Of all the elements of a kitchen, there are few as vital as the sink. This means that choosing the perfect kitchen sink is a priority for many homeowners. Not only does it serve as a functional workhorse as you cook, clean and go about day-to-day activities, but when chosen carefully a sink can be a stylish addition to your overall kitchen design too.
Every kitchen is different. So, there is no such thing as one perfect sink that will fit every home's needs. Understanding a bit about what type of kitchen sinks are on the market today will make it easier for you to choose one that will help you strike that balance between form and function.
What are the Most Popular Types of Kitchen Sinks?
When it comes to types of kitchen sinks, there are actually three main decisions – the number of sections, mounting, and material (which we will cover in more detail below.)
In years past, the two-section sink was most popular because kitchen sinks were used for washing full loads of dishes. Today, this may not be the case, so an oversized single sink may be more practical. This offers more space for washing pots and pans or for other projects. Other options include one larger basin with a smaller side basin.
Sinks come in two different mount styles – top mount and under mount.
Top mount sinks are also called drop-in sinks. These are usually easier to install as they drop-in from the top. They have a visible rim from above.
Under mount sinks were designed more for aesthetic appeal than for their ease-of-installation. They require below-counter support anchors. However, they can provide a more elegant look and there is no rim taking up counter space.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Common Kitchen Sink Materials?
Some of the most common kitchen sink materials you'll find on the market today include stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, solid surfaces, and composites. Understanding the pros and cons of each of these materials may make it a little easier to choose the one that will work best in your home.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel sinks are available in both drop-in and under mount options. Additionally, they are quite durable. If you think your kitchen is likely to get a lot of traffic and heavy use, stainless could be a good option. Some homeowners don't like the look of stainless and another complaint is the noise factor, though this may be mitigated by choosing a sink with soundabsorbing technology.
- Enamel-Coated Cast Iron: Enamel-coated cast iron was once the go-to for kitchen sinks. Now, it has a classic farmhouse appeal that many people love. This material does scratch and show wear over time and may require more maintenance than other sink options.
- Solid Surfaces: Solid surface sinks--essentially sinks built into the counters themselves are another option. These are often the most expensive as they are often custom-made. The maintenance can be daunting too. However, for those who want a truly seamless look, this is it.
- Composites: These are often an affordable option, and they do come in many attractive color choices. However, they aren't showing to be as durable as other choices, so if you're looking for the utmost in quality, make sure you do your research.
How Do You Choose the Correct Size Sink for Your Kitchen?
The size of the sink you desire will vary depending on how you plan to use it.
- Do you wash many dishes by hand?
- Do you entertain a lot?
- Do you want a deep sink for soaking pots or do you fill your basin for other projects?
- How big is your largest pot, baking pan, etc?
- Would a split sink option work better for you?
- Would more counter space be more useful than an oversized sink?
Consider all of these details when choosing the best size sink for your kitchen.
Kitchen Sink Design Tips
Once you know what you are looking for from your sink, keep in mind it still needs to function well within your kitchen as a whole. A modern style kitchen may benefit from a modern-style sink while a rustic kitchen would usually call for a more traditional option.
For a crisp, stark kitchen, a simple understated stainless sink might work well.
A farmhouse kitchen could benefit from an enamel-coated cast iron sink, for example.
Other kitchen designs, such as the currently popular Scandinavian design, may actually support either a modern or a rustic design – depending on the direction you choose to go.
Spend time looking at faucets and hardware now. You may find it is easier to install what you'd like in this area now, rather than going with something out of the box and changing it later.
Remember lighting and storage. Because the sink area serves as a workstation, so to speak, in your kitchen, make sure you add sufficient lighting and storage in the immediate area.
Keep in mind that unless you want to do a heavy renovation, it will almost always be much easier to install a sink in the same location your existing sink already is. As you're planning for your update, this may be something to keep in mind.
As you can see, there are many considerations that must be made when choosing a kitchen sink. It is vital that you look at your kitchen as a whole and think about what functionality the sink will have in this room as you make this decision. When you do this, and you keep your own personal style desires in mind, you'll best we able to choose a kitchen sink that will have both the wowfactor you desire and that will meet the needs of you and your family for years to come.