When you think of sinks for the home, you probably think of kitchen or bathroom sinks. However, there’s one other type of sink that you should also consider: a utility sink.
Though far from ubiquitous, more and more homeowners are opting to add utility sinks to their home. And it just makes sense. A utility sink can be a handy addition to your home that adds a lot of extra versatility for cleaning all kinds of things.
In this guide we’ll talk all about utility sinks. We’ll discuss what utility sinks are and what you might want to use one for. We’ll talk about the different types of utility sinks and how to choose the right utility sink for your needs. Finally, we’ll go over the top five best utility sinks currently available.
You can take a peek at that list below, but for now, let’s get started.
Utility sinks are also sometimes called utility tubs, laundry sinks, or laundry tubs.
The latter two are because of how frequently utility sinks are used in laundry rooms for hand-washing clothes or pre-treating stains before you put clothes in the washer. However, utility sinks can be used in mudrooms, garages, and, of course, utility rooms. You can even use them in the kitchen as a secondary sink for washing and filling large dishes.
In fact, as long as you have the necessary plumbing, utility sinks can be a great addition to all kinds of workspaces.
A utility sink is larger than a bathroom or kitchen sink and is designed with practicality in mind. These sinks allow you to clean large items that you wouldn’t be able to fit in most sinks.
They also provide a convenient location for water and drain access so you don’t have to walk across your home or even just to another room with something messy or a heavy container of liquid.
Finally, since they’re primarily designed for functionality, utility sinks tend to be very heavy duty. This allows you to use a utility sink for more rugged purposes, protecting the sinks in other places in your home from damage.
And if the utility sink does get scratched up or chipped, utility sinks aren’t usually in particularly visible places in the home and they’re typically cheaper than other types of sinks, so it’s less frustrating than when a gorgeous kitchen or bathroom sink is damaged.
What Are The Different Types Of Utility Sinks?
Utility sinks can be categorized by how they are installed.
Top-Mount Utility Sinks
Top-mount or drop-in sinks are simply placed into a cutout in the countertop and a rim on the sink rests on top of the counter to hold the sink in place. Drop in sinks are very easy to install.
However, you have to have counter space available in the room where you’d like to install your utility sink to be able to use a drop in sink. The rim can also accumulate dirt and gunk that can be hard to clean out.
Undermount Utility Sinks
Undermount sinks also require a cutout in the countertop, but they are installed below the counter. They also have a rim, but the rim lines up with the outside of the cutout and is adhered in place. Then clips are added to provide additional support. Undermount sinks are trickier to install than top-mount sinks, but they also have some advantages over top-mount sinks.
Since undermount sinks have no rim on top of the counter, grunge can accumulate there. The lack of a rim also makes it easy to brush mess and debris from the countertop into the sink for easy cleaning. Undermount sinks also just have a more sleek, modern appearance.
But like drop-in sinks, undermount sinks require counter space to be available in the first place.
If you don’t have an available countertop in the place where you’d like to install a utility sink and you don’t want to deal with adding them either, you can opt for a freestanding utility sink.
Freestanding Utility Sinks
Freestanding sinks have legs that attach to the bottom of the basin (or, in the case of our top pick, come with a cabinet on which to sit).
However, “freestanding” is a bit of a misnomer. Freestanding sinks don’t require an existing countertop, but they will typically need to be secured to the wall (wall-mount) or floor (floor-mount) to prevent tipping.
What Do You Look For In The Best Utility Sink?
So how do you choose the right utility sink to meet your needs? Consider your budget, what you want to be able to use the sink for, and the following factors to narrow down your options to the right sink for you.
First, consider the size of the sink. Does it have a large enough capacity for your needs? Are the width, length, and depth of the basin all adequate? For example, if you want to be able to wash large gardening items, will they actually fit inside? If you want to be able to hand wash laundry, is the sink deep enough to submerge the load size you want?
Similarly, what’s the sink’s weight capacity? Will it be able to support the weight of whatever you want to be able to put into it, plus as much water as you need to accomplish whatever task you’re doing?
Don’t forget the sink’s external dimensions either. Will the sink actually fit in your workspace?
Then there are other workspace considerations. If your workspace is outside, is the sink designed for outdoor use? Does the sink have the right installation type (as discussed above) for your space?
And speaking of installation, how difficult to install is the sink? Will you be able to do it yourself or will you need to hire someone? If you’ll have to get outside help, that’s an extra cost to take into consideration when determining your budget.
The material from which a utility sink is made is also a huge consideration. It can make a huge difference in not just how the sink looks, but also its durability and how easy it is to clean up.
Utility sinks are expected to take more of a beating than a kitchen or bathroom sink, so they need to be able to stand up to that. And though many people get their utility sink expecting it to take on scratches and stains so their other sinks don’t have to, that doesn’t mean you want your utility sink to get more beat up than it has to.
Stainless steel is probably the most common utility sink material. It’s a good balance of durability and affordability and it works in most spaces.
For budget utility sinks, thermoplastics are common because they’re very affordable, but they’re also easily scratched and stained, and often aren’t very rigid. Acrylic falls somewhere in between thermoplastics and stainless steel in both durability and price. However, it’s not nearly as common as either thermoplastic or stainless steel.
