By Lance McCarthy
Do you find your house mysterious and perplexing?
I have decided to bravely serve as tour guide to the home. Each month I dedicate one of my columns to illuminating some part of the house that most people might not know much about.
I thought we’ve covered everything but the kitchen sink, so why not cover…the kitchen sink?
This is one of the most used parts of any house, so we better find out what we can about it. In a kitchen, it is often the appliances or cabinet layout that gets everyone’s attention, but the sink is probably the most important part of a kitchen, and almost all of the activity in a kitchen orbits around this little hole in the counter. It is where the meal starts and ends.
Today I’ll give you some things to think about if you are considering a new one.
- Over-mount. This is the traditional technique, where a lip is visible on top of the countertop, but these have become more rare.
- Under-mount. Almost all of our clients choose this now. It is mounted under the countertop so there is no lip, and wiping the counter becomes easy.
- Farmhouse or apron. This can be either over or undermount, but the front face of the sink extends out past the front of the cabinets. This has become very popular in the last few years.
- Single. This has become more popular recently. It is one big bowl that makes it easy to handle large items. The downside is that it doesn’t multi-task well.
- Double. Two basins can be the same size, or offset–where one is larger than the other. This takes care of the multi-tasking issue (so you can soak that lasagna pan while rinsing your asparagus), but just makes each basin smaller.
- Triple. This is for when you are serious. It gives you two large basins with a smaller one for the garbage disposal. Looks and operates great, but tends to eat up a lot of countetop space.
- Stainless Steel This is still the reigning champion, and for good reason. It is usually the most durable and easiest to clean according to consumer reports. Although it scratches, they can usually be repaired fairly easily.
- Granite composite This is a very silky sleek looking material that comes in a variety of colors. I prefer the darker because it tends to hide better and stain less.
- Porcelain The classic. This smooth shiny surface just feels like a sink should feel. Unfortunately, it is a little more vulnerable to chips and scratches. (Come over to my house if you want to see an example)
- Second sink. If your kitchen is larger, or more people tend to cook together, and second sink for prep work could be a great idea.
- Lowered divider. A great compromise on the number of basins is to make the divider between the two sides much lower. That way the sink can operate as two, or one when necessary.
- Accessories. Manufacturers have come up with all kinds of great add-ons for the kitchen sink. Draining racks, colanders, prep bowls and cutting boards are all options to buy with your sink if you so desire.
The budget range for a sink is from $100 to infinity and beyond. The good news is that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better quality in this case. The sink prices are more determined by demand and style. This means that if you don’t care as much what it looks like, you can get a great sink for a great price.
But where’s the fun in that?
Want to read more?
- Consumer reports buying guide
- Houzz article on sink material
- NKBA advice on choosing the right sink
- 4-Step sink selector
This weekly sponsored column is written by Lance McCarthy of ReTouch, a full-service, client-based contractor specializing in home remodels. For more information about their services, or to view samples of their work, visit their website.