A utility sink or tub, often also referred to as a laundry sink, is a fixture usually found in garages and laundry rooms. It’s a type of large sink with a basic that can be as deep as 25” and it can be used in a variety of different ways such as for cleaning various tools, filling and emptying mop buckets, soaking clothes or even bathing small pets.
They come in lots of different sizes and can be made of various different materials such as cast iron, stainless steel or ceramic. Utility tubs are meant to be practical so they tend to have more heavy-duty and industrial-looking designs. Let’s look at a few examples.
How to choose a utility tub
A utility tub, also referred to as a laundry sink/ utility sink is a very convenient and practical thing to have. Of course, like with everything else we put in our homes, it’s important to take the time to figure out what the best product is based on our specific needs.
Type of sink based on installation type
First things first, decide what type of utility tub is best for your laundry room. Based on the installation style, you can choose between a drop-in sink, an undermount type, a wall-mounted style, a floor-mount sink or even a portable one.
- The drop-in sinks are meant to be dropped into a hole cut into the countertop. Only the rim of the sink remains above the counter. They’re pretty easy to install but they do require you to have some sort of work surface in your laundry room.
- Undermount sinks are completely concealed beneath the counter, rim and all. Since there’s no visible edges above the counter, cleaning is a lot easier. This style also provides a minimalistic and contemporary look.
- Wall-mounted utility sinks are a good option if your laundry room doesn’t have a countertop or a work surface. They can be installed as standalone units directly onto the wall and they leave the space beneath empty so you can use it for something else.
- Floor-mount sinks/ utility tubs are also standalone units but they’re not attached to the wall or counter or anything else. They’re great if you lack a counter or if you don’t want the sink to limit your usable workspace. These sinks have a base and legs and they can be installed anywhere as long as there’s access to plumbing lines.
- Portable utility tubs, as you can probably guess, can be moved from one place to the other and offer lots of flexibility. They often have wheels or casters and supply lines with can be connected to existing plumbing. They’re useful if you want to be able to take the sink out of the way or if you want to take it outside for example.
Materials a utility tub is made
Regardless of type, utility tubs/ sinks also come in a variety of different materials. Each has its own pros and cons so before you make a decision take into consideration all the aspects.
This is the most cost-effective option if you’re looking for an affordable utility tub. Plastic is quite durable and easy to clean, although it can get stained and damaged by certain chemicals or heat. Plastic sinks are very lightweight and they come in lots of different colors which allows you to customize the laundry room in ways that other types of sinks don’t.
Stainless steel is quite the opposite of plastic in many ways. They’re very durable and resistant both to heat and chemicals and they can be quite expensive. They’re available in various types of finishes and they’re rust-resistant. They’re excellent for any environment, both indoor and outdoor.
Needless to say, cast iron sinks are very heavy compared to the other types. They’re also a lot more traditional so they suit decors with a retro vibe. They’re strong and durable but they require an enamel coating which can wear off over time and exposes them to corrosion. This coating offers protection from harsh chemicals, cleaners, scratches and high temperatures and it can be re-applied as needed.
This is a strong and durable material and a very common one for drop-in and undermount sinks and utility tubs. It’s resistant to heat and chemicals and it has a beautiful and stylish look which usually suits a lot of different styles and decors. Porcelain sinks can be damaged and scratched if you drop heavy items on them and they can also get stained.
Fiberglass and acrylic
Both of these materials are excellent for sinks and utility tubs. They’re non-porous so they don’t absorb stains, they’re lightweight, durable, easy to clean and they’re quite affordable as well. They also come in lots of different shapes, styles and colors which is great news for anyone who seeks to create a unique and custom design.
Questions to Consider
Wondering about some of the most generic frequently asked questions are when it comes to utility sinks?
- What is the tub made of? Is it plastic? Metal? A combination?
- Does the tub require any speciality plumbing?
- What is the measurements of the tub? Height, width, depth, etc.
- Can this tub be installed outdoors?
- Does it have support legs?
- Do it need to be secured to the wall?
- Is there repair and/or replacement warranty?
Pro and cons compared with a normal sink for mudroom
- Larger size for various needs
- Plastic or metal construction that is meant to last
- Can be hooked up to both hot and cold water.
- Larger in size and will take up floor space
- Easy to install
- Compact and small
- Cheaper than a utility sink
- Doesn’t have as big of a trap in the plumbing
- Made from ceramic or porcelain so chips and cracks are common when overused
10 Best Utility Tub Designs For Laundry Rooms Available on the Market
This utility tub measures 34” x 40” x 24” and has a simple but also nice-looking design. It’s elegant enough to fit in most laundry rooms and deep enough to prevent splashing. It has four tapered legs with clean and simple lines that allow you to use this as a freestanding fixture but it also has a lip around the top which makes it possible to install it as a drop-in sink if needed. Installation is easy and can be done without professional help.
- Simple and classic design
- Can be installed as a freestanding or drop-in sink
- Larger design for convenience
- Will need floor space for installation
There are plenty of individual elements and specifications to consider before choosing a utility tub. You might be limited by the width and depth that the tub can have but if there enough space and you also actually need a large tub in your laundry room or in your garage, consider something like this. This one measures 40” in width and is 34” high and 24” long. It’s a freestanding utility tub with four legs and it’s made of thermoplastic.
