The best kitchen sink is one that is highly functional for the people who use it, durable, attractive, and easy to care for.
How to Choose a Kitchen Sink
There are many elements to consider when selecting among various types of kitchen sinks. As American architect Louis Sullivan famously stated, “form follows function.”
Try to envision your kitchen sink with your daily life. Consider answers to questions like:
Do you want a single bowl, like a big farmhouse sink, or a double basin sink?
Do you want to include a disposal?
What type of faucet do you want?
Reading a kitchen sinks review or two, especially on a foodie blog, can help you envision how you will be using your sink and what you want to achieve with it. Imagine your cooking and entertaining style. Do you often have oversized pots like huge baking sheets, giant skillets, and maybe a large wok that you want to clean up? Or, are you more likely to hand wash a few pieces of crystal or heirloom china? In this case, you may want a single bowl design with a side drainage/drying area.
A complete remodel or new build of the kitchen gives you almost completely limitless options. Consider the general feel of the type of home. Is it rustic, suiting a farmhouse sink, or more modern, and perhaps futuristic in design?
Keep an eye on evolving trends and advances. Trends in kitchen function and usage affect sink styles and types of sinks that homeowners install. A modern kitchen sink is likely to be an investment, with higher-end materials, instead of a one-size, drop-in sink. For easy kitchen clean up and simplicity of design, look for no lip at the edge of the sink, as in this copper model at Pedini.
Kitchen sinks review sites like Consumer Reports rate kitchen skins on how they hold up on a variety of scales, including stains, abrasion, sharp impact, blunt impact, heat, and noise. Consider these factors in your selection. A good guide to cleaning sinks of different materials
can be found on a reputable designer’s website.
Kitchen Sink Materials
To narrow down your options when selecting a kitchen sink, you may want to decide on the material of your sink first.
Stainless steel kitchen sinks
Can be the most economical and convenient option, as they come in standard sizes and are lightweight to install. You can find models from under $100 to several hundred for larger, galley-type models. As stainless steel appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers have become more popular, they fit in with the overall decor of many modern kitchens. For the best kitchen sink material, make sure you install 300 series stainless steel, which has both chromium and nickel to resist corrosion.
Cast Iron sinks
Used to be very common in the kitchen and are still predominantly used for bathroom sinks. They are more expensive than stainless models; expect to pay from a couple hundred to around $700. They have a solid iron body overlaid with hard porcelain enamel. The downside is the porcelain coating can chip or stain.
An acrylic sink
Makes for a low cost and fairly stain-resistant kitchen sinks. Made from polycarbonate plastic, ready-made models can be had for a couple of hundred dollars. This material can also be molded to any form, but these sinks are not as durable as stainless or other materials.
Composite kitchen sinks
Becoming more popular as the modern kitchen becomes more designer-esque. They can be found in high-end and mid-range prices. A composite sink is molded from a mix of granite or quartz stone dust and acrylic resins. They offer a range of colors to match countertops and design schemes. Care should be taken with both cleaning the sink and washing delicate glassware in it. Avoid cleaning them with caustic or abrasive cleansers like ammonia or scouring powder.
Reviews rate these kitchen sinks as good for sound buffering and durable, but make sure they have good drainage as they often have flat bottoms. Another thing to know is that they tend to be heavy, so they will need a sound support system. You can find granite sinks starting at around $200 for a one-bowl composite model to $1,700 or more for a hand-carved, polished true granite sink.
Granite sinks are typically darker, while quartz sinks may come in any color, from light to dark, and may be matched to counter surface hue. One of the benefits of a quartz sink is that it is quieter than a stainless steel sink when in use. A quartz sink may not be quite as durable as a granite sink, though many granite composite sinks include quartz in their formulation. Expect a quartz sink to start at approximately $200 and run to $1,000 for a high-end model.
Sandstone kitchen sinks
Not very common, but as these elegant vessel sinks gain converts in bathroom design, you can expect freestanding sandstone sinks to appear in designer kitchens. True sandstone is a sedimentary rock made up of sand-sized grains of mineral, rock, or other organic material and can be used to fashion sculpted basins, which tend to be on the expensive side. Sandstone sometimes also refers to a sandy color shade for composite materials for sinks.
If you are looking for more unusual materials, you may also want to consider copper sinks or marble sinks, which each have distinct appearances, as well as maintenance considerations.
Finding the Right Brand for Your Kitchen Sink
A competent designer will guide you to the best kitchen sinks as part of their services. Always ask for care instructions before you agree to any material. High-end kitchen sink styles can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 or more for statement models like farmhouse sinks in hammered steel or copper, and you don’t want to make a mistake with the wrong care or misuse. The best kitchen sink brands will back their product with a generous warranty, customer support (including installation instructions), longevity in business, and availability of any parts or accessories.