When it comes to cooking, there is nothing worse than the time where you have to do your dishes. Those stacks of dishes can be a complete nightmare, however, with the right kitchen sink, the task can be made much easier.
While you may be wondering how one kitchen sink can be better than the other, modern sinks vary hugely in size, material, and a variety of other factors, a key reason why choosing the best one for your home has become increasingly difficult.
Despite many believing that the best quality kitchen sinks are made by famous manufacturers, the most important feature to think of when choosing one is the material. Not only this, you must look at the way the sink is made, and the size you need your kitchen sink to be.
With all the above in mind, we have created this comprehensive guide where we will tell you why having a good kitchen sink could save your back as well as highlight the various types of materials kitchen sinks can be made of.
Not only this, we’ll run you through the different kitchen sink sizes and tell you about the different styles available. We’ll also share some information on kitchen sink accessories and tell you the best way to clean, deodorize, and unclog your kitchen sink.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
You may not know it yet but a high-quality kitchen sink could save your back on more occasion than one. Without the right sink in your kitchen, you will have an even harder time cleaning your dishes.
A kitchen sink made of sturdy materials is not only likely to last significantly longer but also be easier to wipe down, and less likely to stain.
Choosing the best kitchen sink will also save you a considerable amount of backache as by choosing one that is the right depth, you will not be hunched over your sink every day.
Last but not least, double bowl kitchen sinks will make your cleaning experience much easier as you will be able to divide your dishes and keep dirty ones from clean ones.
Kitchen sinks now come in a variety of materials, all of which have their unique pros and cons. While these materials can be chosen based on style in order to match the rest of your kitchen appliance, each material also has a unique set of functional features.
Stainless steel sinks are among the most popular available today. Aside from suiting most kitchen styles, they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
In addition to the above, stainless steel kitchen sinks are easier to clean and non-porous. While they are normally slightly quieter than other types of sinks, they can scratch easily and watermarks are significantly more visible than on other materials.
Granite is a particularly classy looking material to use for a kitchen sink. It goes perfectly with stone surfaces and provides a natural look to virtually any kitchen. Aside from also being non-porous, it’s very hygienic and comes in a variety of colors.
Not only this, these types of kitchen sinks are stain and scratch resistant, as well as heat resistant beyond your wildest beliefs. While these are impact resistant, it does mean that it is easier to break glasses and crockery in them if not careful.
In addition to this, darker colored granite kitchen sinks do tend to show soap residue over time and they are generally more difficult to clean than other types.
Made of a combination of materials, composite kitchen sinks are often made of quartz and granite particles combined with polyester or acrylic resin. These types of kitchen sinks are also scratch, chip, and stain resistant.
Composite has sound-deadening properties and these sinks often come in a choice of different colors. Also, composite is normally more durable than granite and doesn’t come with the same maintenance issues.
It is worth noting that, as with granite kitchen sinks, composite is very heavy meaning that some manufacturers will not undermount in self-supporting stone that is 20 millimeters. By doing so, you could void your warranty.
Acrylic kitchen sinks come in a huge variety of colors and are made of acrylic materials and a composite or fiberglass backing. They come with sound dampening properties and are also stain and impact resistant.
They come in top, undermount, and dual-mount options, and are easy to clean. While they do scratch more easily, these can be polished out depending on the depth of the scratch. Acrylic sinks are not heat resistant and are likely to crack if exposed to boiling water.
Designed in molded ceramic with a porcelain enamel, fireclay kitchen sinks are known as being more durable than cast iron and have a timeless style with a variety of color options, all of which will not fade or discolor over time.
Thanks to their non-porous surface, fireclay sinks are extremely bacteria resistant. That being said, the enamel on them is prone to chipping if items are dropped on it, and they are significantly more expensive than other types of sinks.
Cast iron is one of the most indestructible materials available. These sinks are made of solid cast iron and then coated in porcelain enamel. They are durable, have sound deadening properties, and are heat resistant up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition the above, cast iron sinks come in both undermount and drop-in configurations. Unfortunately, they are extremely heavy meaning they are not only more expensive to purchase but also more expensive to install.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a kitchen sink is size. It’s important to choose a kitchen sink that is the right size before even considering the finish you’d like.
Before you make a choice, you should consider the size of your kitchen and your countertops as well as the number of bowls you would like your kitchen sink to have.
