Whatever your new kitchen project, you are going to be spending a lot of time thinking about kitchen sinks as they are the workhorse of the kitchen and used every day.
The first choice is the material that the kitchen sink is made of, the most common choices are ceramic, glass or stainless steel kitchen sinks.
Stainless Steel Sinks
In numerical terms stainless is the winner at present. It has a lot going for it:
- Easy-clean surface
- Heat resistance
- Immune to most chemicals
These practicalities make stainless steel kitchen sinks pretty much the default setting for anyone choosing a unit for a laundry or utility room. But stainless is also a modern-looking option that can fit into most new kitchen schemes, whatever the colour and material choice.
Most stainless sinks are made from ’18/10 grade’ material (18% chromium, 10% nickel): thicknesses vary between 0.6mm for standard models and 0.8mm for some premium models. They normally contain around 60% recycled material and the metal is 100% recyclable at the end of its working life.
Stainless steel types come in a wide range including single sinks, 1.5, 2 or 2.5 bowls (the 0.5 being a small bowl useful for cleaning utensils or vegetables). Combination units with drainers (often with their own waste outlet) are common. Makers include Astracast and Sauber, both of whom include useful corner types, and there is a wide range of very high quality units from Franke sinks.
Ceramic Kitchen Sinks
Ceramic kitchen sinks are made form a much more traditional material, made from fired clay, may be heavier and capable of being cracked in extremis, but it does also resist acids and alkalis (unlike the temperamental stone sinks) and properly looked after it can have a very long active life and it offers a wide array of appearance. In this respect it is the more versatile material.
For example, Franke offers colour choices including graphite, oatmeal, coffee and onyx as well as the ever-popular white, and you can select matt textured finishes as well as smooth gloss. If you really want to break the mould, check out the Franke Mythos range that is literally cutting-edge and will suit the modish styles of square-section tap and mixer units. Other manufacturers to choose from include Armitage Shanks and Leisure among others.
Glass Kitchen Sinks
You might think that glass kitchen sinks would be a crazy idea. Surely glass is far too fragile to be used as a sink?
Modern glass sinks are actually very strong and durable as the video below shows:
You would be forgiven for thinking that this deep, simple, most traditional of sinks was just a sub-section of ceramics, but although that is usually the case, Franke have also introduced a modern twist on the old theme with sharp stainless steel Belfast models.
It is lovely to have the depth of these sinks but that very feature can lose you valuable space in the cupboard unit beneath, and some bigger models are also too wide for standard units, so do your homework before taking the plunge.
The modern fashion for smooth designer worktops in granite or synthetic stone has given rise to sinks that don’t actually rise – from the surface level. Instead of being planted on top as is traditional, they fit underneath the hole in the surface. Separate sink and drainer cut-outs are becoming more popular, as the desire grows to separate raw food preparation from general sink areas. These are referred to as undermount kitchen sinks
Even the Belfast has been reinvented in an undermounted, modern style that has a flat top that can butt up flush to the worktop.
Whichever material and style you choose, check whether it is a reversible design or handed left or right, and whether the tap and mixer positions will fit your space, and order accordingly to avoid costly mistakes. It truly pays to think of everything including the kitchen sink.