Perhaps the most used feature in your kitchen, choosing a new kitchen sink is an all-important decision both in terms of design and practicality.
When purchasing a new kitchen sink, your choice of design and how you plan to use it should be equal considerations. It is a crucial aspect that needs to be worked out carefully and should sit as seamlessly as possible with your new kitchen design. Bear in mind the size, type, and material you would like to use.
You can choose from inset, flush-mounted and undermounted varieties:
- An inset sink is placed on the top of the work surface and is usually attached to the counter with a lip.
- Flush-mounted sinks are similar, but sit level with the counter, as the name suggests.
- Under-mounted is where the sink sits below the worktop, not forgetting the different types of sinks such as butler.
Everything must work together in a kitchen design, and your sink must be able to sit well with your worktop. Jo Sargent, sales and marketing director at Franke UK, breaks down the different types and materials: “An inset sink style can be paired with any work surface, whereas undermount designs are compatible with everything except laminate – water will get into the chipboard core and ruin the worktop.”
“Timber will also need ongoing care to be waterproofed, so is a less ideal choice. Flush-mounted sinks work with everything. But extra care should be taken with solid timber and laminate surfaces with a chipboard core. They must be properly sealed to prevent water getting in,” she says.
What size kitchen sink should you have?
Once you’ve got your head around those choices, there are many more to make. There are multiple bowl options – single, double, and 1.5 size. Do you need a drainer? How about a food waste disposal unit? Your choice of kitchen sink may seem simple until you begin to break down what you need.
When making your choice, think of all the hours you will be washing up, preparing vegetables, or even running a baby’s first bath. “Managing workflow to optimise efficient food preparation should be a big part of your decision, especially when looking at configuration,” says Paul Illingworth, design manager at Abode.
Mix and match taps
Matching your tap with your sink used to be standard practice. However, trends have changed, and now there is so much design freedom and different options to choose from. Consider mixing up the finishes so perhaps a white ceramic sink with a gleaming gold tap. Matching the sink and tap manufacturer is often best though, especially if you want to use metallic finishes such as brass or gold. One brand’s gold is sometimes vastly different to another’s.
As Ronke Ugbaja, leader of product management at Grohe UK, explains: “Where possible, choose matching or complementing sinks and taps from the same manufacturer as a tried-and-tested match will ensure optimum performance and aesthetics while also making the buying process much easier.”
The exception to that rule is that if you want to install a specialist smart or boiling-water tap where they don’t make matching sinks. These taps are rising in popularity. Around 40% of all new kitchens in the UK are fitted with a boiling-water tap. There are many decisions to be made about this humble feature before you find what works for you.
What is the best kitchen sink material?
Deciding on your sink material is crucial – consider durability, the look and feel, plus all-important affordability.
- Stainless steel sinks: Highly durable, heat, stain, and rust resistant. They won’t chip or crack and are very easy to clean and maintain. It can last for decades and is easily recyclable.
- Granite sinks: For the latest trends in mixing materials, colours, and textures in your kitchen, consider coloured granite sinks. Available in black, greys, and neutrals, granite is resistant to high temperatures of up to 280°C.
- Ceramic sinks: Created in a high-temperature kiln firing and producing a smooth and flawless lustrous glaze. Belfast sinks remain popular, but also work in more industrial design settings.
- Composite sinks: Typically made from a blend of granite, acrylic resin, or quartz, the designs are known for durability and resistance to scratches, impacts, stains, and high temperatures.
- Cast Iron sinks: Made from molten iron, these sinks are very heavy duty without compromising on good looks.
- Copper sinks: Discolouration will happen naturally with a copper sink, and it will continue to evolve with use over time.