January is infamous for New Year’s resolutions. From weight loss and healthier eating to job promotions and world travel, it seems people create resolutions for everything but the kitchen sink! If you’re considering a kitchen remodel this year, or you’re building a new home, you may be setting time-related resolutions in the New Year for your build job. Soon, you’ll be shopping around for household appliances of all kinds and picking out a new tile backsplash. But don’t forget the kitchen sink.
Kitchen sinks aren’t usually the most expensive part of your investment, so they’re frequently overlooked or selected at the last second. They’re pretty expensive to remove and replace, though, even if the sink itself is affordable. There are two things to consider in order to make sure you’re choosing the right sink the first time: how will you (or the plumber) install it, and what is it made of?
What type of mounting style should I choose for my kitchen?
A mounting style is simply the technique the plumber uses to install your sink. Most homeowners base this decision around the overall appearance and ease of cleaning, but there are a couple of other features to keep in mind when deciding.
The simplest and most straightforward installation in new kitchens is a drop-in sink. A hole is cut in the countertop, and the sink is lowered into the opening and sealed. Drop-ins are advantageous because they will work with any countertop and tend to be more affordable sinks (both to purchase and install). However, they tend to be more difficult to clean — food can be caught between the lip and the counter.
Farmhouse sinks, also called apron sinks, rest on the very front of the cabinet; there is no counter surface at the front of the sink. Many homeowners prefer this exposed-front style because you can easily reach into the sink without worrying about water pooling on the counter and running over the edge as you wash dishes. Keep in mind that farmhouse sinks require reinforced, custom cabinetry, as the heavy sink is installed right over the top.
Undermount sinks are one of the more popular styles of sink installation. The sink is attached to the underside of the countertop using a high strength epoxy, so there is no lip on the edge of the sink — water and crumbs can be wiped easily into the sink. Homeowners choose this style for its sleek look and because it is easy to clean. The main drawback is that it becomes more difficult to replace your sink in the future, as the entire countertop has to be removed.
What’s the best material for kitchen sinks?
Not all sinks are created equal. When considering what your future sink is made of, think of what’s most important to you — is an easily cleaned sink more important than one that matches the counters? Will scratches and wear-and-tear marks bother you? Some homeowners are very particular about the kitchen sink material, while others want the sink that gets them the most bang for their buck.
Stainless steel is a popular, affordable choice in comparison to the other materials used for kitchen sinks. Stainless steel is heat and stain-resistant, so you can throw hot pots and acidic liquids like red wine into the sink without worrying. Stainless steel is also a nice choice for a sink if you’re choosing stainless steel appliances, as more of your kitchen will utilize the material already. The only warning about stainless steel is that it’s very prone to scratch marks. Avoid a mirror finish stainless steel; brushed steel will help hide minor scratches much more effectively.
Stone sinks tend to be the most expensive option available and for good reason. Composite granite, like in the photo, won’t show scratches and marks the way stainless steel will. Stone is very durable and comes in a wide variety of color options. If you are building your kitchen from scratch, you should consider a sink made of the same stone as your countertop for a sleek, seamless look. There’s only one caution for stone sinks — inspect it before it’s installed. While a massive stone sink is nearly indestructible once installed, it is at risk for damage during transit.
Porcelain or fireclay sinks are a must for all-white kitchens. They’re similarly priced to stainless steel and are very water-resistant and easy to clean. Unfortunately, these types of sinks are not friendly to a dropped pot. They tend to chip over time but can be repaired professionally or with a DIY hardware store kit. A fireclay or porcelain sink will be very heavy, so be sure to check with your builder and make sure that the countertop can support the weight. Porcelain also will have the widest variety of color choices, ensuring your kitchen can look one-of-a-kind.
Do you have a kitchen remodel in mind for this year? We can help you find options that fit your budget, style, and function so that your kitchen is beautiful to see and easy to use. Give us a call today, or send us a message on our website.