Enameled cast iron is a high end option that’s even more durable than stainless steel and is available in a variety of finishes to suit different spaces. However, the price is a lot higher and if the enamel does chip, rust can be an issue.
Finally, think about how you want your sink to look, or if you even care. Appearance isn’t a concern for everyone, but many people want their laundry room or mudroom to be attractive as well as functional. Choose one that matches the room’s aesthetic.
Best Utility Sinks Reviewed
Now that you know everything you need to know to choose the perfect utility sink for you and your home, let’s talk about the best utility sinks on the market.
1. Transolid 24in All-In-One Stainless Steel Laundry/Utility Kit With Magnetic Sink Accessories (Our Top Pick)
Our overall favorite utility sink is the Transolid All-In-One Stainless Steel Laundry/Utility Kit.
This kit includes not just a stainless steel sink, but also a white shaker cabinet (with levelers) on which the sink sits. This allows you the convenient storage and looks of a countertop sink without having to already have a countertop.
The kit also includes supply lines, a drain, a drain strainer, and even a flexible neck faucet with a pull-down sprayer. If you get it with the accessory kit, it also comes with a sponge holder, ledge, backing strip, and magnetic tape.
All-in-one kit includes sink, cabinet, pull-out faucet, and more
Shaker cabinet makes this sink more attractive than other freestanding sinks and provides additional storage space
Cabinet is made of particle board, so it’s not super durable
Some users have had problems with the faucet leaking
9 inch bowl depth is fairly shallow for a utility sink
2. E.L. Mustee & Sons 23” Utilatub Polypropylene Freestanding Utility Sink With Drain And Faucet (Best Budget)
If you’re looking to save money, a thermoplastic utility sink like the E.L. Mustee & Sons Utilatub Polypropylene Freestanding Utility Sink is a great option.
This floor mount freestanding sink has a molded-in drain and comes with a dual handle faucet, drain stopper, flexible supply lines, and all the necessary hardware (except floor anchors, but you’ll want to choose the right ones for your flooring anyway).
The sink has a color-fast finish and is mold and mildew-resistant. The metal legs have levelers and the swivel faucet has an aerator and a hose attachment.
3. Kohler River Falls 25″ x 22′ x 14-15/16″ Undermount Utility Sink With 4 Faucet Holes (Best High End)
If you have the cash to spend, it’s worth investing in an enameled cast iron sink like the Kohler River Falls Undermount Utility Sink.
Like other enameled cast iron sinks, this one is scratch, burn, and stain-resistant, but this self-rimming sink also has a few features that other cast iron sinks don’t have.
For example, the four oversized faucet holes allow installation of a faucet that requires up to three holes, plus an accessory on the right hand side. Because it’s an undermount sink, if you don’t need to use all the faucet holes, the unused ones will be hidden under the counter.
Integral washboard that’s great for getting a bit of extra scrubbing power for laundry, paint brushes, and more
Comes with a rack to protect the bottom or dry items and a soaking pan that rests on the edge of the sink
Doesn’t look as commercial or utilitarian as many other utility sinks and is available in multiple color options
14.25 inch deep bowl is the deepest basin of any sink on this list
4. Trinity Basics Stainless Steel Utility Sink NSF With Faucet
If you’re looking for a freestanding utility sink that looks better than the Mustee but is more affordable (or has a more industrial style) than the Transolid, the Trinity Basics Stainless Steel Utility Sink might be perfect.
This sink has a more utilitarian design, but the modern stainless steel construction and matching legs keep it from looking ugly. Even the included chrome finish utility sink faucet has an elegant high arch spout.
This sink isn’t all about looks though. It has a six-inch backsplash to protect your walls and ribs on either side of the faucet to help keep accessories items in place.
Easy assembly and comes with wall mounting hardware
Heavy duty, commercial grade construction capable of supporting up to 300 pounds of weight
Comes with a faucet, drain assembly, and drain strainer
5. Ruvati Savona 23” x 18” x 12” Deep Laundry Utility Sink Undermount 16 Gauge Stainless Steel
Finally, if you’re looking for a stainless steel countertop sink, the Ruvati Savona is the way to go.
It has zero radius corners and undermount installation for a more modern look. The brushed finish hides scratches and matches most stainless steel appliances.
Stainless steel can be loud when water or items hit it, but don’t worry: this sink has SoundGuard undercoating and NoseDefend rubber padding on the outside of the basin to suppress noise and prevent condensation.
The bottom is sloped for optimal drainage and the 3.5 inch drain opening is sized to be compatible with a garbage disposal.
Ruvati Limited Lifetime Warranty
3.5 inch drain opening can be used with a garbage disposal
Comes with a rinse grid, basket strainer, and mounting brackets
More and more homeowners are opting to add utility sinks to their homes and we totally understand why. If you have the space to add one, a utility sink is an excellent way to add functionality and convenience to your home.
Whether you’re looking for a sink to go in your laundry room for handwashing clothes, the garage for cleaning up after working on your car, a shed for watering plants, or anywhere else, the utility sinks we’ve recommended here are all great options. Each one offers its own unique advantages and disadvantages, but there’s not a bad sink among them.
And by now you should have no problem choosing the right one for you. Simply consider your budget, your needs, and the various factors we’ve outlined.
So do any of these utility sinks sound right for you? Which one will you be going with and what will you be using it for? Let us know!