Kitchen Sink In Island – Pros And Cons

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a kitchen island can be the centerpiece of any kitchen.  One design dilemma you may face when choosing a kitchen island is whether or not you want your island to contain a sink. What are the pros and cons of a sink in the kitchen island? We have researched this question and have the answers you need to know in this post.

Pros of an Island Sink:

  • Open Sight Lines
  • Functionality
  • Aesthetics and View

Cons of an Island Sink:

  • Dishes are Visible
  • Lose Valuable Counter Space
  • Complicated to Install

Keep reading to learn more details about the pros and cons of having a sink in the kitchen island. This post will also discuss location, cost, and other factors when considering a kitchen sink in the island. Ultimately, make sure you think about the flow and function of your kitchen when making this decision.

Beautiful kitchen in new luxury home with large island, pendant lights, and granite tops. Kitchen Sink In Island - Pros And Cons

Pros of an Island Sink

Having a sink in the kitchen island is quickly becoming a popular design choice with homeowners, and we can see why. Let's look at some of the pros of having a sink in your kitchen island.

Beautiful kitchen in new luxury home with island, pendant lights, and hardwood floors

Open Sight Lines

Open floor plans are a huge trend in home design. Having a sink in the island allows you to work in your kitchen and keep an eye on what is going on in the next room. Island sinks work well for families with children or people who frequently entertain.

If you want to keep an eye on your young children playing, your older children hanging with their friends, or be a part of the action while entertaining, an island in the sink lets you be a part of everything that's happening around you.

You won't have to leave your guests alone or turn your back to them while cleaning up. Additionally, you can interact with people while getting your dishes and other work done.

Kitchen island with gray and white colors

The picture above shows an example of a kitchen sink in the island in an open concept home. As you can see, it would be easy to use the kitchen sink and easily interact and see others in the adjacent room.


Having a sink within the kitchen island makes it easily accessible from any direction or any appliance. Tasks such as food prep, peeling, chopping, and wiping down surfaces often require the use of the sink. Accessing the sink from any direction can greatly help with these chores.

Also, if you have enough counter space on each side of the island sink, you can do prep work on the island. This will free up your perimeter counters for other jobs and uses. This can make the day-to-day use of your kitchen much more functional and will optimize your space.

Interior of modern luxury kitchen in North American private residence.

In this example, the kitchen sink in the island can be easily accessed on all four sides. Furthermore, the appliances are relatively close to the sink, making this a functional use of space.

Aesthetics and View

Kitchen sinks are traditionally installed in kitchens directly underneath a window. This ensures there is nothing overhead or in the way while cleaning up. It can also provide an enjoyable view. However, every home isn't able to have a window in the kitchen.

Placing the sink in the island can still achieve those same objectives. There will be nothing hanging overhead to get in your way while cleaning up, and you will enjoy a view, usually into another room in your home.

Having a grand sink with a beautiful faucet can be a showstopper in the center of your kitchen. Everyone's focus will immediately be drawn to the center of your kitchen. Besides being beautiful and eye-catching,  a kitchen sink in your island can add symmetry and balance to your kitchen layout.

This beautiful farmhouse sink, located in the island, is a gorgeous centerpiece in this kitchen.

Cons of an Island Sink

While there are many pros to having a sink in your kitchen island, there are also some disadvantages you may want to consider. Let's take a look at some of the cons of having a sink in the kitchen island.

Dirty Dishes are Visible

Most people want to keep their kitchens free from clutter. But let's face it, dishes can often pile up when it's not possible to clean them right away. Having your big, beautiful sink right in the middle of the island can also mean seeing a pile of dirty dishes there as well. People can see dirty dishes much easier when your sink is located in the middle of your kitchen island.

Dirty or clean dishes piled up on a kitchen island can be unpleasant and can cause clutter on your island. If you constantly have dirty dishes in your sink and still want your sink in your island, consider having a raised bar seating area on your island. This will create a barrier that can hide your dirty dishes.

Hide any dirty dishes by installing a raised bar island like the one in the above photo.

Lose Valuable Counter Space

Placing a sink in the kitchen island can eat up a large chunk of counter space, and counter space is valuable in any kitchen. Kitchen islands are great for an area that has uninterrupted counter space and can be used for dining, serving, food prep, and more.

Placing a sink in the middle of the island may interrupt the flow of your island for certain tasks. It depends on the look or function you want to achieve. Furthermore, placing a sink in the middle of the kitchen island may not allow you to decorate or have room for any other items. Plan accordingly when making your choice.

Complicated to Install

Installing a sink in the island will mean your island will need to be equipped with the proper plumbing. If you are building a new house or doing a complete kitchen renovation, this process isn't too complicated.

On the contrary, if you want to add a kitchen sink to an existing island, it can be an ambitious and costly process. Deciding to have a sink in the island is one that you need to make upfront. Going back and adding one later is expensive and quite involved.

Where Should a Sink Be Placed in a Kitchen Island?

Ideally, you are going to want a usable amount of counter space on either side of your sink. According to Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, you should not put your kitchen sink at the edge of the island.

It seems like a good idea because then you have a large amount of uninterrupted counter space available. But, when you are doing dishes and cleaning up, water will be going over the counter, down the side of the island, and onto the floor.

The kitchen island should be at least 18 to 20 inches away from the edge. We recommend putting the sink in the middle of the island. You will still have ample counter space on either side of the sink to work with.

Beautiful kitchen room with green island and farmhouse sink.

This sink is located in the middle of this kitchen island.

How Deep Should an Island Be With a Sink?

A kitchen island should have a depth of at least 42 inches, according to This will give you enough space to have a sink properly installed. The length of your island will depend on how much space you need. Islands typically range anywhere between 6 and 14 feet.

How Much Does it Cost to Add a Sink to the Kitchen Island?

The cost will vary depending on the type of sink you install and how much your plumber charges for labor and installation. Keep in mind, if you are adding a kitchen sink to an existing island, you will have to install new pipes and plumbing.

Doing this can ruin your flooring, which you will also have to repair or replace. Adding a sink to an existing kitchen island can be a costly investment.

Can a Kitchen Island Have a Stove?

Yes! You can install a stove in a kitchen island if you have the proper surface, the correct amount of space, and ventilation. A full stove or just a cooktop can be integrated into a kitchen island.

Cooking area of a modern stylish kitchen with skillet on top of open stove

To Summarize

Hopefully, knowing some of the pros and cons of having a sink in the kitchen island will help you decide if this design would work best in your kitchen. The function and flow of your kitchen are unique to you, and the correct layout of your kitchen ultimately comes down to what works best for you.

For more ideas on kitchen design, click on the following links:

12 Types of Kitchen Islands

How Tall Is A Kitchen Island? [Dimensions Explored]

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