Picking The Perfect Kitchen Sink For Your Custom Kitchen

modern-kitchenA major part of any kitchen renovation is choosing the right sink. A kitchen sink needs to do more than just look nice. It has to stand up to years of use and wear. Kitchen sinks are made in a variety of different materials to fit virtually any style and any budget. Below are a few examples of the most common styles of sink being used today.

Installation Methods

Kitchen sinks can be installed in a variety of ways, but they mainly fall into two different camps: drop-in and undermount. Their names are fairly self-explanatory. Drop-in sinks fit into a countertop cutout and create their own border. Undermount sinks fit directly underneath a more precise, finished opening in the counter to create a smoother transition.

There are a few other options for sink mounting that are largely dependent on material choices. Flush mounting is a hybrid of drop-in and undermount where a sink is picked to match a tile countertop. The sink’s flange is the same depth as the tile mounted on the countertop, producing a level surface with a small grouted seam. Solid surface sinks are a special undermount sinks made of the same material as the countertop. The joint between the two pieces is typically invisible.

Metal Sinks

Metal is one of the most common material choices for sinks owing to its great strength and relative economy. Metal sinks can be either bare or enameled. Stainless steel is the go-to choice for an affordable bare metal sink and thicker sinks can provide a surprising amount of durability. Stainless steel sinks typically require more cleaning than other options, especially to prevent water spots.

Enameled metal sinks are generally made from either steel or cast iron. Cast iron is a traditional choice that offers exceptional durability while steel is usually lighter and cheaper. The porcelain enamel that covers these sinks provides a strong water-resistant surface, although they can be damaged by some abrasive cleaners.

A more exotic choice is a sink made of copper or bronze. These materials are very eye-catching, but they are also usually expensive. Copper has some antimicrobial properties that can help them keep the kitchen cleaner. Over time copper and bronze will develop a patina; homeowners who prefer a bright appearance must polish these sinks regularly.

Stone Sinks And Composites

The solid surface sinks mentioned above fall into this category, being made of the same aggregate material as solid surface countertops. This material is often called Corian, although that’s a trademark that properly belongs to DuPont products. A seamless solid surface sink often delivers a very clean appearance, although it requires skilled installation. Some solid surface materials (including the original Corian) deal poorly with heat, but other composite materials are more durable.

Sinks can also be cast out of concrete. These distinctive sinks are frequently seen in designer kitchens and they usually come at a high cost. Concrete is a stylish choice that can be cast in virtually any shape, but it needs to be sealed regularly to deal with water.

A kitchen sink can also be carved or assembled out of solid stone. This is one of the most striking ways to make a sink and also one of the most expensive. Sinks made of stone usually require additional support to deal with their massive weight, and some porous stones require the same kind of sealing as concrete.

Other Materials

The most affordable way to install a kitchen sink is to use an acrylic model. These sinks are cast out of plastic, usually with fiberglass reinforcement. While this results in a fairly flimsy product, the low installation cost is very attractive to a lot of homeowners.

Fireclay is a traditional material for kitchen sinks that has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years. This type of sink offers a smooth ceramic surface similar to an enameled metal sink but it is backed up by a durable ceramic structure instead of metal. Fireclay sinks are often expensive, but they hold up very well and many styles are visually distinctive.

Thanks to the wide range of different sink materials in use, it is possible to pick out an ideal sink for virtually any kitchen redesign. While costs and sizes will depend on a number of different factors, the choice of material will impact a kitchen sink’s long-term resilience and attractiveness. That makes it one of the most important decisions in planning a new kitchen.

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