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How to Choose a Kitchen Sink

Heather Asiyanbi - 2/19/18 11:00 AM

The good news is that you have never had so many styles, colors, materials and configurations to look at, but having that many choices can also be overwhelming. Making some design decisions that correspond to your style - modern, traditional, transitional, contemporary - before shopping can help cut through the noise to get the right kitchen sink. 

Basin Basics

Having just one, large basin versus two or even three is a choice that really comes down to use and how you feel about space.

Single basin sinks can accommodate large dishes like pans but can make clean-up and rinsing – normally two very distinct tasks – a challenge. You should consider how you feel about this and whether or not you will enjoy using accessories like rinse baskets to help keep jobs separate.

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Double basins can be had in 60/40 split sizes or with an even 50/50 configuration to make it easier to keep clean-up and prep work separate. Bigger jobs like soaking pans might not fit, but if you grew up with a two-sided sink and/or appreciate symmetry, the double basin will fit the bill.

What could be better than a two-sided sink? For some users, having three basins is the way to go so you have dividers between your prep and clean-up basins plus one for the garbage disposal. A triple-basin sink does eat up more counter space so planning for that loss is crucial.

The Perfect Shape

Sharper angles or rounded edges create very different looks. For the more modern look, squared corners are the way to go, but for a kitchen that’s a little softer or more traditional, having rounded corners will work.

There are sinks with square corners up top where the edge meets the countertop but the bowl itself has a gentle slope for easier cleaning, which makes a nice compromise for a easier cleaning.

A farmhouse sink is also an option as both a shape and a style because it is such a bold style statement available with both round and sharper edges in a variety of materials.

Material Matters

Shopping for your kitchen sink will also entail choosing a material for it. While there are more material choices than listed here, buyers choose from these five options most often:

Stainless steel – Classic, easy-to-clean, and long-lasting, the stainless steel sink is a top go-to for a reason.

Fire clay – Popular because of an almost unlimited list of color options and a variety of shapes, fireclay is a great choice because it lasts forever and resists chipping and staining. 

Cast iron – This kitchen stalwart endures for a reason; it lasts forever and its enamel coating requires little maintenance. Of course cast iron is also really heavy so buyers should plan on a two-person install.

Composite – Though gaining in popularity because it stands up well to nicks and scratches, composite sinks can also require special maintenance.

Natural stone– Using natural stone for a sink can really bring a kitchen together because it can match countertops exactly for a seamless look. Buyers should be aware that natural stone is pricey and takes some special care to make it last.

Mounting Options

Most basins, shapes and materials are available in undermount and drop-in styles so picking the right one really comes down to the overall design and/or theme of the kitchen. 

Undermount - Great for sweeping crumbs from the counter into the garbage disposal because the counter is either flush with the side of the sink or slightly overhangs it.

Drop-in - The name says it all; just measure the opening of your counter top and fit your sink inside it so the edges of the sink are positioned on top of the counter.

Homeowners must remember to pick the sink with faucet holes that matches the kitchen faucet. Will there be a widespread faucet or a single handle? Is there a sprayer and/or a soap dispenser? These questions should be answered before it’s time to shop for a sink.

Topics: Kitchen- Decision Guide- Sink

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