The kitchen sink is often the focal point of the kitchen countertop, and individuals spend a lot of time using the sink. Because of this, the sink should be both beautiful and utilitarian.
One of the most hardworking features in a kitchen, the sink needs to be functionally reliable as much as it is lovely to look at. Large kitchens are afforded the luxury of multiple sinks — a sink for washing produce, a sink for filling pots, a special tap with hot water at the ready… you name it.
More conservative spaces may be limited to only one sink, but that sink can be equipped with everything necessary to get all the jobs done in one place. Start with the type of sink that works best for both design and use. Next, consider the material and color. Along the way, remember the little details and hardware accessories that can help making choosing a sink a fun element of a kitchen project.
Choosing A Sink Type
So, you now have that big kitchen window overlooking the garden that’s the perfect spot for the sink of your dreams. Or perhaps you have a smaller space but are still looking for the perfect sink for your project. No matter the location of the sink in the kitchen, our design professionals can help determine which sink type will best match style and budget. Our three kitchen sink types are apron-front, standard, and trough.
This popular kitchen sink style is also known as a farmhouse sink. Its front-facing side is exposed and gives it a unique, recognizable style that is trending right now. It’s a large sink that is ideal for large families and can be used for multiple functions. The apron-front style sink fits into the countertop and was designed to be easy to replace. This is great if the sink is damaged and needs to be replaced; however, it means there are no holes for fixtures or faucets. It’s increasingly popular, though, and gives a kitchen a distinct look.
The standard sink, unlike the apron-front sink, does not have an exposed front and is therefore harder to replace when needed. However, standard sinks come with holes for fixtures or faucets, which allows for greater functionality and personalization. You can get these sinks as traditional, modern, or technical as you’d like, so there’s a lot to consider here.
Both ends of trough sinks slope toward the center of the sink, which means easier rinse-downs and drainage. Most trough styles are ideal for secondary or prep sinks. This is generally a more modern, sleek look and takes kitchen functionality to the next level: each is crafted with engineered sound-absorption technology. This significantly reduces disposal and dishwashing noise for a quieter kitchen. The stainless steel offers exceptional durability and a timeless, clean look.
Choosing A Sink Material
It’s important to find the sink material that will work best for how you will use your new kitchen sink. Perhaps you need a material that can withstand abrasive cleaning materials or one that cleans easily. The options are acrylic, enameled cast iron, fireclay, Neoroc composite, stainless steel, and vitreous china.
With acrylic sinks, the material is the same color throughout the whole sink. This means minor scratches can be removed with some buffing. It’s also stain resistant, which is useful for helping keep your sink looking clean and new. The surface is also soft enough to muffle noise. Even though it’s durable, acrylic isn’t quite as long-lasting as enamel or steel; steel wool or other abrasive materials are likely to scratch the surface.
Enameled Cast Iron
Generally used for apron-front or farmhouse sinks, enameled cast iron is a durable and easy-to-clean material that’s great for vintage or country sink designs. This sink material is made of the same durable iron alloy as cast iron cookware. However, that material is then given a porcelain enamel coating and fired at a very high temperature. This is what gives the sink its signature glossy — and almost sparkly — finish. It won’t crack or dent, but the porcelain enamel can chip or scratch and is susceptible to stains. This material makes for a very heavy sink, so undermount sinks from this material require extra mounting support.
Fireclay is also typically used for apron-front or farmhouse sinks. It’s a white clay only found in certain regions of the world, including Italy, Israel, and Limoges, France. The fireclay sink is made by glazing and firing this clay at hot temperatures. The result is a long-lasting, heavy-duty sink that works well and looks great. It looks like porcelain, but is more durable and less prone to chips, scratches, and discoloration.
Stainless steel has been a popular sink material for years, with good reason. It’s durable and versatile. This material won’t tarnish, rust, or discolor; the sink will retain its shine for years; it’s easy to clean; and the surface deflects the accumulation of harmful bacteria. Even better, stainless steel is a neutral that works with the style or color scheme of any kitchen. However, these sinks are susceptible to scratching when abrasive cleaners are used and they can be loud when dishes or other items are dropped into the sink.
Other Kitchen Sink Things To Consider
Outside of sink types and materials, there’s a lot more that goes into getting the right sink for a residential or commercial location. There are different installation types including self rimming, tile ins, top mounts, undermounts, and wall mounts. Deciding on one of these installation types can be determined by evaluating your needs. For example, with undermount sinks there is no lip, which means food and other debris can be wiped into the sink easily.
Moving on from installation types, other aspects to consider are the drain location, number of basins, number of faucet holes, or simply the length and width. Our teams are happy to help you decide on all these factors and more when you come into our showrooms. With all the different ways to choose a sink, you will feel like they are getting a kitchen sink exactly customized to your needs.