Sinks come in a wide array of styles, materials, and configurations. From the classic stainless steel with standard hardware to the elegant gold plated fixtures using ultra-modern touch on/off controls, there is something for everyone. Let’s take a look at both kitchen and bathroom sinks.
How do you choose a kitchen sink?
1. Select the material. Choose a material that matches the rest of your kitchen. Do you love the clean and modern stainless steel look? How about the elegant look of composite granite or cast acrylic, or the traditional look of cast iron or copper? Even within each material type you need to consider color, cost, and durability.
2. Select the bowl. How big is your counter top? How do you use the sink? Do you like having a garbage disposal? These are questions you need to answer to determine the size, depth, and number of bowls you will need in your sink.
3. Select the mounting
a. Drop-in sinks. These sinks simply drop into a cutout in the countertop. They are generally more affordable and easier to install and ideal for existing countertops. They have a flange (rim) that is sealed to be water tight.
b. Undermount sinks. If you have a granite or other solid material countertop then an undermount sink can deliver a beautiful look and it’s easy to clean. The countertop actually sits on top of the flange (rim) of the sink and the cutout edge of the countertop is exposed. This makes cleaning as easy as wiping crumbs, water, etc. directly into the sink. Note that this is not a good option when you have laminate countertops as the cutout edge of laminate is not suitable for direct contact with water and is not pleasant to look at.
c. Integral sinks. Another good choice for new construction or remodeling, integral sinks are built right into the countertop and made of the same material.
d. Tile-in sinks. These sinks have squared off edges and rise a bit above the surface of the countertop. They are then tiled in on the countertop to make the surface of the sink even with the tile. This can be a stunning look if you don’t want to replace the laminate but to simply tile over it.
When choosing a bathroom sink you need to take into account not only the material, but also the size of the bathroom, who will be using it, and your budget.
1. Size of bathroom. A small, half bath with only a sink and toilet can be the perfect place to use a pedestal style sink. No countertop means you still enjoy the feeling of having some extra space. A large master bath will often be spacious enough to use his and her sinks with a common countertop.
2. Who will be using it. If you entertain often then you may want to consider a vessel sink in that half bath that your guests use. You can find beautiful sinks in glass, marble, granite, and more. If children will be the primary users of the bathroom then you certainly don’t want to use expensive (and breakable) materials. A standard ceramic drop in sink should be just fine.
3. Your budget. It’s obvious that the more money you have budgeted, the better the sink you can buy. The same half bath used by guests can be a showroom of elegance or a utilitarian restroom with little or no decor. No matter what your budget, you will get the most for your money by buying the best quality you can afford, and by having your sink professionally installed.