Guest Post courtesy of Kerrie Kelly, ASID.
While the sink is one of the most important elements in a kitchen, its style is completely dependent on the homeowner’s taste, needs, and budget. Use this guide to help you make the right decision when choosing your own kitchen sink.
Kitchen sinks come in a wide variety of materials, all with their own pros and cons.
Stainless steel: One of the most popular sink materials, stainless steel is strong, durable, and very sanitary – perfect for an environment filled with food and dirty dishes. Keep in mind that although stainless steel is easy to clean, it is also easy to scratch. Luckily, these can most often be buffed out.
Copper: With a natural microbial finish, copper is the perfect sink material to promote a healthy kitchen environment. Depending on the manufacturer, copper finishes are also easy to clean and require very little day-to-day maintenance – bonus points if you appreciate a little patina with age. But make sure to keep hot dishware and abrasive cleaners away to avoid breaking down the finish.
Composite: These sinks are similar to copper and stainless steel in that they are attractive, durable, and require little upkeep. There are two main types: granite and acrylic. Granite is durable and can be given a custom color to match or contrast with the countertop. Acrylic is not as durable but is more cost effective. Composite sinks are also heat-resistant. Its non-porous surface is especially strong against scuffs, scratches, and the dreaded red wine stain. Because composite is not as flexible as copper, though, it cannot be formed into interesting shapes and sizes, making it the least customizable sink material.
Cast Iron: Heavy but extremely durable, and lots of flexibility for colors and unique shapes.
Fireclay: Often chosen for very large sinks. Durable and has a shiny, polished look.
Porcelain: Traditionally used in bathrooms, not in kitchens, because they are prone to chipping and scuffing.
After you’ve selected which graded material you’d like your new sink to be formed from, it’s time to figure out just how large a sink you really need. If you live alone, don’t cook often, or don’t plan on washing too many dishes, you may simply require a single basin. However, if you’re washing a week’s worth of dishes for multiple members of the family or you’re an up-and-coming culinary genius, opting for a double or triple basin sink might be a better idea.
Single basin sinks are generally larger and roomier than their double basin counterparts. With their wide and deep configurations, single basin sinks are great for soaking pots and pans or for prepping serious amounts of food. However, this type of sink doesn’t leave much room to multitask and you may wind up juggling dirty dishes with food preparation.
Double basin sinks are a little more versatile. You can opt for a 60/40 offset where one basin is slightly smaller than the other, or you can create a large sink with two equally sized basins. Depending on your needs and the size of your pots and pans, these configurations can create maximum efficiency if you don’t have the luxury of a dishwasher.
With so many options out there, it can be confusing to figure out which sink shape is supposed to go with which kitchen style. We’ve seen eclectic mixes and traditional set ups, but it’s always possible to create your own design with a creative sink choice, too.
Farmhouse: These sinks are very traditional and popular. This design is typically a large, deep single basin sink with a dramatic apron front. The farmhouse sink is chosen for its strong silhouette and vintage appeal. For an unexpected twist, place a stainless steel farmhouse sink in a modern kitchen. Its simple lines will complement a sleek setup. A double farmhouse sink is also possible; just put two large, deep, apron-fronted basins together.
Rounded: This sink style is a popular choice among homeowners for its unique curvature and stunning silhouette. Many people consider rounded sinks easier to clean than the usual square shaped basins. This design is great for a transitional or eclectic kitchen. It can also be installed in a modern kitchen for a touch of femininity.
Mix and match: By mixing and matching styles, shapes, and sizes, it can be relatively easy to find a sink that matches your unique needs and budget as a homeowner. We suggest going to your local showroom to touch the product and ask the sales associates for their advice based on what you’ll be using the sink for.
As you choose a sink, think about how you will mount it: drop-in, under mount or self-rimming? Your existing counter and your desired mount may end up playing a role in what material and style you choose.
With this helpful guide in your back pocket, you’ll be installing your dream sink in no time at all!
About the Author
Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Labs is known for the fabulous kitchens she designs. She provides advice for The Home Depot on a variety topics from sink pairings to a full kitchen remodel. Visit The Home Depot to see the kitchen sinks Kerrie talks about and more.