Kitchen sinks come in a mind-boggling array of configurations, shapes and installation types today – something to fit everyone’s budget, style and functional needs. Read on to learn how to choose the option that will work best for your lifestyle.
In Part 1 of my kitchen sink series, I talked about the various kitchen sink materials on the market today. Besides choosing a material that work for your style, durability and maintenance needs, the questions of sink configuration and installation are also important. Following are some things to consider as you choose your kitchen sink…
Number of Bowls: Do you like one bowl or two – or three? Think about how you use your kitchen sink while you answer this question. Do you frequently hand-wash dishes and need a place for your dish drying basket? Do you have a garbage disposal and need a small bowl to accommodate that use? Would you rather have one large bowl to accommodate those large pots and pans? Today, there are also hybrid options, that give you the best features of both a single and a double-bowl sink. Sinks like the Smart Divide by Kohler (see photo below) feature a lower divider between the two bowls, allowing you to use the sink as a double-bowl when you need it, but a single-bowl when your needs change. If you really want function, bells and whistles, check out the Pro Taskcenter sink from Kohler (see photo above) which features 3 bowls and tons of custom-fit accessory options. There is no right answer when it comes to choosing the configuration of your sink, so choose the one that works best for you.
Bowl Depth: Consider also the depth of the sink bowls. Shallow sinks are less expensive, but can also produce unwanted splashing outside of the sink. For best results, choose a sink with at least one bowl a minimum of 8″ in depth. You will find some sinks that are even deeper than that, and the deeper the sink, the easier it will be to fill and wash large pots. Some sinks also feature a smaller, shallower bowl intended just for use with the garbage disposal. Keep your functionality needs in mind when choosing the depth of your kitchen sink.
Installation Type: The last consideration is the installation type of your sink. Do you need a drop-in or self-rimming sink, which installs from above the countertop? These are almost always required if you have laminate countertops or tile countertops, but they can also be used on any countertop surface. The rim of the sink sits on top of the counter, hiding any raw countertop edges that occurred from cutting the countertop to accommodate the sink; since these raw edges don’t require polishing (as they do in undermount installations), they are less expensive to install. The sinks themselves are also typically less expensive than the other available option – the undermount sink.
Undermount sinks are installed from beneath the countertop, maintaining a clean, smooth surface above. This is the most popular installation style for folks with stone, quartz or solid surface countertops, since these materials can be polished and finished where the sink is cut into the countertop. By eliminating the rim around the edge of the sink, the area around the sink is easier to keep clean, and the look is seamless.
Another installation type is the apron-front sink – often referred to as a “farmhouse” sink. This sink features a large panel in the front – an apron – and requires a different sink cabinet to accommodate the extra height in the front. While they are often used in more traditionally-styled kitchens, modern stainless steel versions are also available today, offering options for any home style. Most farmhouse sinks are one-bowl configurations, but there are a few double-bowl options on the market, as well.
Whether you prefer stainless steel, porcelain or composite, undermount or self-rimming, shallow or deep sinks in any range of configurations, you will find any option to work in your kitchen. Each type of sink configuration and installation style can be at home in any setting – from traditional to modern.Pin It
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