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The Ultimate Kitchen Sink Buying Guide

Aug 17, 2007
If you're looking to buy a kitchen sink, then you must consider every detail and feature. The Kitchen sink is probably the most used aperture in the whole household, even if you're using a dishwasher, most of the cleaning is still done in your ordinary kitchen sink, all the more reason why you should find the best one around.

Size

Choosing a kitchen sink apart from being a question of quality is also a question of need. Most of the standard sinks that you will find in the market roughly consist of two 22 by 30 inch sized bowls both 8 inches in depth, however, if you use large pots, you might want bigger sizes or you might want to have them specially made. Nine and Ten inch deep bowls are also available commercially. Added features like bowls for peeled fruits in the center can be very handy.

Whistles and Bells

If you want your sink to have all the whistles and bells available, then you might want more pre-drilled holes on it. Most sinks have four holes on it, one for the hot knob, one for the cold knob, one for the faucet and another one for the shower feature. Some sinks however have extra spouts, for soap dispensers, an air gap for the dishwasher drain, a liquid soap dispenser, a TV, well just kidding about the TV. But if some sinks have extra features that you might not want to use, you can always ask the supplier for ready made plugs to cover the unused holes, conversely, if the sink you choose doesn't have enough holes, you can easily drill a hole in your sink, or maybe have it drilled by a professional.

Installation

Apart from choosing a design and a type, you should also be aware of your sink's location, will your chosen sink fit in the desired location etc. You can choose from a self rimming sink or an undermount. A self rimming sink is easier to install and would just rest on top of your counter, however, the underside where the sink meets the countertop can be a breeding ground for bacteria and may be hard to clean. An undermount however, is harder to install because it has to be attached from under the counter. This type however, is easier to clean.

Type of Sink

Now we proceed to choosing which type of sink to choose. To make the choice easier, a few pros and cons are listed together with a brief description of each type of sink.

Stainless Steel

This is probably the most common kitchen sink around and is available in all prices ranges. However, you don't expect to buy the best quality sink for a cheap price. Usually a cheap stainless steel sink is made of thin metal which flexes and vibrates. This is especially bad because of the racket it makes when the water drums on it or when the garbage disposal vibrates. A good quality sink doesn't get scratched easily and should be easy to clean. A sign of a good quality sink is also its ability to maintain a brand new appearance even if you just wipe it.

A general rule for buying stainless steel sink is not to buy mirror type ones, sure they'll look great when brand new, but overtime scratching will mar its surface and give it a foggy dirty look. Another good tip is to check the insulation under the bowl, insulation deadens the water drumming. Foam insulations are always better than those that are just sprayed on.

Enameled Cast Iron

The best thing about enamel cast iron sinks is its elegant finish which is available in many colors. It has a very hard finish and will rarely chip. Another good thing about this is its resistance to water drumming. It keeps hot water hot longer, and if you're excited about that, you'll be happy to know that clean up is a breeze, a good wipe over should be enough for this baby to get back its original shine.

Warning: There are Enameled Steel sinks, but these aren't the same quality as cast iron sinks.

Composite sinks

These are sinks made from a mixture of two different substances to make a very sturdy material. Generally, Acrylic and fiberglass aren't a very good combination because they tend to easily absorb stains and as time passes, lose the glossy finish.

A Quartz composite sink might be the best choice for this range of sinks. These are known for their durability.

Composite sinks however, are susceptible to scratching. You should avoid rubbing sand or dirt on them or using abrasive cleaners. The water drumming is still present but probably not as loud as stainless steel sinks.

Tip: To make sure that you have a sturdy sink, press down on the bowl, if it flexes, there are chances of a noisy garbage disposal.

Integral solid surface

You can buy a sink that is already integrated with a countertop, mostly in the same color or a complementary design. These types are easily scratched but are easily repaired as
well. The bad side is if you're tired of the sink, you'll have to remove the whole countertop.
About the Author
For more great kitchen sink information and resources check out:
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