Bar & Prep Sinks: Pick the Right Strainer
Bar or prep sinks are extremely versatile. Ideal for bar and entertainment areas, they make an excellent second sink in a larger kitchen or primary sink in a small kitchen where space is at a premium.
Bar sinks come in a variety of shapes from square to round or rectangular. Most are about 15 inches wide, 15 to 25 inches long and 5 to 6 inches deep. They also feature significantly smaller drain openings than traditional kitchen sinks, so standard sink strainer baskets will not fit.
Bar sink strainer assemblies feature two elements: a flanged body which drops into the drain hole opening and a strainer basket which is usually removable. Most sinks don’t come with strainer assemblies, so you’ll need one if you’re installing a new sink or changing fittings to blend with other fixtures.
When you’re choosing bar and prep sink strainers, pay attention to these factors:
Material & Finish. Bar sink assemblies are produced in various materials and finishes. Metal bodies and baskets offer long-lasting durability, with finish options ranging from polished brass to bright chrome, brushed nickel, stainless steel or oil rubbed bronze. If you opt for plastic, choose assemblies featuring high grade polymers. In both instances, select a finish that blends with the sink material or color, matches the faucet, or coordinates with other fixtures in the space.
Dimensions. Bar sink strainer assemblies are manufactured to fit the standard 2-inch opening. (If your sink opening is larger, look at standard kitchen sink assemblies instead.) Determine how deep you want your strainer to be, then choose either a standard depth (1 inch) or deep cup strainer (2 to 3 inches deep).
Sink Thickness. Most bar sink strainers are designed for sinks with standard thicknesses, typically about 1/8 to 3/8 inches. Sinks made of cast iron or materials like soapstone can be significantly thicker (up to 2-inches thick), so a standard assembly may not fit.
Special Features. There are two common strainer basket configurations, so you need to decide which works best for you. In one, the basket simply fits into the drain to prevent debris from flowing down the drain. It can be lifted out and cleaned, but it doesn’t stop water flow. In the second version, the strainer resembles a standard kitchen basket with a stopper, so you can fill the sink if you wish.
Installation Features. Sink drain bodies are designed for different types of installation. Often, they simply drop into the drain hole and can be sealed with plumbers putty and manual pressure. Others feature twist-lock retaining rings or threaded tailpipes secured with locking rings.