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How to Choose a Kitchen Sink (Part II)

You’ve found your perfect sink—now where do you put it? Unless you’re building new, the best place will likely be in the existing sink spot. Moving plumbing lines can be a costly kitchen remodeling project, but if the current sink location is cumbersome, relocating it may be worth every penny. Kitchen designs typically follow a triangle work core pattern: the range/prep space at one point, the refrigerator at a second, and the cleanup zone (housing the sink and dishwasher) at the third. This layout makes kitchen tasks flow more easily. If relocation is an option, consider which point would be best for your cleanup zone. Dishwasher placement also should be considered. It’s best for the dishwasher to be on one side of the sink, but you might need to get creative in small kitchens.

3. Kitchen Sink Placement

A corner kitchen sink is another option. This location makes efficient use of space, but the dishwasher placement can become problematic. When someone is standing at the sink, they can become cornered by an open dishwasher door. But if a corner placement offers more workspace in your kitchen, the trade-off might be worth it.

A second kitchen sink can also be a major perk. Placing a second sink in an island for quick rinses or hand-washing, or in a side bank of cabinets as part of a wet bar, adds an extra layer of functionality to your kitchen. Typically a single basin, these smaller sinks don’t take up much space but come in handy.

As you weigh kitchen sink options, browse websites and magazines that compare current models and features. Consumer Reports is an excellent source of unbiased information and recommendations. Many websites also offer reviews from other purchasers. This information can be useful but it needs to be just one factor along with personal preferences and experiences.

4. Kitchen Sink Faucets

A kitchen sink isn’t much good without a faucet and since the two work together, it’s important to consider what faucet features are important to you as you look at kitchen sink ideas. The right kitchen sink faucet makes cooking and cleaning easier while enhancing the room with an attractive and practical fixture. Keep your preferences and habits in mind as you look at faucets. Here are some quick tips for selecting a kitchen sink faucet:

Finish: Chrome, easy-care brass, colors, and other decorative finishes are options to consider. Matching a faucet finish to other metals within the kitchen is a common practice, but don’t be afraid to mix it up.

Height: Look for styles with tall gooseneck faucets that swivel out of the way, detachable hose-type faucets, and traditional-looking faucets that appear to be set flush but pull upward for additional height. Account for such tasks as filling and cleaning tall stockpots, as well as the style, depth, and finish of the sink and surrounding hardware.

Spray: Do you prefer using a sprayer that's separate from the faucet? If not, does the sprayer fit securely into the faucet or is it heavy enough that it might droop over time?

Preferences: What faucet features are most important? For example, do you like single handles or separate hot and cold controls? Keep in mind that many sinks are sold with predrilled holes for faucets and handles, which will dictate what faucet models will work with your sink.

Comparison shop: Visit several plumbing supply stores or home centers to compare styles, installation methods, faucets, and prices.

Maintenance: Think about a sink's lifespan and maintenance. Faucets have an average lifespan of eight to 12 years with proper maintenance. Chrome faucets, most commonly used in kitchens, are the easiest to maintain.

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