From washing hands to cleaning dishes, your sink plays an essential role in the function and design of your kitchen. Here’s exactly how to choose the right type of kitchen sink.
Choosing a kitchen sink and kitchen tapware takes careful consideration. As well as complementing the way you cook and clean, both items need to seamlessly flow with the style of the space and improve efficiency.
A quality sink and taps are an investment. As you will likely be using them frequently every day, it pays to buy the best your budget can afford. Cheap items simply won’t last as long and so will require regular replacement. A quality set, however, should serve you well now and into the future.
Also consider how the kitchen tapware and kitchen sink will work together. A smaller sink calls for a smaller tap, while a bigger sinks requires balance with bigger taps.
Stainless Steel sinks outsell all others and for good reason. A stainless steel sink is hard-wearing, easy to keep clean and inexpensive compared to most other options. There are so many sizes and designs available, you can find a stainless steel sink that’s perfect for almost any kitchen.
So, how do you choose the right kitchen sink? There are essentially three different types of sinks, each installed in a different way: top-mount sinks, under-mount sinks, and flush-mount sinks.
Top-Mount Kitchen Sinks: As the most common type of kitchen sink, the top-mount sink is installed by inserting the sink into a pre-cut hole in the countertop. The wide rim around the sink supports it on top of the countertop, and is then caulked in place with silicone for a water-tight fit.
However, top-mount sinks have some functional as well as aesthetic drawbacks. Because the lip of the sink is exposed, it’s not possible to sweep food or liquid directly into the sink, making it harder to clean the edges of the sink and the countertops in general. What’s more, in a tight kitchen, the inch or two that the rim takes up can eat up valuable counter space. Because of these reasons, the top-mount sink is sometimes seen as undesirable and dated, without the clean lines of other sink types.
Under-Mount Kitchen Sinks: As the name implies, under-mount sinks are attached to the underside of a countertop, where special clips ensure the sink stays in place or the sink is supported from underneath by the base cabinet structure.
Under-mount sinks are the answer to just about every negative aspect of the top-mount sink. The seamless transition into the sink makes for easier cleaning and a modern aesthetic, and they take up less counter space than a top-mount sink of the same bowl size.
But under-mount sinks aren’t without their share of negative aspects. They’re typically more expensive than under-mount sinks, and can require a bit of careful design of the mounting system if the sink is particularly heavy.
Flush-Mount Kitchen Sinks (Integrated Sinks): A flush-mount sink is one in which the surface of the countertop flows seamlessly into the sink, with no visible edges or changes in material. This is often achieved with solid surface sinks using Corian bench tops.
The integrated sink shares the same space-saving and easy-to-clean attributes as the under-mount sink, but with the added benefit of a consistent material. While some people like the look of stainless steel, for some, the use of one material is desirable.
Because integrated sinks are custom-order items along with the countertops they are made with, they can’t be purchased off the shelf and are more difficult to find and more expensive.
Kitchen Sink Configurations: The configuration of a sink refers to a broad range of characteristics, from number of faucet holes to the shape and number of bowls.
How to Choose the Right Type of Kitchen Sink.
Single Bowl: A single bowl sink is self-explanatory: it consists of a sink that is not divided up into separate areas. A single bowl sink is ideal when it comes to saving space. It comes in a range of sizes and shapes, from smaller round sinks to larger rectangular sinks. Because the sinks aren’t divided into two or more distinct bowls, a wider range of items can fit in the sink to be cleaned, like large pots and pans. They’re also typically less expensive than double bowl sinks, and work well as secondary sinks or bar sinks. Depending on how you do your dishes, a single bowl sink can use more water and dish detergent, and you won’t be able to sort different items into different bowls.
Double Bowl Sinks: Similarly, a double bowl sink is also quite self-explanatory, created either out of one large sink with a divider or from two distinct bowls framed into a single sink. A standard configuration is one large bowl with an adjacent smaller bowl, but it is also possible to find sinks with two bowls of equal size, or one deep bowl and one shallow bowl.
Double bowl sinks are great because they can be used for prep or drying, allowing for more versatility than a single bowl sink. Again, depending on how you will wash your dishes, the double bowl arrangement may allow you to use less water, and you may find a range of sink accessories like a cutting board or colander made to fit into one of your bowls.
However, double bowl sinks are typically a bit more expensive than single bowl sinks, and they’re also usually larger and therefore not ideal for smaller kitchens.