Choosing the Right Sink for Your Remodel
The decision to embark on a home remodeling project is not one that is undertaken lightly.
For those brave souls that do choose to undergo this amazing transformation, the results are typically always worth it. This is usually dependent on two things: first, working with a quality design and build team (ahem, like dRemodeling) and second, choosing the right finishes for your project.
Decisions, decisions! So many decisions to be made and not enough time in the world to make them. Or so you think.
With this handy guide, we hope to narrow things down for you, at least when it comes to picking the right sink for your kitchen or bathroom project.
Selecting the Right Sink Material
It’s not just about looks when it comes to selecting the right sink for your space. Depending what they are made of, certain types of sinks can be more durable or require less upkeep. Of course, these days you could probably order a sink made out of literally anything. So, we’ve stuck to providing you with an analysis of all the usual suspects to make your decision just a little bit easier.
Stainless Steel Sink
It’s estimated that up to 70% of all kitchen sinks in residential homes are stainless-steel. A time-honored classic, stainless steel sinks are a staple item due to their quality, durability, and ease of cleaning. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty cost-effective and unlikely to hurt resale value being that they’re “timeless” and all. They are also highly temperature and impact resistant.
Some disadvantages with stainless steel sinks is they tend to show water spots and scratch easily.
Glass is a common material used in vessel sinks (which we’ll go over later on). Glass sinks come in a wide array of shapes, colors, and styles and are a draw to those looking for something more unique and maybe even artisan-made. They are also resistant to staining and easy to clean.
Some types of glass sinks may not be as durable and could shatter under heavy impact or if they undergo severe temper shock (think: cold ice water meets a glass hot out of the dishwasher *crack*). When it comes to the durability of glass sinks, the price tag matters.
Sinks made of stone are becoming increasingly popular as folks seem to tire of the standard stainless-steel model. Stone sinks can bring an old-world, rustic charm to your space and besides, they are also incredibly durable and most are stain-resistant. When it comes to options, the skies the limit, with natural stone, granite, quartz, soapstone, and even marble out there to choose from.
Because stone sinks must be re-sealed every so often to remain stain-resistant, there is some question on durability and there will be added maintenance you’ll need to make time for. Sealing is a MUST, and stone sinks also come with a pretty steep price tag.
The name says it all: composite sinks are engineered from two or more different materials, which lends itself well to added durability. They appeal to those who’d like to use more high-end materials without the added expense. Since they’re not completely made out of one substance, you won’t have to pay full price for the good stuff. Any scratches or chips are well-hidden by the consistency of color. They also come in a wide variety of shapes and styles for every unique design, but the most common types are acrylic, granite, and quartz.
Besides the fact that they carry a significantly higher price tag than porcelain or stainless steel, they can also be damaged by harsh chemicals and high temperatures. Just be sure to check with the manufacturer for any do’s and don’ts and your composite sink should last for years to come!
Besides being simply stunning, copper sinks also contain antimicrobial qualities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes copper sinks as killing up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria it comes into contact with. Maintenance is easy as well, since any use of waxes or seals can actually diminish the antimicrobial benefits. But let’s face it, those that choose copper sinks do so for its eye-catching beauty and the unique aesthetic it brings to any space.
Besides the whopper of a price tag, copper is known to discolor over time if exposed to acidic foods and harsh chemicals. If you find a lower price copper sink, be aware the gauge (thickness) of the sink is most likely thinner and therefore more likely to dent or even crack. Designers recommend the highest gauge possible when it comes to copper sinks to ensure longevity.
Porcelain/ Enamel over Cast Iron Sink
Typically shown as it’s ‘farmhouse’ variation, porcelain or enamel over cast iron sinks are growing increasingly more popular. They are very easy to clean and their glossy finish hides spots and streaks well. They are also extremely durable, and hold heat well, which comes in handy when you’re washing dishes.
While durable, the enamel on cast iron sinks can chip or scratch easily and are not as resistant to harsh stains. Keep in mind, the extremely hard surface of these sinks is also highly unforgiving to a dropped glass or bowl.
Choose Your Sink’s Style
Now that you’ve selected the material you’d like your sink to be made from, it’s time to start thinking about style and placement in your space.
Integral Solid Surface
The beauty of an integral solid-surface sink is that it’s joined to the solid countertop underneath , forming one seamless piece. This means there are no little crevices between the sink and countertop where moisture and grime can build up, making integral solid-surface sinks easier to clean.
Some integral solid surface sinks suffer from a lack of storage space underneath, since the sink and vanity occupy the same space. Talk to a professional to find the right vanity for your storage needs!
While vessel sinks usually add a modern flair to your space, the irony is they are a callback to the days before convenient indoor plumbing, when a sink was little more than a bucket or bowl of fresh water on your bedside table. Vessel sinks today are placed directly on the countertop or may be partially recessed. They’re stylish, versatile, and can easily be swapped out from the space for a quick design makeover. Many vessel sinks are made of glass, but the wide variety of styles and options available makes them a great choice for anyone looking to spruce up their space without overhauling their whole vanity.
There are two separate surfaces to keep clean between the sink and countertop, and vessel sinks are prone to splashing. Speak to our designers about selecting the right fixtures and placement for your vessel sink to prevent splashing.
Seamless looks are in – and undermounted sinks are no exception to the rule. The overlapping countertop with the sink’s edge prevents any build up of grime between the counter and sink. This also makes for easier clean up, as you can simply brush food and debris directly off the counter and into the sink. While we’ve featured an apron-front undermounted sink, keep in mind some undermounted sinks are inlaid into the counter-top and not visible from the front.
For starters, not all counter-tops will work with an undermounted sink. Also, undermounted sinks can fail if not installed properly, so do your homework.
Drop-in sinks are easily the most familiar sink type and remain the most popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms today. In terms of material and labor, a drop-in sink is way more cost effective than say an undermounted sink. If you’re considering a Do-It-Yourself Installation, this type would be your best bet.
Dirt and grime can collect along the sink’s edge where it meets the countertop, and cleaning the countertop by the sink area isn’t as easy.
Amazing Sink Trends to Consider
Sink materials and types aside, what about what’s ‘on trend?’ We pooled our resources here at the office and put together a list of our favorite sink style trends and where you can find them.
Incline sinks are ultra-modern and easy-to-clean. There’s no sink trap for debris or grime to get trapped around, and the seamless aesthetic is very appealing. This model goes one step closer to modern industrial as a concrete incline sink, and it’s our designer Allison’s favorite look!
Where to Find It:
In hindsight, we probably should have included a section on trough sinks above, but we’re mentioning them now, so there. While trough sinks are more often seen in commercial spaces due to their multi-use functionality, they make an amazing statement in a bathroom or even kitchen for the more adventurous-types.
Where to Find It:
These days it’s all about the farmhouse look. Farmhouse-style sinks are definitely having their moment, and this copper version quite literally glows.
Where to Find It:
Sink with Drainboard
Sinks with drainboards definitely have a bad rap as being outdated, but we’re really not sure why! These sinks are great for those who are dynamos in the kitchen, and the multi-use functionality as a sink and extra drainboard space makes this sink very useful. And hey, if the stainless steel variety is too sterile for you, there are farmhouse sinks with drainboards available as well.
Where to Find It:
We hope this helpful guide made your sink decision just a little bit easier! And remember, if you’re interested in pursuing a kitchen or bathroom remodel in the Philadelphia area, give us a call to schedule a design consultation here at our showroom.
- Tammy Slaughter
- On March 15, 2018
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