Drainer grooves are meant to help with excess water drainage off countertops. They work best when paired with an under-mount sink that water can be channeled directly into.
Drainer grooves can be engraved into solid countertops such as marble, granite, Corian, and concrete and are between 4mm- 6mm deep, depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines. They can not be done on laminate countertops or porcelain. Drainer grooves can be a practical choice for the kitchen but also a design choice (I have to admit I’m not a big fan)
When approaching your countertop wanting to decide which side of the sink should they be engraved on taking the following into consideration: drainer grooves should be placed either away from your main work surface, where there is plenty of space for the dishes to sit and dry, or according to the main person doing the dishes (is he lefty or a righty).
More broadly, here is what you need to consider:
Drainer grooves should be placed far away from your main work surface.
Your work surface needs to be as clear as possible for the simple reason that you need this surface clear to be able to work effectively. your work surface is busy on a daily basis and dishes sitting there waiting to get dry is an accident waiting to happen. For more on the triangle theory or maximum kitchen workflow, you can read this super helpful article right here.
Drainer grooves should be tailored to whoever is doing the dishes in your household
Be honest here because it really depends on who is doing the dishes on a daily basis. If for example, the person washing the dishes is a lefty, like all of the members of our household except for me- I like to say I am the only “right one” in our house, then the grooves should be to the right of the sink – left-hand washes, right-hand moves the dish to the counter to dry. (So if it was my kitchen we were talking about then the grooves would likely be on the left.)
Drainer grooves location is really is a question of space
The groove should be where you have counter space to allow for the dishes to sit on.
And yet if the answer would be – neither side. Don’t do it. Keep your counter clutter-free. One could only hope.
After taking all this into consideration here is another question you should ask yourself…
Do you need drainer grooves for a more efficient kitchen?
Although these grooves serve a practical purpose and can aid in drying dishes on your countertop, they are not really necessary. I personally don’t believe that they work as well as they should. They do catch some access water but not enough to make them a “must feature” in your kitchen. A quick wipe down with a towel will do just fine, and if it helps with drying out the glassware you are after then you can use a roller mat (FRANKE) instead. These mats either fit on the sink’s lip (which also means keeping your counter clatter free- an added bonus for me) or above it, is a neat and inexpensive alternative to the counter engraved version.
Where else can drainer grooves be engraved in the kitchen?
Drainer grooves can be integrated into any work area where liquid spilling off it and onto the floor (and down the surface of the cabinet) can occur. Such an area can be around a counter-integrated cooktop. I happen to have one of these cooktops. I chose it for its modern look and for its easy cleanup. The only concern I had when selecting it, was what happens if someone doesn’t pay attention and liquid overflows from an unattended pot. Since the burners are integrated into the stone counter there would be nothing to catch the liquid unlike in a typical drop-in cooktop that is designed to catch and hold liquid. The solution would be to engrave a channel around the perimeter of the cooktop (think of the groove around a cutting board). Doing this would have solved the issue but in the end, I opted not to do so because
1. I really wanted a smooth surface that can be wiped down with one swipe
2- I knew that I can trust my family members to pay attention to whatever is cooking and prevent an overflow (when I say “trust” I mean that they know better and would rather closely watch a pot simmer than deal with the aftermath of my “overflow”).
Having said that I actually think engraving around the perimeter of a counter integrated cooktop can be a good solution for catching the excess liquid.
Drainer grooves are channels engraved into a solid countertop next to the sink that is meant to help catch access water. They should be engraved on the side of the sink that you use less and away from your main prep area. Although these grooves can aid in drying dish-ware such as glasses I don’t believe they are a necessary kitchen feature because they don’t really do their job properly. My suggestion is to keep the kitchen towel handy and your counter smooth and groove-free.