How to choose a good kitchen sink.
A sink is an essential part of any kitchen. We use it numerous times every day to wash food, hands and dishes. It is therefore of vital importance that the sink is extremely sturdy and convenient for all these purposes. Choosing a perfect kitchen sink requires consideration of some key features.
Let’s look at 2 different ways of installing a kitchen sink – top mount or undermount. Deciding which method suits you best depends on a number of factors. Top mount sink is placed on top of the counter while undermount sink is attached to the bottom of the counter.
There are certain advantages to the undermount method. It uses less bench space by hiding the sink rim underneath the counter top, making cleaning it effortless because anything from the surface falls directly into the sink. It is more hygienic since you don’t get any remnants of food stuck in the rim, and it looks more attractive.
The advantages of the top mount or drop-in method are that it is cheaper and easier to install, can be used with any type of countertop material including laminate and tile, and it makes the sink itself very easy to clean.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing the sink that would be right for you and your home:
- The material.
We use the sink multiple times per day so the first thing we have to think about is its durability. The most important aspect to consider when deciding which one to buy would be the material.
A black sink may look stylish, adding a touch of sophistication to your kitchen. The biggest downfall is that it only takes a few careless moves for it to get scratched. The appearance of the sink could change significantly over time as it absorbs moisture or mixes with other colours. Unless you are going for worn-out chic, the black sink may disappoint after a few years of heavy usage. It is advisable to take into consideration the factors that could influence the way your appliance looks and be aware of the risks associated with choosing a particular material or colour.
Those who enjoy adorning their home with beautiful things often opt for a stone sink. It is a classy way to show off your taste and can be aesthetically pleasing in appearance. On the other hand, it is important to be wary of choosing style over substance, especially with sinks - the appliances that are utilized every day. The material used for manufacture of such sinks is not actually natural stone, but composite granite. It is engineered stone created by combining 80% granite and 20% acrylic resin and other materials. The mixture is poured into a mould and then cooled to form. This method produces a considerably more durable sink in comparison to the natural stone, which has difficulties withstanding changes in the temperature and the effects of using various chemicals. However, there are a few drawbacks that come with handling such material.
- The porous surface of composite granite stains easily. This is the reason sandpaper is usually provided with such sinks, it comes in handy as cleaning it requires a lot of effort.
- In the event of extreme temperature shock the material can break. For example, a pan that was put in the sink to wash right after being used may crack the bowl.
- The marks left behind on the porous surface are particularly hard to clean because they accumulate over time. Stains that aren’t noticeable straight away may become quite obvious after a year.
- Composite granite sinks need to be sealed as they can get scratches and dents that would be difficult to repair.
The best choice not only for its durability and resilience, but also for sustaining its appearance over time is stainless steel. No other material comes close in comparison to its toughness and elegance.
Another thing to keep in mind is the thickness of the material. You want to buy a sink that is consistently solid. The Ultimo Sink is made out of 1.5 mm thick steel throughout. Some sinks are manufactured using inferior thinner material where it matters the most, meaning they are less likely to be able to withstand the pressures of everyday use. Well-structured design is important for making sure your sink preserves its functionality.
The corners of the sink are those hard to reach places that accumulate grime and dirt. To make your life easier and your sink more accessible for cleaning, choose one with radius 5 corners. Sinks with zero radius corners are a nightmare to clean because of the gunk and pieces of food that get stuck there.
- Stain resistance.
One of the many advantages of stainless steel is that it is highly resistant to staining. If you have ever cooked with turmeric or beetroot or if you enjoy a glass of red wine or cola now and again, you know how important it is to have a stain-resistant sink. Spending hours trying to get rid of colourful splashes left behind by some of the products we use isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.
Rust and corrosion are also unwelcomed surprises that can be brought about by using things such as lemon juice, vinegar or cleaning products. Stainless steel is exceptionally strong and it preserves the steady functionality and neat appearance of the sink all the way through many years of use.
