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Trough Sinks: A Creative Way To Add A Second Sink To Your Kitchen

As kitchens trend bigger and cooking increasingly becomes a family affair, it’s maybe no surprise that many homeowners are starting to install a second kitchen sink. Having two sinks simplifies many tasks in a very large kitchen, and makes it possible for more than one person to do prep work (or dishes!) comfortably at the same time. But if you’re stuck choosing between adding a second full sized sink and adding a petite bar or prep sink instead, it might be worth considering a third option: a trough sink.

Chesapeake Trough Sink From Sierra Copper
Chesapeake Trough Sink From Sierra Copper

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Trough sinks are long, narrow sinks that slope towards a drain, either in the middle or at one end or the other. These sinks are only about as deep as a prep sink, so they aren’t a great choice if you want to be able to wash dishes in your second sink, but because they’re so much wider than your average prep sink (and in some cases even wider than a standard kitchen sink) they’re perfect for multiple people doing prep work side by side.

Allegany Trough Bar Sink From Sierra Copper
Allegany Trough Bar Sink From Sierra Copper

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When installed in the middle of a kitchen island, a trough sink turns the whole surface into a usable prep space, as it can be accessed easily from all sides and makes it simple to wash up or dispose of kitchen waste no matter where you’re standing or sitting. This is a great setup for a family that cooks together, as you can have many several people working at the same time without competing for sink space. Better still, even though a very long trough sink might take up the whole center of the island, they’re narrow enough that they won’t get in the way of anyone sitting and eating on either side.

Installing a trough sink crosswise along a kitchen island makes it accessible from two or three sides without taking up space in the center of the island (by MLB Design Group)
Installing a trough sink crosswise along a kitchen island makes it accessible from two or three sides without taking up space in the center of the island (by MLB Design Group)

If your kitchen island is particularly large, placing a slim sink down the middle might not be viable, particularly if your counter is so large that people wouldn’t be able to reach the sink comfortably from either side. Even if that’s the case, though, installing a trough sink crosswise along the narrower part of the island can also be quite useful, as the sink can be accessed by one person on either side as well as from one end. This is especially nice in a very large kitchen, where you’d rather not have to walk all the way around the island to get to the main sink.

A trough style sink in the center of the kitchen island is perfect for serving drinks (by Chown Hardware)
A trough style sink in the center of the kitchen island is perfect for serving drinks (by Chown Hardware)

Trough sinks are pretty great for entertainers, too. If you fill a trough sink with ice, it’s the perfect place to stash canned or bottled drinks for a party: the drinks are chilled and in an easy-to-reach spot, and as the ice melts, it simply drains away, no muss, no fuss.  This can be a nice alternative to (or addition to!) a wine refrigerator or beverage cooler, as it’s an amazingly simple way to keep a decent number of drinks close at hand and ready to serve.

Yukon Trough Sink From Sierra Copper
Yukon Trough Sink From Sierra Copper

Most trough style sinks are perfectly straight, but there are models out there that add a little curve to these long, straight sinks. These are great for slightly smaller or less conventionally shaped kitchen islands, and work particularly well when placed at the far end of a kitchen island so it can be accessed from three sides of the island. While these might not be the same kind of centerpiece that straight trough sinks are, they do make for a much more accessible prep area without taking up much more of your counter space than a standard bar sink.

Cuisine Fireclay Trough Sink From Herbeau
Cuisine Fireclay Trough Sink From Herbeau

You can also find trough style sinks in much smaller sizes, and these make a great alternative to a more traditional bar sink when you need a faucet and a drain but don’t have a ton of space to spare. Their rectangular shape gives them a stylishly unconventional look and somewhat more versatile footprint than your average squat square or circular bar sinks. Because they’re so narrow, they take up very little space, which means you’re able to add basic functionality just about anywhere in your kitchen.

What do you think of these uniquely shaped kitchen sinks? Let me know in the comments!

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