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Do I Need a Prep Sink?

The kitchen sink serves a role for both preparation and clean up. A separate prep sink is used for rinsing food during preparation, clean up and disposing of food waste. Does it make sense to install prep sink in your kitchen? To decide this, you need to answer a few questions about how you use your kitchen. Do you often have more than one person working in the kitchen at a time? When preparing a meal is your main sink often full of dishes? Do people cut in your way to wash their hands or rinse something off while you are using the sink? If you answered 'yes' to any of these, then a prep sink is probably a good idea. Another reason you might want a prep sink is if you feel the main sink area isn't clean enough for fresh food preparation, after all plates that held raw meat, dirty dishes and a variety of kitchen waste ends up in there.

Prep Sink
Kohler Prep Sink K-14300

Further Thoughts on Installing a Prep Sink:

A prep sink can also be just a second smaller bowl in the main sink. Instead of a single bowl main sink, use a two bowl sink with the second bowl used as a prep sink. This doesn't solve the problem of two people needing the faucet at the same time, but it requires less space and expense than a completely separate prep sink.

If you do put in a prep sink, it should have a waste disposal. Prep sinks are used a lot for rinsing and preparing fruits and vegetables. The cut off bits can go down the drain if there is a disposal, otherwise, they have to be scooped up and thrown in the trash.

A prep sink should have a faucet; one with a pull-out or side sprayer is even better. We recommend choosing a one handled faucet that you can operate by bumping it instead having to turn a handle, in case your hands are full. You might also consider putting a filtered water faucet here, because this sink may be cleaner and possibly a more convenient location for someone to get a glass of drinking water.

A prep sink is often used as a hand washing station, so installing a soap dispenser might be a useful feature here.

If you do install a prep sink, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommends counter space on either side of the sink, specifically 24" to one side and 18" to the other. However, from my personal experience, I installed my sink right at the edge of the island, so there is about 4" on one side and the rest of the island on the other, and location is ideal for us, it doesn't waste any space and it very easy for people to access without getting in my way.

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