In smaller spaces, even standard kitchen sink sizes can be too large. On the other hand, if you have a particularly large space, we recommend you opt for a larger sink with numerous bowls.
With the average kitchen cabinet measuring 24 inches deep, anywhere between 36 and 42 inches high, and 25 to 26 inches wide, it is also important that your chosen sink fits within these dimensions. If you’re lucky enough to have more space, you’ll have more flexibility.
Here are some standard sizes to bear in mind:
Due to the size of most countertops, the front to back dimensions of a kitchen sink are normally the same. That being said, the width can vary dramatically depending on the number of bowls you would like your kitchen sink to have.
Single bowl kitchen sinks traditionally measure up to 33 inches wide and ones with two bowls can measure up to 48 inches. There are triple bowl units now available. These usually measure up to 60 inches in depth. Double bowl units are extremely popular at the moment.
A traditional kitchen sink has a depth of anywhere between 8 and 10 inches. Deeper sinks are great for soaking pots and plates after you cook, however, they can be more uncomfortable for shorter and taller than average people.
On the other hand, shallower sinks are not as handy for soaking pots and pans, however, they are easier to reach into and great for prepping food. Undermount sinks are typically 1 to 2 inches deeper than drop-in sinks.
When it comes to kitchen sinks, a “one size fits all” mentality will get you nowhere. You need to think about the number of bowls you want, how your kitchen sink will fit in your countertop, the faucet configurations, and the drains. Here is some information:
Single bowl kitchen sinks are great if you have space limitations. While many see them as limiting, these kitchen sinks can come packed with a mound of features, for example, waste disposal systems. They also take less time to clean and are cheaper.
When it comes to choosing a single bowl kitchen sink, we recommend you measure your largest pots, pans, and baking trays in order to ensure that you can still clean them comfortably.
As the name suggests, double bowl kitchen sinks come with two basins. These come in a variety of shape and sizes and do not have to match.
In fact, many models come with one smaller bowl and one larger one. You can also choose to have two bowls that are the same dimensions.
Double bowls do require you have a wider kitchen cabinet and will also leave you with less space underneath them. These types of basins can also come with features such as waste disposal systems and are great for larger households and families that use more pots.
A farmhouse sink, also known as a Butler’s sink is perfect for more traditional kitchen settings. They are normally very large in size and come with ergonomic advantages compared to other types of kitchen sinks because they do not have a front benchtop.
Top mount sinks have been popular for years now because they are the cheapest and probably easiest to install. They sit on top of your kitchen counter and drop down. While they do have their advantages, they’re also more likely to deteriorate and gather mold.
Undermounts are installed underneath your kitchen counter. They are usually found in kitchens with stone countertops and are a very elegant and minimalist option for many households. While they are still more expensive than top mounts, they have become cheaper over the years.
Many who purchase a kitchen sink also change their faucet in order for both of them to match. More modern faucets offer a variety of benefits, one of which is water filtration. In fact, federal law now restricts the amount of lead that your kitchen sink can contribute.
One of the most popular types of faucets available at the moment is pull-out spouts. These come in a variety of finishes and colors and allow you to clean your pots, pans, and dishes more easily.
Many kitchen sinks come with draining boards, also referred to as draining trays. These are used to place kitchen utensils in order for them to dry naturally.
The draining tray keeps your wet items away from your dry kitchen spaces and makes it easy to wipe any water back into your sink. Kitchen sinks with included draining trays are more expensive but well worth the money.
There are now a mound of accessories you can purchase to match your new kitchen sink. These have become increasingly popular because aside from making your sink more functional, there is also an aesthetic element to them. Here are some of them:
Bowl savers are awesome little accessories that help protect the bottom of your kitchen sink. They’re especially handy for stainless steel bowls as these are the most likely to scratch. They’re also great when you want to dry glasses or defrost some food.
While you may feel that you current colander does the trick, colanders specifically designed to fit into your kitchen sink can be a lifesaver when you’re cooking a big meal and are limited by space. Not only this, they come in various materials and look very stylish.
Basket wastes now come in an automatic form which means that instead of putting your hand in hot water to drain water without letting debris through your pipes, you can just pull a cord.
These mechanisms have evolved significantly and are extremely handy, especially if you have pots and pans soaking in water that is too hot to touch.
