Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spotlight: The Kitchen Sink

Hey everyone, hope you had an enjoyable weekend! I went to a karaoke bar for the first time on Saturday night, it was hilarious, I can’t wait to do it again! I got sidetracked with a new show on Sunday, I’ve been screening Shades of Blue with Ray Liotta and Jennifer Lopez on Hulu, I’m hooked! Have you been watching?

An email landed in my inbox last week from Julie, she writes,

“I am currently redoing my kitchen and I painted my kitchen cabinets from oak to white. Next up are counters, sink, and faucet. I haven’t seen much on the sinks on your remodels and I was wondering what your preference was?  One friend just got a stainless one and another composite which I know nothing about. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I am thinking granite or quartz for the countertops, probably more on the light side than dark. My floor is tile and has some rust and grey in it so I need to keep that in mind with the counter color I am guessing. Thanks! Julie”

Great topic! Congrats to Julie on giving her kitchen a fresh look by repurposing the cabinets and appliances. The enamel sink Julie has now (seen below) could be repurposed and reused with new countertops fabricated to fit. If so, I’d swap out the older faucet for something more modern that makes a statement, perhaps in the same oil rubbed bronze as the pulls or in a nickel finish to play off the stainless steel appliances.

 julies sink cabinet

But if she’s looking for a brand new sink, there are several types of sinks to consider!

Stainless Steel. This is a very affordable option, one that coordinates with stainless steel appliances. Note it can be louder when dishes hit the base or sides, but some come with sound insulation which deadens that sound of dishes hitting metal. Cons for stainless steel sinks include the fact they can scratch and also that they can collect water spots. Note that Formica offers an edge that allows an undermount application if you’re considering laminate countertops and prefer the undermount sink.

 formica edge laminate undermount


Cast Iron. My go to sink is a white double basin cast iron sink. It’s a personal preference but a white porcelain or cast iron kitchen sink feels clean and timeless to me. In Grandma’s kitchen remodel from last year and the Vegas kitchen remodel, both times I chose a white enamel coated cast iron sink. With a laminate countertop I opted for top mount to cover the seam but with the quartz countertops in the Vegas kitchen, I chose an undermount sink. I do prefer an undermount sink, it makes it easier to wipe the edges and sweep overflow water into the sink.

polished chrome faucet chrome hardware


undermount cast iron sink

In my home in California, I also have an undermount enamel cast iron sink in white, they do come in a variety of colors beyond white! The enamel finish on a cast iron sink is smooth, it doesn’t show water spots like stainless steel can. Cast iron sinks are extremely heavy and can often require additional support underneath, they are available in both top mount and undermount applications as mentioned above.

Composite. Sinks that are part rock and part resin are called composite, they are made of granite or quartz combined with a manmade resin material. Composite sinks are extremely durable, they resist both stains and scratching and are available in a host of colors. I love the idea of a dark sink in a white kitchen with light countertops and white cabinets to add a bit of contrast.

white cabinets dark sink

kapito muller

Fireclay. When clay and glaze are formed together at an extremely high temperature they create the fireclay sink. Many models are an apron style, ofter referred to as the farmhouse sink.This style is an option that would require Julie to cut down her existing sink cabinet to fit it.

Farmhouse sinks often require a specific sink cabinet in a new build or remodel to fit since the front apron is visible, they also require special countertop fabrication as well. This sink is extremely durable, the style of sink works in most styles of kitchens despite its “farmhouse” label, but they do tend to be more expensive. They are available in single or double basin styles.

 farmhouse sink

hollywood sierra

 white apron sink

emily mccall


Copper. This warm metal has experienced a resurgence, gaining in popularity once more. Copper is a metal that has had a timeless appeal for centuries. It can stain easily, it won’t rust but it will patina over time without chemical treatment. A copper sink may be a good design option for Julie since she has rust tones in her floor tile and the warm metal finish would complement.

 copper double basin sink

british standard

 copper apron sink

muse architects

Keep in mind a sink can make a statement! This dark soapstone apron sink is a dramatic focal point in a white kitchen.

 soapstone apron sink


Two functional things to consider after you’ve chosen a material, think about the number of basins, this is totally up to the preference of the homeowner. I like a double basin, one for soaking dishes and another side with a disposal for rinsing dishes but many people prefer one big basin often seen with the fireclay farmhouse sink since it’s easier to wash big platters and larger cookware in a single big basin.

Finally, when purchasing pay attention to the number of holes in a sink because it affects what kind of faucet you choose. Also consider whether you’ll include a water filter, soap dispenser, and/or a dishwasher valve.

So dear readers, what kind of kitchen sink do you have? Do you recommend it? Help Julie decide!


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