Whether you are choosing a completely new design for your kitchen or just considering a few improvements, a new kitchen sink is unlikely to be at the top of your priority list. The sink, however, is used more than most other items in the kitchen and needs to be tough and resilient to cope with a multitude of tasks, from washing dishes to washing hands. There are a variety of products on the market to choose from, which come in a range of different colours; so making the right choice will require careful consideration.
First of all, you need to consider the space you have available and then decide what your sink will be used for. You can opt for a single, double, or even a triple bowl sink and these are also available with deep bowls for washing large pots – multi-bowl sinks often feature a separate basin for garbage disposal or recycling too. Sinks can be purchased for corner placement and small sinks, suitable for side counters, are useful in addition to the main sink for simply washing your hands. Prep sinks are also worth considering, depending on the size of your kitchen, as this provides an extra working area for food preparation.
Once you have decided on the size and position of your sink/sinks, you will need to think about the material. Some materials are obviously going to be more robust than others; so again you need to decide what each sink will generally be used for. For example a sink, which is going to be used for just washing your hands, needn’t be wildly expensive, whereas one that is going to be used for washing large pots on a regular basis will need to be strong and durable.
- Stainless steel – This is probably the most commonly used material, as it is easy to install and keep clean. The thickness of these sinks is measured in gauges – the lower the gauge, the thicker the material. They can, however, scratch quite easily and be very noisy to use. The better the quality, the sturdier and quieter the sink will be.
- Nickel, Copper and Brass – These sinks can be a beautiful addition to any kitchen, but are very expensive. Although nickel is harder and stronger than copper, copper is quite a popular choice these days. They darken with age and require no maintenance.
- Porcelain – This is usually coated over a base of cast iron or other metal. These sinks are generally considered to be of high quality and should last around twenty-five to thirty years. However, they can easily chip and some stains can be difficult to remove.
- Fireclay – these sinks are heavier and denser than ordinary clay. They are hard wearing and will resist scratches and stains making them virtually maintenance free. Unfortunately, they would be a rather expensive addition to your kitchen.
- Soapstone – These sinks are again heavy, dense, beautiful and hard wearing, but very expensive.
- Acrylic – These sinks resist stains, but can scratch and are not as resistant to heat as other materials.
- Solid surface materials – These are made from a blend of minerals and acrylic or polyester compounds and can be fused with a countertop for ease of cleaning. They can be matched up with countertops too and have a hard, smooth surface, which is heat and stain resistant. However, they can scratch easily.
Once you have chosen the type of sink you require, it is time to think about the most suitable way of mounting it to suit your needs and for ease of cleaning.
- Top mounted – This means that your sink will rest on the surface of the countertop.
- Under mounted – This will mean that your sink will sit below the surface of the countertop.
- Flush mounted – This will allow you to have your sink flush with the countertop.
- Tiled in – This is particularly suitable for tiled counters and gives you the combined advantage of under and top mounting.
- Farmhouse or Apron sinks – These are often seen in old rustic style kitchens and are very deep. They are sometimes mounted on a stand and are usually exposed at the front.
To compliment your beautiful new sink, you can choose from a range of faucets (taps) in a variety of different materials to coordinate with your kitchen. You can also choose from a number of other accessories to enhance the finished look of your sink; from drying racks, chopping boards, colander baskets and soap and hand cream dispensers. Hopefully, the addition of a new sink will really enhance your kitchen in a way you never believed it could!