According to former kitchen remodel clients, the sink is the hardest thing to live without during construction. The kitchen sink is used more than any other appliance in the kitchen – even a single person, living alone, who doesn’t cook a lot uses the sink dozens of times a day. With that being said the kitchen sink is one of the most important decisions you can make while planning your kitchen remodel.
There are three main factors to consider when selecting a new kitchen sink: Most importantly how does it function? What material is best for the way you need it to function? And lastly, how much does it cost?
FUNCTION: When you’re thinking about how you need the sink to function ask yourself: Do I hand wash dishes? If so, are you hand washing your everyday china or are you only hand washing the larger pots and pans that won’t fit in the dishwasher? Do I require a garbage disposal? What do I like about my current sink? What do I dislike about my current sink? These are things that matter that you may not be consciously aware of in your day to day activities.
Most people today put the majority of their dishes in the dishwasher with the exception of crystal, knives and large pots and pans which makes the once popular 50/50 bowl more of a nuisance than a convenience. A larger bowl close to the dishwasher with a smaller one on the other side for the garbage disposal is much more efficient for washing large pots and pans. Many people forgo the divider altogether and opt for one large bowl. Another option is to choose a sink with a lowered divider for greater versatility. Standard configurations include a single bowl, 50/50, 60/40 or 70/30. Most manufacturers will let you specify the large bowl on either side.
The width of the sink you choose needs to fit within the cabinet it will be resting in. Your kitchen designer will be able to work with you to determine the appropriate size for your space and your needs. Also consider the depth – everyone wants a nice, deep sink, but a sink that is so deep you find yourself leaning over it will eventually take its toll on your back. You should be able to reach the bottom of the sink without leaning over.
MATERIAL: Today there are many material choices for your kitchen sink. Stainless steel is the most popular because it is cost effective, durable, easy to clean and available in many shapes and configurations. A stainless steel kitchen sink should be 18 gauge or 16 gauge. The lower the gauge number the stronger the material.
Blanco Wave Plus 1 1/2 bowl undermount stainless steel sink
Copper is another popular material for kitchen or bar sinks. Its rustic beauty and naturally occurring antimicrobial properties make it highly desirable, but copper sinks are quite expensive and may require slightly more specialized care than some of the other materials if it has not been treated to prevent corrosion.
Farmhouse style copper kitchen sink from Linkasink
Porcelain or enamel over cast-iron are great for people who don’t want a metal sink, or for people who want a unique color. They are very strong, and heavy and resist staining and chipping. White and black are popular colors, but they are available in a wide variety of colors to match any decor.
Composite sinks such as Elkay’s E-Granite are another great option. They are very durable, stain and scratch resistent and offer a much more natural look. Many people are drawn to their neutral colors and matte finish.
Elkay Harmony E-Granite undermount sink
With so many options we recommend going to a working showroom where you can try out different sink and faucet combinations. Most manufacturers also offer a variety of accessories to customize your sink even further.