When designing or remodeling a kitchen, the sink may not be your first design consideration. However, the kitchen sink is one of the most used fixtures in a home and with so many design options it is important to consider the form and function that the sink will provide. There is really no standard sink size. You will want to measure your cabinet and sink carefully to make sure the one you are selecting will fit.
How Do You Want it Mounted?
Under-Mount Sink: These sinks mount beneath the counter and are most often used with solid-surface countertop materials like granite and marble. Under-mount installation highlights the curved contours of the sink bowl and makes counter cleanup a breeze.
Top-Mount or Drop-In Sink: A particularly easy model to install and frequently used with laminate counters, the top-mount sink’s rim extends above the countertop surface and supports the sink’s weight. Clips and bolts under the counter hold the sink securely in place.
Apron-Front or Farm Sink: Often called farmhouse sinks because they evoke images of traditional kitchens, apron-front sinks have a stylish panel in front and are available in both tile-in and under-mount models. The finished front apron of the sink remains exposed. This style of sink requires very little “reach-over” to access the sink.
What Type of Material Suits Your Design?
Stainless steel is commonly used in kitchens and commercial applications because it represents a good trade-off between cost, usability, durability, and ease of cleaning. Most stainless steel sinks are made by drawing a sheet of stainless steel over a die. Some very deep sinks are fabricated by welding. Stainless steel sinks will not be damaged by hot or cold objects and resist damage from impacts. One disadvantage of stainless steel is that, being made of thin metal, they tend to be noisier than most other sink materials, although better sinks apply a heavy coating of vibration-damping material to the underside of the sink.
Porcelain over cast iron is a popular material for kitchen sinks. Heavy and durable, these sinks can also be manufactured in a very wide range of shapes and colors. Like stainless steel, they are very resistant to hot or cold objects, but because the porcelain is glass, they can be damaged by sharp impacts. Aggressive cleaning will dull the surface, leading to more dirt accumulation. Enamel over cast iron is a similar-appearing but far less rugged and less costly alternative.
Solid granite and fireclay sinks have many of the same characteristics as porcelain over cast iron, but without the risk of surface damage leading to cast iron corrosion. Composite sinks, usually made to look like or feel like granite, are durable, stain resistant, easy-to-clean and are usually much lighter than their granite counter parts. Lines such as MoenStone, Blanco Diamond – Silgranit, Americast and Swanstone are composite sinks that offer many unique advantages over sinks made of other materials.
Copper sinks are less commonly used, but offer a beautiful and rustic alternative look for your kitchen. This article explores the pros and cons of choosing a copper sink: http://www.redbeacon.com/hg/pros-and-cons-copper-sinks/
What About Form?
The different considerations for the form of a kitchen sink include size, number of bowls, bowl orientation, and tappings.
Size: The standard kitchen sink is 22 by 30 inches, with two equal-sized bowls that are 8 inches deep. However, this standard format may not fit with your individual design needs. There are sinks with deeper bowls if you frequently use large pots, high-set shallow bowls that go between the two basins for peeling and washing vegetables, oversize single basins, unequally sized basins, and basins that fit into tight corners. The size of the sink you select will depend on available counter space and under-counter cabinet space.
Number of Bowls: Single bowl, double bowl, and triple bowl sinks are available. Double bowl sinks are the most common. Double and triple bowl sinks are available with equal sized bowls or bowls of unequal size. The inclusion of an integrated drain board is another consideration.
Bowl Orientation: Typically sinks are most functional in a side-by-side configuration. However, certain design circumstances may call for a sink bowls that are not side-by-side. These special sinks can be convenient where counter space is limited on one side, but additional bowls are desirable. You must also consider the position of the sink drains. One side of a double bowl kitchen sink may feature a sink strainer, while the other side may need to accommodate a disposal. When selecting a sink, be sure to leave enough space under the sink for the disposal and other plumbing. You may even need to get a sink with a shallow bowl on one side.
Tappings: Depending on the sink accessories that will be used, you will want to determine what tapping configuration is most appropriate. Tappings are needed for a number of sink accessories including the faucet, sprayer, air switch, soap dispenser, hot & cold water dispenser, etc.
MCM Natural Stone Carries the Blanco Sink Line:
Please call us at 585-586-6510 or stop by our showroom at 595 Trabold Road in Rochester, NY for additional information and pricing.
Here’s a link to a Consumer Reports article about what their testing found which details a few myths and facts, and includes a link to their sink buying guide:
Here is a link to Home Depot’s sink selection guide:
Here is a sink buying guide from This Old House: