Kitchen sinks are by far the most used fixture in the kitchen. Consider how many times a day you use your kitchen sink!
There are a wide array of choices including everything from a variety of materials to bowl configuration. This means that a lot more thought needs to go into choosing the right kitchen sink, in terms of design and functionality, for your home.
What is the best kitchen sink for your kitchen?
Most people don’t think about their kitchen sink much or how they use it while cooking, baking, or doing dishes- at least not until it’s time to replace it! So let’s talk about the options out there, what’s involved to replace it, and think about what type would best serve you and your family.
SIZING YOUR SINK:
Choosing the size and configuration that best fits your space and lifestyle is important. Kitchen sinks are available in more shapes and sizes than ever before. The interior width of the sink’s cabinet determines the maximum dimensions for your sink. Standard kitchen cabinets come in size increments of 3″ starting at 9″ wide (9″, 12″, 15″, 18″, 21″ 24″, etc). There are a wide range of sinks to fit most standard cabinet sizes. Be sure to measure your cabinet size before selecting a kitchen sink.
What size do kitchen sinks come in?
The most common sizes are 25” wide and 33” wide. While most sinks are close to these sizes, there is a wide range of options available on the market today.
How do I know what size kitchen sink I need?
What size sink your kitchen can fit will depend on your cabinet size.
Measure your current cabinet from edge to edge (not the outside of your cabinet door necessarily but where the cabinet box’s edges are).
TIP: Standard cabinet sizes are in 3” increments. I.E.: 27”, 30”, 33”, 36”, etc.
In general your sink should be at least 2-3” smaller than your cabinet size. For example, a 36” sink base cabinet can easily fit a 33” sink.
Do I choose my kitchen sink before my cabinets?
If you are currently replacing your cabinets, you can choose your sink base to fit your sink or vice versa. It’s best to choose your sink during the design process so you can change the sink base cabinet size to fit the sink you’ve chosen if needed.
Your designer will discuss with you the general sizing (ie: 25”, 33” or other size) while working on the design to make sure the sink base is the appropriate size to your preferences and the space of your kitchen. Before finalizing the design and ordering the cabinets, it is best to decide on your kitchen sink so you aren’t limited by your cabinet size.
CHOOSING YOUR SINK:
What kitchen sink bowls and configurations are available?
Sink bowls fall into the following categories:
Double Bowl or Double Equal or 50/50
Offset Double Bowls or 70/30 or 60/40
Single Bowl Sink
- Great for a large work area in the sink and easily fit large pots or pans.
- Smaller sinks (such as a 25”) are often only available as a single bowl.
Double Equal or 50/50 Sink – Consists of 2 equal bowl sizes
- Great for those who prefer to have a draining rack in the sink to dry dishes. Can also easily fit two people at the sink, both with a good work space.
- Cons include not easily able to fit large pans or cookie sheets
Offset Double Bowls or 70/30 or 60/40 Sink – Consists of 2 bowls of different sizes
- These bowl sizes can vary greatly from SKU to SKU.
- Most sinks fall into the either a 60/40 sink (consists of one bowl being slightly larger than the other bowl) or 70/30 sink (one bowl is significantly larger than the other bowl)
- These bowl sizes can vary greatly from SKU to SKU.
Get the best of both worlds!
Most brands of kitchen sinks now offer 2 different divider types.
Traditional Sink = The material that creates the division between the two sides of the sink is the same depth as the overall sink.
Low Divide= Brands have different names for it (ie: Smart Divide; Aqua Divide, etc). The material that creates the division between the two sides of the sink is lower than the overall sink- generally less than 50% of the depth. This allows you to easily fit large pans or cookie sheets in the entire sink while still getting the benefit of divided bowls.
What is the difference between a drop-in, undermount, integrated and farmhouse kitchen sink?
Blanco Diamond 210 drop in kitchen sink
A drop-in sink sits on top of the countertop and the bowl(s) drop into the countertop cutout. These sinks have a lip sitting on top of the counter.
Kohler Prolific undermount sink
An undermount sink is attached to the underside of the countertop. There is nothing sitting on top of the counter.
Considerations with an undermount is if the countertop can support the weight of the sink. Laminate countertops should use drop-in sinks.
Corian integrated countertop and sink
Integrated sinks are built into the countertop. It is available with certain materials, such as a solid surface material, where the sink is of the same material and has no seams or on site installation required.
Sink color can often be either the same as the countertop or a different color than the counter.
Kohler Whitehaven apron-front sink
A apron-front sink, often called a farmhouse or farm sink, has a front piece exposed that appears to sit on the cabinet. It’s style is a nod to traditional farmhouse sinks. But today not all apron-front sinks have a traditional century old feel. They are available in almost all materials, have various designs available for the apron, and come in a variety of colors.
What types of materials do kitchen sinks come in?
Kitchen sinks are available in a variety of materials.
Stainless Steel Sink
Stainless steel is the most common and traditional look. Stainless sinks goes with most kitchen styles and can easily match faucets and appliances alike. Benefits include heat and stain resistant and are available in a variety of types, styles and sizes.
KOHLER CAST IRON SINK
Cast Iron sinks are very durable, available in a variety of colors, and can make a bold statement in a design.
BLANCO SILGRANIT SINK
Granite Composites is a newer technology and is called different names by different brands. Composite granite sinks are good-looking, durable and don’t show water marks or scratches the way stainless steel sinks do. They come in a variety of neutral hues.
BLANCO FIRECLAY SINKS
Fireclay sinks are manufactured from clay fired at an extremely high temperature, fireclay sinks are highly resistant to scratches, staining and chipping. Cleanup is easy — just dish soap on a sponge, or use a mild abrasive cleanser for tougher marks.
FAUCETS & ACCESSORIES:
Do I need to pick out my kitchen faucet before I purchase my kitchen sink?
Yes! Or you at least need to know what type of faucet you would like as depending on your sink type, you will need to know how many holes your faucet will require.
When purchasing your sink, if it is a drop-in sink you will purchase a sink with the appropriate faucet and soap dispenser holes required. For undermount, you typically won’t need to know how many holes are required until the time of your countertop installation.
What are the different faucet configurations?
Kitchen faucets are available in 1- 2- 3-or 4-hole configurations.
SINGLE-HOLE MOUNTING – The handle is attached to the faucet itself and has a mixing valve for both hot and cold water.
TWO-HOLE MOUNTING – Accommodates a single-handle faucet with a sidespray or remote valve faucet.
THREE-HOLE MOUNTING – Accommodates a two-handle faucet or single-handle faucet and a sidespray.
FOUR-HOLE MOUNTING – Accommodates a two-handle faucet and a sidespray.
Can I get a rack or cutting board for my sink?
Yes! Depending on your sink will depend on what accessories are available for your particular model. While you can always purchase generic options, if you know you’d like a stainless steel rack or basket or other integrated accessories, it’s best to find a sink that offers what you are looking for prior to purchase.
What kitchen sink accessories are available?
There are a lot of choices out there! Many manufacturers design specific accessories to fit their sinks snugly for best use.
Can I put a garbage disposal in my kitchen sink?
Yes! It will attach underneath your sink in the opening your sink strainer and drain normally sit. You will need to discuss with your contractor to account for electrical to the disposal.
What is the difference between a continuous feed and batch feed disposal?
The continuous feed option connects to a switch (often on the wall or attached to the inside of your sink cabinet) to allow for continued use of the disposal, meaning you can keep putting food in the disposal while turned on.
The batch feed is operated by pushing down or twisting on the cover. Food can only be put down in batches with this model.
REPLACEMENT KITCHEN SINKS WITHOUT A FULL KITCHEN REMODEL:
What do I need to know to replace my kitchen sink without replacing the countertop?
You will need to ensure the new kitchen sink fits into the current spot your sink is in. You will need to measure the current cabinet, current countertop opening, and the overall depth of your countertop to ensure you allow for the backsplash.
How do I measure to replace my sink in the current countertop?
If you are only replacing your sink and keeping the current counter, the most important measurement is the sink cutout of your countertop. Your new kitchen sink will need to fit into this opening.
If you have an undermount sink, you can measure the opening on top of the sink. This is the measurement of the countertop NOT the current sink.
If you have a drop-in sink, you will need to measure the opening that the sink sits into. The best way to ensure accurate measurements is to remove the current sink.
Can I replace my current kitchen sink with a farmhouse sink?
This will depend on your kitchen sink cabinet. Cabinets are designed for farmhouse or apron front sinks but having a cutout to account for the apron.
To retrofit your current sink cabinet, you can cut out the current drawer front or tip-out tray to accommodate the apron. You will need to measure carefully to ensure you have enough room to cut out and can fit the apron of the sink- Capitol carries apron-front sinks with shorter aprons to fit well in most retro-fit applications.
Before you buy, consider the number of sink bowls, how they are oriented, and the depth and number of holes your sink requires for fixtures and accessories. If you are replacing a sink, make sure it fits the existing cutout. If the cabinet allows, you may be able to install a larger sink by expanding the cutout.
Before making the final decision, stop into one of our showrooms to get a feel for how a sink and faucet will function.