All About Kitchen Sink Strainers! (Size & Types Explained)

A compatible strainer in your kitchen sink will save you all that plumbing cost. If the diameter of the strainer is bigger or smaller than the drain diameter, all that food is bound to get stuck in your sink pipe. And nobody wants that! 

Are kitchen sink strainers a standard size?

Kitchen sink strainers are not a standard or universal size. The size of the strainer will depend on the drain opening diameter of your sink. However, the most common size of kitchen strainer ranges from 3-1/2 inch to 4.5 inches. This range is considered to fit most drain size of sinks. 

Most modern homes may come with sinks that have a similar drain opening in the sink. That size is approximately 3-1/2 inches. Not all kitchen sinks are the same. Old houses have a bigger drain size than new ones. Restaurant kitchens have bigger sinks. If the sinks are larger, the drain opening sizes also become larger. As you can already guess, this only means that one standard-sized kitchen strain won’t do the job for all drain sizes. 

Most strainers for kitchen sinks comprise of two parts. The rimmed body is fixed on to the drain opening while the strainer is removable. The quality of the strainer will depend on what type of strainer it is and what material and finish it has. Stainless steel and silicon strainers are the best to use. To add to that, we must mention that plastic strainers are not the best option. 

OXO Good Grips 2-in-1 Sink Strainer Stopper

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Kitchen sink strainers as mostly made of metals, namely stainless steel. It’s placed on the opening of the drain to a perfect fit. When dishes are washed on the sink, the strainer prevents the bigger food chunks from passing through the drain while letting liquid go through the holes easily. Like we mentioned before, this saves you all that drain system repairs and plumbing cost! Without a proper sized strainer, the pipe will get clogged every other week. 

OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer, Gray

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What size are kitchen sink strainers?

Kitchen sink strainers come in different sizes depending on the type of sink and the drain opening it has to fit into. Here we have summarized some of the typical strainer dimensions based on their types. All dimensions are in inches. 

CORNERJOY 4 PCS Silicone Kitchen Sink Strainer,Large Wide Rim 4.5" Diameter

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What are kitchen sink strainer types?

The main function of all these drains are the same: to keep gunk and food away from the drain. There are few different kinds of strainers available: 

Double Cup Strainer

As you can understand from its name, the strainer is comprised of two cups. One of the cups is usually fixed to the drain opening. The other cup is positioned on top of the attached one and can be removed to clean. The top cup acts as a stopper, while the bottom one is the holder. 

Highcraft 9737 Double Cup Kitchen Sink (3-1/2 Inch) Stainless Steel Drain Assembly With Strainer Basket and Rubber Stopper

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Flange Strainer

For this type, the flange or a protecting rim is connected to the sink end. This rim warrants there is no water leakage. 

Westbrass D2089-62 3-Bolt mount Waste Disposal Flange & Stopper, Matte Black

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Black Nut Strainer

This kind of strainer is fit in a way that it is connected to the plumbing system. It comes with a rubber seal that closes in the space between the sink and the strainer. The rubber seal prevents water leakage. The name indicates the black nut that holds all the components in place. 

Westbrass Wing Nut Style Large Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer, Matte Black, D213-62

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Stopper Strainer

This is a dual functioning strainer that comes with a working switch. The switch is used to change it from a strainer to a stopper and vice versa. Stopper strainer works as a conventional strainer, stopping bigger particles from passing through. When switched, it stops water from going through the drain

OXO Good Grips 2-in-1 Sink Strainer Stopper

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Drain Strainer

Drain strainer is the easiest strainer to use. Just place the strainer on the drain, and it can serve the purpose of filtering food through the drainage without hassle. 

2 Pack Kitchen Sink Strainer Food Catcher 4.5 inch Diameter, Wide Rim Perfect for Most Sink Drains, Anti-Clogging Micro Perforation Holes, Rust Free Stainless Steel, Dishwasher Safe

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Level Strainer

This type of strainer prevents water from draining when the sink is full. The level strainer works using a circular plug made of plastic that stops the water flow whenever needed

MR.SIGA Kitchen Sink Strainer, Stainless Steel Sink Drain Strainer, Dishwasher Safe, Pack of 3

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Basket Strainer

Basket strainers are deeper strainers that can prevent a good amount of debris from getting in the drain hole. The strainer has a closed lid on the drain opening, and it is joined to the plumbing system

GZILA Kitchen Sink Drain Basket Only, 3-inch Basket For Kitchen Sink Strainer Replacement, Deep Cup with Handle, SUS 304 Stainless Steel

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Here are some different types of kitchen sink strainer you can check out-

How do you measure a sink strainer plug?

