Buyer’s Guide To Kitchen Sinks
Your kitchen sink is a crucial part of the kitchen work triangle and gets used many times a day, so needs to be durable and practical, as well as good looking. But which to choose from the vast selection of styles, shapes, materials and sizes? Follow our expert guide to find your perfect kitchen sink.
Which kitchen sink material?
Whether you’re replacing an old kitchen sink or revamping your entire kitchen, whether yours is a busy family kitchen or your sink will only be used to wash up the cutlery after a takeaway, your kitchen sink should be made from a hardwearing material that’s easy to clean, too.
Stainless steel kitchen sinks are a classic, industrial-looking, enduringly popular choice. Extremely durable and easy to maintain, they won’t crack or chip, and are a very affordable buy. When new, they tend to show minor scratches, which become less visible over time. Ours are available in Arctic White, Black, Chrome, Midnight Sky, Polished Stainless Steel, Sahara Sand, Silk Stainless Steel and Silksteel.
Ceramic kitchen sinks come in two styles: traditional Belfast-look for country or period-finish kitchens; and contemporary for more modern kitchens. Easy to clean, they may stain if not cleaned regularly and may crack if you drop something heavy on them. However, most ceramic sinks, if cared for, last the lifetime of your kitchen. Available in white and black.
Composite kitchen sinks are perfect for achieving a sleek look in a contemporary kitchen. Extremely strong and durable, they can also withstand high temperatures, are scratch-proof, and come in a range of textures and colours, including Ash, Beige, Black, Coffee, Cream, Graphite, Grey, Oatmeal, Oyster and Stone.
Which kitchen sink size?
There are lots of kitchen sink sizes and configurations to choose from – from 0.5 to double bowl – and a range of configurations in between. Consider what you’ve had in the past – and whether it was wide, long and deep enough – what you use your kitchen sink for, and how a different configuration or extra elements might improve functionality.
If you are replacing an old kitchen sink, you will probably be limited by the cabinet below to a new sink of the same size, shape and configuration. If you’re starting from scratch with a brand new kitchen, consider how large and deep you want the bowl to be, whether you want more than one bowl (an extra half-bowl will fit in quite modest-sized kitchens, while larger spaces will benefit from a double bowl). Think, too, about which side the bowl sits in relation to the drainer.
Take accurate measurements of the kitchen sink you’re considering, including the plug hole position so that you can be sure it will fit your space.
Which kitchen sink style and mounting?
The style of the kitchen sink you choose should be dictated by that of the kitchen units and the material of your worktops. Contemporary kitchen cabinets in high gloss or matt finishes and man-made or composite worktops are the perfect match for stainless steel or composite, and more modern ceramic sinks, while Shaker or farmhouse-style kitchens with solid wood or natural stone worktops suit ceramic sinks in traditional styles.
How your sink is mounted in relation to your worktops will contribute to your kitchen’s overall look, too. An inset kitchen sink, which sits on the worksurface, supported by its frame, is compatible with any type of worktop and will give you a more contemporary look. Easy to fit, it can come with or without built-in drainers.
For a more streamlined effect, whether traditional or contemporary, go for one that can be under-mounted. These sinks are harder to fit because they have to be screwed to the underside of the worktop, so are compatible with fewer worktop materials. However, the finished effect is super-smart and easy-to-clean.Matched with a removable draining basket or Franke Rollamat, they’re great for small spaces, since they can give you more worktop space once the drying up has been done.
You can also part inset a traditional ceramic sink – although the front will be on show, giving that classic Belfast sink appeal. Choosing a Belfast-style under-mounted sink? Consider your drainer choice: do you want to have drainer grooves cut into your worktop – or have a freestanding one on a tray to the side? This may affect your worktop choice as not all materials – such as cheaper woods – are ideal for this in the long-term.
If you’ve seen a kitchen sink you like but the drainer is on the opposite side to where you want it, don’t worry – kitchen sinks are usually reversible, but do check before you order.
Which kitchen sink shape?
Small kitchens can benefit from round or small square sinks without drainers, which leave you with just a little more work space around them – or you could choose a round or small square sink as an auxiliary one in a large family kitchen – perhaps for washing veg or other prepping tasks, while the larger, rectangular, main double-bowl sink is where the washing up is done.
If yours is a very contemporary kitchen, look for a kitchen sink with sharp, sleek angles that echo those of your kitchen taps.
What else to consider when buying a kitchen sink?
It’s wise to buy your kitchen taps, kettle tap and waste disposal unit at the same time as you invest in your new kitchen sink so that you can be sure the designs complement each other. Consider sink accessories, such as colanders, stainless steel wire baskets, inset chopping boards, soap dispensers and even plumbing and waste kits now, too.