Industry Ed with Richard: Kitchen and Bath Guideline Series

In this post we will discuss the NKBA Kitchen and Bathroom Planning Guidelines, by first stating the guidelines and then pointing out their importance and giving insight on solutions and practices based on my industry experience. Find out more about NKBA here.

Kitchen Sink Placement

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NKBA Standards

  • Primary purposes for sink are for preparation and cleanup.
  • Sink must be adjacent to or across from both the cooking area and the refrigerator.
  • Include at least 24″ wide landing area to one side of the sink and at least 18″ wide landing area on the other side.
  • If your primary preparation area is immediately next to your sink, on one side, include a section of continuous countertop of at least 36″.
  • The sink should be no closer than 3″ from the back wall or 3″ from the edge.

My Experience

  • Sinks come in all shapes and sizes. Sizes range from 33″- 36″ – 39″ – 42″ and even up to 7′ long, like the galley sink (click here see our past blog post on galley sinks).
  • The standard size is 33″ wide x 22″ deep.
  • Sinks can be a single bowl, or double bowl. It depends on the users preference; a double bowl allows for some drying space inside the sink.  Some new sinks come with a low divide that allows you to turn the sink into a single divide when filled.  
  • They can also come in all kinds of materials; stainless steel, granite composite, copper, fire clay, just to name a few.
  • Sinks are most commonly placed under a window or in an island; sometimes they are placed on a diagonal. If a sink is on a diagonal, a dishwasher cannot be too close to the corner; NKBA standards require 21″ from the opposite corner for proper clearance.
  • When designing, I often flank the sink with both a dishwasher and a garbage pullout.
  • Many kitchens have a secondary sink, usually referred to as a vegetable sink. These are good to have if the range is too far away from the primary sink, or can just be a convenience if your larger sink is occupied with prep and cleanup for such things as hand washing. Vegetable sinks are usually 12″ – 25″ wide.
  • Many homes have a wet bar area, this is usually most adjacent to the dining or living area. I find that many people want to center their bar sink, but I recommend setting it off to one side, leaving ample counter space for drink preparation.
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 This image is a good example of when a vegetable sink is necessary. See the vegetable sink is in the island and directly across from the range; in the case it is closer to the range than the primary sink.

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I hope you enjoy the information in my blog! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! – Richard

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