It is a material that is very easy to clean and maintain, requiring next to no effort as it doesn’t absorb any smells and the dirt doesn’t stick to the surface in the same way as it does with some other materials.
Stainless steel sink is the toughest and the most hygienic of all sinks. Most other materials can develop cracks over time that become breeding ground for bacteria and grime.
The solid construction of a stainless steel sink guarantees that it will fulfill its purpose for everyday use in the years ahead.
When choosing which sink to go for, pick the ones that are made out of one piece material, such as the Ultimo Sink. A sink made out of a single folded steel sheet offers maximum strength and durability.
There are many sinks that have been fabricated from cut-off parts of a steel sheet. The material from another project is wielded together to produce a sink using the left over steel. The cut-off fabrication method necessitates joints along the bottom which means the end product is much less sturdy.
Stainless steel is pleasing to the eye and can make a beautiful addition to your kitchen. The satin finish gives it a modern look that will accompany other appliances in a harmonizing way. It will suit any style of kitchen, adding sleekness and a touch of class to your home.
If you want your sink to look shiny and sparkle just as bright as on the day you bought it, pick satin finish. Matte finish loses brightness the more you use it and will eventually look old and worn out. Satin finish develops a better patina over time, a layer that will form with age and exposure to various chemicals and protect the material from damage.
Whether you decide to opt for top mount or undermount installation, make sure that it has been done in a way that protects the durability of the sink and keeps it steadily in one place.
Silicone seal that is often used in the top mount method to connect the sink to the counter runs the risk of the sink dislodging over time because it isn’t reliable.
For top mount sink to be well secured it needs to have integrated brackets and clips that will ensure the sturdiness and protect the position of the sink in the same place for many years to come, no matter with how much excitement you wash your dishes.
- Sound isolation.
Sound isolation is something we normally associate with walls, but sinks certainly benefit from the same idea. A stainless steel sink can create a lot of noise when water hits the surface, so be sure to pick one that makes use of sound-deadening technology.
This can be achieved through padding or under-sink coating. This feature will help you avoid waking up the whole family if you decide to pour yourself a glass of water in the middle of night. After-dinner washing up will not become a deafening noise echoing through the whole house either.
- Resistance to condensation.
Condensation is the cause of one of our home’s greatest enemies – mould. It can and will destroy everything it comes in contact with and is extremely bad for your health. Sinks that feature anti-condensation coating are the best choice you can make to protect your kitchen from mould. You also want to make sure that your sink has solid supporting bridges as it increases durability.
- Water drainage.
Water drainage is a fundamental feature of any sink. Without a properly engineered system the water can collect at the bottom and be the cause of unwanted smells and spreading of slime. The X Flume bowl design is the most efficient way to dispose of water as it allows it to flow effortlessly into the drain.
The placement of the drain can save you some space for cleaning products and other items to put under the sink, rear drains will leave you with more storage room.
- Waste disposal.
Food waste can ruin any sink and drain in a matter of days. It is essential to keep your sink as free from it as possible.
Having to unclog the sink is probably one of the most revolting household tasks that everyone does their best to shy away from. As long as you have a good straining system in place you will help yourself avoid a lot of unnecessary reaching down the drain with whatever cutlery piece that was the closest.
A sink with the appropriately organised waste disposal is a good investment. Make sure that the materials used are top quality and corrosion-resistant, and that the waste strainer can be secured properly to keep any food leftovers from going down the drain. It will save you a lot of headache and enormous effort unclogging a blocked sink.
Deciding to buy a sink that would be perfect for your kitchen doesn’t have to be a disheartening task if you know which features to pay attention to and what truly makes a difference in the long term.
Out of all the different materials available stainless steel is the most durable and hygienic, as well as being the most attractive in its appearance over time. It is advisable to choose the highest quality craftsmanship if you want to keep using the same sink for a number of years to come.