Kitchen Sink Buying Guide for Kitchen Countertops

How to Choose the Best Kitchen Sink for your Kitchen Countertop ?

Gone are the days when the kitchen designers were focussed only towards the aesthetic looks of a kitchen. Kitchen under mount sinks, drop in or top mounted sinks, kitchen apron front sinks also known as kitchen farm house sinks are some of the various types of kitchen sinks available for your specific kitchen countertops. You need to understand some basic points before making a good kitchen sink buying decision either to set up a modern, efficient & smart kitchen or for kitchen remodelling.

Why Choosing Kitchen Sink for Kitchen Countertops is Difficult !

Kitchen Sink Buying Guide for Kitchen countertops

How to choose kitchen sink for kitchen countertops is one of the most important question that needs to be answered by anyone setting up a kitchen. Whether you are working towards setting up a new kitchen in a newly built house or working on a kitchen remodelling project for a makeover of your old existing kitchen.

Different types of kitchen sinks are available in the market and buying one does not guarantees that it will fit perfectly in your kitchen. It also depends on the family size as well as cooking habits.

A perfect kitchen sink is one that not only fits in your kitchen but also fist perfectly in your budget. Neither should it be underutilized, not over utilized so you get value for money. After all, we all want the best quality product at a fair price.

Difference Between Building a New Kitchen and Kitchen Remodelling

Building a new kitchen gives you much more options as compared to kitchen remodelling. During a kitchen remodelling, it is expensive to change the kitchen countertops, although if you are under a good budget then you can also change the kitchen countertops. Size of the cabinet is other major limitation as well as the empty space under the kitchen sink. You can easily switch to kitchen under mount sinks for increasing the depth of the kitchen sink during the kitchen remodelling with the help of expert installers.

Kitchen Countertops and Kitchen Sinks are Complementary

Today, the architecture behind kitchen design is not only limited to get good aesthetic view but the kitchen design must also be planned in a way such that working in a kitchen is seamlessly smooth and easy for everyone. Kitchen countertops and kitchen sinks goes hand in hand and both are considered as complementary to each other. Buying kitchen countertops without considering all the features of kitchen sinks and buying kitchen sinks without considering the options available with kitchen countertops won’t fetch satisfying results.

Choose Appropriate Size of Kitchen Sinks for Kitchen Countertops

Choosing an appropriate size of kitchen sinks for kitchen countertops is the first and the most important decision for anyone designing a kitchen. The choice is limited to the size of your kitchen countertop and cabinet because you cannot use a kitchen sink that has an inside measurement greater than the kitchen cabinet, where the kitchen sink fits itself. If you are doing kitchen remodelling then size of the old kitchen sink will give you the appropriate size of kitchen sink needed.

You can measure the size of your cabinet by measuring the length between the outside edges from left to right. Subtract around 2-3 inches from your measurement from both the sides for mounting hardware so that you get the exact size of the kitchen sink required. As an example, if your cabinet measures 36” then it can accommodate a kitchen sink size that is in between 30” to 32”.

The standard size of most kitchen cabinets is 24” measured front to back. The width of the kitchen sink is dependent on two factors. One is the width of the kitchen sink and the other is the presence or absence of a back splash on the kitchen countertop. Kitchen countertops without any back splash can accommodate standard size kitchen sinks but you must subtract the thickness of the back splash from the cabinet size, if your kitchen countertop has back splash.

Choosing the Depth of Kitchen Sinks

General configuration of kitchen depth ranges between 8” to 10” and depending on your personal requirements, you can choose a kitchen sink with the required depth, although the most commonly used models are around 9” deep. 9” deep kitchen sinks are considered as the ideal size for almost all types of kitchens.

There is a difference between the actual depth of the kitchen sink and the effective depth of the kitchen sink after its installation. The width of the kitchen countertops material is also important as well as whether you are using kitchen under mount sinks or drop in sinks.

As an example, let us consider a case wherein we are going to use granite countertop with kitchen under mount sinks. Since the thickness of granite countertop is 3 cm (around one and quarter inch) and the kitchen sink will be mounted under this due to kitchen under mount sink installation, therefore effective total depth of the kitchen sink turns out to be 10.5” instead of flat 9”.

If you have ample amount of space below the kitchen countertop then the depth of the kitchen sink can be even changed in case of kitchen remodelling.

Choosing the Kitchen Sink Type and Mounting Methods

Type and mounting method of kitchen sinks is again one of the most important decisions while setting up your kitchen. Different type of kitchen sink requires different type of mounting methods and certain mounting methods may not be compatible to some specific types of kitchen countertops. It is important to check for the compatibility of kitchen countertops, mounting methods and the availability of experts who can install it seamlessly.

