If you’re lucky to have a spacious kitchen, you have a lot of space to arrange according to your idea. The kitchen is the central hub of every home and a place where you spend a lot of time. So you should make it cozy, well-organized, and functional, and make the most of the available space.
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One of the essential elements in every kitchen is the sink. It’s where the preparation of every meal begins and ends, and it’s almost always in high demand. That’s why it’s occupied most of the time, whether with a pile of plates or food waste (when connected to garbage disposal). And when it’s loaded, you can’t even wash an apple there.
For such situations, a secondary sink, also known as a bar or prep through, comes in handy. It’s a smaller washbasin that often has extra space where you can prepare food and do other tasks that will relieve the main sink. It comes in handy when you need to rinse, quick wash or chop something, cool bottled drinks or cans, or simply remove scraps and waste after food prep.
Washbasin Style and Configuration
Prep sinks are generally smaller than standard sinks and can be found in different shapes. This element should suit your kitchen not only aesthetically but also functionally. Of course, you have to find the model whose configuration and size will match the countertop size. This element should make the most of available space, not to make it cramped.
For example, a round basin looks really attractive, but it doesn’t leave you too much space around it. That’s not convenient, especially for small kitchens where every inch matters. In that case, square sinks are a better solution. Narrow configurations can easily fit into smaller spaces, for example, between kitchen appliances or islands.
A unique form of these kitchen elements is the so-called entertaining throughs. They are used for rinsing, quick and fast meal prep, and holding the ice when you need to cool the drinks. Although there are standardized prep washbasin forms, such as square, oval, or round, you can always go with a custom shape that fits your kitchen best.
Prep throughs come in the same materials as regular sinks, only in smaller dimensions. You have to choose a material that complements your kitchen style and meets your maintenance needs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same material as your regular sink, but for the sake of aesthetics, these two should be complementary. Also, the prep through finish should match the nearby fixtures for a uniform, classic look.
Stainless steel, composite, ceramic, cast iron, and porcelain are mostly used for these elements. These materials all have pros and cons, and their choice will depend on your needs and how you use the secondary sink. Also, your budget matters.
Although all these materials are suitable for kitchen use, some are more delicate, while others are more robust. Stainless steel is the choice of many homeowners because it’s durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains and scratches. Although the cheapest, these sinks seem to be the best value for money.
Ceramic models are also durable and resistant to scratching, but they are much heavier and more expensive. Porcelain washbasins have a phenomenal aesthetic but aren’t suitable for heavy use. Cast iron sinks come coated with enamel, which allows them to withstand high heat but makes them prone to scratches.
The choice of kitchen washbasin, whether primary or secondary, must be guided by some existing conditions. For example, if you already have installation holes in the kitchen, it is best to choose a prep through that meets the existing installation requirements. That way, you won’t have to make additional modifications, which require extra time and costs.
Two installation types differ depending on whether you mount the washbasin on or under the countertop. The first is a drop-in model installed in a pre-cut hole, so the placement is simple and cheap. In fact, it can even be a DIY project, saving you extra money. Here’s how to do it.
Undermount prep sinks go under the countertop so they visually form a whole. But that’s not just a benefit for your kitchen aesthetic but functionality, too. Since the seams aren’t visible on the countertop, crumbs, and water can’t get under the basins. Also, seamless edges enable easier cleaning of both the sink and the space around it.
A prep through that represents a unique detail in every kitchen is farmhouse sinks. These are models with an exposed front, meaning they’re attached to the countertop on three sides and usually require special cabinetry. In order for this element to be stable, the installation must be done by a professional.
Accessories and Features
Considering that the prep through serves as an aid to the main sink, they should be well equipped. In general, you can have them as an ordinary sink that you will use when you need to wash or drain something quickly. But these sinks also come with a variety of accessories that will fully customize your kitchen experience.
You choose accessories for the bar sink based on your needs, but some are universally useful, such as soap dispensers or dedicated water filters. And a prep sink perfect for the bar area can also hold drain racks and cutting boards. These can lie over a washbasin and thus additionally save space.
Connecting your prep sink to a garbage disposal is a smart move, as you’ll probably use this element to hold scraps, junk, and food leftovers. That way, you can safely dispose of your waste without making a mess. Plus, running water through garbage disposal eliminates unpleasant smells and prevents clogging due to food and grease deposits.
The prep sink is a handy kitchen element to have, as it’s like a regular washbasin, just smaller in size.. You can install it even out of this room, for example, in patio or basement. It usually comes with handy accessories,so you can equip this space well.