- Rectangular in shape
- Thermoplastic construction
- Long in length
- Will need space for installation
- Plastic can scratch and stain over time
Not all utility tubs are big. If you’re limited on space or if you don’t need a large tub in your laundry room, something like this might be enough. The overall dimensions of this tub are 15.5” x 25.2” x 23.5”. It’s a freestanding fixture with four grey legs and a white square-shaped bowl. It comes complete with everything you need for the installation including the faucet, fittings, pipes, stopper and Teflon tape.
- Compact design for small spaces
- Freestanding design
- Square-shaped bowl
- Only a tad bigger than a normal sink
A utility tub or sink is a convenient and practical addition to spaces such as the laundry room, mudroom, basement, workshop or garage. They’re also really versatile and usually have simple designs. This one is fairly compact in size. It has a capacity of 19 gallons and it’s made of a durable thermoplastic. It comes with everything you need for the installation including stainless steel supply lines for hot and cold water, seal tape, rust-proof metal legs, floor levelers and also a plastic drainage kit, a rubber stopper and the faucet. The spout can be moved out of the way thanks to the 360-degree swivel mechanism.
The high end kitchen faucet adds style and greater functionality than a regular laundry faucet.View Deal
- Compact with a 19 gallon capacity
- Complete installation kit included
- 360-degree swivel spout
- Will need height for installation
Although most utility tubs are white, that’s actually not the only option and there are plenty of other colors to choose from. If you want something equally simple and timeless but with a more sleek look, a black tub might just be the perfect answer. It has a classic design focused on practicality and it’s all black. You can match it to a set of black appliances or cabinets or you can use it to add some contrast to the decor. This is a complete utility tub kit which includes a double-handle pull-out faucet that’s extremely practical and versatile. It also comes with stainless steel supply lines, a PVC pipe drain connection, thread tape, washers, nuts and a rubber drain plug.
- Sleek black color
- Classic design
- Double-handle pull-out faucet.
- Color could fade over time
Utility tubs are very useful for washing pets and this one was designed with an emphasis on exactly that. It can be accessorized with all sorts of different attachments and it even has cute dog paw decals on the front. It comes with a high art faucet with side sprayer, a towel hook and a storage basket for grooming products, soap and other things. It would make a perfect pet tub and it can of course also be used for various other tasks such as soaking laundry, cleaning tools, filling buckets and so on. It has a 19 gallon capacity with a deep bowl for minimal splashing. It comes as a complete kit which includes everything required for installation.
Fill a cleaning bucket with hot water without having to hold the heavy pail up to the faucet.View Deal
- Designed for pet washing and other uses
- High art faucet with side sprayer
- 19 gallon capacity
- Can be hard to get pets into the sink
In case you prefer something a bit more colorful, perhaps you’d prefer this blue utility tub which has a simple and practical design. It’s a freestanding tub with four strong and durable metal legs. It’s quite deep and has a capacity of 19 gallons. The overall dimensions of the entire tub are 23.5” L x 15.5” W x 23.5 H”. The high art faucet looks really nice as well. It’s tall and has a graceful shape and it’s black which goes really well with the blue tub and adds a modern and refined touch to the entire ensemble.
- Colorful and fun
- Durable metal legs
- Deep bowl construction
- Color could fade over time
This particular utility sink is a great option for small laundry rooms. It’s compact and has a simple and sleek design, with an emphasis on the large bowl which measures 8″W x 16″D x 13″H. Another thing that’s special about this particular model is the material. The sink is made out of stainless steel which gives it a more industrial appearance compared to other models. It’s a freestanding sink with four slender legs also made of stainless steel and adjustable stabilizers made of plastic that keep it level.
- Simple and sleek design
- Stainless steel will last a lifetime
- Slender support legs
- More expensive than other models
Although utility tubs are not really meant to look great and focus on functionality rather than aesthetics, that doesn’t mean they’re ugly. A lot of them look similar to this tub. The design is simple and versatile and you can successfully incorporate this into a variety of different spaces and decors. This one has a white bowl made of thermoplastic and grey metal legs. It’s a neutral palette with a slight industrial vibe. It comes as a set complete with everything required for installation such as the supply lines and the pull-out faucet.
The overall dimensions of the tub are 33-3/4'' H x 22-7/8'' W x 23-3/8'' D.View Deal
- Versatile design
- Thermoplastic bowl
- Complete installation kit included
- Smaller bowl design
If you want something extra durable as well as compact, small stainless steel utility tubs such as this one seem like a great option. It’s resistant to rust and corrosion and it’s also highly durable sturdy and resistant. It comes with all the necessary parts for quick and simple installation and the faucet and swivel spout are also included. An interesting feature is also the backsplash which is where the faucet is installed. The metal legs are also a bit unusual, featuring an H shape for added support and stability.
- Backsplash is part of the construction
- Resistant to rust and corrosion
- Faucet and swivel spout are included
- Expensive model
The biggest factor that will play a part in deciding if you should get a utility tub or a normal sink for your mudroom is how much, and for what purpose, do you plan to use the sink for? If you are going to be washing big items with various coatings on them, using it on a daily basis, need a place to soak out parts or other fair-sized items – then you want a utility tub instead!
Planning to use it as a second sink and part of a small half-bath? You only want somewhere to wash your hands when you are done gardening or being outside? Then a normal sink might be sufficient.
Ultimately, you need to consider the pros and cons of both types of sinks before making your final decision!