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6 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Sink

You’re renovating your kitchen and have every last detail picked out—everything, that is, but the kitchen sink.

All puns aside, the kitchen sink is one of the most underrated details in your kitchen. From food preparation to cleaning to washing your hands, you’re probably going to use your kitchen sink a lot. It’s worth spending a little extra time to pick the perfect sink for you.

Not sure where to start? Here are 6 things to consider in your quest for the ultimate kitchen sink!

One Bowl or Two?
One of the most important items to consider when picking out your kitchen sink is whether to go with a single, larger bowl, or a sink with two, smaller side-by-side bowls.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Two bowls makes it easier to separate dishes for washing, but they don’t always fit larger pots, pans and baking sheets. It takes more water to fill up a larger single bowl for washing, but if you own a dishwasher, this might not be a deal-breaker for you.

The consensus seems to be that if you plan on doing a lot of dishes by hand, two bowls is the way to go—just opt for a 60/40 or 70/30 split, instead of two equal sized bowls split in half. If you plan on making your dishwasher work, a single large bowl looks cleaner and more modern.

How Deep Should You Go?
Kitchen sinks come in a variety of depths, with most lying somewhere within the 8 to 10 inch range, though bowls as shallow as 6 inches and as deep as 12 inches do exist. Older sinks tend to be more shallow.

Deeper sinks can fit more dishes and will splash less than shallower sinks, and are a great option for messier cooks or for bakers who tend to use a lot of large, bulky dishes. If you’re shorter than 5’4, a shallower sink will mean less bending and hunching forward.

Finally, consider the cupboard space underneath the sink: a shallow sink means more cupboard space, while a deeper sink will take up some valuable real estate.

What’s the Best Shape?
With homeowners placing more of an emphasis on aesthetic and innovative designs, the options for finishes are greater than ever before. Unusual shapes are great for creating visual interest, but never sacrifice functionality for looks: your kitchen sink is too important.

Rectangular bowls hold more volume than round or oval-shaped bowls, and the sink’s capacity is one of its most important features. A rectangular bowl with rounded corners, versus one with sharp angles, will be much easier to clean.

Is Stainless Steel the Best Bet?
Stainless steel is the most popular material for kitchen sinks: it’s heat-resistant, stain-resistant, and comes in styles suitable for all budgets and tastes. But it’s not the only material available for kitchen sinks.

For example, you could match your sink to your counter tops: quartz, for instance, will create a modern, seamless look—just beware of darker colors, which show scratches.

Cast iron sinks can be heavy (make sure your counter can support one), but are extremely durable and come in a variety of styles. Porcelain is a classic material, and one you’ll find in a lot of older sinks: these are heavy, but the smooth surface makes cleaning a pinch. Granite composite is a synthetic option are resistant to scratching, chipping, and heat.

So what’s the best option? Your budget, kitchen design and personal tastes will determine the right material for you.

What About a Bar Sink?
A bar sink or food preparation sink is a second sink, entirely separate from the first. It is smaller, and isn’t usually used for cleaning: instead, it’s used for food and drink preparation.

Bar sinks are a trendy addition, but aren’t the most practical thing to have in your kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have ample counter space and love to entertain, then a bar sink might work well for you. Otherwise, don’t make it a priority.

Self-Rimming or Undermount?
There are two main ways to mount a sink: self-rimming and undermounting.

A self-rimming sink “drops” into your counter top and is secured by way of clips and screws. They are easy to install and are common for sinks made of lighter material, like stainless steel or granite composite.

Undermounting means that your counter drops right into your sink. Your counter material will be exposed, and the final product will look very smooth and polished. If your counter top is made of a solid material like granite, marble, soapstone or concrete, undermounting might be a good option for you. Be aware that undermounted sinks take more time and effort to install than self-rimming sinks, and are typically more expensive.


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