For many years the biggest decision you had to make about a new kitchen sink was whether you wanted a single or double bowl. Most homeowners still pick stainless steel sinks and for years, the only other choice was cast iron. Then you could decide on details like shape (all rectangular) and whether the 2 bowls were the same or different sizes and depth.
Today the kitchen sink, once ignored, is taking center stage in many new homes and kitchen remodels, with an incredible array of choices. Now picking your kitchen sink is a lot like picking out your kitchen cabinets – you've got to decide on the size and style, materials and color, accessories and of course, we can't forget the faucet.
Along with lots of exciting choices in kitchen sinks, also comes the need to do more research about the different materials as they vary widely in price, durability, choice of colors and accessories and another consideration is noise as low-end stainless steel sinks tend to be noisy.
We're going to start with the fun part of shopping for a new kitchen sink and look at the different styles. Next month we'll review the different materials to help you become a savvy homeowner when buying that new kitchen sink.
How Often & How Do You Use Your Kitchen Sink?
Are you an avid cook or constantly preparing meals for a busy family and so washing dishes, pots and pans, or do you only cook at home sometimes, and use your sink less, for smaller pots, pans and dishes? When choosing your kitchen sink, it's important to consider the way you use your sink, the size of pots and pans your need to wash, and the size of sink you will be most comfortable with.
Do you want to stack dirty dishes in one bowl of the kitchen sink and wash in another, or do you like to have all of the dirty dishes in the main bowl? Do you want to save counter space with a smaller sink, or is the kitchen sink more critical to how you work? Understanding how you're going to use your kitchen sink and the role of the sink in your daily life will help you choose a sink that's right for you.
Kitchen Sinks Go Commercial
As we move toward wanting a more efficient kitchen to work in, the kitchen sink has become one of the central areas where we look to consolidate our tasks and get organized. Taking the commercial kitchen sink, where speed and efficiency is crucial, as a model, kitchen sink designs have evolved not only to organize the average cook, but also to create more space and efficiency in your kitchen.
For example, a kitchen sink that is ergonomically correct can reduce bending over and ease back pain. New sinks are designed for multi-use functions such as working with food, food prep, and easy clean up. Inspired by restaurants, sink designs incorporate a layer of accessories that include a colindar for washing fruits and vegetables, a drain area for glass and cups, a cutlery area, and an area for your sponges and soap. Then, as if that wasn't enough, it's simple to remove the accessories to reveal the sink and get busy washing your dishes, pots and pans.
A kitchen sink does not have to be square. Rounded corners are easier to clean, and a low divide between a double sink can make it easier to move pots and pans from one basin to the other. When designing your own concrete or other stone sink, you can determine the grade of the bottom slope to drain water quicker.
Lots of Kitchen Sink Styles to Pick From
Now that the kitchen sink is becoming more of a focal point, rather than just a clean-up area, it can be seen as a unique design feature. New kitchen sink designs are showing up in the market place.
Here are some kitchen sinks you may want to consider:
Vessel Sinks – or basin sinks” have been a trend in bathrooms, but are becoming popular in the kitchen. Vessel kitchen sinks sit on top or slightly recessed of the counter, instead of below countertop level. These can be a design statement because they're visible above the counter. This also means less bending over to work, which can be easier on your back. They're available in a variety of kitchen-friendly materials such as metals, glass, and natural stone.
Prep/Entertainment Sinks – Sometimes a smaller, second kitchen sink can make a difference in your kitchen's workflow. Known as “prep” or “entertainment” sinks, these kitchen sinks give you extra workspace for washing hands or vegetables, cleaning dishes, or chilling drinks on ice.
Farmhouse Sinks – One of the most popular kitchen sinks today is the farmhouse sink, sometimes called an “apron sink.” A farmhouse kitchen sink is so-named because it mimics the rectangular, extra deep look and exposed front common in many vintage, rural homes. They can sit on the counter or be mounted. They usually don't have a “deck” running along the perimeter so faucets and other hardware need to be installed directly into the countertop, behind or to the side of the basin.
The most common material for farmhouse sinks is white porcelain or enamel, but as these sinks get more popular, manufacturers are providing alternate materials, such as stainless steel, copper, fired clay, and natural stone. You can get a farmhouse kitchen sink in single or double basin design.
Trough Sinks – Longer and leaner than a traditional kitchen sink, trough sinks can accommodate two, three or even four faucets and drains, offering significant elbow room for a family of cooking enthusiasts. They are also ideal for home gardening and craft projects, and trough sinks offer a great way to serve chilled food and drinks on ice. They also work well on kitchen islands.
Seamless Sinks – The tiny crevice where sink meets countertop can be one of the most difficult spaces to get truly clean in a kitchen. A seamless kitchen sink, in which sink and countertop are melded together into a single piece, eliminates this problem.
A seamless kitchen sink creates a unique look while offering the same functionalities of a countertop choice. They are essentially countertops with the sinks built right in, which means you can have your sink made from the same material as your counters. A seamless kitchen sink can be designed to meet your personal needs and specifications. Cook for a lot of people? Ask for an extra deep or wide basin. You can also ask for a slight angle in the countertop to create a built-in drain board.
Take Time to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink
With all the choices available for your kitchen sink, take the time to choose the style, size, and materials that will best suit your needs. Remember to ask yourself how you use your sink and how often. Think about the features that will make using your kitchen sink easier and more efficient. Your sink is not only a practical item, it can be a central design feature in your new kitchen.
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