When redesigning your kitchen, you may be focused more on the backsplash, countertops, and cabinets. However, your sink can make or break your kitchen aesthetic and functionality. Kitchen sinks come in a variety of materials and styles that can fit any design.
Kitchen Sink Materials
Stainless steel is the most popular sink material, but it is by no means the only option. Stainless steel’s popularity is largely due to price as it is much more affordable than other materials. It also tends to be louder than other materials available. Stainless steel is durable, heat resistant, and stain resistant. However, it is more prone to scratching and shows water marks more than other materials.
Cast iron sinks are another popular material. The sink is made of cast iron and then coated in enamel to prevent it from rusting. The enamel is melted glass fused to the cast iron. It is stain and scratch resistant and very durable. However, it is also extremely heavy. Installation can be difficult, particularly if you want an undermount sink. This will require additional support to keep the sink in place. It is also more expensive than stainless steel.
Composite sinks are made out of crushed granite or quartz with a resin filler. These sinks provide the same visual appeal as granite or quartz surfaces without the drawback of maintenance issues. For example, you need to seal granite countertops to protect them from staining. This is not the case with composite sinks. Composite sinks are stain and scratch resistant, with granite being the most durable material.
Fireclay sinks are similar to cast iron sinks; however, they are more durable. Fireclay sinks are made by shaping ceramic clay into a sink and drying it at a high temperature. Once it is dry, it is coated with enamel and cooked in a kiln. Fireclay sinks are more expensive than other types of sinks, but it provides excellent visual aesthetic, especially for farmhouse sinks.
Kitchen Sink Types
When deciding on a sink type, you will need to consider the number of bowls you want. Most sinks come with one or two bowls. If you have a smaller space, opt for a single bowl. Small double bowl sinks lack functionality. Single bowl sinks also make cleaning large pots and pans easier and they are faster to clean as well. Double bowl sinks offer flexibility. You can soak vegetables in one basin while you have dishes in another. You can have either two equal sized bowls or one smaller and one larger bowl.
Farmhouse sinks (also called apron sinks) are a major component of country style kitchens. Their defining feature is that the front of the sinks is exposed rather than being covered by your countertop and cabinetry. It often juts out slightly from the counter. There are single and double basin farm house sinks, but single basin tends to be the most popular. Farmhouse sinks are often made of fireclay, but they are also available in stainless steel and composite. While they are very elegant, they tend to be harder to install and cost more than other models of sinks.
Top mount sinks are the easiest to install and are often less expensive. They have a rim that rests on the countertop, holding the sink in place. However, this lip often catches crumbs and can be difficult to keep clean. Undermount sinks eliminate this problem as they are mounted from beneath the counter so there is no rim. This allows you to sweep dust and crumbs directly into the sink. Undermount sinks often require a support system to keep them in place, making them more difficult to install.
Which material and type of sink you choose will depend a great deal on how you want your kitchen to function and your personal style. Country kitchens most often have farmhouse sinks with one basin made from fireclay whereas modern style kitchens frequently use undermount sinks with two basins made of stainless steel.