When it comes to shapes, material and use, kitchen sinks come in great variety. Some of them are listed below with a little bit of explanation.
The most common sink shape is the one-and-a-half bowl, which has one bigger one and a smaller partner that’s useful for draining when the main bowl is filled. A large bowl is handy for scrubbing pans that won’t fit in the dishwasher, and you can also buy corner or round sinks to fit where space is limited. If you have an island or you like to cook with a companion, a small prep sink will take the pressure off the main sink – you can add a boiling-water tap here to create a handy drinks station.
Sinks now come packed with plenty of extras, too, from chopping boards that fit snugly over the sink to built-in colanders and draining baskets that move effortlessly from hob to sink. It’s important to get the accessories right because they can transform a simple sink into a practical, multifunctional area for washing up, prep work, rinsing and draining.
There are three basic styles for the main sink; undermounted , inset and sit-on. Undermounted are rimless and fit beneath the worktop with a silicone watertight seal. They are best suited to solid stone or wood surfaces, as drainers need to be routed out. Inset sinks are easier to install, slotting into a hole in the worktop, usually with a drainer built-in, while sit on sinks – the most common being butler designs – are fitted on top of a short cabinet with the worktops overlapping either side. If you’ve opted for composite surfaces, some offer the option of an integrated sink . It’s made of the same material but joined seamlessly so sink and worktop appear as one.
A) STAINLESS STEEL
This is low-maintenance, stain and rust resistant, plus scratches fade in time. Budget sinks are made from a single sheet of steel and have curved bowls, while top-end versions feature separate sheets welded together and polished for defined corners and extra-deep bowls. Steel thickness ranges from 18-23 gauge – low numbers are thicker.
B) FIRECLAY CERAMIC
Still largely handmade, these sinks are a solid option with a glossy white glaze. Most frequently used for butler designs, they also come in modern shapes and have a non-porous construction. The surface is surprisingly robust but be careful with cast-iron pans.
C) GRANITE (also called composite quartz)
Made from a high percentage of quartz combined with resin and pigment, granite sinks are rock solid. Color options are wide, and the addition of pearlescent particles provides extra sparkle. All have an antibacterial surface that repels stains, with top names including Silestone©, Eclipse© and other.
D) COMPOSITE ACRYLIC (also called synthetic or solid surface)
Acrylic affords flexibility when it comes to creating interesting curves and shapes. It’s mixed with powdered stone and pigment for strength and color, but seamlessness is the biggest selling point – it can be heated and jointed with color-matching glue to invisibly integrate with the worktop. Durable, hygienic and non-porous, stains or minor scratches can easily be polished out.