So, you’ve planned out your kitchen renovation in meticulous detail. You’ve ordered your dream oven, landed on the perfect kitchen cabinets and the kitchen island stone is getting honed. You’ve got everything but the kitchen sink — literally.
Sinks have come a long way since the stock-standard stainless steel jobs we grew up with. The types of kitchen sink available are endless, from double ceramic sinks to sleek black undermount sinks, and there’s one to suit every space — even the smallest of butler’s pantries. Take a look at these kitchen sink ideas before you update one of the most hardworking features of your home.
Best types of kitchen sink
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sinks. When buying a kitchen sink, you’ll need to consider the size you need, whether it’s undermounted, drop-in or sits proud from the bench, how deep it should be, the material and whether you’ll require one or two kitchen sink bowls.
Do you need a kitchen sink with a cover, to increase prep space? What’s on trend in the world of sinks? It’s a surprisingly important decision. After all, you — or others in your family — will be spending a lot of time using the sink.
Here are some common types of kitchen sink on the market:
- Top-mount, over-mount or drop-in sink: You might recognise this one from your childhood. It ‘drops into’ the bench top, of which a hole is cut to fit the sink, and it essentially hangs by the rim of the sink. Usually made of stainless steel, this is an affordable DIY option (unless you’re cutting into an engineered or natural stone bench top; in this case, you should call in the professionals who can do it safely).
- Undermounted sink: This type of sink sits neatly under the benchtop, often with the sink lip flush with the benchtop edge. It’s a seamless and stylish option that works well in a kitchen island. Better still, you can wipe water and food crumbs straight into the sink bowl! You can choose from a variety of finishes.
- Farmhouse sink (or, butler’s or apron sink): Often a white fireclay sink (a type of ceramic) — but can be made of cast iron, porcelain or concrete — this is the ultimate kitchen sink for a Hamptons or country-home aesthetic. A farmhouse sink usually sits proud of the kitchen bench with an apron front, but can be quite large and not always suitable for small kitchens. They can also be mounted on top of the kitchen bench, which may require a lower bench height.
- Double-bowl sink: Like the name suggests, this type of kitchen sink has not one, but two, kitchen sink bowls! So, you can use one for washing and the other for rinsing or washing veggies and so on.
- Integrated sink: Technically, this isn’t a sink but one whole piece of the same benchtop material with a big, beautiful receptacle for all your dishwashing needs. It’s a kitchen sink design that’s trending among interior designers because you can carve out a sink from marble, Corian, engineered stone and more.
So, once you’ve chosen the kitchen sink design that’s right for your space you’re halfway there.
Small kitchen sink ideas
Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of space to play with. There’s a pint-sized kitchen sink out there to suit your small kitchen. You can still choose from almost any sink style, with the possible exception of the larger farmhouse sink.
To minimise bulk, opt for an undermount, integrated sink or even a drop-in sink with a thin rim. If space allows, you could invest in a deep kitchen sink to compensate for the lack of width, so those pots and pans have room for a nice soak (I mean, they’ve been working hard). Similarly, optimise the depth of the kitchen bench. Think: narrow, deep and long.
Do you need a double kitchen sink?
Having a double-bowl sink is the ultimate luxury, providing your kitchen bench has the scale to support it. However, each sink bowl is likely to be smaller than one big single bowl, so if you scrub a lot of cookware, a double kitchen sink might not be ideal for you. A double sink may also take up more real estate under the bench top.
But there are heaps of benefits. You can separate the dirty dishes from the ones you’re rinsing and drying — ask the retailer or manufacturer if they supply a matching dish rack, as well. Some come with a bowl that’s bigger than the other. If you do opt for twin sinks, look for a pair with a ‘low divider’, so water can easily overflow from one side to the other, if needed.
The pros and cons of common kitchen sink materials
Sink materials can look, feel and function in wildly different ways. Some are more durable than others, too. Here’s what you need to know:
- Stainless steel sinks: Highly durable, stainless steel sinks are resistant to heat, rust and stains and last forever. They’re not, however, impervious to scratches or smudges… but who’s looking that closely at a kitchen sink? You don’t have to settle for a silver stainless steel, either, with many manufacturers, such as ABI Interiors, making stainless steel sinks in brushed brass, brushed copper and brushed gunmetal finishes.
- Fireclay and ceramic sinks: These are fired to extremely high temperatures so the material is durable, non-porous and resistant to rust, stains and scratches — not to mention finished in a beautiful, glossy white finish. The disadvantage of a fireclay sink is that it’s very heavy, can crack or chip after many years, and if you drop a plate or glass in a ceramic sink it’s basically a goner.
- Enamel-coated cast iron sinks: Like the fireclay sink, cast-iron sinks have a classic look that is right at home in a Hamptons, country, industrial, rustic or white kitchen. They’re long-lasting and scratch-resistant but heavy, and over time, the enamel surface can stain.
- Stone sinks: Natural stone sinks, such as those made from marble or granite, look super luxe and timeless. They are heavy though, and are more prone to stains, scratches and watermarks. Sealing your stone sink will help. You might also need to avoid harsh or acidic cleaning products.
- Composite sinks: These sinks are typically made of stone dust and acrylic resins and look and feel similar to a natural-stone sinks — but cost less. There’s a wide variety of colours and styles to choose from when it comes to composite sinks, so you tailor it to your kitchen design.
Who knew there was so much to consider when it comes to sink design? Bookmark these kitchen sink ideas and happy shopping.