4 Kinds of Kitchen Sinks

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Choosing a kitchen sink might seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more to consider than stainless steel or not. Sink your teeth into these options.

Drop-in

Drop-in sinks have a rim around them that rests on the countertop. While these sinks can accommodate any type of counter, are inexpensive, easy to install and come in a wide variety of materials and finishes, the exterior rim is harder to clean, according to Marlene Buckner, owner of The Urban Realm, Inc., Portland, Ore. “They continue to be the best option with laminate or tile counters,” she says.

Undermount

The undermount sink has a rim that is attached to the solid material countertop from underneath and is held in place by clips and silicone. They come in wide array of materials and make it easy to sweep things into the sink. “These have increased in popularity because they disappear and keep the focus on your gorgeous solid-surface counters,” Buckner says.

Farm/apron-front

If you’re looking to bring a tad of your great grandmother’s style into the kitchen, Duval B. Acker, owner of Kitchens By Design, Inc., Mt. Pleasant, S.C., says the farm sink is what you need. “Like the pot-filler faucet wall-mounted above a range, a farm sink will definitely date a kitchen in a way that many people like,” she says.

Meant to be under-mounted with the front apron exposed, most farm sinks are made out of fire clay, but Buckner says she’s installed stainless steel ones, even though it isn’t conducive with the farm look. 

If cost is a concern, Buckner warns that farm sinks are expensive to buy and install because the sink face is exposed and side cutouts vary, so they require custom cabinetry. This also affects storage space, since the base is lower throughout the cabinet. “You’ll have room for a garbage disposal and small trash can, but there’s little room to store more than a few cleaning supplies and dish soap.”

Prep and entertainment

These tiny sinks work in a bar area or as a prep sink for washing veggies or hands. “If there are helpers in the kitchen, this second sink allows the helper to do almost as much as the cook can accomplish, all without getting in the cook’s way if the kitchen is laid out correctly,” Acker says.

“Remember to choose a second sink that is congruent with the main sink,” so the aesthetic matches, she advises.

Stainless steel

As a last note on sink materials, Buckner advises those who choose stainless steel to look for sound-proof packaging. Whether it’s a single or double basin bowl, this coating is sprayed on the back to keep it from reverberating sound. “It makes the sink material thicker so that it absorbs the noise,” she says.

The thickness of the gauge also makes a difference. “The smaller the number, the thicker the gauge,” Buckner adds. Higher quality industry standard is 16 or 18 gauge.

Tags: sink, versatility, kitchen