Hold your measure tape across the sink bottom. This will give you the exact diameter of the space for the plug hole. Keep in mind that you cannot tell the metal ring around the drain when making the measurement. To put it simply, measure the inside rim for the exact diameter of the sink strainer plug. 

Another way of knowing the size of the plug is to use your old strainer plug. If you are going for a replacement, just measure it across the diameter from the top. Similarly, measure the depth of the old strainer. However, we suggest you follow the first method of measuring the inner rim for more accuracy. 

Kitchen Sink Drain Strainers x 1, Anti-Clogging Kitchen Sink Stoppers x 1, BEST HOUSE Stainless Steel Garbage Disposal Sink Plug for Most Drain Standard 3-1/2 Inch

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How do you measure a sink drain opening?

To get the correct size of the kitchen strainer, the first step is to know the size of the drain opening. Just running your measuring scale diagonally across the opening isn’t enough. You need to follow the given steps:

  • At first, get a measuring tape, pen, and paper to note it all down. 
  • Take the measurement of the top of the circular drain. Estimate the distance from one point of the circle across the other. Remember that this is the widest part of the drain. 
  • Next, hold the measuring tape vertically and slip it inside the drain by the edge. Take the measurement of the shallow depth. This is to make sure the body of the strainer fits perfectly. 
  • Make sure to repeat the process to be sure. This will be enough for a conventional strainer. 

The strainer you choose must have a strainer lip that has a marginally greater diameter than the drain opening. Also, the body of the strainer must be slightly smaller than the noted drain diameter so that it can fit without hassle. If all this seems too much, just take the old one you want to replace. 

Plumb Pak K5414BLK Keeney Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Strainer with Fixed Post Basket, Fits Standard 3-1/2-Inch Openings, Black

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How do you use a kitchen sink strainer?

Kitchen sink strainers are very easy to use. When you wash dirty dishes, the perforated holes on the strainer make sure that only water and other liquids pass through it. This means all the solid food parts will remain on the sink. After each heavy dishwashing duty, you may clean the area by throwing away the solid remains. You can detach the removable strainer part and wash it before putting it back to the drain. 

Usually, strainers with smaller holes are more efficient as they can stop most of the solid food that drops. However, make sure to clean it every day, or else you might end up clogging the strainer itself. 

Kitchen Sink Drain Strainers x 1, Anti-Clogging Kitchen Sink Stoppers x 1, BEST HOUSE Stainless Steel Garbage Disposal Sink Plug for Most Drain Standard 3-1/2 Inch

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How do you replace a kitchen sink strainer?

Plumbers can cost a lot, we understand. In case you want to replace the sink strainer all by yourself, here are a few of the steps that might help you: 

  • First, check if there is any leak in the sink. To do that, place a kitchen towel or a think clothing between the drain and the sink. Open the tap and fill up the sink with water. If the tissue or clothing gets wet, there is a leak. If not, you can continue with the next steps.
  • Detach the intergraded nut. In order to loosen the nut, you’ll have to use slip-joint pliers. Again use joint pliers to slacken the locknut on the sink strainer. 
  • For the next step, ask for some help from your family. Have someone hold a screwdriver between the strainer grate handles.
  • Next, you would need to apply plumber’s putty on the top or lip of the drain opening.
  • Now attach the strainer onto the putty and press it down. While you press it down, add the other components of the sink strainer. 
  • Close and screw the locknut again, 

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A kitchen strainer does more than just keep that junk away from your sink pipe. It also keeps the sink area germ and stink-free. Although a very small addition to your kitchen equipment, a compatible strainer that fits the size of your drain opening can save you a lot of headaches.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are Kitchen Sinks Made of?

Where is the Kitchen Sink Trap?

What is a Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer