How many of us have stared longingly out the window while doing the dishes—wishing we could take in some sunshine instead? The two are not at odds anymore: with an outdoor sink, you can get water from the tap for anything you need, and enjoy the summer breeze at the same time!
Whereas an ordinary sink will come in a variety of materials, one that is intended for the outdoors will have to me made of a material that can contend with sun, rain and wind. Popular choices include stainless steel, copper, granite composite and ceramic. Each will come with its own challenges (granite is extremely heavy, ceramic is not so durable, copper can be hard to match in color, and so on), so this may require careful thinking on your part.
Aside from the need to be extra resilient, outdoor sinks have roughly the same distinctive features as their indoor counterparts, as you can see:
This may come down to aesthetic preference, but also to space needs and purpose. Bar style sinks are invariably one bowl and fairly small, which makes them good for situations where space is at a premium, but at a cost: pretty much all they’re good for is washing hands and filling glasses.
Kitchen sinks are bigger: even a single bowl will be enough to do the dishes and fill pans; it will also leave more counter margin for placing dishes or kitchen tools; double-bowl, on the other hand, allows you to multitask: you can, for example, set a pot down for filling in one bowl while you do dishes on the other.
Not large enough? Then try farmhouse: these are of a single bowl, but it is so spacious it might at times resemble a tub.
Undermount VS Drop-In
Your choice here will largely depend on what you favor: aesthetics or functionality. Drop-in sinks, the most common variety, are placed on top of the counter, and therefore have an extra edge that may be too unsightly for some tastes. Undermount, on the other hand, gets attached to the underside of the counter. This means no edges, but also means more complicated installation and, on average, a higher price tag.
In a hurry to buy and not sure what choice speaks to you? Planning a remodel in the future? Then get a dual mount sink; this variety can be installed as a drop-in or undermount, depending on taste and the particular features of the surrounding counter (undermount requires stronger materials to be attached to, so they will bear the weight properly)
First, something that should not be overlooked: since this is a fixture that will spend its life outside, it should be accordingly made to withstand the elements; if you’re buying something with a finish (brass faucets, for example, often come with one), said finish should be appropriately resilient.
With that out of the way, here are some of the types you can expect to find:
Gooseneck: High arch spout, capable of swiveling—which makes it ideal for double-bowl sinks. Sometimes includes a deck mounted sprayer mounted on its own faucet.
Pull-Out/Pull-Down: Their chief principle is the same, namely, a sprayer that you can pull; what varies, is the direction and the range. Pull-Down is only intended to reach as far as the bottom of the bowl, whereas the pull-out variety comes with a larger hose and can be brought to spray the opposite bowl or to the counter.
Pot-filler: This one comes with joints that allow it to extend or reduce its reach, sort of like an arm, which is great for placing the spout (and the stream of water) right where you need it to fill any size of pot you may require.
Pre-rinse: Tall and fitted with a spring-held hose, they have decent range and several settings for spraying strength, which makes them well suited for working with pots and pans.
- Wash Your Hands, And More: A Few Good Ones
Here we present you with a selection of sinks that might very well make it into your outdoor kitchen.
1. Houzer A1722-7BS-1 ADA Glowtone
This one is built in 22 gauge T-304 stainless steel, and you can expect it to endure the elements quite well. Although the gauge used is not so thick as that of other options out there, it is generally hailed as a solid sink that can even be used confidently in RV kitchens. The rim features a high polished finish, and the super silencer pad comes with StoneGuard coating underneath, for optimal noise cancelation. 3 holes, fits cabinets 21″ in size.
- Includes basket strainer.
- A good choice for smaller kitchens.
- Installation instructions often found lacking.
- Frequent issue with wobbly faucets.
2. Ruvati RVH8304
The T-304 stainless steel used in its construction is gauge 16, one of the thickest you can find without investing too much. What may be one of the biggest selling points of this one is that it can double as a perfectly serviceable countertop, by inserting the included cutting board at the top of the sink. The finish used here is brushed, which might provide a unique visual touch to the area it is in, in contrast to the satin finish that is so commonly seen in the market.
- Available in several sizes and configurations.
- Sharp 90° angle at the corners make it difficult to thoroughly clean.
3. Kraus KP1TS25S-1 Pax
Available as a single bowl, double bowl, or in a version optimized for your laundry room, you can also buy it in several sizes, which gives you plenty of wiggle room should you feel inclined towards this model. Material is T-304 stainless steel, 16-gauge, which means no worries about this one getting dents that easily. There’s no cause for concern when it comes to noise level, either, as 80% of the sink comes covered in extra-thick rubber pads; a special coating at the underside prevents condensation.
- Quite silent when in use.
- Finish is reportedly prone to stains.
4. Outsunny Portable Folding Camping Sink Table with Faucet and Dual Water Basins, 40”
If you’re looking that won’t require complex installation and which you might even take along on your next outing, then this one merits a closer look: it’s made in extremely similar fashion to a folding table, can be carried in the same manner, and will provide you with running water as long as you have a hose you can hook in. Ruler and garbage clamp are included, so you can turn it into a workstation in a blink of an eye.
- As portable as a sink can be.
- Versatile: good for cleaning fish and also as a picnic table.
- Extremely shallow bowls limit its usefulness with true kitchen tasks.
5. SOMRXO Topmount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Workstation, 28”x22”
This one might be the one if you like having as much working space as possible: available in 3 sizes and 2 configurations, it doesn’t want for accessories, as it comes with cutting board, roll up rack, colander, 2 basket strainers, and 2 bottom rinse grids, so there won’t be any friction on the sink when dishes are set down, washed and so on. The non-toxic primer prevents condensation that might otherwise damage the cabinetry, and the attached rubber pads reduce noise while working. Brushed finish.
- Plenty of options for the workspace enthusiast.
- Mounting brackets reportedly too weak; keeping the sink in place after installation might require other means.
- The One That Sinks The Rest: Ruvati RVH8304
Since it’s made in 16 gauge stainless steel, it won’t bent, it won’t suffer under the elements, and it also won’t just work as a sink: choose the configuration that better suits your needs, and you can have from a cutting board to a mixing bowl, keeping space usage to an absolute minimum. Although not included in the package, there’s no shortage of accessories you can acquire to expand the use you give to your sink. There’s no need to worry about the noise, as it comes padded to mitigate sound, and the brushed finish and sharp edges give it a remarkably modern look. Your outdoor kitchen shall thank you!