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Why aren’t Kitchen Sink Workstations More Popular than they Are?

Published on January 8, 2023

Kitchen sink workstation

A few years back Kohler released what became a popular kitchen sink; it was the beginning of what is now known as the kitchen sink workstation (a different kind of kitchen sink to be sure… keep reading).

It’s the Kohler K-5540 Undermount Workstation – here’s a photo from Amazon.

KOHLER K-5540-NA Prolific Undermount Workstation Stainless Steel Single Bowl Kitchen Sink, 33 Inch

Since then, Kohler has released more iterations. Other kitchen sink brands have designed and launched many variations of what is now referred to as the kitchen sink workstation.

What is the kitchen sink workstation?

It’s a larger kitchen sink, usually stainless steel, designed in a way so that various accessories can be used with the sink such as drying rack, cutting board, strainer, vegetable washing area and so on.  Some are elaborate offering multiple water spouts and one I saw offers a glassware cleaner similar to what you’d find at a pub.  

Here’s another example by Kraus which is a popular brand in the sink workstation world.  You can get this on Amazon.

KRAUS KWU120-45 Kore 2-Tier Workstation 45-inch Undermount 16 Gauge Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink with Integrated 2-Step Ledge and Accessories (Pack of 10)

Another example – it’s a workstation demo from TikTok

@swkitchensandbath We design kitchens customized for your needs! That’s why we love workstation sinks. Featured here: our The Galley Brands sink in our Bentwood kitchen display in Winter Park. Stop by to take a look or head to our website to schedule some time to talk to a designer about your own kitchen remodel. #customkitchen #workstationsink #kitchendesign #kitchenmusthaves #remodeling #winterparkfl ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul

Why aren’t kitchen workstations more popular?

At first glance, these look like the ultimate kitchen sink solution yet they aren’t for a lot of people. If they were, they’d be a lot more popular than they are.  I’ve kept my eye on this sink concept for a while now and one thing struck me and that is I almost never see this type of elaborate sink included in new interior designs or renovations. 

We feature a lot of new interiors and new homes by designers and architects and it’s rare that they included a kitchen workstation in the kitchen.

I checked out other sites similar to ours, notably Houzz, and they too have very few featured kitchens with a kitchen workstation.

I decided to ask an interior designer who recently renovated her own house why kitchen workstations aren’t popular

I happen to own an interior design company in North Vancouver, BC. I asked my lead interior designer, Keely Smith, why kitchen workstations aren’t more popular.  Here’s what she said:

For kitchen workstations, I’d say the reason they aren’t popular is due to the fact that they don’t follow the “keep it simple” methodology. They appear to bring a certain convenience and simplicity to the kitchen but really they make for a more cluttered area around the sink, and usually away from the actual cooktop. The theory seems right—do all of your prep near the sink then simply wash the built-in cutting boards—however, it’s restrictive in that sense. You’re essentially always standing over your sink (even more so than usual). In my opinion, people want to cut/chop/prep on a cutting board of their choice, anywhere they please. And they don’t mind washing it by hand afterward and/or throwing it in the dishwasher. Furthermore, they make such beautiful sinks now for kitchens that look great when they are clean.

I followed up with the question: did you consider this type of sink for your own home when recently renovating it?

She said the workstation wasn’t a consideration.

There you have it.

While it’s a seemingly brilliant solution creating a highly functional kitchen workspace and sink, it simply isn’t as user-friendly as one would believe and hence they haven’t taken off as one might have expected a few years ago.

I’ll end with two aspects I love about these sinks and it’s the fact they are large and stainless. Those are two great kitchen sink features.  As for the rest of it, I think I’ll pass.

I should also mention that it’s not as if nobody gets these.  The Kraus and Kohler brands on Amazon and Wayfair racked up a ton of positive reviews so they are somewhat popular… just not as popular as I thought they might become