Your kitchen sink is probably not the place where you’d choose to spend your time, but it’s a necessity—and having the right one can make all those minutes spent scrubbing and rinsing easier and more efficient. Learn about the different materials, types of sinks, and factors to consider as you discover how to select a kitchen sink that fits your needs. From washing produce to rinsing dishes, a sink is called upon to do plenty in a kitchen. While not as technology-heavy as appliances or requiring as much thought as a layout does, it’s still an important kitchen feature. Learn how to select a kitchen sink with these tips for materials, configuration, and styles.
1.Types of Kitchen Sinks: Materials
Kitchen sinks come in many different materials, including metal and stone. The best kitchen sink material for you depends on how much money you want to spend, your cleaning routine preferences, and what material goes best with your kitchen’s style. Here are a few common options to consider:
Stainless-steel - kitchen sinks are one of the most popular options and the material continues to be improved and upgraded. The newer 16- and 18-gauge sinks are thicker and less noisy than their less-expensive predecessors. Stainless-steel sinks contain a percentage of chromium and nickel, which is indicated by numbers such as 18/10 (18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel). The metal imparts a rich glow and adds corrosion resistance. Finishes range from a mirrorlike shine to a satin luster. Stainless-steel kitchen sinks are appealing because they are affordable, durable, and easy to clean. However, they can become scratched and water spots can become an issue, and the cheaper sinks can sometimes make more noise when items are dropped in.
Cast-iron kitchen sinks - are made from a sturdy material that is enamel fired on an iron form. These durable sinks lessen noise and vibration more than other materials but can be heavy for installation. An added advantage is that cast-iron sinks are available in a wide range of colors.
Composite sinks - can be made of quartz, granite, or other materials mixed with an acrylic- or polyester-resin base. They usually feature speckled color, resistance to stains and scratches, and easy care. However, they can be expensive.
Vitreous china - originally made for bathrooms, is now also used for kitchen sinks. The glazed clay material is hard and nonporous with a glasslike shine, but the sink material is prone to chipping. Similar to fireclay in construction, durability, and cost, vitreous china is less porous because of the nature of the construction process. It is easier to mold double bowl sinks from vitreous china than from fireclay.
Solid surfacing - made from a polyester or acrylic base, is chosen for its stonelike appearance and easy care. Like solid surfacing countertops, it can be susceptible to heat and dings from sharp objects.
2.Kitchen Sink Styles
Surprisingly, kitchen sinks come in an array of options and configurations. Installation is one factor to consider as you look at different types of sinks.
Undermount kitchen sinks - are installed beneath the countertop and provide a no-barrier transition from countertop to sink. They don’t collect debris and grime above the counter seal like drop-in sinks do. Installation can be a little more costly, and this type of sink works best with granite and solid surfacing because it’s important that the edge of the countertop be waterproof.
Drop-in sinks - are another common sink option. As the name implies, the sink is dropped into a hole in the countertop and the lip of the sink rests on the countertop. Drop-in sinks are less expensive than undermount sinks and are easier to replace but lack the sleek profile of an undermount sink.
Apron-front, or farmhouse sinks - have secured their place as the darling of the kitchen sink world. They become a focal point feature in a kitchen, especially when installed beneath a kitchen window. Installation requires a few special considerations and you may need a specific type of base cabinet.
Double basins - are a common configuration, offering one basin for scrubbing and one for rinsing. (Or one for “I’ll get to them later” dirty dishes and one for “I need a drink of water.”) While two equal-size basins are the go-to configuration, it’s the remodeler's choice.
Single-basin sinks - are a common alternative and make soaking and scrubbing large roasting pans and platters a breeze. Some kitchen sinks even come with a triple basin option. The third basin is typically smaller but can come in handy for draining pasta and rinsing produce when the other basins are otherwise occupied.