• Kristy Berckmoes

Sinks are for bathing babies

Am I right?  Who doesn’t have a picture of themselves as an infant, plopped in the kitchen sink covered in suds?  It’s a rite of passage.  That being said, the sink of yesterday is not the sink of today as the options are so broad.  Here are four of the more mainstream materials sinks can be made from:

Stainless steel sinks Industrial and impervious to the worst food disasters, a stainless steel sink should not rust, stain or tarnish.  On the more affordable end of your budget, these are functional unless you go after it regularly with sharp objects… they can be scratched.

Enamel-coated cast iron sinks Think smooth and glossy when you consider one of these sinks.  They won’t crack or dent which is a plus but you may grow weary of the color or lack thereof, down the road. They are very durable, but extensive use of abrasive cleaners can wear away the enamel so if SOS is your favorite scrubber… keep reading.

Solid surface sinks  Corian is a solid surface sink made from the same man-made material as the countertops.  It is smooth to the touch and can have a great depth of color and style.  It’s ingredient list is a combination of marble dust, bauxite, acrylic, epoxy or polyester resins and pigments. I’d keep that on the down-low from your guests!  Quartz is another example of a solid-surface material.

Composite Sinks This is THE A-list of the sink world.  These are made from quartz dust and acrylic resins and may be called composite stone or composite granite. What makes them worth the price is that they are formed under high pressure, making them nonporous, hygienic and resistant to heat, stains, scratches and chips.

So, now you know your materials… and yet, one question remains… how to install?  Here’s all you need to know about how the sink will live in your kitchen:

  • Self-rimming or drop-in sinks fit into a cutout on the countertop and are held up by the edges of the sink and clamps underneath.

  • Undermount sinks are attached to the underside of the countertop with clips. With heavier materials like cast iron or stone, they require additional support under the sink.

  • A sink that looks like it is one piece with the countertop is really an undermount sink glued to the countertop to create a seamless, undetectable bond.

  • A farmhouse sink is a slide in sink that exposes the front of the sink. These are also heavy and need extra support under the sink. It can sit flush with the countertop, slightly above it, or under it.

Material?  Check.  Installation. Check.  Now, one or two?  Let’s talk Configuration.

Sinks come in many configurations, that is, shape, size, and number of bowls. Someone who cooks often or for many people may like a multi-bowl sink such as a deep bowl, and shallower bowl, and a separate bowl for the garbage disposal. Clean, prep and dispose all at one station!  Love it!

Someone who uses large pots may want two large, deep sinks.  I like to sink my elbows in the water for the best scrub angle and a manicure prep all in one.

Sink bowls may be divided or one large bowl. There may be a separate bowl for washing and rinsing produce. The dividers in sinks can go to the top of the sink or only half way up.

So many choices, such a big decision!  Talk with a pro, or your favorite cook and see what they like or dislike about their sink… you might be surprised!

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