A Guide to Kitchen Sinks

How to Select the Right Kitchen Sink for Your Kitchen Design Plans

By Mark J. Donovan

The kitchen sink is ground zero in every kitchen. It is where you wash and prepare food and clean up the dishes. It’s also one of the key focal points when walking into a kitchen. Kitchen sinks last nearly forever as there are no electrical or mechanical parts to wear out in them. Consequently it’s important to get it right when you buy a kitchen sink. It needs to look aesthetically appealing and match well with the rest of the kitchen features. And it also needs to be durable.
Summarized below is a guide to kitchen sink selection to help you make the right decision when purchasing your own kitchen sink.First and foremost when looking for a kitchen sink make sure you pick a double bowl sink that is large enough and deep enough to comfortably prepare food, clean dishes and hold dishes.

I’ve been into one too many homes where this wasn’t the case and it was simply uncomfortable and frustrating to work at the kitchen sink.

Second, have an idea of the features you want to have integrated into your kitchen sink. For example, do you want it to include holes for a single mixed valve faucet or for separate hot and cold faucets?

Also, do you anticipate wanting a soap dispenser and/or separate sprayer integrated into the kitchen sink? If so you need to buy a kitchen sink with the appropriate number of holes placed in it. In addition, you may want to consider a kitchen sink that includes an integral drainer and/or cutting board in it.

Third in the kitchen sink guide is determining what type of material you want the kitchen sink to be made out of. Common kitchen sink material options include stainless steel, enameled metal, cast iron, porcelain, and quartz composite. If you are going with soapstone countertops you can even consider integrating a soapstone kitchen sink into the countertop.

Kitchen sink considerations

You also need to consider if you want to purchase a drop in kitchen sink that rests on top of the kitchen countertop or an under-counter mounted kitchen sink. I prefer the under-counter mounted kitchen sink as it provides a cleaner look and does a better job of catching and funneling food and liquid spills on the counter into the sink.

Forth, make sure you understand the size of the kitchen sink your countertops and cabinetry can support. Buy one too large, and you may find yourself running back to the store.

If you are aiming for a stainless steel kitchen sink, keep in mind that all stainless steel kitchen sinks are not made the same. The thicker the gauge steel used, typically the higher the quality the sink is, as well as the price. Stainless steel is ideal for kitchen sinks as it won’t rust and it will deflect ever so lightly when a glass is accidentally dropped in it, for example, thus mitigating the glass breaking. They are also easy to maintain. Cast iron and enameled metal kitchen sinks look beautiful, however they are not as forgiving as a stainless steel sink when items are accidentally dropped into them. Enameled kitchen sinks can also chip.

Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet

So when you go out shopping for a kitchen sink consider all of these points when making your kitchen sink selection.

For help on your kitchen remodeling project, see my Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet provides a request for quote checklist section that you can provide to prospective kitchen remodeling contractors. It also includes a comprehensive kitchen remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected remodeling costs for every phase of the project.

Related Information

Additional Kitchen Remodeling Design Resources


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