A Guide to Kitchen Sinks
If the kitchen is the heart of a home, then the sink is definitely the centre of the kitchen. Think about it, you use the sink even when you don’t cook. In fact, the cook is not the only one using the sink. Everyone in the house uses it every day! Sinks last quite a long time – around 15 years or so depending on the material. You’ll be using the sink you select today for many years down the line and it has to be comfortable for children and adults alike. No wonder it is daunting to select a new sink!
So, here’s what you need to know before buying a new sink:
Type of Sinks
The type of sink depends on the installation process. Most sinks are either drop-in or undermount models. There are other specialty types like corner sinks but most kitchens don’t need them. Think about what size sink you want as well – a large sink will look huge in a small kitchen. That’s space you could use for countertops or more storage.
Drop-ins are the most common types of sinks for several reasons. They’re very easy to install, taking about an hour or so. They have a lip that rests on the counter, giving it strong support. You also get more space underneath the sink for other parts such as the disposer, pipes etc. Drop-in sinks look good with laminate counters.
Undermount sinks need more time and expertise to install but are well worth the effort as they give a seamless look to your counters. Because there is no lip, they need strong countertops like granite or stone for support. It also makes cleanup easier as you can sweep crumbs straight into the bowl.
You use the sink every day for a wide variety of uses. That means it should withstand heat, be able to carry heavy objects and not crack from sharp objects. The most commonly used sink material is stainless steel. These sinks are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. They also look good with most countertops and kitchen designs.
Copper is another favorite material for sinks. It won’t rust or tarnish. It’s also antimicrobial which is a great thing to have in a sink! Granite, fireclay, and ceramics are some of the other options for kitchen sinks. Most of these materials are heat and scratch resistant, some even offer sound deadening properties. You can also install sound deadening pads later on if your sink material is too loud when doing the dishes.
You can buy kitchen sinks in many shapes and colors. But the most common bowl shape is square or rectangle for maximizing the washing area. The bigger questions when it comes to shape and size are:
Should you go for one with two bowls or one? Should both bowls have the same depth?
There are no right or wrong answers. It all comes down to your cooking style and preferences. A single, large bowl is great for soaking large pots and pans. It’s functional and you don’t waste any space for a separating wall. If you don’t have a dishwasher, single bowl sinks are a good option. These models tend to have deeper bowls than others.
A double sink, on the other hand, is great if you multi-task often or if more than one person cooks in the kitchen. You can stack dishes in one and defrost dinner in the other. One person could drain the pasta while the other washes vegetables. Depending on your needs, both bowls can be equally deep or have different depths. You may be unable to wash larger dishes though they can always go in the dishwasher.
If you’re not replacing the faucet at the same time, check that the new sink has the required number of holes for your taps. A 1-hole faucet will fit in a 3-hole sink but not vice-versa. But if you’re looking for a new faucet, you have a lot of options.
Do you want separate handles for hot and cold water? What about a spray hose attachment? If you have a 2 or 3 bowl sink, you’ll want to get a longer spout that swivels for ease of use. You can even get faucets with built-in filters if you’re concerned with water quality in your area. There are a lot of choices but you won’t go wrong with any model from a reputed manufacturer.
Finally, you can get faucets in several finishes like chrome and satin nickel. Chrome looks nice and is easy to clean. Satin nickel looks warm and inviting compared to other metallic options. Even polished brass is very popular since many companies offer lifetime finishes.
A new sink can update the entire look and feel of your kitchen. So go ahead and give your kitchen a facelift!