The Kitchen Sink: Everything You Need to Know
You probably never thought much about your kitchen sink. But today, you decide that you need to remodel, so you look through different online stores, visit local kitchen showrooms. And you realize that it’s not a simple decision.
By the end of this article, we are confident you will better understand what kitchen sink you’ll want or need.
The list keeps growing as more technologies are being developed. Long gone are the days when your only choices were stainless steel and cast iron. Today, the list of materials includes quartz, fireclay, and even cast acrylic.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 choices.
The oldest material used for kitchen sinks and tubs, cast iron has always been popular because of its solid feel and durability.
If the sink is adequately maintained, it will keep its glossy luster for many years. A typical kitchen sink weighs over 100 lbs.
Although it is durable, you have to be mindful of preventing damage to the surface should the enamel coating chip expose the iron base material to water which would cause rust. Even though there are touch-up kits, the area that was touched up will never look as it did initially. The good news is that you can protect the sink by adding some pads.
By far the most durable, stainless steel sinks range in thickness of the material from 16 to 22 gauge. The smaller the number, the thicker the material would be.
These sinks can take a lot of abuse, and apart from developing some surface scratches here and there, they literally can last a lifetime. If you opt for this sink, make sure that it has an adequate sound deadening system, whether it is a spray-on coating or pads.
True, not everyone likes the aesthetic of stainless steel, but if you want durability, this would be the way to go.
This type of material is marketed under different names–solid surface, Whitestone®, etc. Quartz is a fabricated material made of a mixture of granite, acrylic resin, and in some cases, other additives that would give the material different characteristics, such as aluminum.
- Quartz is highly durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and impact.
- Heat resistant, a quartz sink or counter can withstand temperatures of up to 535°F.
- Because it is non-porous, it is bacteria and odor-resistant.
- The color goes all the way through the material, making it fully repairable.
- Quieter than stainless steel.
Now, our next step is selecting the type of installation we want.
The sink is sitting over the counter with the rim resting on the perimeter of the countertop.
- Faster installation since there is no need to polish the inside surfaces of the cutout.
- More economical. In construction, time is money so faster installation = more economical installation
- It can be installed in any type of countertop material, including laminate countertops.
- The weight is evenly distributed on the countertop, requiring no reinforcement under the counter.
- In case of damage, the sink can be easily changed without requiring any damage to the cabinet or the countertop.
This sink sits under the counter, supported either by the rough top, a framed support structure, or support brackets.
- A much cleaner appearance
- Easier to keep the counter clean, no nooks and crevices that can breed mold and bacteria on top of the counter.
- Countertop must be a solid surface, such as quartz or stone (Granite, soapstone, etc.)
- A bit more expensive installation since the inside edge of the cutout would need to be polished.
- Not easily removable in case of damage.
- Since the faucet is installed on the countertop, you have more flexibility in selecting where you want your faucet and other countertop accessories (Soap dispenser, water filter spout, etc.)
This is not only an installation method but also a type of sink. The sinks are designed with an apron on the front part. They are installed flush with the edge of the countertop, making the front of the sink a design element.
- Usually installed undercounter, so most of the above pros and cons also apply.
- These sinks are generally deeper.
- The most common sink configuration is a single bowl, which, coupled with the extra depth it allows you to wash bigger pots and pans comfortably, perhaps even a cookie sheet.
- Because you don’t have that extra piece of countertop between you and the sink, it tends to be easier on the back.
- It can be an aesthetic focal point to your kitchen as the apron is visible and, in many cases, includes decorative features.
Sink configuration and size
The most common size of sinks are 33” x 22”.
The reason is traditionally, kitchen sink base cabinets are 36” wide. However, if you are remodeling your kitchen and prefer to have a bigger sink, your kitchen designer can adjust his/her design accordingly to allow for a larger sink. Kitchen sinks range in widths from 25” to 48.”
But what is the best configuration for me? 50/50.
Double bowl sinks tend to be the most common. The 50/50 proportion means that both bowls are the same size, but you can find sinks in 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, and even 90/10 configurations.
There is no right or wrong, it is an entirely personal choice.
Most frequently, the smaller bowl is used for vegetable washing and non-dishwashing chores.
Then, another option is a single bowl sink. If you are lucky enough to have the extra space, a separate prep sink is always a great option, especially since it allows a second person to do meal prep while you are washing your kitchenware in the sink.
We invite you to visit our website and browse through our extensive selection of kitchen sinks.
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