The kitchen is the heart of your home, which is why it should be as functional as it is beautiful. Whether you’re renovating your entire kitchen, or simply making a few changes, knowing the types of kitchen sinks to choose from should be a top priority for you.
In this blog, we’ll discuss all you need to know about how to choose a kitchen sink that doesn’t just fit with your lifestyle, but also fits with your interior theme.
Kitchen Sink Buying Guide
When it comes to learning how to choose a kitchen sink, you need to consider all the options from size to style. Our kitchen sink buying guide is here to help you answer your questions and offer a little inspiration. Below, we’ve outlined the most important things to consider when making your kitchen sink selection.
Kitchen Sink Size
There are multiple kitchen sink size options available making it easy to find the right fit for your space. The most important thing to consider when choosing a sink size is the main function of your sink. You’ll want to consider things like how much cooking you’ll be doing, the size of your family, and how you wash your dishes.
If you have a smaller kitchen, you can get a sink as little as 9” or if you’re dealing with a larger space, you can get a sink as big as 40”, it all depends on what you’ll be needing in your kitchen. The most common sizes for kitchen sinks range from 24” to 36”. Another factor to consider is the number of basins or bowls you want to include in your sink.
This depends heavily on preference, however, it’s important to know that the sink size you choose will determine how many basins you can incorporate.
Single basin sinks contain one large basin. These sinks are the most flexible when it comes to size because they can be as big or small as you’d like.
People who cook with large pots, pans, trays, and baking sheets tend to prefer single basin sinks because they can easily fit multiple large items and still have room for hand-cleaning.
Double basin sinks contain one sink divider resulting in two separate basins. These sinks typically have to be larger than 30”.
Large families or people who hand wash all of their dishes prefer double basin sinks because they allow you to fill one side up for soaking and washing while leaving the other side for rinsing and drying.
Triple basin sinks contain two sink dividers resulting in three separate basins. Typically, these sinks have two larger basins and one smaller basin.
Triple basin sinks are usually seen in larger kitchens where there is a lot of prep work. The design gives you the opportunity to have a separate sink for prep while the other basins are used for soaking, washing, and drying.
Kitchen Sink Colors & Materials
When learning how to choose a kitchen sink, you’ll discover that the sink colors and materials play a large role in the decision. There are a variety of kitchen sink materials available in different colors and finishes.
As you try to determine what the best kitchen sink material is for you, consider asking yourself what the style of your kitchen is because you’ll want the color and material to fit in with your theme and aesthetic.
Made of heavy, solid iron, these sinks are known for their durability. They’re also easy to clean and require little maintenance due to their porcelain enamel coating.
You’ll see cast iron sinks come in a variety of colors as well. Most commonly people choose a white finish, but you can also find them in shades of tans, blacks, blues, and greens.
Made of dense clay which is fired at high temperatures, these sinks are also popular for their durability. During the firing process, a porcelain enamel coating is fused to the clay making it resistant to rot, discoloration, and fading.
Because of their smooth, glossy coating, fireclay sinks are easy to clean and maintain. These sinks can be found in shades of whites, blacks, beiges, blues, and many others.
Made of 304-grade stainless steel, these sinks are one of the most popular choices for kitchens. You have the option between 14 (thicker), 16, or 18 (thinner) gauge stainless steel.
These sinks are typically made with a coating of sound-deadening material on their underside and won’t chip or crack. They’re also easy to maintain due to their natural resistance to stains and rust.
Made from 99.9% of pure copper, these sinks are naturally antimicrobial to kill harmful bacteria. Copper sinks are also made in various thicknesses ranging from 14 (thicker) to 20 (thinner) gauge. Known for their authentic look, copper sinks are popular choices but do require a bit more maintenance.
Since they contain a living finish, it’s recommended that these sinks are waxed monthly and cleaned with a formula specifically designed to prevent corrosion and discoloration in copper. However, some people choose copper sinks for their natural patina look, which means less cleaning and waxing.
Made from various types of marble, granite, or travertine, these sinks come in an assortment of colors. One of the reasons people are attracted to natural stone sinks is that no two are the same.
Each is carved from a natural piece of stone, making it unique. Natural stone sinks will need to be sealed with a stone sealant every few months depending on how frequently it’s used.
Made up of a blend of granite stone and acrylic resins, granite composite sinks are known for their durability and high quality. Since granite composite sinks are designed specifically for everyday use, they’re low-maintenance and easy to clean. They also come in a wide variety of neutral colors such as shades of tans, whites, and grays.
