Why Do Most Kitchens Have the Sink Facing a Window?

I don’t like doing the dishes, and as I was doing them the other day, I was thinking about how nice it is to have a window above the sink. There are various options for kitchen designs, but most people choose to place the kitchen sink underneath a window. Is there a reason for this placement? Why do kitchen sinks usually face windows? 

Having a window above the kitchen sink minimizes unwanted odors, provides natural light, lets out steam, and helps air dry the dishes. It also makes the best use of the space by freeing the area above the sink to do the dishes comfortably.

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss why kitchen sinks are placed under a window and answer a few common questions about this placement. 

An Open Window Helps Minimize Foul Odors

One of the reasons why you most often find sinks placed under windows is that it helps filter out unwanted odors. One of those odors I hate is caused by kitchen sponges. If you use kitchen sponges, you know what I am talking about.

With windows open, air can enter from outside and also help push these odors away from your kitchen. A window over the sink is especially important if you don’t have a garbage disposal.

Windows Provide Natural Light 

The sunlight shining in through the windows automatically boosts my mood when I do the dishes. If you wide open the windows, you may also get some vitamin D.

Even on a rainy day, I get to see happy birds and get natural light.  An additional bonus is the reduction of energy costs by eliminating the need for artificial light. 

An Open Window Lets Out Steam 

A window over your sink allows warm water vapors to escape rather than build up in your kitchen, potentially resulting in unwanted mold or mildew. With an open window, the fresh air will also feel nice when you’re working with warm or hot water. 

Dishes Air Dry Faster Near a Window

If you like to hand wash dishes, having a sink that faces a window will help your dishes air dry faster. After washing, all you need to do is place your dishes on a drying rack and open the window. The fresh air will quickly dry the dishes so you can put them away later.

Nowadays most people enjoy the convenience of a dishwasher, but you can still benefit from air drying if you have too many dishes that won’t fit in the washer or some that aren’t dishwasher safe. 

It Makes the Best Use of the Space 

Ultimately, placing your kitchen sink under a window makes sense space-wise. Generally, you wouldn’t put cabinets or other objects above your sink as they may get in your way when you are using the sink. For example, imagine how cumbersome having a bulky lighting fixture above the sink would be.

A Window Provides a Nice View 

It’s nice to have something pleasant to look at through the window while you work. Of course, this assumes you have a pleasant view to look at. We used to live in a condo where the kitchen window faced a freeway. But that’s another story

Additionally, it’s easier to keep an eye on children playing in the yard if you have kids. You can also open the window to hear better what’s going on in case someone gets hurt. 

Kitchen Sinks Are Traditionally Placed Under the Window

For many generations, builders have been used to this specific kitchen design. People have been doing it for so long that it has become a tradition. You will be hard-pressed to find a newer home with a sink away from the window, and if you happen to, there typically will still be plenty of natural lighting in the kitchen. 

Other Sink Location Options

This video from Mark Tobin Kitchen Design goes over other sink location possibilities. He notes that sink location depends on a few factors, the most important being the plumbing. The video goes over several available options when you have the ability to put your kitchen sink in any location.

Closing Thoughts

The main reason for having a kitchen sink that faces a window is to give access to natural light while washing dishes and other utensils. Additionally, this placement allows fresh air to get in, improving air circulation and ventilation. This helps reduce unpleasant smells from the sink. No building code requires you to place a kitchen sink under a window. This placement simply looks better, and people are used to it. 

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