Buying Guide: Sinks

Buying Guide: Sinks

From food trucks to full service restaurants, every kitchen needs some kind of sink. While buying a new sink may seem like a simple enough task, there are a few important choices you’ll have to make along the way.

Tip: The NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) sets national standards on how sinks and tables must be designed and constructed. Easy sanitation is the goal. Your local health department will most likely require 2 drain boards on a dish sink.

Why 3 Compartments?

The 3 compartment sink is a restaurant standard.

Sink 1 – Wash pots, pans and utensils

Sink 2 – Rinse

Sink 3 – Sanitize

Steel Gauge and Type

Strength and longevity are important considerations when shopping for sinks. Steel strength is measured by gauge. The lower the gauge number, the greater the strength. The type of stainless steel used in construction determines the steel’s corrosion resistance.


Gauge Number

Economy sinks, or budget sinks, will be made with an 18 gauge stainless steel. 18 gauge sinks are great for general use, unless you really need a large and heavy duty 3 compartment sink.If that’s the case, opt for a 16 or even 14 gauge sink.

Steel Type

Steel type indicates the level of corrosion resistance in the stainless steel used. Most commonly, you’ll see type 430 or type 304. Type 430 will work just fine in most instances of wear and tear. However, you might opt for a table made of type 304 if you need a heavier duty steel. Type 304 has more nickel in the metal and therefore will be more resistant to rust and corrosion.

Look for NSF approval, it is a must! NSF approved sinks have back-splashes, seamless welds and coved bowl corners. The drain boards should be seamlessly welded to the sink, have raised-rolled edges and a drainage slope between 1/8” -1/4” per foot towards the bowl. All sinks carried by are NSF approved.

Drains – Lever or Twist Handle?

Drains – Lever or Twist Handle?

Lever and twist handles are popular with 3 compartment sinks. They allow you to drain your sink without having to reach your hand into dirty hot water. Local sewage codes will determine your drain outlet size, either 1.5” or 2” diameter.

The twist handle opens and closes with a twist and is easier to maneuver and therefore more popular. The lever drain opens and closes with a push for easy water evacuation.



Faucets take a beating! It's always in your business' best interest to buy the best you can afford.

Deck mounted faucets are mounted to the sink and used when water lines come straight up from the floor.

Wall mounted faucets are mounted to the wall and used when water lines run in the wall. These can also be splash mounted to the back splash.

Pre-rinse units can be either deck or wall mounted, but the wall bracket is important to prevent damage during use.

Hand Sinks - How many do I need?

  • One hand sink per 5 employees
  • One hand sink for each prep and cooking area
  • One hand sink for every 300 sq ft of facility space

Other considerations

Stainless steel hand sinks will last longer than the standard porcelain sink.

Prep sinks come with 1,2 or 3 compartments, with or without a drain board, generally used for produce washing or as a mop sink.