Kitchen Sink Buying Guide
As the central fixture in the most active room of the house, the kitchen sink sees plenty of action. Day in and day out, it is the focal point of food preparation and cleanup. Accordingly, kitchen sinks are made to be both attractive and extremely durable.
When you shop for a sink, you’ll quickly learn that sink designers have been busy in recent years. Modern sinks no longer consist of a simple faucet and bowl. They come in a variety of materials: have multiple bowls of various sizes, shapes, depths, and colors; and are designed with integral drainers,Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink cutting boards, and more. Most sinks have four holes for mounting faucets and accessories. Other hole mounts include a faucet’s sprayer, a hot water dispenser, a spout for a dedicated water filter, the air gap for a dishwasher drain, and a liquid soap dispenser.If the sink you want doesn’t have enough holes for the devices you desire, look into special ordering one. (You can drill a hole in a stainless-steel sink using a special metal-cutting hole saw.) Stainless Steel Sink If you don’t need all the holes in the sink you wish to buy, ask about matching plugs for capping the unused holes.
In addition to choosing a material and bowl configuration, make sure you consider how the sink will be installed and seated. A self-rimming sink has a molded edge that overhangs the countertop and rests on top of the countertop; this is the easiest installation, but crumbs can collect where the sink meets the countertop. A rimless or undermount sink attaches or Kitchen Cabinet is fused to the underside of the counter; though the installation is more difficult, this setup is significantly easier to keep clean. Flush sinks are supported by metal strips around the perimeter or are an integral part of the countertop material.
Here’s a closer look at the kitchen sink materials you’re most likely to find:Stainless Steel. Available in a wide range of prices, but you get what you pay for. A cheap sink is made of thin metal–you can feel it flex if you push on a bowl, or a garbage disposal may vibrate noisily; plus, it’s easily scratched, has a finish that is hard to keep clean, and may make a drumming sound when you run water into it.
A higher quality sink is thick and firm (the thickness of stainless-steel sinks is measured by gauge; the lower the gauge, the thicker the material), and its finish will maintain its original appearance if you simply wipe it clean. 18-gauge or thicker is best.
Avoid a sink with a “mirror finish.” It looks great at first, but water spots will be a constant headache, and scratches will soon mar its appearance. Check the insulation on the underside of the bowls, which is intended to deaden the sound of running water. Foam insulation works better than sprayed-on.
Enameled Cast Iron. Has a smooth, elegant finish unmatched by any other sink material, and comes in many colors. The finish is very hard and rarely chips. Running water will hardly be heard, and hot water will cool slowly. China kitchen cabinets The easiest of all materials to clean, just a wipe will usually restore the original luster. However, because of the weight, stronger countertops are called for.Avoid enameled-steel sinks, which resemble enameled cast iron but do not perform well.
Composite Acrylic and Fiberglass. Not recommended because they soon lose their glossy finish and absorb stains readily. Newer composite sinks have a more durable finish.
“Quartz” sinks–composite sinks with a high quartz content–are especially durable and come in a variety of colors and configurations. They are an attractive, stylish alternative to more conventional materials, but even the best composite sink is susceptible to scratching.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or allowing sand or dirt to get rubbed onto the surface. Running water will make a drumming sound, though not as loud as in a stainless-steel sink. Push down on a bowl to make sure the sink is firm; if it flexes, a garbage disposal may vibrate.Integral Solid Surface. A solid-surface countertop can be ordered with a molded sink, either in the same color or a complementary hue. Because the color goes all the way through the material, this rimless, seamless sink can be scratched, but the scratches can be easily buffed out.
In addition to the standard sinks discussed here, consider a secondary sink to ease the task of food preparation and cleanup.
Decorative. An extra-pretty sink can be pricey and may be difficult to keep clean; however, it just may add that special touch that transforms a plain kitchen into a conversation piece.
Vitreous China. Made of molded clay fired at a very high temperature, these sinks commonly have ornamental designs and come in unusual shapes. Most do not have mounting holes, so the faucet must be installed in the countertop. The finish is easy to clean and nearly impossible to scratch or stain. It can, however, chip, so beware of bumping it with pots or pans.
Brass and Copper. Sinks made of these materials are usually for bathroom use, but may be appropriate as a secondary sink. They should be wiped dry after each use to prevent tarnishing.
Antique. An antique sink can lend a kitchen the pleasant ambience of a farmhouse. Many older sinks are composed of one large deep bowl with an attached drainer–an arrangement some people prefer–and tend to be quite sturdy.
Bar. Positioned near the cooktop or next to a cutting board, a bar sink can be used for cleaning vegetables or for other food preparation. It is most useful if it is deep enough to accommodate large pots.