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How to choose a kitchen sink

Are you about to start renovating your kitchen or select fixtures for a brand new kitchen? Here are the 7 things you need to consider when buying a kitchen sink. Choosing the wrong kitchen sink can spoil a kitchen's design and functionality.  When it comes to selecting the sink, style is secondary. A sink has to work well and withstand years of daily use.

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Types of sink

There are 3 main types of kitchen sinks:

Undermount sinks - these kitchen sinks mount below the bench top. The advantage of these sinks is they have a minimalist design, streamlined and easier to clean around.

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Top mount sinks - these are the easiest sink to install and drop into position on top of the bench.

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Farmhouse sinks - these sinks have a deep basin and jut out of the bench. They often referred to as an apron front sink and are commonly found in country style homes. These sinks are more accessible for kids and shorter people as can sit lower than the bench top.

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Kitchen sink size

Are you installing this sink into an existing cavity? If so, measure the original sink hole and choose a new sink that will drop into that space. If your bench space allows for a bigger sink, then you can cut a larger hole and choose a bigger sink. Consider the depth of the sink and make sure there is enough space for garbage disposal systems or water filters beneath.

If you are installing the sink into a new bench, then measure the cabinet length between the joists to determine the maximum length available for your sink. Make sure you have enough space on both sides of the sink to stack dishes, prepare food. Ensure the placement of the sink is close to the front of the bench to make it easier to use.

Kitchen sink shape

A rounded sink can be easier to clean than one with square sides. If you are after a sleek, minimalist look then stick with the square edges.

Number of sinks 

Single bowl sink - A single, deep sink means you can easily soak and wash a big plan. However soaking a large casserole and wanting to wash vegetables at the same time can be challenging.

Double bowl sink - These sinks have 2 basins of equal size of one larger and one smaller basin. Basin split is useful when working on two different tasks - ie. washing dishes in one and filling up a kettle in the other. The larger basin is useful for holding large pots/pans.

Three bowl sink - These sinks have two large bowls and one small one in the middle for a garbage disposal system.  These sinks require a large amount of bench space.

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Type of material

Stainless steel - This is the most common material for a sink being modern in design and a good sound insulator. They are durable and easy to clean. The metal can scratch but these marks can be buffed out if its a brushed stainless steel sink. Water spots can also appear if you live in an area with hard water. Stainless steel sinks are the preferred sink if you are prone to throwing things into the sink as some of the other materials can chip easily or break the item.

Porcelain / cast iron - These sinks have a glossy finish, easy to clean and withstand higher heat. They have a vintage style. On the downside the enamel may scratch off over time and these sinks can chip. Metal pans can also leave black marks that are difficult to remove.

Granite - This sink is resistant to scratches, chipping and discolouration. It is also a non-porous material. However, be careful with glassware as easy to break with granite being such a strong material.

Stone - A natural stone sink will give your kitchen an authentic look. This is normally the most expensive material for a sink and can scratch and chip.

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Number of tap holes and placement

When choosing a sink it is very important to consider how the kitchen tap will connect to the bench. Many sinks have holes already built into them. If you choose to have separate hot and cold water taps then you will need 3 holes in your sink. These days mixer taps are the most common kitchen tap requiring just one hole in the sink or no holes if the kitchen tap is bench mounted. Also consider if you will need another hole for filtered water or even soap dispensers.

The placement of the tap holes should be located on the left hand side if you are right handed or on the right side if you are left handed. If you have a two basin sink, then placement should be in the middle of the basins.

Drain placement

Off centred - Enables more space under the sink for storage and more space in the sink for washing pans and allowing water to drain away.

Centred drain - Water will drain away quicker in a centred drain as less distance for the water to travel. Easier access for repairs and maintenance. On the negative, pots and pans may block the drainage in a centred drain.

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