3 Expert Tips To Choose A Utility Sink

Utility sinks (also known as laundry sinks) are making a big comeback. They allow you to bypass the high electricity consumption of automatic washers and creates a place where (in an eco-friendly manner) you can wash those items that you would never dream to wash in your automatic washer or kitchen sink.

Beware though: there are many different options, so before buying read the tips below.

What is the first thing I should do before buying a utility sink?

Before you choose a utility sink, grab your favorite drink, sit down somewhere quiet and start asking yourself a couple of questions:

  • What is your budget? This will to a large extent determine what type of sink you will be able to buy.
  • What type of cleaning do you plan to do? Do you plan to regularly wash large items, or will the sink mainly be used to wash the poodle's blanket now and again?
  • How much space do you have in the utility room/laundry? Is this room big enough to accommodate separate storage cabinets, or would you like to store stuff such as washing powder and cleaning materials under the sink?
  • How are your DIY skills? Would you prefer to buy something that requires the minimum of installation, or are you able to handle a fairly large DIY job, or willing to pay someone to do it?
  • How important are aesthetics to you? Let's face it, a stainless steel sink isn't most interior decorators' favorite choice.

Which type of laundry sink is the best?

This depends on your particular needs. Below we list the pros and cons of the different types of laundry sinks

Floor-mounted or free-standing laundry sinks

This type of sink consists of a big double-basin or single-basin that has its own legs. The legs either come separately, or they are already attached to the sink. This is a good choice if you are looking for the most inexpensive, basic option. The majority of free-standing sinks don't cost much more than a pair of good jeans. With basins as deep as 24 inches, they are able to accommodate fairly large items such as jackets or bedsheets.

Another plus is that, even if you are not a DIY enthusiast, you should easily be able to install this type of sink. It only has to be connected to the plumbing lines and secured to the back wall.

White Vitreous China Freestanding Laundry Sink
Polypropylene Freestanding Laundry Sink with Faucet
Stainless Steel Freestanding Laundry Sink With Faucet
Black Metal Plastic Free Standing Utility Sink
White Freestanding Sanitation And Laundry Sink
Stainless Steel Free Standing Laundry Sink

Wall-mounted laundry sinks

These have to be attached directly to one of the walls in the laundry/utility room. Because of weight restrictions, they have to be directly attached to the wall studs you should find behind the drywall. This is a good choice if you have limited space in your laundry or utility room because the fact that they are raised above the floor creates a fair amount of space below the basin.

Polypropylene Wall Mount Laundry Sink With Faucet
Cast Iron Wall Mounted Laundry Sink
White Cast Iron Wall Mounted Service Sink
Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Handwash Station With Faucet
Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Laundry Sink
Plastic Stone Wall Mounted Laundry Sink

Base-cabinet mounted laundry sinks

Essentially this is a combination of a laundry sink and a bathroom vanity cabinet. It features a fairly basic cabinet with doors on the bottom, and a sink on top. This will be your best choice if you would like to give your laundry room a clean, uncluttered look, because not only can you store items such as washing powder or other cleaning material in the cabinet, but it also hides the ugly lower plumbing.

Take into account though that the capacity of this type of sink is normally not more than 15 gallons, compared to the 20 gallons of a wall-mounted or free-standing sink. If you will regularly be washing large items, this might not be your best choice.

Pure White Cabinet Laundry Sink With Faucet
Portable Cabinet Handwash Station With Faucet
Stainless Steel Laundry Sink Cabinet With Faucet
White Cabinet Laundry Sink With Faucet
Single Laundry Cabinet With Faucet
Espresso Cabinet Stainless Steel Laundry Sink

Under-mount or drop-in utility sinks

Also referred to as self-rimming, this type of sink is attached to the counter-top of an existing base cabinet. They have to be inserted from the top into a hole that was cut into the counter-top before they can be attached to the bottom of said top.

Such a sink will be a good choice for people who prefer their sink to aesthetically blend in with the rest of the laundry room. They are also a great choice if you plan to use the laundry sink very often, because of the fact that the sink is directly next to the loads of workspace provided by the counter-top.

Take into account though that, similar to their cabinet-mounted counterparts, under-mount sinks are quite long and wide, but fairly shallow - so they might not be the best option if you plan to regularly wash large items such as duvets or other bedding.

Single Stainless Steel Drop In Service Sink
White Plastic Drop In Service Sink
Stainless Steel Undermount Laundry Sink
Brushed Nickel Stainless Steel Drop In Laundry Sink
Metallic Gray Drop In Undermount Laundry Sink
Cast Iron Undermount Drop In Service Sink

Which type of material should I choose for a utility sink?

Think carefully about this one: not only will it affect the functionality of the sink you buy, but also its cost, appearance and even how much noise it makes when you fill it up with water.

  • Stainless steel sinks are easy to clean and lightweight. They are also one of the least expensive options, so if you don't mind a somewhat industrial look and you want something that is easy on the pocket, this will be a good choice.
  • China or porcelain sinks have an upmarket beauty and shine to them that actually make them a bit too nice for the average laundry or utility room. They are, however, easy to clean and also heat resistant. Take into account though that they can not withstand the same amount of wear and tear as e.g. stainless steel sinks.
  • Acrylic sinks are durable yet lightweight. Within limits, they are also quite resistant to stains and scratches. Like their stainless steel counterparts, however, they make a fair amount of noise when you fill them with water.

    These sinks are available in a wide variety of colors, so if the aesthetics and interior design aspects of your utility room are important to you, they deserve consideration.

    If you plan to regularly dump very hot water down the sink you might want to take into account that acrylic is not as heat resistant as something like stainless steel. They are one of the cheapest options on the market though, so if your budget is limited they remain a good choice.

  • Cast iron sinks have become quite popular over the years. This type of sink is manufactured from cast iron that is afterwards coated in enamel. The end product truly deserves the 'heavy-duty' label. It can easily deal with high water temperatures and years of heavy usage. Over time the enamel might chip, exposing the metal beneath. Left exposed the latter will rust over time, so re-glazing the sink might be necessary from time to time.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.