How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink
When you think about it, there are very few features in the home that are used as often as the sink. And what other home item performs as many different tasks? It could be argued that the selection of a sink is one of the most important kitchen choices you will make and it’s a decision that will affect your daily life for many years to come rather than just your wallet, as many could think.
How many basins and in what configuration? What kind of shape and what material? Houzz Editorial Staff, with the help of designers who belong to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), provides simple and useful advices about how to select the right sink.
HOW MANY BASINS AND IN WHAT CONFIGURATION?
1. A LARGE, SINGLE SINK
Pros: A single, deep basin means you can easily soak or wash a big pan or prepare large quantities of food.
Cons: Rinsing vegetables while soaking a large casserole dish requires a bit of juggling — as does hand washing and rinsing china or stemware.
2.TWO BASINS OF DIFFERING SIZES (a 60/40 or offset sink)
Pros: Two basins allow you to perform separate tasks, such as cleaning dishes and preparing food, with ease. A 60/40 sink has one basin that is usually about 18 inches wide and another that is 14 inches wide. The idea is that you can clean up in the large basin and prep in the smaller one. Dual basins also come in handy when you are washing items you don’t want to put in the dishwasher (soap in one basin, rinse water in the other).
Cons: A smaller basin makes it harder to wash and soak large pans.
3. TWO BASINS OF EQUAL SIZES (a 50/50 sink).
Pros: This is for people who love symmetry in design. It also has the benefit of allowing separate tasks (cleaning, prepping and washing, rinsing).
Cons: That large pan could be soaking on the counter.
4. THREE BASINS (two large ones and a small one with a garbage disposal)
Pros: You can use the garbage disposal independently of the sink.
Cons: In some models, such as this one, you can’t sweep food scraps off the counter and into the disposal (this could be remedied with a cutting board insert). Because it is a wider sink, more space is needed.
CHOOSING THE SHAPE OF YOUR SINK
Pros: Many farmhouse sinks are simply single, large basins. The difference is their distinctive apron front, which has a vintage vibe many homeowners love. For a typical sink, the basin can be 4 inches away from the edge of the countertop, but this sink can sit a bit beyond the counter line. For people of shorter stature and kids, a farmhouse sink can be more accessible. If you choose a porcelain or ceramic farmhouse sink, there are a wealth of color options.
Cons: A farmhouse sink makes a deliberate design statement that will be with you for a long time — which is wonderful, unless your tastes change.
2. DOUBLE FARMHOUSE
Pros: Same benefits as any other double sink.
Cons: It does not have the true vintage style of a single-basin farmhouse sink.
3. ROUNDED SIDES
Pros: Many homeowners consider a curved sink easier to clean than one with square edges.
Cons: If a sleek, minimalist look is your kitchen style, this might not be the look you’re after.
4. BUILT-IN DRAINBOARD
Pros: Of course, it’s great for draining dishes, so if you do a lot of hand washing, it’s convenient. The drainboard can also allow fruits and vegetables to dry after washing.
Cons: This is a wider sink that eats up countertop space.
CHOOSING A SINK MATERIAL
1. STAINLESS STEEL
Pros: This is a very durable, easy-to-clean material.
Cons: The metal can scratch, but the marks can be buffed out of brushed stainless steel. Most manufacturers offer bottom grids (wire trays that are placed in the bottom of the sink to prevent scratching). Also, if you live in a area with hard water, water spots can be a problem.
Pros: This is a traditional material that looks authentic in kitchens with a vintage style. For people who love color, the choices are endless.
Cons: Porcelain sinks can chip, leaving a black mark. Metal pans can also leave black marks or scuffs that are difficult to remove.
3. GRANITE COMPOSITE
Pros: Made of granite particles and polymers, this material resists scratches and chips. It does not show water spots.
Cons: Lighter-colored granite composite sinks can stain, and some special maintenance is required.
4. NATURAL STONE
Pros: A natural stone sink — soapstone being the most common choice — can exactly match your countertop material and can give a kitchen an authentic period look.
Cons: The material is costly, and it can scratch and chip. Special cleaning products may be required.
To learn more about basin configurations, sink shape, materials and even accessories and speciality sinks visit houzz.com by clicking here.