Selecting A Kitchen Sink
Are you planning to build your dream home? Perhaps you have a renovation or remodel on the calendar and have some choices to make. If so you will most likely become inundated with choices you need to make. Some of those choices will have to do with your kitchen sink. Which style of sinks are available? What sink materials are the top choices for your project? Knowing a bit about what is out there in the way of sinks can help you in the planning phase of your remodel or new home build.
Kitchen Sink Materials
When it comes to material for sinks, there is an array of choices. The following list enumerates some of the most popular types of sink materials available:
- Porcelain Sinks
- Cast Iron Sinks
- Composite Sinks
- Copper Kitchen Sinks
- Stainless Steel Sinks
The above list of sink material is certainly not exhaustive, however it gives you an idea of the kinds of variance that you will find when beginning your search for sink materials. Choosing the perfect sink for your project will be much easier if you know a bit about your options. Let's take a brief look at the materials one by one.
Stainless Steel Sinks
Perhaps one of the most chosen materials for kitchen sinks is stainless steel. Stainless steel sinks offer benefits that make them the best choice for a number of buyers.
Porcelain sinks have been around in the industry for a long time and for many, they are a staple. Some home owners swear by them and won't have anything else. What are some of the reasons why people prefer porcelain sinks? Here are just a few reasons:
- Non-porous Finish - the porosity of the surface can make a difference in the ease of caring for and maintaining the appearance of your sink.
- Diverse Selection - one of the big factors in what people prefer is the selection variety. Porcelain sinks are available in many colors, styles, shapes, and mount methods.
- Durability - as with anything, how long porcelain items last is affected by 1, the quality and 2, the way it is cared for. Porcelain is a durable material that can last a lifetime with the proper care.
Cast Iron Sinks
Cast iron has been a regular feature in many kitchens for many years. Cookware, decor, and even utensils have been fashioned out of cast iron. Many homeowners choose cast iron because of its reputation for durability. Cast iron sinks live up to the reputation. The finish is normally enameled - whether with porcelain or another non-porous material - so caring for cast iron sinks is not as difficult as it might seem at first.
The quality and durability of the cast iron sink you choose will be affected by the type and thickness of the enamel finish that it has. However, cast iron has proven to be a great performer over many years for a long time.
Composite sinks, like the others, are a common choice for individuals looking to remodel or renovate a kitchen. Composite material kitchen sinks are chosen for a number of reasons. Among the factors for selecting composite sinks for the kitchen are affordability, weight, and ease of installation (mainly because of the weight). One thing though that many people wonder about when it comes to composite sinks is, "What are these sinks made of?"
Composite sinks can be constructed using a variety of material. A resin is normally used to bind together other materials; forming the finished product. Many materials are used for the main material in composite sinks including:
- Acrylic (polyester or fiberglass)
Even though composite sinks are more affordable and easier to install than their more costly counterparts, they need to be cleaned using the proper cleaners since some cleaning agents can have a detrimental affect on the appearance. Nonetheless, composite sinks whether granite composite, quartz composite, or acrylic composite, are the choice of those rennovating on a budget.
Copper Kitchen Sinks
Copper sinks offer very distinct characteristics that have won the hearts of many for a long time. The appeal of the rustic looking finish of copper seems to be timeless. Additionally, copper sinks can be stamped or embossed with patterns. Even though copper is chosen for its beauty, it also carries another benefit that many find appealing. It is a germ killer.
Copper surfaces are naturally antimicrobial. So if your sink is made of genuine copper, it may help with keeping your kitchen a germ free zone. So, if you are partial to the color of copper and you can tolerate the maintenance routine needed to keep it looking its best (or if you don't mind the tarnishing), you may find that copper is the perfect material for your kitchen sink.
So as we have discussed, a major factor in which kitchen sink you select for your home remodel or new home purchase will be the material of which the sink is made. However, the material is only one factor. Another characteristic that influences decisions is the style of the sink. Let's consider that next.
