If you’re installing or remodeling a laundry room, you may want to consider what kind of sink you’d like to have. Also called utility sinks or laundry tubs, they can be used for many tasks beyond laundry. Generally, they’re wider, deeper, and often have more efficient drainage than regular sinks. Some of the larger ones, for example, are over 24 inches deep and up to 42 inches wide.
These sinks can be found as well in garages, mudrooms, and basements. Your choice of sink style and its location depend on how you intend to use it, the amount of space available, and the surrounding decor.
Different Uses for Laundry/Utility Sinks
- Discharge sink for washer. Use a drain hose to empty water from the washing machine into the utility sink instead of into a standpipe. Your plumber can advise if the drain line is large enough and can install a proper strainer in the drain that will filter out dirt, lint, hair, and other debris that normally run toward the sewer pipe. It’s a good idea to have an effective strainer in your laundry or utility sink in any case, no matter how it’s used, to prevent drain clogs.
- Laundry. Hand wash delicates in a sink close to the drying rack or clothesline in the laundry room. It’s also convenient to be near the washer when pre-soaking extremely dirty clothing and pre-treating stains.
- Mop cleaning. Use the sink to hold water for rinsing the mop — the depth of the laundry sink contains splashes. If you have double-basins, the other side can hold the soapy water. When using a bucket, dump the dirty water into the sink when finished instead of into the toilet, bathtub, kitchen sink, or outside.
- Extra dishwashing. Sometimes you need to wash large pots and pans, especially when entertaining during the holidays. The laundry sink provides a good place to soak the pans without cluttering the kitchen sink and counter.
- Pet bathing. Washing your pet in the large basin of the laundry sink is much better than in the bathtub and prevents clogging the tub’s drain.
- Rinsing mud. With a utility sink located in the mudroom people can rinse mud and sand from their boots and shoes when they first enter the house.
- Watering plants. A laundry or utility sink is a great place to give your houseplants a shower and remove the dust from the leaves. If your sink doesn’t have a pull-down sprayer, just attach a bath hose to the faucet and start spraying. There’s no worrying about getting dirt and plant debris in the bathtub.
- Cleaning gardening and yard tools. Utility sinks installed in the garage are handy for cleaning gardening and larger yard tools, such as trowels, spades, pruners, shovels, and rakes.
- Coloring hair and dyeing clothing. Use the utility sink to color your hair or dye clothing, and prevent possible stains in the shower, or bathroom and kitchen sinks.
- General cleanup after messy jobs. Sometimes after heavy-duty chores, DIY projects, and repairs we’re left with extra greasy, grimy, dirty tools that we don’t want anywhere near our kitchen or bathroom sinks. A safe place to clean these items, as well as our hands, is a garage or basement utility sink.
When choosing a laundry or utility sink, you need to consider the installation style you need, and whether you want a single or double basin. The various styles available include:
- Drop-in laundry sinks are dropped into a hole cut into a countertop, cabinet, or work surface. The sink basin sits below, with only the rim on the surface. Drop-in sinks are inexpensive and pretty easy to install and are available in various materials.
- Undermount laundry sinks are similar to drop-ins, except the rim is concealed beneath the counter. This style is a more contemporary look, and cleaning is a lot easier without a rim to catch grime and dirt.
- Wall-mount laundry sinks are standalones mounted directly onto the wall and are a good option for basements or anyplace you have limited space or no countertop. Wall-mounted sinks are a reminder of classic laundry sinks from earlier years. Usually they’re mid-sized, very deep single basins with square or rectangular shapes. Some even have two front legs for added support.
- Free-Standing or Floor-Mount laundry sinks are also standalones, but are not attached to a wall or a counter. Instead, they are either supported by integrated or bolted-on legs or set in a stainless-steel frame support with legs. Some also have built-in drainboards. There’s a wide range of sizes. Floor-mounts can be moved to different areas, such as a garage, as long as there’s access to a water hookup. If kept in one place, brackets are available to secure it to a wall.
- Portable laundry sinks have castors or wheels for moving them out of the way or to different locations, such as outdoor patios or garages. Their supply lines make it easy to connect to existing plumbing, and they’re also used in campers, classrooms, hair salons, and healthcare facilities.
Laundry Sink Materials
Laundry and utility sinks are available in different materials, with some standing up to wear and tear better than others. Here are some popular sink material choices:
- Stainless steel. It’s easy to clean, rust-resistant, and available in a wide range of sizes, installation types, designs, and surface finishes such as polished, brushed, and satin. As well, it’s chemical-resistant, heat-resistant, and strong. Stainless steel can be loud when water hits the surface so look for models with special noise-dampening coatings underneath. The more expensive thicker gauge sinks won’t dent.
- Acrylic plastic. Also known as solid surface, acrylic is durable, lightweight, and affordable. Being non-porous makes acrylic sinks hard to stain and easy to clean, but they aren’t heat-resistant, and can also be loud when water hits them. Acrylic material comes in numerous design patterns and colors.
- Cast iron. This type of sink has been around for many decades and is still popular. The cast iron is coated in a glossy enamel surface, usually white, that makes the surface extremely durable as well as scratch- and stain-resistant. However, the enamel will chip if something heavy is dropped in the sink, and the chips expose metal that can rust. The enamel can be re-glazed if the sink develops rust spots. Cast iron sinks are heavy so be sure there’s enough support when installing them.
- Porcelain. This is a strong, durable material that’s easy to clean, and resistant to heat and chemicals. It’s used for drop-in and undermount utility sinks. Some porcelain sinks are made of solid porcelain, while others are a steel or cast-iron base covered with a baked-on porcelain veneer finish. If you drop heavy items on them, porcelain sinks can be damaged and scratched. They also stain, so clean up messes after each use to prevent the stains from setting in.
You can rely on C&W Appliance Service to repair and maintain all your major appliances. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or contact us online for prompt professional service.