Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best utility sinks

Do you have an older house? One that came with one of those concrete and steel utility sinks that weighs several hundred pounds and could be used as a makeshift bomb shelter? You probably thought that sink was going to outlast your house. Wanna know a secret? It won't. The drain is the first to go. After that happens, you’re facing either a complicated repair or permanently keeping a bucket under the leak. But there’s a third option. Get a new utility sink.

Newer utility sinks are constructed using many different materials, and they are only a fraction of the weight – even an enameled cast iron utility sink is lighter than those concrete monsters. And if you get the right one, it will be just as durable.

The following guide will outline your options and answer your questions so that you can find the best utility sink for your needs.

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To a point, the higher the ratio of chromium and nickel in your stainless steel utility sink, the more durable and rust-resistant it will be. A sink that is 18/10 (18% chromium/10% nickel) or 18/8 (also known as 304 grade) is preferred.

Key considerations

Installation style

There are four basic ways to install utility sinks: drop-in, undermount, wall-mount, and floor-mount. The first two types are installed in a counter, while the second two styles do not require a counter.

Drop-in utility sinks are the most common. A drop-in sink simply drops into a hole in your countertop and has a lip or rim that supports it. A drop-in utility sink is less expensive than an undermount sink, it is easier to clean, and it allows you to have a greater choice of countertop materials.

With an undermount utility sink, the rim is fastened to the countertop from underneath. These sinks are a bit more difficult to install, slightly pricier than drop-in sinks, and the seam between the sink and the countertop can quickly build up all manner of gunk. However, with an undermount sink, it is easier to wipe the countertop clean.

A wall-mount utility sink is often the most affordable. It can be mounted on any available (and secure) wall, making it a great option when space is an issue.

A floor-mount or floor-standing utility sink is most likely what you picture when you think of a utility sink. It has four sturdy legs that support the sink. Depending on whether it has an attached shelf, this style can also be a good choice for a smaller area. Some of the pricier consumer models feature a storage cabinet located beneath the sink.

Note: Though not common for home use, there are portable utility sinks that can be moved from place to place as needed.


There are four basic types of materials used in the construction of modern utility sinks: acrylic, porcelain, stainless steel, and enameled cast iron.

The most cost-effective option for a utility sink is acrylic. Acrylic is a lightweight, reinforced plastic that resists both stains and scratches. It is also easy to clean, but remember to use a non-abrasive cleaner. These types of sinks can be loud when hit with running water.

Porcelain is made from heating ceramic material to a very high temperature, which makes it more durable. It is then glazed with a glass-based enamel to give it a shine and increase its durability. Porcelain is heat-resistant and cleans easily.

Stainless steel is a durable, lightweight, easy-to-clean option that goes with most decor styles. The heavier gauges are dent-resistant. Since stainless steel scratches easily, you’ll likely want a brushed finish because it hides scratches better. Like acrylic, stainless steel can be loud when hit with running water. It is also a more expensive option.

An enameled cast iron utility sink can endure many years of hot water and heavy-duty wear and tear. However, it is a higher-priced option that requires maintenance. It is also a heavy material.



With wall-mount and standing utility sinks, you have the option of adding a backsplash to help prevent water damage from splashing.


A deeper sink holds more water, but if you anticipate doing a lot of work while standing at the sink, a shallower sink is easier on your back.

Double bowl

Some utility sinks offer the flexibility of having two bowls. When washing, one side holds soapy water, while the other side is reserved for rinsing.

Shelf and other accessories

Some utility sinks offer options such as a back shelf, drying racks, and a bottle holder. If these are important to you, make sure the utility sink you are considering has or can be fitted with these accessories.


If you have limited space, make sure your utility sink fits in that allotted space.

Sloped bottom/channel grooves

A utility sink featuring a sloped bottom or channel grooves will drain better.

Sound dampening

Some utility sinks contain a sound dampening feature that diminishes the noise made when the sink is hit with running water.

Expert Tip


The prices for utility sinks vary according to the installation style and the materials used in construction.

At the low end, from around $50 to $100, you can find single-bowl, wall-mount sinks that are primarily constructed out of an acrylic material.

Moving up to the $100 to $250 range, you’ll find the largest variety of utility sinks. These sinks can be acrylic, stainless steel, or porcelain and will be wall-mount, drop-in, undermount, or floor-standing sinks, but most models will still only offer a single bowl.

For $250 and up, you can find higher-quality sinks that may have more than one bowl. These are mostly floor-standing units or utility sinks with included cabinets. You will also find enameled cast iron models in this price range as well as commercial-grade portable stainless steel utility sinks.


Utility sinks have a wide variety of uses, some obvious and some you’ve probably never even considered. Here are a few different ways that you can use a utility sink:

  • To hand-wash those non-machine-washable items.

  • To give your pet a bath.

  • To dye your hair. (Why stain the bathroom sink?)

  • To empty large buckets of water/dirty water.

  • To create an ice bath for beverages at a party.

  • To clean up after arts and crafts.

  • To pre-soak those tougher stains.

  • To water plants.

  • To serve as a drain for the washing machine.

  • To clean larger items such as gardening tools.

  • To rinse out bathing suits before washing.

  • To clean muddy shoes.

  • To hold the recyclables before pickup.

  • To dry umbrellas.

  • To clean grill grates and utensils.

  • To dye clothing.

  • To wash away accidents prior to machine washing.

  • To empty your dehumidifier bucket.

  • To temporarily store items.

Other products we considered

There are a number of great utility sinks on the market. If cost and size are your primary concerns, the Mustee 16-Inch Utilatub Wall Service Sink is the answer. Designed for PEX inlet/outlet connections, this affordable sink can be quickly mounted to a wall for use in areas where space is limited. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little more elegant, the MAYA Black Utility Sink, featuring a high arc, pull-down chrome faucet, will add a splash of style to your utility room.

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Don’t forget: in order for a utility sink to be effective, it needs water. When deciding on where to place your new utility sink, don’t neglect the plumbing.


Q. I don’t have much space in my laundry room. Which utility sink should I get?

A. You need a utility sink that doesn’t have any countertop area. A simple wall-mount sink that can be installed in a corner or a small floor-standing sink that fits in a convenient space would be ideal.

Q. How do I keep my utility sink from getting clogged?

A. The first line of defense is to remember that a utility sink is not a trash can. Be careful of what goes down the drain because grease, soap, hair, and other debris will slowly begin to accumulate until it impacts the drainage enough to create a clog. Additionally, some home remedies like a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar can be surprisingly effective on the soap that builds up inside your pipes.

Q. I’m thinking about getting a stainless steel utility sink. Should I go for 22 gauge because it’s a higher number than 16 gauge?

A. Believe it or not, when it comes to stainless steel, the higher the gauge, the thinner the material. A 22-gauge sink might not be able to hold up to the rigors of utility sink usage, but a 16-gauge sink should be more than sufficient.

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