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How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink

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Most people choose their new kitchen sink primarily on the way it looks. While the way the sink fits into your existing decor is a factor to consider, it’s much more important to make sure it will fit your needs and hold up to daily use. The three most important things to consider when buying a new sink are size/configuration, installation type, and material.

Size/Configuration

First, look at the size of your kitchen. A tiny sink will be dwarfed by a large kitchen, while a large sink will take up more than its share of the counter in a small kitchen. Choose the size that makes the most sense for your space.

Traditionally, kitchen sinks have had two medium-sized bowls, but this was mostly because manufacturers assumed you’d be washing dishes in them. The widespread use of dishwashers today means more and more people are choosing a deep single bowl instead, perfect for washing oversize baking pans and pots. If you have the space, you can even get double sinks now that combine a standard-sized bowl with a deep bowl for the best of both worlds.

Installation Type

The three basic types of installation are top mount, flush mount, and under mount. Top mount sinks are just dropped into a cutout on the countertop, so they’re the easiest to install. Because these have a raised lip around the edge, you can’t sweep food directly into the sink.

Flush-mount sinks are similar to top-mount, but they’re used in conjunction with a tiled countertop so the lip of the sink is even with the counter’s surface.

Finally, under mount sinks are installed below the level of the counter, so there’s no lip at all and it’s possible to sweep food directly into the sink. Some heavier sinks require this method of installation.

Material

The most popular sink material is stainless steel, because it’s stain and heat resistant, attractive, and generally inexpensive. It’s a good idea to choose a brushed finish rather than a mirrored one, since it won’t show water stains and scratches as much.

Another popular sink material is granite composite. It’s generally more expensive, but it doesn’t show stains or wear and is very durable. Enameled cast-iron is another good choice for durability, although it’s heavy and will require an under mount installation.

If you’re looking for a truly unique sink, take a look at copper. Sinks made from this material are rust resistant, antimicrobial, and very attractive. Keep in mind that copper will need to be cleaned carefully without any harsh chemicals to avoid damage.

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