What are the parts of a sink called?

sink and faucet image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com

Kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks differ in some details, but for the most part the components of a sink are the same. Many individual elements of a sink are simple hardware parts that really only become essential when they are combined together to suit a single purpose.

Other parts can only be found on a sink or similar item used for the purpose of supplying water.


The tap is the most uniquely identifiable part of a sink even though its appearance can change from one sink to another. The tap is also one of the few parts of a sink that you can tailor to suit your decorating style or change to suit the special needs such as not being physically able to turn traditional knobs.


The basin is the other feature that of a sink that can be stylised to suit one's aesthetic needs. The basin in the bowl can be filled with water by stopping up the drain or the tap can just run continuously as the water drains out. Basins can be made of a variety of different materials including cast iron, copper, stainless steel, ceramic and granite.

Supply tubes

Cold water enters the house through a supply tube that must flow through a valve. The valve can be used to turn off the supply of water to the sink. Along the way to the sink the water passes by a meter that keeps track of your usage. Supply tubes are usually made of copper, steel or a polybutylene. The tubes carry the water to supply pipes that direct the water up to the tap fixture.

Waste water pipes

A continuous waste tee pipe carries waste water from both basins in a dual-sink down to a single trap. The trap is U-shaped to make sure that water remains at the bottom of the U, thus sealing off the drainage system. This shape also makes the trap useful for sealing off sewer gas from entering the house.


Some sinks come equipped with drain stoppers, while others are stopped up with just a simple removable rubber plug. A pop-up stopper is simple to operate, but actually involves a rather complex interaction of multiple parts. The elements of a pop-up stopper include the stopper that fits into the drain, a lift rod used to control the stopper, a clevis strap, pivot rod and ball, spring clip and the tailpiece that attaches the body of the drain to the trap.


Kitchen sinks may be equipped with a strainer that catches food particles while allowing water to be strained through. The strainer flange fits directly into the drain opening. Gaskets and washers keep the strainer in place and a locknut secures the strainer to the sink. A leaky sink can be a sign that the strainer body is no longer adequately sealed to the sink drain opening.