The Hardest Working Kitchen Appliance – 5 Tips on Selecting the Best Kitchen Sink
Back in the day when you moved into a brand new home or a new old house, the kitchen sink was simply there. It may have been a single or double unit, may have been deep or shallow, but it was there, and you lived with it. Why not? You washed your dishes; you drained your pasta.
Now, the sink is a big part of the decor of the kitchen, and if someone in the family happens to actually cook meals, its size and shape are important. Do you want a deep sink with an apron? Do you want not just a two-bowl sink but a three-bowl sink, one for washing, one for rinsing and food preparation and the third that leads to the garbage disposal unit? It can all be a bit bewildering. Here are some tips to make it less so:
Size Matters – Minimum Cabinet Size
Your new cabinets are now installed, and you’ve put off deciding on a sink. Or the plumber is replacing a sink and you’re trapped by an existing hole from an old sink.
The size specifications you see on the kitchen sink you have your eye on at the plumbing showroom describes the inside of the bowl as opposed to the total space.
Cabinet and counter size might just limit your sink choice.
It’s always a good idea to ask your contractor or an expert at your local kitchen and bathroom showroom, what the minimum cabinet size is for the sink you’re looking at. You want your plumber to have a smooth install so you’re not creating any delay.
Kitchen Sink Types – Undermount, Top mount, Apron & more
Integral sinks are those that are made as part of a counter. There is no joint so the sink can’t leak, and clean up is easy. These sinks are usually found in solid surface counters, which are made in moulds.
Apron front sinks are deep and roomy and project from the countertop. Most don’t come with decks, so the faucet may need to be wall mounted.
Top mount or self-rimming sinks are those that are dropped into a hole in the counter. It is supported by its rolled edges, which are then sealed by caulk to prevent leaks. These sinks are popular because you don’t have to move the pipes.
Flush mounted sinks have edges that are flush with the surface of the countertop.
With an under mounted sink, you need to push the sink up below the countertop. Though it may be a bit arduous to install these sinks, it is easy to clean around them. However, they can only be installed in waterproof counters.
Which Material & Colour do I Choose?
Sinks can be made of materials from the mundane to the exotic: stainless steel, natural stone or enamelled cast iron to name a few. The most popular choices are:
- Stainless steel. Because it resists heat damage, a stainless steel sink is a good option near the stove. It also resists water spots.
- Engineered stone. Sinks made of engineered stone are tough and durable and can come in a rainbow of colours. They also won’t mind if you set a screaming hot pot in them.
- Enamelled cast iron. These sinks are quiet, so you can rattle the pots around in an enamelled cast iron stone without splitting your eardrums. They also keep the water warm while you are washing the dishes. Like engineered stone, they come in a wealth of colours including blue, green, beige or whatever colour suits the decor of your kitchen.
Bowl Configuration – The Great Divide
As mentioned above, your kitchen sink can have one, two or three bowls, and that’s not all. A two bowl sink can come with a dishrack to let water drain right into the sink. If it doesn’t have a dishrack, a two bowl sink is versatile. You can wash dishes in one bowl and wash your vegetables in the other.
If you use your stock pots and Dutch ovens pretty regularly, you may want a huge, deep, single sink to make washing them less of a chore. A deep sink also hides those dirty dishes you may not want your guests to see. On the other hand, a small, standard single bowl sink is just the thing when space is tight.
If your kitchen has room to spare, think of a triple bowl configuration. You can wash and rinse dishes in two bowls and do food preparation in the third.
The Form, Function & Finish of Kitchen Sink Faucets
It’s important to pick your faucets at the same time you choose your kitchen sink, especially if coordinating styles is high on your list, but the highest priority for a kitchen faucet is function and finish. It has to stand up to long-term wear and tear, so go for function and finishes first like a convenient touchless faucet in a durable brushed nickel, or a modern, single-handle style in an easy to clean matte black finish.
How do you pick the best kitchen sink faucet? Check out our Faucet Buying Guide here.
The Best Kitchen Sink Advice
Before you make your final kitchen sink decision, visit your local plumbing showroom and talk to an expert.
We’re here to give you all the answers you, your contractor/plumber need to know about size & materials, installation, and order and delivery timelines. Give us a call at (902) 494-5266 or visit our showroom at 75 Peakview Way, (off Larry Uteck) in Bedford.