Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sink cabinet with glass backsplash tile.

The Ultimate Guide to Sink Cabinets

We’ve always said that there are five types of kitchen cabinets every kitchen needs: a sink base, a four-drawer base, a three-drawer base, a trash pull-out, and a tall pantry cabinet.

In these next few articles, we’re going to explore each one in-depth–plus a few extras! If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, this is the information you need to help you design the perfect kitchen.

Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into teh 4 main types of sink bases. Which one you choose is largely a matter of taste–what look do you want for your kitchen?

If you’re ready to invest in your home and want to work with a company that pays attention to details and provides excellent customer service, schedule a discovery call.


Q1: What are the four main types of sink base cabinets?

A1: The four main types of sink base cabinets are basic sink cabinets, sink cabinets with full-height doors, drawer base cabinets, and apron front or farm front sink cabinets.

Q2: What are the characteristics of a basic sink base?

A2: A basic sink cabinet has a false drawer front and two cabinet doors underneath. It provides some storage space under the sink and is commonly used with under-mount or drop-in sinks.

Q3: Why might someone choose a sink cabinet with full-height doors?

A3: A sink cabinet with full-height doors offers a more contemporary and streamlined look, increases usable storage space, and allows for better organization with pull-out features.

Q4: What is a drawer base and why is it beneficial?

A4: A drawer base sink cabinet features drawers for easy-to-reach storage. It is beneficial for its modern look, accessibility, and practical storage solutions, especially for those who have difficulty reaching into lower cabinets.

Q5: What is special about apron front or farm front cabinets?

A5: Apron front or farm front cabinets are designed to accommodate farmhouse sinks, which have a visible apron. They require a specialized cabinet for a perfect fit and extra support due to the sink’s weight.

Simple white kitchen with microwave hood

Standard cabinets have a false drawer front at the top. This is usally just decorative, though you can install a ’tilt out’ hinge on them. 

#1. The Basic Sink Cabinet

This is the style you are probably most familiar with. The sink base has a false drawer and two cabinet doors underneath it.

There is some storage space under the sink. This type is most commonly used with under-mount or drop-in sinks. (To read more about different types of kitchen sink options, click here!)

  • Undermount sinks are mounted from underneath the counter so that the edge of the counter lines up with the edge of the sink. They look modern and have visually appealing lines–and they’re easy to keep clean because they don’t have a lip to catch crumbs from the counter. 
  • Drop-in sinks are the least expensive and the easiest to install. Drop-in sinks have a lip that holds them in place on the edge of the counter. The sink itself rests in a hole cut into the countertop.

False front sink bases can give a clean look when the cabinets on either side of them also have a drawer with a cabinet underneath. The sink cabinet then blends into the rest of the cabinetry.

However, this style is a little dated, and the false drawer front means that you’re losing valuable storage space in your kitchen–a room where every inch should count! 

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Painted green cabinets and oak island in well lit kitchen

Full height doors are more contemporary.  

#2. The Sink Cabinet with Full Height Doors 

A better option, in our opinion, is to do away with the false drawer front and replace it with a cabinet that has full-height doors. This is a much more contemporary look for your kitchen. This type of sink base has several things going for it:

  • It produces a more streamlined look without the false drawer front distracting your eye. 
  • It increases your storage space because the usable space is larger.
  • You can use a pull-out in the cabinet for further organization and useability. 

We love this option for kitchen sink cabinets and highly recommend it.

U shaped drawer in bathroom

Drawer bases are designed to wrap around the plumbing and can provide extra storage.

#3. The Drawer Base

A third option is to use a drawer base for your sink cabinet. Sometimes used in bathroom vanities as well, these cabinets offer the most accessible storage for your kitchen sink cabinet. There are a few options when it comes to drawer bases:

  • Many of them have two drawers. The top one is U-shaped to go around the plumbing (it still offers storage, but not quite as much), and the bottom one is a regular drawer.
  • You can also get cabinets with a false front and two U-shaped, functional drawers.
  • Another option is a false front, one U-shaped drawer, and one full drawer at the bottom.

This style of sink cabinet is modern and classy. Because it offers such easy-to-reach storage, it’s a great choice for people who might have trouble getting down and reaching into a lower cabinet.  Keep in mind that you may indeed to have your sink drain and plumbing moved in order to use a sink drawer base. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, it’s the perfect opportunity to upgrade to this style. You’re sure to love the look and functionality it offers.

Want Some Inspiration In Your Inbox? 

White kitchen with microwave shelf and farm sink

Farm or apron front sink cabinets have a large apron that is cut to fit the sink. 

#4. The Apron Front or Farm Front Sink Base

The farmhouse sink is an iconic and popular choice for many kitchens–and not just farmhouse-style ones! The sinks are wide and deep, making it easy to wash large items, keep dirty dishes out of sight, and handle big jobs like filling large pots. The apron front means that a specialized sink cabinet is necessary to accommodate this type of sink.

The farm front sink cabinet has a trimmable panel on the front that the carpenter scribes to fit around the sink.

This process allows the carpenter to achieve a perfect tight fit between the sink and the cabinet. Farm front cabinets need some extra support to carry the weight of the heavier-than-usual sink as well. The apron front can line up with the cabinets on either side of it, or it can come out a little farther–it’s a matter of taste. 

Apron front sinks usually look best with symmetrical cabinets on either side, so the sink is the star of the show. There is generally a small cabinet under the sink that offers some storage and accessibility to the sink’s plumbing.

Installing a farmhouse sink and the cabinet that goes with it is not an easy job but the resulting gorgeous sink and cabinet is worth the effort.

What’s Best for You?

If you’re ready to start remodeling your kitchen and you already know what sink cabinet would be perfect in your space, give us a call, and let’s get your dream kitchen underway.

If you’re unsure which type of sink cabinet is right for you, we can help you with that too. We have almost twenty years of experience serving Tallahassee neighborhoods like Golden Eagle and Summerbrook.

You can visit our showroom to see cabinets, countertops, tile, and more, in person and get our expert help in making decisions that you’ll love. We’re ready to help you make your current home into your dream home.

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