Or perhaps you’d like a secondary sink to give you more versatility and make the most out of your prep space.
Whatever your reason for looking for a bar sink, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about bar sinks.
We’ll start by talking about what, exactly, a bar sink is and how it’s different from a regular kitchen sink. Then we’ll look at the different types of bar sinks and go over how to choose the right bar sink for your needs.
Then we’ll get to the fun part: our reviews of the top five bar sinks currently on the market. You can get a sneak peek at the list below but for now, let’s dive into the basics.
Also called a wet bar sink, entertainment sink, or sometimes a prep sink, a bar sink can be an eye-catching and practical addition to your home.
But what exactly is a bar sink? Bar sinks have a smaller footprint than your standard kitchen sink.
They are generally shallower as well, though some do have a deep basin. They’re generally intended for washing glasses and other small dishes or for food prep work, hence the small size.
Most, but not all, bar sinks use a standard size drain opening that allows them to work with a garbage disposal.
Single bowl bar sinks are by far the norm. Two basins are seldom needed for a bar sink and a divider cuts the small size of a bar sink into much less practical sections.
In short, bar sinks are the difference between a dry bar and a wet bar, and they’re a great way to take your home bar to the next level. But even though “bar” is in the name, bar sinks can be useful for more than just home bars.
Bar sinks are typically not intended to be a replacement for a kitchen sink but can be used that way if you have limited space. Just know that it will make it tricky to wash larger dishes.
On the other hand, bar sinks are great for helping preserve a limited amount of counter space in a kitchen or home bar.
Even for larger kitchens, a bar sink is a great addition to a kitchen island, kitchen bar, or other kitchen counters to add versatility and functionality to your space.
A second sink allows you to keep one sink free even as dishes pile up in the other, allows two people to cook at the same time more easily, and gives you more options for washing hands, getting water, or pouring out liquids. You can even fill your bar sink with ice and use it to chill wine or other beverages while still leaving you with an accessible sink.
Finally, bar sinks can also act as small utility sinks in a laundry room, garage, mudroom, or other space.
There are three main categories of bar sinks, based on how they’re installed.
Top mount sinks, also called drop-in sinks, are simply placed inside the cutout in the counter. They have a rim around the edge that rests on top of the countertop.
Undermount sinks, or under-counter sinks, fit underneath the counter. They also have a rim along the edge, but it’s attached to the bottom of the counter using clips and caulk or another adhesive.
Undermount sinks are great for cleaning because you can just wipe messes off the counter straight into the sink and wash them down the drain. For that reason, undermount bar sinks are more common than top mount ones.
Undermount installation also allows you to get a slightly larger sink in the same size cutout since the edge of the sink fits along, or even slightly inside, the edge of the cutout, as opposed to inside of it like a drop-in sink.
However, top mount sinks are easier to install, don’t require a waterproof counter material, and don’t require that the edge of the counter surrounding the sink look as finished. If you’re trying to save money, top mount sinks can help you do that.
The last type is the dual mount bar sink. These sinks can be mounted like top mount or undermount sinks giving you a couple of options.
What Do You Look For In The Best Bar Sink?
The mounting type isn’t the only thing to consider when choosing a high-quality bar sink though. Let’s talk about a few more important considerations:
There is no factor that makes as much of a difference in a sink as the material that it’s made out of. The material impacts the sink’s durability and appearance, as well as how easy it is to clean.
As a general rule, you’ll want to go with a more durable sink, but exactly how durable you need your sink depend on what you’ll be using it for.
For example, if you’ll be using it primarily to rinse barware, you can get away with less durable material. On the other hand, if you’ll be dropping more serious cookware into it, you’ll want something more heavy-duty.
No matter what you’ll be doing, you’ll want something that doesn’t have a problem with corrosion.
You also want a sink that’s made from a non-porous material. Porous materials are more easily stained, can harbor bacteria, and are generally more difficult to clean.
Some sinks are made from porous materials but have a non-porous coating over them. That’s generally adequate, but if the coating chips, that porosity can present problems, so it’s not ideal for sinks that need to be more rugged.
