LESLIE: Ann in Iowa is working on remodeling a kitchen. Tell us how your project’s going.
ANN: Well, we haven’t started it yet but I have high hopes.
LESLIE: OK. OK, good.
ANN: I had a question. I was looking – my husband and I, we’re remodeling to have an open floor plan between the kitchen and the dining room and the living area.
ANN: But we’re having some differing ideas on where to locate the sink. And I just wondered what type of things – what considerations you guys might have for us, as far as – my husband is thinking put it on the counter against the wall, looking out a window. And I’m wondering if maybe it would be better on the island, overlooking the room.
TOM: For the sink? I think because most of the work you do at your sink is sort of the small, day-to-day stuff, it’s always nice to have it near a window.
Some folks like to have a second sink in an island but that’s more for like vegetable prep and that sort of thing, right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Or like a bar type of sink.
LESLIE: The main thing that you need to keep in mind is the functionality of the kitchen itself, Ann. And generally, people go by what’s called a "working triangle": going from the fridge to your sink to your stove, so that it sort of triangulates between the three. And it doesn’t have to be a perfect, normal triangle – it can be any sort of access of the three points – but it’s just made for convenience.
An island is great. Some people put a cooktop in the island; some people will put a smaller sink. A lot of people also use the island as an additional eating, sort of sitting/dining area. You need to think, since you’re in that open plan, the other thing is in the open plan, your sink tends to get kind of messy. You’re going to have dishes building up there.
If you’re like me, your husband never puts the dishes in the dishwasher, so you’re going to be dealing with things sort of just building up and sitting around in that area, even if it’s just for a minute, which could be kind of distracting should it be in the center of the space.
LESLIE: So it might be better to have it off on the counter but think about how you’re going to traffic between the three areas. And put it really where it’s going to best work for you guys.
ANN: Right. OK, OK.
LESLIE: With an island, sometimes people will – and I’ve done this for clients before – sort of build a two-level island. And I’m not talking about a crazy height difference but maybe a 6-to-an-8-inch step-up, so you’ll have your work surface at the lower height, where you could have a sink.
ANN: Right. Right.
LESLIE: And then on that little step-up will be your overhang for your stools or your counter-service area. So that this way, if you’re looking it at from the open-plan area, it does hide that mess a little bit. So if it’s really something that you just have to have in the island, that helps.
ANN: How would that be, even if we didn’t have a sink there? Would it be – the uneven island – would that be a good idea, even if we didn’t have a sink or …?
LESLIE: It definitely helps, only because then you have an area to be a little bit messy and not be on showcase; the mess or the utensils sticking around or your kids’ projects.
ANN: Right, right.
LESLIE: It sort of gives you a little place to hide things from the main area.
ANN: Right, OK.
LESLIE: I think it’s definitely beneficial. Think about – when you’re planning the height, think about the stool height. You’re sort of stuck at 28 inches and 30-something inches, so make sure you pick a height for that step-up, that works with seating. And then also think on the kitchen side, you’re going to need something on that backsplash. So if you’ve got a certain tile in mind, think about two or three runs of that tile to give you the height that you need or whether you’re continuing your granite or whatever your surface is, as the backsplash. Because those are some things to consider.
ANN: You’ve helped me make my decision, so I really appreciate it. I love your show, too.
LESLIE: Thanks, Ann.
TOM: Good luck with that project, Ann. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.