Basins – size and configuration
Kitchen sinks are found in three main bowl types:
- ⬥ Farmhouse
- ⬥ Top-mount
- ⬥ Under-mount
These types of sinks are heavy and you will need a specialized base cabinet when installing one.
A farmhouse sink is typically consists of a single large basin with an apron front that can extend away from the edge of the adjacent countertop.
Best for older or historic homes and kitchens purposely designed to have a retro look.
Farmhouse sinks come in a variety of colors and materials. It is possible to find double-basin farmhouse sinks, however it doesn’t have the same vintage feel.
Note: If your tastes change you may find it hard to make this sink work with other styles.
One of the more common types of sinks, this type of basin is easy to recognize by the rim that holds the sink in place in the countertop.
While this type of sink is easy to install it’s also common for dirt and grime to accumulate around the edges.
The sleek, modern look of this sink is undeniable.
However, the cost to install is often more as it takes more time to install this type of sink than the top-mount variety.
Single basin sinks work well for large pots, pans and dishware.
It’s also helpful for preparing large amounts of food, making it perfect for a large family or a foodie who spends lots of time in their kitchen.
You may need to purchase sink accessories (e.g. a plastic tub) to use your sink for multiple purposes at once. For example, rinsing off your vegetables while you soak dishes that need washed by hand.
Different or equal sized basins that are commonly available include:
- ⬥ Two basins of equal size
- ⬥ Two basins of unequal size (60/40)
- ⬥ Three basins (two large and one small)
Note that while these are the standard options, it is possible to have a sink custom made to fit your particular needs.
One of the biggest benefits of a sink with multiple basins is the ability to mult-task. (e.g. cleaning dishes in one sink while preparing food in another)
A negative, however, is that it’s harder to clean large pans in smaller sinks so keep this in mind when you’re choosing a kitchen sink.
Curved towards the back, this sink can be more roomy than the standard rectangle shaped sink. However, keep in mind that unless your sink is deep, square shaped cookware such as cookie sheets may not easily fit when you want to wash them.
Rounded side sinks
Rounded side sinks are sleek and elegant, especially when mounted under the countertop. Many people prefer this type of sink, maintaining that it’s easier to clean.
Each sink layout and design is available in a variety of materials.
Things to consider when picking the right kitchen sink:
- ⬥ Bacteria resistance
- ⬥ Ease of cleaning
- ⬥ Long lasting
Common materials used in sinks include:
- ⬥ Enamel (laid over a cast-iron or steel foundation)
- ⬥ Porcelain
- ⬥ Stainless steel
- ⬥ Solid surfacing (e.g. man-made epoxy and/or resin)
- ⬥ Acrylic
- ⬥ Granite/Quartz
- ⬥ Enamel sinks with a cast-iron foundation are strong and long-lasting
- ⬥ Smooth, easy to clean surface
- ⬥ Very heavy – use two people when installing
- ⬥ Variety of color choices
- ⬥ Traditional look fits well with vintage style kitchens
- ⬥ Can chip
- ⬥ Metal pans can mar the surface
- ⬥ One of the most common types of sinks – making them easy to find
- ⬥ Easy to clean
- ⬥ Durable
- ⬥ Affordable
- ⬥ Works with multiple installation types
- ⬥ Can be scratched, however the scratches can be buffed out
- ⬥ Hard water spots can stain the sink
Tip: Look for sinks with a brushed satin finish. This can hide scratches and hard water spots.
- ⬥ Strong, molded plastic reinforced with fiberglass fibers
- ⬥ Inexpensive
- ⬥ Easy to clean
- ⬥ Resistant to stains and impacts
- ⬥ Versatile – can be used with nearly any type of sink installation
- ⬥ Comes in many colors and designs
- ⬥ Easy installation
- ⬥ Petroleum based materials can damage the surface
- ⬥ Easily scratched and gouged
- ⬥ Can be burned, leaving ugly burn marks
- ⬥ Can leak, especially when combined with a garbage disposal as vibrations weaken the plastic to metal joints
- ⬥ Durable – it’s stain, heat and scratch resistant
- ⬥ Comes in a variety of prices and colors
- ⬥ Non-porous, making it resistant to bacteria
- ⬥ Long lasting color
- ⬥ Color choices are fewer than other options
- ⬥ Very hard surface – dropped dishes will break
- ⬥ Limited in ability for after-purchase customizing
- ⬥ Dark colors can show wear and tear
- ⬥ Expensive
- ⬥ May need special cleaning materials