Everything to know before buying your kitchen sink & faucet
No kitchen remodel is complete without a new sink and faucet. A sink is one of the most used items in your kitchen. Think about it, you use the sink every day even if you don’t cook. And home cooks are not the only people using the sink. Children, guests, and others in your family also use the sink a lot.
When it comes to kitchen sinks and faucets, looks aren’t everything. While aesthetics play a big role in most renovations, functionality is crucial here. A good quality sink and faucet will last years and selecting a classic style will keep your kitchen looking good throughout. But what does quality mean and what should you look for when buying a new sink and faucet?
Material and Features
The latest advancements in kitchen hardware have practically eliminated leaky faucets and corroded sinks. Many manufacturers also offer lifetime warranties for defects and even finishes in some cases. If you go for reputed brands like Blanco, Prochef, and Grohe, you won’t have to worry about performance and quality. Most of these brands also plenty of options at various price points, so you can always find something that fits your budget.
What distinguishes different faucets is the features they offer such as accessories, finishes, touchless operation, pull out hoses, or spray options. Similarly, sinks from major manufacturers are almost all good and the sink material is more important than the brand you select. For instance, stainless steel kitchen sinks are versatile and suited for most decor styles, irrespective of brand or gauge (thickness of the steel).
That being said, here are a few things to check before purchasing a sink and faucet that will complete the look of your kitchen:
While there is no rule that says you have to buy the sink and faucet from the same brand or even model line, it is easier to get a consistent look this way.
However, you do have to match the number of mounting holes needed for your faucet with those available for the sink of your choice. If your sink has more holes than your faucet needs, you will have to cover the extra ones. Most sinks come with a mounting or deck plate for this purpose. But never buy a faucet that needs more holes than the sink comes with. It’s not easy or cheap to drill extra holes in most sinks.
Apart from matching the number of mounting holes, you should also check for the position. Most faucets are installed near the center of the sink but some fancier options are mounted to the wall or even a corner of the sink. Corner faucets look good but they need to have longer hoses to reach the opposite sink corner.
Style and shapes
The next thing to consider is the faucet style and sink shape. Straight spout faucets are readily available and inexpensive. But you may have trouble with large bowls or filling big pots. A gooseneck faucet or one with a pull out spray head is a good option for most cooks.
Sinks also come in multiple options and shapes. For instance, do you want one large bowl to fit even the biggest pots or two smaller bowls to separate tasks like rinsing vegetables? A 2 bowl sink is very handy if you have two cooks in the family. Rectangular sinks are most common but round, square, and other shapes are also available.
Always match the sink and faucet finish. A shiny chrome faucet will look out of place if the rest of your kitchen features a matte chrome finish and vice-versa.
Installation and repair
Always look for sinks and faucets that are easy to install and repair. If your faucet leaks, the manufacturer will send a replacement part but you will have to install it yourself. You shouldn’t have to purchase specialized tools for installing the sink. Faucets with long water supply hoses make it easier to connect to the main water line. If the faucet comes with a pull out spray head, check that the counterweight functions properly.
For sinks, top or under-mounting is a major concern. Top mount or drop-in models are easy to install as long as you have the right measurements for your countertop. But they have a lip that sits on the counter and food particles often get stuck underneath. That’s why under-mounted sinks are becoming popular. These sinks are mounted from under the counter, so it’s easy to clean the countertop. You simply push food particles straight into the sink. But these sinks are more difficult to install and your countertop may not accommodate one.
Finally, do consider an InSinkErator or garbage disposal for the kitchen sink. It’s often overlooked but can make a huge difference. Having one in your sink greatly reduces the chance of the drain getting clogged.