Ten Things To Consider When Investing In A Kitchen Sink

October 17, 2022

The kitchen sink has gone beyond its mid-century utilitarian role in the kitchen. It is an aesthetic all of its own, that involves a complex harmonisation of looks, tech, form and function. Committing to a new sink is a pivotal moment that will change the character of your kitchen. Before you dive in, consider these ten incredibly useful facts – all the sinkspiration you need.

#1 Consider the material.

Different countertops and different cleaning preferences can affect your choice of sink material. Porcelain sinks are easiest to clean. Stainless steel sinks are generally the most cost-effective choices and go well with granite tops – but the thinner the steel, the noisier. (A problem you won’t encounter with our deluxe Smeg Aurora!) Hi-tech composite sinks can handle blistering temps and banging but can show limescale without correct cleaning. Speak to us about how to maintain our Franke Tectonite Sinks. Fireclay sinks – ceramic – are the ultimate choice for classic style lovers.

#2 Drop-in or undermount?

Drop-in sinks, also called self-rimming or top-mount, are the most common sink type, with a visible lip resting flat on the countertop. The sink drops straight into the countertop cut-out, secured by metal clips and silicone sealer. The undermount sink has no visible lip, but ‘kisses’ the bottom of the counter. Heavy duty clips are needed to hold it in place as it has no purchase on the countertop. It requires professional installation. If you have a compact kitchen, an undermount sink saves you valuable centimetres. A drop-in sink is easier to install, but an undermount sink area is easier to clean. Drop-in sinks work with all countertops. Undermount sinks can be used with all countertops except laminates – which do not hold the heavy-duty clips. Laminates may also get water-damaged. 

#3 Size matters.

When doing your measurement homework, width is the important one. Width is measured from left to right, btw. Consider the size of your kitchen, and whether you want the sink beneath the window or placed near another permanent element. Keep proportion in mind. Bring your measurements with you when you visit us instore.

#4 Single or double?

A double sink is a luxury, as it involves more plumbing, mixers, installation costs, takes up more space etc. So ask yourself ... do you ‘want’ two sinks (the double sink dream is a gorgeous one) or do you ‘need’ two sinks (large household, busy cook, lots of prep and washing up)?

#5 A sink with a built-in draining board.

This is a real hard worker! Suitable for draining crockery – if you’re keen on washing up by hand. Also a handy space for drying washed veggies. Ideal for larger kitchens.

#6 Depth.

How deep is your (sink) love? Deeper isn’t always better. Consider your cabinetry. The deeper the sink, the more cabinet space it takes up. If you are very tall, or very short, you’ll find a deep bowl rather difficult to work over.

#7 Location, location, location.

You’ll be standing at the sink quite often. Give it a good view. Either have a pleasing prospect over the rest of the room, or out of the window and across the garden. Under a window? Center it exactly for a beautiful eyeline. Make sure the dishwasher is nearby, with space for the door to open without tripping you up. 

#8 The Farmhouse Sink.

Built to outlast any kitchen, the traditional fireclay sink is the centrepiece of the farmhouse kitchen. These beauties are a dream to keep clean – leave a teabag in the sink overnight by mistake and the wipe of a damp cloth will have your sink sparkling again. Of course, you may encounter trouble if you test the overnight theory with a glass of red wine! Generally, as with our most remarkable handcrafted Shaws of Darwen Shaker Sinks, we strongly advise wiping and cleaning after every use. Fireclay is heavy, so you’ll need to ensure your cabinetry is sturdy. 

#9 Where to put the prep sink.

Prep sink, bar sink, wet-sink, island sink. Whatever you call it, we call it a highly effective little miracle. It doesn’t take up too much space and is very versatile. It makes meal prep a snap! If you’re a gregarious cook with a larger kitchen, install it in your kitchen island and let the conversation happen around you. In a more compact kitchen, the prep sink needs to be close to the cooking and food storage areas. Italtile’s range of prep sinks offers both round models (like the Franke Rondo Drop-in Prep Bowl) and square models (like the Franke Kubus Onyx Black Undermount Prep Sink). 

#10 Picking the right sink mixer to match.

Let’s start by saying whatever size and shape and finish you select, ensure it’s a waterwise choice. Single handle or double handle mixer? The single handle is a more modern option and gets you to the right temperature faster. A double handle mixer is a classic option, but it takes a bit of twiddling to get the desired water temp. The sink you select will dictate the configuration of tap you choose. And your water pressure system will also guide you to the right tap. If you have high water pressure, you have the choice of both a high pressure or a low pressure tap. Low water pressure? Only a low-pressure tap will offer an efficient water delivery system. Speak to us about your options here, once you get the advice of your plumber. Material and finish?  A brushed or shiny gold or bronze finish is a more traditional choice. Mirror-polished chrome is a timeless contemporary look, while matt black is a whole mood that speaks to an urban or modern palette. New trends are offering innovations like handsfree operation with a sensor, like our Idral Electronic Tap with Infrared Sensor.

One last point.

You may well still have a question or two for us after reading this. Chat to us online if you’re rushed for time or visit your nearest showroom and speak to a design-certified sales consultant. Bring us your vital statistics, your mood boards and your concerns. We’re quite clued up about our products so tap into our know-how. We love to help you live beautifully.