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Most cabinet designers and plumbers don’t pay much attention to sink storage. That’s unfortunate because with some careful planning in the design phase you can make it very useful. That requires you designer understands basic plumbing and how different sinks, sink cabinets and plumbing layouts can affect your storage.
In this post I want to approach under the sink storage from two perspective. First lets look at organizing your existing sink storage, which may mean dealing with some less than ideal plumbing or cabinet design. Next we’ll look at best practices if you are replacing your sink cabinet and sink as part of a remodel. These storage tips can work for a bathroom or a kitchen.
First Measure Your Sink Cabinet
The first step is to measure what space you have, watching out for your plumbing drain, plumbing supply lines and cabinet hinges. Then consider what you really need to keep under the sink and what organizers will give you the easiest access to them. There are a few measurements you want to take before planning your storage. How much room you have will depend on whether you have a single or double bowl sink, disposal and how your plumbing is laid out.
- Start by measuring how much clear space you have from your plumbing to the edge of the cabinet then subtract a couple inches to allow for the door and hinges. You’ll want to get a mearement for the left and right side of the sink.
- Next measure from the bottom of the cabinet to the bottom lowest point of your plumbing
- Finally measure from the front of the cabinet to the sink water supply lines.
Armed with these measurements you can now start to consider organizers and what to store under the sink.
Options for Under Sink Storage with Existing Cabinets
If you’re stuck with an existing sink and plumbing your storage options might be limited but there are still things you can do. Something a simple as a cardboard box can help you organize under the sink. But if you are looking for something a little more custom and easy to then try some of these options.
Custom Roll outs
I recommend ordering custom wooden roll outs that can be sized for your exact needs. These are not that expensive and easy to install with just a few screws. Roll outs make is real easy to access everything under the cabinet. Depending on the measurement from the cabinet floor to the bottom of you plumbing you might want one roll out for the left size and a different one for the right.
Stock Roll outs and Organizers
Rev-A-Shelf and The Container Store make roll outs for under the kitchen sink but they come in set sizes that may or may not fit properly under your sink. However if they do fit they provide a lot of options and are easy to install.
Small Item storage
Roll outs are great for larger items like extra dish soap or large bottle of cleaner. For smaller items consider attaching some small shelves to the door or just inside the cabinet against the side.
Pro Tip: Sink Cabinet Liners
We include sink cabinet liners on all our new cabinet installed. We really like these liners from Hafele. They can hold to a gallon of water and are easy to remove for cleaning. A sink cabinet liner is cheap insurance again spill or small leaks that can damage the inside of your sink cabinet.
Options for Under Sink Storage with New Cabinets
If you are replacing your cabinets as part of a remodel then you have a lot more options. Starting in the design phase be sure to work with your designer and plumber to make sure they know under sink storage is a priority for you.
Some things to consider when designing a new kitchen and trying to maximize under sink storage.
The Type of Sink and Sink Drain Location
The plumbing for double bowl sinks takes up a lot of space under the sink so you’ll naturally have less room for storage. Even with single bowl sinks the location of the drain matters. Most sinks have center drain, which is not ideal for storage, but some have drains on the left or right and even at the rear of the sink. An offset drain or rear drain is best for maximizing storage under the sink.
The Type of Cabinet You Choose
Frameless cabinets offer better access than traditional framed ones. Frameless cabinets are often called ‘full access’ cabinet because without the frame you can fit larger organizers and roll outs inside. You also might choose a sink cabinet with drawers instead of doors like in the video below.
Sloppy plumbing can ruin your under sink storage. A good designer will spec the drain and water supply locations so your plumber knows exactly where you want your plumbing. This is especially important if you are trying to fit a trash cabinet or instant hot water heater under the sink.
thanks for reading!
McManus Kitchen and Bath