WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / Buying Guides / Types of Compartment Sinks

Types of Compartment Sinks

Every commercial kitchen needs a sink - and most could use more than one. But with so many different options, from utility sinks to portable hand washing stations, finding the perfect one for your business can be a challenge. That's why we've laid out all the factors that you need to consider when searching for a sink of your own. From the number of compartments to the material of the unit and more, all you need to know about compartment sinks can be found right here. For more information on how to care for your sink as you work with it, you can also consult our stainless steel care guide.



The first factor to consider is how many compartments you'll need. You can determine this by planning out the tasks for which the sink will be used the most. If you need a place to rinse, wash, and sanitize, the classic three compartment sink is your best bet - you can even label each compartment for clarity. This sink layout is one of the most common in the industry because it's so easy and intuitive to use. It's also able to hold almost any kind of dishware, cookware, or flatware in each compartment while maintaining a relatively compact footprint to fit in most commercial kitchens.

Alternatively, there are also one compartment, two compartment, and four compartment sinks to do just about any job you require. One compartment units are great for areas where space is at a premium, and four compartment sinks offer greater versatility for locations with room to spare. But no matter what you choose, it's most important to know if your sink will be able to handle what you need it to do.

Image Features
One Compartment Sinks

  • Compact footprint
  • Utility or veggie wash

Two Compartment Sinks

  • Compact footprint
  • Food thaw, prep

Three Compartment Sinks

  • Larger footprint
  • Rinse, wash, sanitize

Four Compartment Sinks

  • Largest footprint
  • Scrape, rinse, wash, sanitize


The material of the sink you buy is just as important as its number of compartments and size. All compartment sinks are made of stainless steel to ensure long-lasting durability, but there are different grades of steel used. Type 430 steel is commonly used in the industry for all kinds of equipment, and it ensures you get your money's worth when purchasing a sink. Type 304 is also very dependable with the added bonus of extra rust and corrosion resistance. This makes it better for use in wet environments, like coastal areas, where it will be able to stand up to the constant humidity.

Quality Features
Type 430 Stainless Steel
  • Standard material
  • Eventually rusts
Type 304 Stainless Steel

  • Heavy duty material
  • Resists rust


Each compartment sink is also made with a specific gauge of steel. The gauge is a measurement of the steel's thickness, with lower gauges indicating a thicker metal. The thinnest gauge used for sinks is 18 gauge, which is thick enough to ensure a reliable purchase. The toughest sinks are made of 14 gauge steel, which adds durability and increases the weight of the unit. So while an 18 gauge Type 430 steel sink will be strong enough for most kitchens, the heavy duty 14 gauge Type 304 sinks are designed to stand up to more use for a longer time.

Quality Features
18 Gauge Stainless Steel

  • Thinnest material
  • Good for soft water areas

16 Gauge Stainless Steel

  • Medium grade material
  • Stronger legs

14 Gauge Stainless Steel

  • Thickest material
  • Greatest durability
  • Stands up to hard water



For the best convenience, compartment sinks can come with drainboards on one or both sides for a variety of purposes, from drying washed dishware to adding extra table space. Most sinks also include holes drilled into the backsplash to support nozzle, gooseneck, or pre-rinse faucets, depending on what you need, to give you the chance to streamline rinsing and cleaning. With three and four compartment sinks, the units commonly come with multiple centers punched over different sinks so that you can have multiple faucets for separate purposes while you work.

Subscribe now for great deals and industry tips! Sign up for our mailing list to have weekly discounts and industry knowledge sent right to your inbox.

Food Service Resources

Tips, guides, & advice

Explore Resources
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • MasterCard
  • Paypal