Kitchen Sinks – Buying Tips

Kitchen Sinks are available in many different Materials, Shapes and Sizes

By Mark J. Donovan

The Kitchen sink is command central in a kitchen. It is arguably the most import item in the kitchen. Kitchen sinks are where we clean and prepare food, and where we clean pots and pans, and dishes.

There are many kitchen sinks to choose from when remodeling your kitchen. Kitchen sinks come in many shapes and sizes and they are made from numerous materials. In the subsequent sections of this article I attempt to cover the majority of kitchen sink options and the benefits of each.

Kitchen sinks can be classified in several major styles. The major styles include:

Self-rimming / Flush Mounted Kitchen Sinks

These types of sinks literally sit on top of the countertop. They have a rolled edge that sits flush with the countertop when in place. Self-rimming / flush mounted kitchen sinks are some of the most popular kitchen sinks styles as they are relatively inexpensive.

Integral Kitchen Sinks

Integral sinks are kitchen sinks and countertops that are constructed out of the same material. Integral kitchen sinks have no visible surface seams. Integral kitchen sinks are usually more expensive, due to the material they are constructed out of, however they provide for an extremely modern look.

Rimmed Kitchen Sinks

Rimmed kitchen sinks use a narrow flat metal strip to secure the sink to the countertop.
It is a very common sink style due to its affordability.

Tile-In Kitchen Sinks

Tile kitchen sinks are usually used with tile countertops. The tile-in kitchen sink is often designed to create a seamless connection with the tile countertop.

Kitchen sink considerations

Undermounted Kitchen Sinks

Undermounted kitchen sinks have been increasing in popularity, particularly on higher end kitchen remodeling projects. As the name suggests, the kitchen sink mounts on the underside of the kitchen countertop to create a smooth appearance. Undermounted kitchen sinks are ideal for kitchen work, as there is no kitchen sink /countertop surface seam to trap water or food crumbs.

Kitchen sinks are also made from numerous materials

Standard Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Stainless steel kitchen sinks have been extremely popular for years. They are resistant to corrosion, dents and dings, particularly the heavier gauge ones, and they come in many different sizes and shapes. They are however noisy.

Soapstone Kitchen Sinks

Soapstone kitchen sinks have been increasing in popularity due to their durability and attractive appearance. They are also bacteria resistant, completely non-porous and do not require sealants. You frequently see soapstone kitchen sinks use in integral kitchen sink/countertop applications.

Copper Kitchen Sinks

Copper kitchen sinks have also become very popular. Unlike the industrial look of stainless steel kitchen sinks, copper kitchen sinks provide a look of warmth to the kitchen.

In addition, copper kitchen sinks can be shaped into many different forms to create unique kitchen sink designs. Copper sinks however do require some maintenance and they are sensitive to heat, so some extra care is needed with them.

Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks

Porcelain coated cast iron kitchen sinks are extremely attractive, durable and heavy. Because of their density and weight they are extremely quiet. They usually are available in self-rimming styles and are typically mounted above countertops.

Kitchen Remodeling Bid Sheet

They are available in many different colors. The one concern with them is that there is a higher risk of glass breakage due to their density and rigidity.

Enameled Steel Kitchen Sinks

Enameled steel kitchen sinks can provide an elegant look and are easy to clean. They are typically amounted above the counter. When selecting an enameled sink it is best to purchase one with a heavy enamel coating to reduce the risk of chipping. Enameled kitchen sinks are moderately priced.

Kitchen Sink Shapes and Sizes

The standard kitchen sink size is 22 x 30 inches however kitchen sinks come in many different shapes and sizes. Most common are 2 bowl sinks however there are single bowl and triple bowl options as well.

Besides your common double bowl sink, there are single bowl bar sinks and gourmet sinks. There are also deep kitchen preparation sinks and apron front sinks, all of which come in different sizes, shapes, and materials.

When selecting a kitchen sink make sure you check with your kitchen designer on whether the style of the sink, and the material it is made of, is appropriate with your countertop selection. You choice of countertops can affect your kitchen sink choices.

The task of selecting a kitchen sink is almost endless so make sure you shop around before purchasing one.

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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