So, you’ve got everything but the kitchen sink? That’s no good – all the activity in your kitchen revolves around the fresh water that comes from the tap and the basin below. There are plenty of popular sink designs right now, and certainly more options than ever, but ultimately it’s a question of functionality. Our easy guide lays down the basics of measuring your space and choosing a sink basin that’s right for you and your kitchen.
Solid, watertight installation is essential when installing a kitchen sink. There are three key measurements – width, length, and maximum depth.
If you’re building a new counter space, you’ll need to measure the cabinet length between joists for the size of the sink itself.
If you’re replacing an existing sink, you’ll need to be exact on all three of these dimensions. Drop-in sinks are quite common, and they’ll usually require a .5-inch lip on the countertop. Switching from a drop-in to an sink may require the help of a professional.
If you have or will be installing a garbage disposal, be sure to include its size in your depth measurement.
Drop-in sinks are very popular because of their simple design and even simpler installation. The sink basin or basins truly just “drop in” to your pre-cut opening. These may be single, double, or triple basin and can be made of a variety of materials, but the most common are stainless steel sinks.
The farmhouse style, also called apron-front sinks, features a wide, deep basin, often with a front that’s exposed instead of hidden behind a cabinet. These are traditionally made of incredibly durable white porcelain, but also come in stainless and other finishes.
For a super-slick appearance and easy-to-clean functionality, choose an undermount kitchen sink. In styles similar to drop-in sinks, these sinks are installed from below a cleanly cut countertop so there are no visible seams.
are traditional, but generally seen in fewer kitchens these days. Choose a deep and spacious single bowl style and you’ll have space for doing dishes, filling pots, and more.
A two-bowl configuration is simple, effective, and popular. Having two basins allows you to separate prep and cleaning, clean and dirty , or wash and rinse zones. Some sinks have bowls of equal size while some offer a main basin and a smaller, secondary side bowl.
A sink with multiple bowls allows you to really customize your kitchen for the way you use it. You can arrange your setup so the faucet and accessories are focused over one or two of the bowls or center everything for total access. These big sinks allow maximum versatility for food prep and dishwashing. The triple bowl comes in many choices to match your kitchen decor.
Your sink may come with pre-drilled faucet holes for every accessory you add, so you’ll need to plan out the entire design beforehand. Here’s a look at some of the most common configurations.
- Single Hole: For the cleanest look, a single faucet hole and a single-handle faucet offer a simple one-handed kitchen solution.
- Two Hole: Add a sprayer, soap dispenser, or hot water dispenser to your single-handle faucet with a two-hole sink.
- Three Hole: Three-hole setups are quite popular, accommodating a traditional double-handle faucet or a single-handle faucet with popular accessories.
- Four Hole: Four – or more – faucet holes allow you to install just about any faucet you need along with plenty of accessories. Instant hot water, dishwashing sprayers, elegant soap dispensers, and more – if you have the counter space, use a sink with plenty of taps and build the setup of your dreams.
Kitchen sinks are crafted from a variety of materials, some more common than others. The most frequently used material is stainless steel. Read on a quick tour of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing and maintaining different types.
Granite Composite Sinks
- Beautiful stone finishes, eye-catching look
- Nonporous – resistant to chips and scratching
- May break delicate glassware
Cast Iron Sinks
- Beautiful glossy finish
- Super heavy-duty, easy to clean
- Scratches relatively easy – use racks and rinse baskets
- Nonporous like composite, glossy finish like cast iron
- Scratch-resistant, use soft abrasive cleaners
Cast Acrylic Sinks
- Plastic molded to shape
- Reinforced with fiberglass for strength
- Easy to clean – buff out scratches
- Inexpensive material
- Durable when receiving physical damage
- Does not conduct electricity
- Eco-friendly – copper is 100% recyclable
- Unique, eye-catching color and designs
- Will develop patina over time
Stainless Steel Sinks
- Great sound insulation and long-lasting material
- Resistant to chipping, cracking, and peeling
- Easily shows water spots and soap deposits
- Common choice for a second utility sink
Refer to the gauge guide below for understanding stainless steel thickness and quality:
|Stainless Steel Standard Gauge Guide|
|Gauge||Thickness (Inches)||Thickness (MM)|
Creating a Designer Kitchen Sink Look
Kitchen sinks are one area where you can truly be your own interior designer. Whether you want a simple design that incorporates the look and color of your cabinets and countertop or a standout sink that becomes the focal point of your kitchen, there are a wide variety of sinks from which to choose. When shopping, keep in mind how you use the sink most often, the durability of the sink , and which features are a must-have for your new fixture.
Color can play a big role in the look of your new sink, so take time to choose one you’ll love. Natural materials often have timeless colors and finishes that blend easily with many kitchen decorating themes. If you choose a bold color, make sure it is one you’ll be fond of long term… with proper care and maintenance, many sinks can last fifty years or more. Keep these buyer’s guide tips in mind as you start shopping for your perfect sink and create your dream kitchen.