Kitchen Sink and Tap
How to choose a sink
One decision that you may not consider important, but which can have long-lasting repercussions, is what sink to purchase.
The sink is one of your hardest working appliances. You want to make sure you choose the best sink to suit your lifestyle and family.
The first thing you need to consider is you if you want a top mount or undermount.
Refer to the following diagram by Oliveri to explain the different types of sinks.
Topmount sinks represent the most traditional line and its installation is usually faster and less expensive. Topmount sinks can be used on all benchtop materials.
A top mount sinks are also commonly known as a drop-in sink and it means that it has an exposed lip which sits on top of the bench top. This is easier to install and is recommended if you’ve got a laminate or wooden bench top.
- Top mount sinks protect the bench top’s edges: This is more important on stone bench tops because over time the knocks of pots and pans that happen on the stone bench will eventually weaken the stone and over a decade or so the stone could eventually chip. If you’ve top mounted the sink the edge is stainless steel and it is less likely to get damaged over time.
- Top mount sinks are easier to install: The reason it is easier to install is because you don’t require the same precision as you get in an undermount installation, that means that someone can measure up and then use a jigsaw to cut the hole for the sink, it doesn’t need to look nice but the hole needs to just be big enough to fit the sink but small enough to have the lips sitting on the bench on all edges of the sink. Topmount sinks can be installed on all types of countertop materials, including laminate, tile, solid surface, and all composite and natural stone.
- Topmount sinks are easier to replace if required in the future.
- Pots and pans: If you’re always cleaning pots and pans and you’ve got a large family, then we would recommend considering a topmount because the number of knocks you might get on the edge of the sink over time may chip.
- Hate cleaning: If you’re someone that hates cleaning and you’d rather just get out of the kitchen as soon as possible, then we would recommend you look at getting a topmount sink. This is because you don’t need to be extra careful while cleaning, you also don’t need to regularly check the joins of where the sink and benchtop meet in an undermount sink which might need regular cleaning and over long periods of time you might even need to re silicone the joins to prevent water from getting in.
- Undermount sinks are usually more visually aesthetic and tend to be cleaner since the silicone seal between the sink and the counter is not as visible and there is no lip to form an obstruction around the sink. You can swipe food particles directly off the counter and into the sink.
- A sink that has been undermount means that the lip or edge of the sink has been tucked away under the stone bench. People prefer this because it has a sleek look, and allows you to shows off more of the stone bench.
- Undermount sinks look sleeker: Undermount sinks are a more premium installation because it allows you to maximise your bench top and it makes it appear that the bench top flows into your kitchen sink, rather than being two separate pieces of items in the kitchen
- Undermount sinks tend to be made to a higher standard
- Undermount sinks require more planning: If you’re getting an undermount sink it’ll generally require more planning because your cabinet maker will need to make a substrate to hold the sink up, and then your stone mason will need to know exact measurements of the kitchen sink bowl so that they can smoothen the edges of the stone around the kitchen sink. So make sure you choose and purchase your sink nice and early so it’s ready to go for both parties.
- Undermount sinks are a good option in small kitchens as they free up a bit of bench space.
- They are more expensive to install because the cut out must be made to the exact measurements of the sink so that the bench top and sink blends perfectly into one. The edges of the bench top may chip overtime if you’re not careful.
- Beauty in the benchtop: If you’ve selected a beautiful benchtop and chosen a nice stone that you want to show off then you would choose an undermount sink. This will allow you to show off more of the benchtop and not have the kitchen sink shown in direct sight. The downside to this is that you’ve got to be more careful around the kitchen, especially on the edges of the sink.
- With undermount sinks, the countertop extends all the way to the sink—even a bit more. If you’re tight on room and need every possible square inch of counter real estate, undermount is the way to go.
Topmount (drop-in) Vs Undermount
Although both styles are functional, the fact that we opt for one or the other will be determined by our taste and options. The choice of the sink, as well as the rest of the elements in the kitchen, is determined with the unique purpose of making life easier for us, so beyond design and colour, we must value its usability adapted to our lifestyle
Consider these factors when deciding which type of sink is right for you:
- Installation: Undermount sinks typically require more precise installation than drop-in sinks.
- Countertop: Undermount sinks can be used with a variety of countertop materials, including granite, quartz, and solid surface. Topmount, on the other hand, are generally more flexible and can be used with any type of countertop, including laminate and tile.
- Appearance: Undermount sinks offer a sleek and modern look, while drop-in sinks have a low rim that may be visible.
- Cleaning: The lack of a rim around the edge of an undermount sink makes it easier to brush food directly into the sink
Once you have decided on the choice the other things to consider are
- Configuration – Single or double silk /Drainer
- Left or right size
- Bowl Size – Do you do a lot of hand washing. Or using the dishwater? Do you cook a lot? Also, you have to be mindful of the kitchen design as you may not be able to incorporate a larger sink.
Stainless Steel Sinks
Stainless Steel Sinks describe the material that it is made of and are the most common type of sinks because it is extremely durable, easy to clean and the cost is relatively cheap compared to other types of sinks.
There are still both really cheap sinks and premium sinks made in stainless steel, so make sure you find one that’s high quality. Stainless steel sinks are generally made of 304 Grade Stainless Steel.
People prefer stainless steel sinks because they are easy to clean, suits most surfaces, affordable. The only thing people need to know is that over time it may rust when not taken care of, especially on the really cheap sinks because of the lower quality of stainless steel.