Kitchen Under Mount Sinks

Kitchen under mount sinks have emerged as standard installations for almost all kinds of granite kitchen countertops. It offers an aesthetic seamless appearance because these are mounted under the kitchen countertops. They are also easier to clean because of the absence of any lip structure as found in top mount sinks.

Kitchen Drop in Sinks or Top Mounted Sinks

Top mounted kitchen sinks, also known as drop in sinks as well as self rimming sinks are easiest to install and also turns out to be quite inexpensive for someone under a tight budget. Drop in sinks are generally used in utility areas such as laundry rooms and are seldom found in kitchens.

Apron Front Sinks or Farm House Sinks

Apron front sinks are quite expensive due to which these are not much used in normal kitchens. It can be used in country-style or cabin kitchen due to its terrific beauty and elegant style, although if you have a good budget.

Trough Sinks

Trough sinks are narrow and long sinks measuring somewhere between 10” to 14” in width and around 4” in length. Trough sinks are not much in circulation due to its lower functionality and are only used for kitchens with a presence of multiple cooks working simultaneously.

Choosing the Kitchen Sink Configuration

Kitchen sinks are available in three different configurations namely single bowl, double bowl and triple bowl. The shape and size of these bowls also varies and it must be well chosen depending on your cleaning requirement. You need to analyse whether you need two or more than two bowls and if you need two or more than two bowls then what must be its depth, shape and ratio.

Double bowl configuration is preferred by most of the people because it offers an ease of use due to the presence of two different compartments. Double bowl division is generally available in the ratio of 50/50, 60/40 and 70/30, out of which 60/40 is the most preferred configuration followed by 50/50 double bowl configuration.

Choosing the Kitchen Sink Material for Kitchen Countertops

Choosing the kitchen sink material must be your last deciding factor based on your budget and usability. Stainless steel, cast iron, copper, fireclay, vitreous china, cast iron and granite are some of the most common materials used in manufacturing kitchen sinks. While choosing the kitchen sink material, you must think about whether you need something that is sophisticated and can be handled well by the users or you need some rough and tough material for a long durability.

Stainless Steel Sinks

Stainless steel has emerged as one of the most popular kitchen sink material by most of the kitchen sink buyers. The reason behind its popularity owes to several factors such as ease of use, easy to clean, quite rough and tough, long durability, cheap in price as well as goes well with most of the kitchen designs.

Granite Sinks

Granite material is the next choice while buying kitchen sinks because of its wide range of colours and shades. Moreover, it merges very well with the shade and colour of your kitchen countertops. Granite kitchen sinks are one of the most preferred type of kitchen sinks due to its scratch resilient features.

Composite Sinks

Composite sinks are slowly becoming more popular because of its beauty, high resistance to scratches and easy maintenance options. Just like granite sinks, composite sinks are also available in different colors and shades that can be matched to the granite kitchen countertops for an aesthetic look.

Cast Iron Sinks

Enameled cast iron sinks is the best choice for someone who want to have a fashionable stylish look in the kitchen. The material is manufactured with a solid cast iron base with a deep layer of enamel surface for extra protection. It is one of most durable type of kitchen sinks available in the market, although it is difficult to install as well as expensive than stainless steel sinks. Cast iron sinks are a bit costly but it proves to be one time investment product.

Copper Sinks

Coppers sinks are strong and durable with a good resale value even in its worst form but it is quite expensive to buy. Moreover, depending on the thickness or gauge, the cost of copper sink varies across a wide range. Copper kitchen sinks are generally available between 14 to 18 gauge and buying thicker gauge sinks is always a better idea.

Fireclay Sinks

Fireclay is a material that became quite popular in 1800s, also known as ceramic. It looks like vitreous china due to its smooth and non-porous surface. The material is free from any kind of rust, discoloration or fading, although you need to be very careful not to throw utensils in this type of sink as it may develop a crack. It is available in different designs and styles.

Vitreous China Sinks

Vitreous china sinks are well known for its smooth and glossy finish. It is also known for its high durability and is available in almost all the colors but as in fireclay sinks, you need to be careful while throwing heavy objects into the sink as it may damage it.

Last but not the least advice is going to the market and physically looking at the different options available locally. Having a basic understanding about the varieties, features and types of kitchen sinks can help you buy kitchen sinks that are worth the value.

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Ashutosh Kasera

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