All of the bar sinks here are made from durable, non-porous materials, so when choosing between them, the appearance is the main thing you need to worry about in terms of the material.
Think about the color, texture, and finish. What color would suit your kitchen?
Are you willing to sacrifice some cleaning convenience for a more eye-catching textured sink? Do you want a matte or lustrous finish or something in between?
The second major consideration when choosing a bar sink is the size.
A bar sink with a larger footprint takes up more counter space, but also provides more versatility. You’ll want a bar sink that balances the two, taking into account the amount of space you have available and what you’d like to be able to use the sink for.
If you’re having a hard time visualizing how a sink’s size will look in your space, don’t worry. Most manufacturers provide a template for their sinks so you (or your countertop installer) know exactly how large the cutout should be.
This can also be used to give you an idea of how the sink’s size fits with your home.
But the side-to-side and front-to-back measurements aren’t the only things to think about. You’ll also want to consider bowl depth.
Again that depends on your individual needs. In some cases, you can get away with a shallower sink by using a taller faucet, but water may splash over the sides of the sink.
In addition, though bar sinks tend to be shallower than regular kitchen sinks, they are seldom ADA compliant and maybe too deep for people with certain disabilities to conveniently use.
3. Kohler K-6589-U Northland 15″ x 12-3/8″ x 7-5/8″ Undermount Bar Sink (Best High End)
For those with a larger budget, the Kohler Northland Undermount Bar Sink may be a perfect choice. It’s made of cast iron for excellent durability but is enamel coated to prevent rusting and give the sink a less industrial appearance.
Measuring 15 by 12 ⅜ by 7 ⅝ inches, this sink has a nice, balanced size that will work with most spaces. The several color options also help with that.
At least one of the neutral tones is sure to compliment your home.
Cast iron and enamel coating are highly durable
Comes in multiple color options
Rust and corrosion can be an issue with cast iron if the coating chips
4. Elkay Fireclay 16-7/16″ x 18-15/16″ x 9-1/16″ Single Bowl Undermount Bar Sink
Next up is the Elkay Fireclay Single Bowl Undermount Bar Sink.
It’s the largest bar sink on this list by quite a bit, so it’s great for those who want some extra room. It’s also available in two larger single basin sizes and an even larger double basin sink, all available on the same Amazon listing.
This makes it easy to perfectly match your kitchen bar sink or prep sink to your main kitchen sink.
Another huge perk is the fireclay material. Fireclay resembles ceramic but is more resistant to scratches, stains, and temperatures.
In each size, you can buy the sink alone or the sink with a bottom grid and drain, or even with all three, plus a faucet for the greatest possible convenience
Multiple size options makes it easy to match to a main kitchen sink
5. Blanco Rondo Silgranit Round Dual Mount Bar Sink
Finishing out our top five is the Blanco Rondo SIlgranit Bar Sink, which stands out in a couple of ways.
First is the round shape. In a world of square and rectangular sinks, a round sink is a great way to do something just a little different.
The second is the Silgranit material. Silgranit is an acrylic composite made up of 80% natural granite. It replicates the appearance of natural stone but is more durable.
It also comes in several colors. I’m partial to the striking black Anthracite, but with eight colors to choose from, you’re sure to find one you like.
Silgranit is scratch-resistant, impact-resistant, easy to clean, and incredibly hygienic
Limited lifetime warranty
Round shape makes this sink stand out
Round shape is debatably not as space efficient as a square or rectangular sink, but the space towards the back of the counter can be used for countertop accessories like a soap dispenser or glass rinser
While the Ruvati Siena 15 x 15-inch Workstation Drop-in Topmount Bar Prep Sink is our top pick, all of these sinks are high-quality options. And since everyone’s needs are different, one of the other sinks listed here may work better for you.
To find the perfect bar sink, just think about the size and style of your space, what you’ll be using the sink for, and your budget. That should go a long way in helping you choose the right sink.