Over the sink chopping boards are extremely handy space-saving tools that can completely block the space where your kitchen sink sits. They also come in a variety of materials and sizes and can come with additional features such as removable colanders.
Despite the fact that you regularly flush soapy water through your kitchen sink, it is still prone to getting dirty. Over time, this dirt can cause some serious damage, including scratches, stains, and even rust.
While kitchen sinks now come in a variety of materials, there are some tips that are applicable to virtually all of them. Here are some them:
Before you start washing your kitchen sink, you should clear any pots, plates, pans, and crockery from the area in order to not damage them. Once you have done so, rinse the entire area with soap and hot water.
Be sure to scrub any food residue away and make sure to dispose of any food that could be in your sink so that it doesn’t clog your drains.
Make sure to use a soft cloth in order to avoid scratching your sink. This is especially true with stainless steel models.
You should undertake this process every single time you use your sink to prepare food and wash your dishes.
Using hot water will make it easier for you to scrub away any food that has gotten stuck to your kitchen sink surface. Remember that some kitchen sinks do not tolerate hot water above a certain temperature
That being said, if the material of yours allows it, pour boiling water down the drain in order to soften up any leftover food that could be stuck in your drain. You can go through this process numerous times for best results.
While you can use shop bought detergents to clean your kitchen sink, we recommend you use natural ingredients where possible as these are less toxic to both you and your sink. If not rinsed properly, chemical-based detergents can leave residue in your water or food.
Start by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking powder with ¼ cup of lemon juice. Then, spread this mixture across your kitchen sink and leave it to soak for a minimum of ten minutes. Baking powder breaks down grease and is perfect for slightly tougher stains.
Create another natural mixture using half a cup of water and a quarter of a cup of lemon juice. Pour this down the drain followed straight away by half a cup of white vinegar.
Leave this mixture to soak for a minimum of 15 minutes and then pour some boiling water down it as well if your kitchen sink material allows it. The baking powder will break down any food and grease and the boiling water will wash it all away before it gets a chance to get stuck again.
Once you’ve rinsed the sink and the drain, dry it with a cloth, ensuring that no drops of water remain. Once everything is dry, sprinkle flour on your kitchen sink surface and polish it with a soft cloth.
If you have a porcelain sink and are still struggling to get rid of any stains then sprinkle salt over the individual stains.
Once you have done so, cover these with lemon and leave this to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Once soaked, use a cloth to lightly scrub away the stain. Be sure to not scrub too hard to avoid further scratches to your sink surface.
If your sink is showing signs of rusting, use lighter fluid or WD-40 to scrub the rust stains away. You should use the lemon and salt solution mentioned above to clean rust of porcelain sinks as you may damage the surface of your sink otherwise.
It is not unusual for a kitchen sink to smell like a garbage can. If you think about it, food particles get stuck in your pipes and the smell comes up through the drains. Luckily for us, there are ways to deodorize your sink.
Aside from cleaning your sink and drain regularly, you should use hot water to flush debris through your sink by melting it off the sides of your pipes and pushing it to your sewage system.
You must also ensure that your garbage disposal blades are clean and not holding on to old food. We suggest you freeze lemon rinds, ice, and salt, and run it through your disposal. Aside from cleaning the blender, it will leave you with a nice zesty smell in your garbage disposal.
In addition to the above, be sure to use a baking soda, white vinegar, salt, lemon, and boiling water mixture to flush all your pipes on a regular basis. You could also add essential oils instead of lemon if you have a favorite scent you’d like your kitchen to smell like.
While you can use the baking powder and white vinegar mixture mentioned above to unclog your drains in most cases, sometimes you may find that your drains are too bunged up get the best results.
If this is the case, we suggest you try using a good old plunger to get the job done. If the plunger alone doesn’t do the tricks, create a new mixture using baking powder, salt, and boiling water. Two cups of this mixture should suffice.
Your last option could be to use a wire coat hanger. Use it to snake down the drain and push or pull any unwanted debris to encourage it to move through your pipes. Do this while also flushing hot water down the drain if the problem persists.
Kitchen sinks are far more complex than many believe. Aside from coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and colors, they also have a variety of accessories making them more functional than ever.
If you are in the market for a new kitchen sink but don’t know where to start, we recommend you head over to our buying guide.
In it, you will find out more about five of the best kitchen sinks on the market today as well as some of the top features to pay attention to when making a final decision.