Styles of Kitchen Sinks
Just as there are many materials used to construct kitchen sinks, there are an abundance of styles that can be selected. Choosing the style of sink you want may depend on how you plan to use it. In fact, some sinks in our selection are geared toward a very specific purpose. Take a look at the following list:
- Prep Sinks
- Integrated Sinks
- Single Bowl Sinks
- Farmhouse Apron Sinks
- Drop In Kitchen Sinks
- Undermount Kitchen Sinks
- Double Bowl Kitchen Sinks
Just like our list of sink materials, sink styles are available in abundance. That means that being familiar with what is available plays a big role in the final decision. So let's briefly consider each of the above styles of kitchen sink and see what is appealing about each one.
We start off with a sink that will most likely not be used as your primary sink for the kitchen. Rather, the prep sink is designed to be used as a secondary sink in your kitchen. Smaller than a regular kitchen sink, a prep sink is used for entertaining or food preparation. Even though prep sinks are small, they are used as primary sinks in compact kitchens. However, they are designed to be used in conjunction with a regular full-sized sink in a regular kitchen.
Some uses for prep sinks include:
- Food Preparation
- For the Bar
Integrated sinks are sinks that are fashioned out of the same material as the countertop and looks as if it is part of the same piece of material. Available in a variety of materials, this style of kitchen sink is impressive and unmistakable. Some materials that can be used to create integrated sinks include:
- Stainless Steel
- Natural Stone
- Solid Surface
Even though integrated sinks might be more costly than other kinds of kitchen sinks, many homeowners find them to be well worth the money. Why? Because the look is seamless nad they offer a clean looking appearance. They aren't just clean looking, they are actually easier to keep clean. Since there is no seam, you do not have to worry about working to get all the build-up out of the seam where the sink meets the countertop surface.
Single Bowl Sinks
The single bowl sink is becoming more and more popular. A single bowl sink is defined as a sink that has one basin with no dividers. The bowl of a single bowl sink is usually larger that either of the bowls offered by its divided cousin. Many people are seeking this type of sink these days. Why? Some believe that it is because of the ubuiquity of dishwashers. Since most of the dish washing is done in an appliance rather than a sink, more homeowners are going toward the single bowl kitchen sink.
Farmhouse Apron Sinks
Another sink type that is growing in popularity is the apron sink (a.k.a. farmhouse apron sinks). Although many of the sinks you will see of this type will most likely be single bowl, they also come in double bowl, or divided configurations as well.
Why are such sinks popular? One reason is that designers use them as a focal point. They stand out and are readily noticeable. Another reason is that often times farmhouse apron sinks have a single bowl that is very deep. This kind of design reduces mess by minimizing splashing. These are just two reasons why farmhouse apron sinks are becoming more popular.
Drop In Kitchen Sinks
This style of kitchen sink is made to drop right into the countertop. Drop in sinks are also known as "topmount" or "self-rimming" sinks. They are designed with a lip around the parimeter that sits on the counter while the sink "drops in" through the hole in the countertop. Many kinds of sinks are available in this mount-type. Single bowl, double bowl sinks are available as drop in sinks.
Undermount Kitchen Sinks
In addition to the drop in mount type sinks, under mount sinks are available as well. Unlike the drop in sink mounting method, the undermount sink sits flush with the vertical edge of the cut out so there is no overlap. Many sink designs can be undermount sinks including:
- Prep Sinks
- Apron Sinks
- Single Bowl
- Double Bowl
Double Bowl Kitchen Sinks
The double bowl sink style is the counterpart to the single bowl style kitchen sink we looked at earlier. Also referred to as a divided sink, the double bowl sink has two basins. Both basins can be the same size, or one basin can be a bit smaller than the other.
As we have seen, there are a number of criterion that should be considered before deciding to select a particular style of sink. The material of which the sink is made along with the style of the sink and its mounting method are basic things to look at when making your choice.