Everything but the kitchen sink - was a phrase used during the World War II. A time when people contributed every belonging to the war and the only objects left behind were their porcelain kitchen sinks. Today, the phrase is used to mean or suggest that everything possible is included but for the kitchen sink.
New kitchen project or existing kitchen remodeling - kitchen sinks are often dismissed as mere wash area. Many fail to understand that investing in a kitchen sink is investing in convenience and durability as well. A good kitchen sink will make kitchen chores easier. Due consideration and coordinating selection with factors such as kitchen size, décor, purposes etc promise great rewards both in terms of visual appeal and comfort. Read up information on different types of kitchen sinks so as to make the right buy!
Kitchen sink basics
There are so many types of kitchen sinks - materials differ, shapes vary, designs aplenty with a variety of accessories such as drainers, cutting boards, soap dispensers, hot water dispensers, soft or purified water taps and sprayers. Short-listing itself can be a daunting task.
Single or double-bowl: The most common kitchen sink dimension (outside) is 22x33 inches. But there are larger sinks with different configurations also. There are kitchen sinks with single bowl, double bowl, triple bowl or even one-and-a-half bowl configurations. More than one bowl enables use of one for preparation and the other for clean up. That which will match available space, contribute to improving kitchen décor and will also ease work will make for a perfect selection. Remember, a larger one is always better than smaller one but not at the cost of messing up kitchen décor. In case of deciding on a small sink, make provision for an extra sink.
The depth and the corners: Kitchen sinks are available both in the form of deeper basins and flat basins. Extra deep is better for washing large dishes. It can accommodate large pots and pans and the space around the sink doesn't get messed up. The flat ones provide for more usable surface area. It's easier to stack dishes and glasses safely.
Before choosing deep or flat basins, account for placing the dishwasher or any other storage provision that is already part of kitchen design. Also, ensure the basin bottom has rounded corners. Square corners make cleaning very difficult. Curvaceous corners may look stylish but don't contribute to economizing on space.
Drains: The drain hole can be in the usual center position or farther back. If the drain hole is placed farther back it provides more space underneath. There is more usable space under the kitchen sink to keep garbage or recycling containers.
The web or divider: In case of choosing more than one bowl kitchen sink, it is better to have one bowl lower than the outside sink walls. Overflowing of water overflowing is controlled.
Kitchen sink mounting style
There are basically three options. Compare and study the advantage of one style over the other. Take into consideration the installation method, the cost and how feasible it would be clean up the area.
Top-mounting kitchen sink: is also called over-mounted, self-rimming or drop-in kitchen sinks. Easy to install, the top-mounting kitchen sink has rounded corners and has to be rested on the surface of the countertop material. But cleaning up spills and crumbs may be an additional work.
Under-mount kitchen sinks: Referred to as sub-mounted kitchen sinks,under-mounted kitchen sinks are installed below the countertop surface. The sink and the countertop material are made of the same material and look naturally integrated. With hardly any gap between the countertop and sink, cleaning is easier but installation is comparatively difficult and time-consuming.
Apron kitchen sink: Other names for apron sink are farmer's sink or farm-style sink because it is usually found in rural houses. The depth is more and this type of sink can accommodate large utensils and has an exposed front. It projects out slightly. Most of the models occupy very little space and hence suitable for small size kitchens. Apron sinks are most commonly used in kitchen with a rustic or country-style décor. With no deck, faucets and other accessories are to be mounted directly into the countertop behind the sink.
Kitchen sinks by material
Small chores or heavy duty, kitchen sinks are expected to do multi-tasks. To meet the growing demands, kitchen sinks are available in varied materials such as porcelain, stainless steel, ceramic, granite etc. Each is unique and differs in advantages, color choice, design, durability, maintenance aspect, accessories and the cost aspect.
Stainless kitchen sink: If you are looking for a kitchen sink that is easy to clean, which will remain new for a long time, is durable, light weight, easy to install and affordable, stainless kitchen sink meets all the requirements. Most popular and high in demand, stainless steel kitchen sinks are attractive, easy to clean with supreme resistance to stain and rust. Adhering to a good cleaning regimen ensures the sink looks new; the surface is shiny and fresh for a considerable period of time.
Compared to other materials, it is light weight and easy to install. In order to select a stainless steel kitchen sink that is light weight, the gauge should be higher. The sinks are available in different gauges. Investing in stainless steel kitchen sink promises durability as it will last a very long time. The disadvantage is that they tend to be noisier. A thicker sink will not be so noisy.
Ceramic kitchen sink: If you are looking for a kitchen sink that is easy to clean, scratch and heat resistant, is durable with elegant appearance ceramic kitchen sink is the most appropriate choice. For kitchens that are remodeled and renovated to portray a contemporary style, ceramic kitchen sinks are a perfect fit. The disadvantage of a ceramic kitchen sink is that it has a higher risk of chipping or scratching.
Porcelain kitchen sinks: Durable, heavy, choice of colors and a classic look, porcelain kitchen sinks are popular for all these. Porcelain sinks are made from a non-porous ceramic glaze also known as Vitreous China. The glaze coats the sink giving it a smooth finish and a classic look. Compared to other sinks, porcelain kitchen sinks match with any decorating scheme. These are virtually sound resistant mainly because of their density and weight. The disadvantage are, requires frequent cleaning and are susceptible to chipping.
Granite kitchen sink: Natural looking material, aesthetic appeal,easy to maintain and highly durable - reasons why granite kitchen sinks are favored. Most suitable for granite counter top, it goes well with wood and stone surfaces as well. Granite kitchen sinks retain the polish looks for a very long time. These can be custom designed in any size. As these are heavy sinks, adequate support structure should be provided. With flat bottoms, residual water should be wiped out. Prone to chipping, epoxy grout and granite dust would suffice to repair any damage and fill small chips.
Vintage kitchen sink: Vintage kitchen sinks are making a comeback. The kitchen sinks of the mid 19th or early 20th century was made of marble, porcelain, fireclay or copper. But getting one in an antique shop, flea market or even online without even a mild crack can be challenging. If you are looking with accessory facilities, it can be disappointing. Remember these points while opting to buy vintage kitchen sinks.
Kitchen sink plumbing
Having chosen the kitchen sink that meets your needs and compliments kitchen décor, it is time for installation. Instead of hiring a plumber, understanding kitchen sink plumbing and installing it yourself has great advantages. Familiarize yourself by reading do-it-yourself kitchen sink plumbing articles. Keep all the tools and materials required and follow the step-by-step instructions. Here is a quick guide to kitchen sink plumbing.
Shut off the water supply: Turn off the water supply to the kitchen sink. Look for e valve handles that are near the bottom of the sink cabinet. Rotate the valve handles.
Drain the water lines: Water from the drains have to be totally drained. Just turn the hot and cold water faucets. Any water still in the pipeline will get drained.
Disconnect water lines: Keep a bucket ready. Disconnect the drain from the kitchen sink.
Taping: Make use of Teflon plumbers tape and wrap the threaded end of hot water and cold water faucet.
Connect new water lines: Make use of Teflon tape to connect new water lines both hot and cold water faucets.
Connect the drain: Look out for the drain assembly. It has to be connected duly adjusting the height of the drain assembly.
Secure the drain: Use a pipe wrench to secure the drain. Do not tighten too much.
Turn the water on: Rotate the shutoff valves. Water should now come back into the pipes. Open the faucets and the drain, drain assembly and the water lines. If there are leaks and drips, tighten the connection. Check again if the dripping and leaking has stopped.