Building a custom home means making a lot of decisions. By far one of the most vital rooms in the home is the kitchen. It’s the heart of the home, and typically the most used space in a house. People spend a lot of time thinking about which appliances to get, what countertops to use, and cabinet colors. One thing people tend to overlook though is the kitchen sink. Your kitchen sink will be one of the most used items in the home, so make sure you’re putting in the right one. Here’s our simple guide to everything you need to know about them!
Just like with other elements in the kitchen, sinks come in different materials, each with their own pros and cons. Understanding what they are will help you decide which is best for your family and lifestyle. The most popular sink materials are the following:
Stainless steel is by far the most popular material choice for sinks. It’s even been estimated that around 70% of all sinks are stainless steel. It’s an inexpensive but highly durable choice that comes in a variety of styles. They are prone to scratching and show water spots, so they’re a little harder to keep clean than other materials. However, they offer excellent resistance to stains and heat.
Cast iron sinks are the original sink materials. It has a bright, glossy, enamel finish that stays looking good for decades. A heavy porcelain enamel finish, which is melted glass, is cast around a bare iron sink creating the highly durable finished product. Cast iron sinks are incredibly easy to keep clean, they don’t show water spots, and they’re resistant to fading. They’re also pretty affordable. The downside is that these sinks are heavy, so extra support might be needed. They’re also prone to chipping, and if the enamel comes off the iron base could start to rust.
Composite sinks are made from granite or quartz composite. Crushed granite or quartz is combined with resin filler. They have the same aesthetic qualities of real granite and quartz but without the maintenance and durability issues. These sinks are tough and resistant to stains and scratches. Manufacturers claim these sinks are the most durable and long lasting out there.
Fireclay sinks are made by molding ceramic clay into shape, drying it at a high temperature, then putting a porcelain enamel around the clay. The enamel fuses to the clay, which increases the strength of it making it even more durable than cast iron. They’re not indestructible though- dropping something heavy in there could cause the enamel to chip. These sinks can be pretty pricey too, but they sure do look nice!
Sinks come in different styles too. You’ll have to decide both bowl style and in what style you want it mounted. The style of the sink may be dictated by your sink and countertop material choices, but manufacturers are more creative these days so the limitations are less.
A single bowl has only one basin. This style is usually available in smaller compact sizes, making them perfect for kitchens that are tight on space. A larger single bowl sink has more space for cleaning larger items, which is the main reason why some people prefer them. They’re also easier to clean due to the reduced amount of corners and edges. Single bowl sinks tend to be cheaper too, which is another plus.
Double bowl sinks are the most popular. It features a double basin that is popular due to its flexibility. The basins can be equal sized, or one may be larger. Many people like it because it allows one basin to be used to collect dirty dishes and leaves the other open for other uses like washing hands or food.
Farmhouse sinks, also known as apron sinks, have a large forward facing section instead of a counter there. This style has become increasingly popular due to it being heavily featured on HGTV shows. It fits well with traditional or farmhouse style kitchens. They’re available in single and double bowls, but the single basin is more popular. They’re typically made from fireclay, but can also be found in other materials. Farmhouse sinks can be pricey though!
Top mount sinks, also known as drop-in sinks, are designed to be dropped into a pre-existing hole in the countertop. They have a lip that rests on the countertop to hold the sink in place and create a finished look. They’re easy and inexpensive to install which is why they’re a popular choice. The style is a little less sleek, and the lip between the sink and countertop can easily collect dirt and scum, which are things to keep in mind.
Undermount sinks are mount underneath the countertop, meaning there is no lip like there is with a drop-in sink. The edge of the countertop drops directly into the sink basin, which makes cleaning easier. These sinks look great and make clean up easier, but they have some disadvantages. They require more work and skill to install, and depending on the material may require additional support. This style of sink isn’t designed for facet attachments so additional holes will have to be drilled into the countertop.
Hopefully, now you have more information to make the right choice about which sink to put in your kitchen! The kitchen sink is typically overlooked, but its one of the most used items in the home. If you need more information or want to get started building your dream custom home feel free to contact us!