kitchen sink types.

1. Integrated sink

For a seamless finish, choose a composite worksurface where the sink can be moulded from the same material, like this Integrity Due quartz composite model in Calacatta Gold with matching surfaces from Silestone by Cosentino. It’s sleek and easy to clean, as there are no seams for dirt to get trapped in.

Integrated kitchen sink in white composite worksurface in modern apartment

Integrity Due quartz composite sink in Calacatta Gold from Silestone by Cosentino

2. Multi-functional design

Some sinks do more than just provide a place to wash up. Franke and 1810 offer models with fitted accessories such as chopping boards. This Etagon 8 Silgranit undermount sink in anthracite from Blanco has an internal ledge for a pair of rails on which to rest pots, chopping boards and colanders.

multifunctional kitchen sink with integrated chopping board and pan rests

Etagon 8 Silgranit undermount sink in anthracite from Blanco

3. Reclaimed stone

If you’re looking for more unique kitchen sink ideas, search salvage yards and reclamation dealers for vintage and one-off pieces, like this reclaimed Yorkshire stone sink from eBay. Here, it’s been paired with bespoke kitchen cabinets and a zinc aged worksurface and splashback from Hush Kitchens.

reclaimed stone kitchen sink from ebay

Yorkshire stone sink from eBay with bespoke cabinets, worksurface and splashback from Hush Kitchens

4. Composite kitchen sink

A sink made with a composite material such as Keratek, which is formed from ceramic nanoparticles and acrylic resins, will withstand high temperatures, resist stains and scratches, and have antibacterial properties. Multa 130 flush, inset or undermount sink by Reginox from Victorian Plumbing.

durable and easy to clean composite kitchen sink

Multa 130 sink by Reginox from Victorian Plumbing

5. Belfast sink

Ceramic sinks work with both traditional and modern kitchen designs, and the Belfast – so called because it was originally designed in Belfast – is a classic design. The Bora ceramic double Belfast sink below is available to buy in Wren showrooms as part of a kitchen package.

double belfast sink in white with forest green Shaker cabinets and gold swan neck tap

Bora ceramic double Belfast sink from Wren

Butler vs Belfast sinks

What’s the difference between a butler and a Belfast sink? Belfast sinks tend to be narrower and deeper, while butler sinks are wider, so pick the style that suits your needs and space best. Discuss with your kitchen designer whether you want a flush or a proud fit – while flush-fitted Belfast or butler sinks will look more streamlined, a proud overhang will help avoid water running down your cabinets when using the sink.

6. Handmade fireclay

A handmade fireclay sink, like the Gallery metallic gold fireclay butler sink from Shaws, is chip, heat and stain resistant and will last a lifetime. It must be fitted into a cabinet that’s strong enough to bear the weight.

chip, heat and stain resistant handmade fireclay butler sink with gold taps

Gallery metallic gold fireclay butler sink from Shaws

7. Carrara marble

A Carrara marble sink must be sealed and periodically resealed to reduce its porosity. Even so, it will mark and develop character over time. This Tuscan Farmhouse Carrara marble model is paired with aged brass Mayan taps, both from Devol.

Cararra marble sink in farmhouse style with brass taps

Tuscan Farmhouse Carrara marble sink paired with aged brass Mayan taps from Devol

8. Semi-recessed design

A semi-recessed sink protrudes slightly forward of the cabinet it’s mounted on and its front wall is on show. As so much of the design is visible it can be used to create an eye-catching feature. Semi-recessed sink with divider, rail and arched spout taps in burnished brass from Officine Gullo.

semi-recessed double sink in brass with matching taps and integrated towel rail

Semi-recessed sink with taps and rail in burnished brass from Officine Gullo

9. Inset kitchen sink

An inset sink is easy to install, it simply sits in a hole cut out of the worksurface with its overlapping rim resting on top. This compact Tenby single bowl fireclay ceramic design with drainer from Rangemaster fits into a 500mm cabinet.

compact white inset kitchen sink with draining board from rangemaster

Tenby single bowl fireclay ceramic sink with drainer from Rangemaster

10. Metallic model

Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) is a thin metal coating that’s durable and vibrant, and particularly effective with metallic designs. This Mode 45 inset or undermount brushed stainless steel PVD sink in gold is paired with a Joya 3-in-1 hot water tap, both from Caple.

gold metallic kitchen sink with pink kitchen cabinets

Mode 45 brushed stainless steel PVD sink with Joya 3-in-1 hot water tap, both from Caple

How to choose a kitchen sink

Chris Spink, founder of Hush Kitchens, offers his expert advice for those considering various kitchen sink ideas.

  • A deep design measuring around 700-800mm wide has room for washing or filling bigger pots and saucepans.
  • In a smaller room consider an undermounted 340-600mm design or a circular sink, which takes up less worksurface space, as does a corner model.
  • Copper, brass and stainless steel sinks have natural antimicrobial properties, as do many made from composite materials. Non-porous sintered stone and solid surface materials leave nowhere for dirt and bacteria to linger.
  • For a traditional scheme, try a butler or Belfast sink. Choose the best quality fireclay ceramic to avoid the risk of chips or cracking with heavy use. Or consider metal and composite models, such as Abode’s stainless steel Belfast sink and Blanco’s composite granite Vintera.