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Kitchen Sinks: A Buying Guide

Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or building a new home, the kitchen sink plays a big role in the room’s functionality, appearance, and usefulness. The type of kitchen sink you choose might depend on your home’s age, architectural style, and your cooking style, but the right kitchen sink is about more than aesthetic. It must be functional, flow with the space, and be the right size for the cabinet.

You may also want a sink with a built-in soap dispenser for hand soap, dish soap, or both. If you’ll be installing a garbage disposal appliance, be sure to accommodate its size with your sink’s height and plumbing layout. Our buying guide will walk you through the most important considerations.

Kitchen Sink Type

Choosing the right kitchen sink begins with the ideal style for the home.

  • Apron Front/Farmhouse Sinks: Farmhouse sinks have been around for a very long time. An apron or farmhouse sink is deep, making it a good choice for people who often cook with large pots. They’re characterized by very large bowls and exposed fronts that often overhang the cabinet. The cabinet base underneath will be shorter in order to accommodate the deeper sink. They’re usually available in stainless-steel, as well as other materials.
  • Top Mount/Drop-In Sinks: The most common type of sink today is the drop-in. They are dropped into the countertop from above and are held in place with screws. The edges rest on the countertop, and the sink may have one or two bowls. In most cases, the sink will have multiple holes for the faucet and sprayer.
  • Undermount Sinks: Undermount sinks are the most popular sinks for homeowners , and do not have an exposed rim. The countertop material goes all the way to the edge of the bowl which makes cleaning must easier. Undermount sinks may have one or two bowls and provide a sleek, modern appearance.

Specialty

Do you need a specialty sink? Examples include ADA compliance, unique divisions between bowls, and bowl depths less than nine inches or over 10 inches.

Bowl Configuration

In most instances, a sink has two bowls of equal size, but this is not the only possibility. You may benefit from a sink with a larger bowl on the right and a smaller bowl on the left.

Bowl Material

Most kitchen sinks are stainless steel sinks. You can also choose granite, copper, cast iron, clay, porcelain, composite, or acrylic. When picking a sink, consider the number of bowls, or basins. Think about the type of faucet you like and whether or not you want a pull-out hand sprayer.

Sink and Cabinet Size

In addition to choosing the right type, you also need to choose the right size kitchen sink. This will depend on the size of the cabinet and counter. To measure this space, you’ll need to remove the old sink. Here’s what you need to measure and why:

  • Length and Width of the Hole: You need to make sure that whatever sink you get will fit in the cabinet, and this requires measuring the length and width of the existing hole. Of course, you can enlarge this hole if you want to install a larger sink. Sink lengths can range from under 20 inches all the way to 36 inches and longer.
  • Depth of Bowl: In addition to the hole’s length and width, you should measure the depth of the bowl(s) in the old sink so you can match it.
  • Plumbing Height: If you intend to install a sink with a much deeper bowl than what was previously installed, you will need to measure the height of the plumbing in the cabinet to make sure you have enough space. In some cases, you may need to replumb the drain to accommodate a very deep bowl.
  • Cabinet Size: Today, cabinets usually measure 35 to 36 inches including the countertop, but may be as short as 34.5 inches without the cabinet. However, older cabinets may be shorter than this. You will also need to consider countertop depth. The average depth is 25 inches from front to back, but custom counters may be significantly deeper.

Sink Gauge

The right thickness is important for durability, weight, and other considerations. Common gauges for stainless-steel sink construction include 16, 18, 21, and 22 gauge. The lower the number, the thicker the steel and the heavier the sink will be.

Number of Bowls

One of the most critical factors in your kitchen sink purchase is the number of bowls offered by the new sink.

  • Single Bowl: Single bowl models can be very large, such as farmhouse sinks, providing lots of space for dirty dishes and other needs. However, they may not be right for you, particularly if you wash dishes by hand.
  • Double Bowls: A double bowl sink is usually preferred by those who want to keep separate spaces in the sink, either for washing and rinsing, for dirty dishes and produce, or another combination of needs.

Sink Accessories

What sort of sink accessories do you need? Examples include grids and strainers, drain covers, and  cutting boards, all of which can increase convenience and usability.

Conclusion

Whether you’re interested in a classic farmhouse sink, an elegant undermount option, or something else. Allora USA is your source for high-quality, durable kitchen sinks.