Kitchen sinks Top mount versus Flush mount

In the process of renovating our 20+ year kitchen. I am looking for a smaller footprint sink, either 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 bowl, but I cannot decide (more overwhelmed with what’s out there) with top mounting or flush mounting. Currently have a stainless steel single bowl with drainboard on either side 1.5 metres total length. I would appreciate the communities thoughts on either and if I should consider a drainboard.


My kitchen has a corner sink (bad idea) that has only one draining board as part of the sink. I’m currently on third version of a ‘portable’ draining board that sits on the bench on the other side of the sink; it sits there 24x7. It is harder to keep clean than if I had gone for a sink with two built-in draining boards (one each side).
I look forward to one day having a straight sink (1.5 bowls) that has two draining boards as part of the stainless steel sink.


We’ve done two kitchen makeovers, plus rented plus built plus …

Our preference for a couple is a 1+1/2 or 1 +3/4, and a single side drainer. You can use the smaller side for rinsing hand wash ups or for saving water when only a few items. A dish washer for us takes most of the load. Perhaps if we had deliberately dumped all our appliances and utensils that are not DW suitable a single might be ok. It’s really handy to have a cutting board or what ever you call it to sit over one of the two sink bowls. It adds valuable kitchen bench space. The second bowl is great for placing a container to collect the scraps for the compost.

There are various options for top or flush mount. We’re happy with Oliveri pressed stainless top mount designs. Easy to clean. Close enough to be flush. Aside from designer ‘on trend’ fashion, our greatest complaint with any sink and kitchen bench is getting the height right. Too low in the sink or on the bench is hard on the back. Decide wisely.


is very important.

I specified a benchtop height higher than ‘normal’ to cabinet makers when getting quotes. They all moaned about making it ‘non-standard’ and tried to tell me I was wasting my time because they would add the height at the kick panel and not make the useable space in the cupboard under the kitchen benches any taller!
Pleased with end result of having bench tops higher off the floor including where the sink (Oliveri ss) is mounted.
Remember that there is a minimum distance required between cooktop and range hood when considering the height of benchtop containing cooktop.

Currently redesigning laundry and I am going to have the new ss laundry tubs put into a ss frame so that they are at correct height for me (in laundry I reckon that means when standing normally without bending over, my hands can reach the bottom of laundry tub when doing hand washing of certain items).


The questions to ask yourself is

  1. What do I like with my current single bowl with drainboard?

List these. These are things you possibly should look for in your new sink.

  1. What don’t I like about my current sink?

List these. These are things you should see if they can be ‘fixed’ by the new sink.

  1. What will I use the sink for?
  • Washing dishes and cookware?
  • Preparing food?

If you plan to wash up, you will need a place to sit the dishwashing rack. Dishwashing racks need to drain somewhere.

If you plan to prepare foods, small bowls can be constraining if you peel potatoes, prepare meals for a number of people for example.

  1. What is the largest thing I will regularly place in the sink?

  2. What size sink will fit into the kitchen?

If you think everything will go in a dishwasher, usually everything doesn’t such as larger pots and pans, good/valuable china or other items not recommended for dishwashers.

The above will determine what size you need and whether you need a drainboard (either part of the sink or part of the moulded bench surface.

Once you have these answers, the selection will be cosmetic, based on price and what is available which suits your needs.

Also think if you sold the house, what would a new homebuyer like.

There are many very small sinks which look great, but are impractical. There are large sinks which aren’t as beautiful but may be more functional and take up more bench space.

Sinks can be inserts sitting on the bench, mounted under the bench, moulded into the bench or sit in and through the bench (like sinks in a farmhouse kitchen sink). They can be made in a range of materials, all which have advantages or disadvantages.

Sink bowl selection and drainboards are often a personal choice dependent on one’s needs. It is important your new sink meets this outcome otherwise you will be disappointed and wished you had installed something else.


We have a ‘pro-sumer’ (almost commercial sized) Oliveri undermount. There was some ‘decorator statement’ in the origins and admittedly it depends on how and how much one washes up, but products like this work OK for us. Over time we discovered few of our friends were aware of the variety of options to replace the classic stainless sink w/integrated drain board.

This type mat is very absorbent, usually dries in situ, or can be hung on the line.

There are also silicon versions with their own features.

We also have a product like this over one of the sinks for the very wet ones.

When not in use they can all be stored.


Using a Dish Drying Mat removes the need of space-taking big drainboards
with bulky dish-racks on top. Using one on the other side of my small sink and drainboard has doubled my space.

Also, those mats are machine washable and there’s even an antibacterial option.


Did you mean undermount and flush mount?
I am in the process of renovating the kitchen as well. I decided on using a 1 3/4 double s/s sink top mounted. Undermount sinks have a tendency to allow water to damage the benchtops. See link.


Is your benchtop stone or laminate? If laminate, you may want to opt for a topmount sink that includes a hole for the mixer/tap. That avoids cutting an additional hole in the benchtop that could potentially be damaged by water.


Our home has a Corian 1 & ½ sinks moulded into the benchtop so it is one integrated unit. Even the splashback behind the sink and benches is moulded as part of the unit. Brilliant!


My next kitchen is going to have stainless steel benchtops with stainless steel sink welded into it. No seams for water to sit in, nowehere for mould to grow.

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