When it comes to outdoor sinks and faucets, there is not much difference from their indoor counterparts. They all work the same way, and are offered in many of the same styles. However, one thing that many don't first consider before deciding on adding a sink and faucet to their outdoor kitchen is the cost of outdoor plumbing. Your outdoor kitchen sink will need water lines ran to it (cold water, hot water, or both), along with proper drainage. Before you decide on adding an outdoor sink and faucet to your outdoor kitchen, make sure you get an estimate from a licensed plumber to determine if it will fit within your budget.
Once you've determined that you're ready to add a sink and faucet to your outdoor kitchen, it is important to consider the things below to ensure you make a great purchase and will be happy with your investment for many years to come.
While there are many different materials offered, stainless steel is by far the most popular material and most available choice when it comes to outdoor sinks. It is important to look for sinks made of 304-grade stainless steel, which is more durable than other stainless steel grades and offers a higher resistance to corrosion. This is important to ensure that your sink will stand up to the elements outdoors.
The gauge or thickness of the steel is another important thing to consider. When it comes to steel gauge, the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. Thicker gauges, such 16-gauge stainless steel, are more durable, quiet, and offer a better resistance to heavier objects placed in the sink. In contrast, thinner, 20-gauge stainless steel sinks will give off a “plinking” sound, and tend to dip some with heavy objects sitting inside the sink.
Tip: Like with any product you purchase, look for outdoor sinks and faucets that come with a lifetime warranty to give you the most confidence in your purchase.
Size & Style
When designing your outdoor kitchen, it is important to consider the space you want to allot for a sink, as well as the purpose it will serve. This will allow you to easily determine the overall dimensions of the sink you'll be shopping for, along with whether a bar sink, single-bowl, or double-bowl is right for you.
Bar sinks are the smallest sink styles, typically requiring around 12-16 inches of counter space width, and a little less than that for depth. Bar sinks are great for entertaining and small jobs, while saving the most amount of space on your outdoor kitchen counter top.
Single-bowl sinks or basins are larger than bar sinks, generally around 17-26 inches wide and around the same amount for depth. Double-bowl sinks are generally around 30-36 inches wide and come in a variety of depths for each bowl. The choice between a single-bowl sink and double is more a matter of functionality, space, usability, and preference.
Many also use their outdoor sinks as an ice bin to keep drinks cold while entertaining guests. However, if your big into entertaining and serving fresh drinks and cocktails, you may want to consider a beverage center. There are several styles of beverage centers available that include a sink and faucet, as well as an ice bin, condiment trays and storage, making serving your guest easy and convenient.
Outdoor faucets come in a wide variety of styles and are made of many different materials. Like sinks, it is best to find a faucet made of 304-grade stainless steel. Many faucets may look like stainless steel, but don't be fooled. Check the material before buying any faucet, as it may be chrome plated, or a lower grade of stainless steel, that will simply not be as durable as solid 304-grade stainless steel and may rust quickly.
You will also find many faucets made with a nickel or bronze finish, which are also popular. These two finishes are also good choices when it comes to outdoor durability. However, over time outdoors, these two finishes are known to form a harmless patina from oxidation that may alter the color or appearance of the finish.
Faucet valve types are also an important consideration when it comes to faucets. It is best to avoid compression faucet valves, which typically use rubber washers and seals that will fail overtime outdoors, on top of being the most prone to leaks. Compression faucets are the more traditional faucet types, found in many older homes and utility sinks, requiring you to turn the handles to tighten and close off the valves. Instead, it's best to look for washerless faucets, such as ball, ceramic disk, or cartridge which will last longer, require less maintenance, and function more effortlessly than compression faucets.
Size & Style
Before considering the style of faucet you want, you will need to have determined if you will have both hot and cold water lines ran to your outdoor kitchen, or just cold. This will allow you to shop for faucets with the proper water type needed.
Faucets come in several different types, designed for the functionality needed. Cast faucets are the more traditional faucets, featuring a fixed or swivel one-piece spout that typically stick straight out over the sink or has a goose-neck shaped design. These faucets direct the water straight down from the spout.
Pull-out and pull-down faucets may look a lot like cast faucets, but feature a spout that pulls outward or downward, giving you the versatility of extending the faucet spout to anywhere inside or even beyond the sink bowl.
Pre-rinse faucets are typically found in commercial kitchens and utility sinks, and are great for cleaning. They typically offer a high-arc spout and powerful sprayer to help blast away food from plates, making cleaning a pile of dishes after your party a breeze.
Outdoor sinks and faucets need to be cleaned more frequently than indoor ones to prevent any discoloration, residue, and gunk left after use. It is recommended to use a stainless steel cleaner to keep your stainless steel sinks and faucet clean, polished, and looking brand new.
It is also important to make sure any exposed pipes running to your outdoor kitchen faucet and sink are insulated to prevent them freezing during cold weather, or worse, bursting which could cost a lot of money to repair.
Now that you're an expert, shop our large selection of Outdoor Sinks & Faucets