In most homes, the sink is by far the busiest spot in the kitchen. Nearly every task done in the space begins or ends at the sink, and buying the right one is among the most important decisions you will make when planning your kitchen. No matter what your requirements are, you should get a sink that will serve you well, is easy to maintain, and looks great.
What options do I have?
When you buy a kitchen sink, it is important to ensure that it gels well with the styling of your kitchen. There are different types of kitchen sink designs you can choose from.
Inset sinks are by far the most popular type. They are mounted into a hole which has been cut in the countertop. The rim of the bowl and the draining board (if present) are raised to make sure that water doesn’t flow back. Corner sinks are ideal for small kitchens and usually come with a draining board that is at a right angle to the bowl.
If you have a solid-surface worktop, you could consider under-mounted sinks which are fitted under the counter. Over-mounted sinks, on the other hand, are placed atop a base unit and all the necessary plumbing is done through the worktop.
Butler and Belfast sinks have straight sides and are usually made of ceramic. The front portion if the sink is usually kept exposed for stylistic reasons. Both these types of sinks look pretty much the same – the major difference being that unlike the Butler sink, the Belfast has an integral overflow. For a large kitchen, you could also consider a workstation – which is a freestanding sink unit.
How about the materials?
Stainless steel kitchen sinks are extremely popular and come in a variety of sizes and styles. Stainless steel is an extremely strong material that is lightweight, hygienic, durable, easy to clean and resistant to heat and staining. However, the surface can scratch easily.
Ceramic sinks are heat, stain and chemical resistant. But, if heavy vessels are dropped on them, they could chip or break. They also need special attention after use to prevent the build-up of lime scale.
Solid surface sinks can be under-mounted and looks sleek since the joints between it and the worktop can be hidden completely. Materials such as Corian are easy to clean, extremely durable and simple to maintain. However, they are more expensive than both ceramic and stainless steel kitchen sinks.
Is there anything else?
The number of bowls the sink should have would depend on your requirements. Most kitchens in the UK have bowl-and-a-half sinks. If you need the additional space, a double or two-and-a-half bowl sinks can be useful.
Don’t forget to look at the plumbing needs of a sink before investing in one. Many sinks come with predrilled holes and connections. Otherwise, you will need to do the additional work yourself. Even though fitting a new sink is easy if you have the some plumbing experience, hiring a professional could be a great idea. A plumber could charge anywhere between £50 and £300, depending on the extent of work required. However, you can rest assured knowing that your new sink is installed properly.