Kitchen Sink Styles
Learning how to choose a kitchen sink that’s right for you depends on functionality, but also should complement your interior design style. Once you decide on a material, you can begin to browse kitchen sink styles.
There are many different styles of kitchen sinks you can choose from which means you’re guaranteed to find one that doesn’t only work with your lifestyle but also your kitchen’s theme.
Farmhouse or Apron Front
Farmhouse or apron front sinks have been around for centuries, even before indoor plumbing existed. They’ve remained popular because of their large, deep basins that are designed to hold a sufficient amount of water and dishes.
This sink style features an exposed front that either hangs over the kitchen cabinets that it rests between or sits flush. Coming in a wide range of colors, materials, and sizes, farmhouse or apron front sinks work well with any modern or traditional-style kitchen.
Drop-in sinks are exactly what their name suggests. Designed to drop into a pre-cut hole in your countertop, these sinks will feature an exposed rim and usually offer one or more mounting holes for faucet installation.
They’re easy to install and remove if necessary, making them the perfect fit if you’re looking for something simple. Drop-in sinks also come in an assortment of colors so you can find one that works with almost any countertop material.
Undermount sinks are secured to the underside of your countertop. They’re typically fastened with clips or brackets and adhesives. Since they’re mounted underneath the countertop, their rim is hidden, making cleaning up around it easier as well as giving them a sleek appearance.
Undermount sinks can come in many colors and materials, but it should be noted that they usually require a solid, heavy countertop material like granite or quartz to ensure they’re properly supported.
Similar to drop-in sinks, wall mount sinks are exactly what they sound like. Bolted directly to the wall, these sinks typically come in cast iron or stainless steel. In order to bear the weight of the sink, you will most likely need to add extra support behind the wall.
They may take a bit more work to install, but they remain a popular choice because of their urban or vintage appearance. You’ll most likely see this style in a farmhouse or industrial-themed kitchen.
Corner sinks are perfect if you’re looking to maximize countertop space or if you’re working with a smaller kitchen design. Since they’re mounted to the corner, these sinks are L-shaped and they will have to either be drop-in or undermounted. You’ll typically see corner sinks in stainless steel, but there are also other options available.
Choosing where to place the drain in your kitchen sink may seem like it’s not important, but you’d be surprised how much drain placement can affect your daily cleaning tasks. Below, we’ve listed the three most common drain placements, you’ll find there are advantages and disadvantages to each option.
Placing your drain off-center allows the water in your sink to drain properly while still holding dishes. It also frees up more space underneath your sink giving you room to store taller supplies or add filtration systems.
The downside to off-center drains is they can be difficult to repair because the plumbing is often pushed to the far back corners under your sink.
Center drains make repairs and maintenance easy and more accessible. The water will also drain faster when you use a center drain because it has less distance to travel and is aligned with your center faucet. Unfortunately, when cleaning dishes you may find the drain is covered by large pots and pans, resulting in your sink filling up with water quickly.
A rear drain works well if you want to include an under-the-sink garbage disposal or pullout shelves for trash cans and recycling bins. They also allow you more room to wash dishes and prep food without blocking the drain.
Similar to an off-centered drain, rear drains can be tricky when it comes to maintenance and repairs since the plumbing is set in the back of the cabinet under your sink.
Kitchen Sink Accessories
After you learn how to choose a kitchen sink that works for you and your family, you’ll need to consider some other accessories that will help the flow of your kitchen run smoother. Below, we’ve listed some of the top kitchen accessories and appliances you should consider for your kitchen sink space.
If you’re worried about your sink getting scratched or scuffed from dishes, a sink grid is the perfect solution. These wide grids are inserted into your sink basin to hold pots, pans, or any other dish. They don’t only protect your sink, but they also keep items off the bottom of your sink basin, allowing water to drain properly.
While they aren’t necessary, garbage disposals definitely make your life cleaning and washing dishes easier. Installing a garbage disposal allows you to dispose of food scraps without having to throw them into your trash. Quick and simple, these systems ensure your trash doesn’t build up an odor or become a mess.
Strainer Basket & Disposal Flanges
Every sink will need either a strainer basket or disposal flanges. If you opt out of installing a garbage disposal, you’ll need a strainer basket to catch any food scraps. However, even with a garbage disposal, disposal flanges are necessary to keep large pieces of food from falling down your drain and causing it to clog.
Learning how to choose a kitchen sink for your home can be overwhelming because of the various options. If you need help weighing the possibilities, try asking a home remodeling design expert for insight on which type of kitchen sink is right for you.