Whether it’s a sofa, a coffee table, or a dining room chair, doing research is vital before buying an item for the home. And yes, that includes everything in the kitchen, from a carrot peeler to a coffee maker. But today we want to focus on something bigger which all of us make use of in the kitchen: the sink.
Since the kitchen sink is not something you want to replace regularly, some thought and planning needs to go into its purchasing. Even the professionals like interior architects and kitchen planners don’t just pick out the first kitchen sink they see when planning their projects.
But where do we start?
Your choice between a small or large kitchen sink will depend on your kitchen size and layout. But bear in mind that each of these two types involves a series of subtypes; thus, not all small sinks have the same dimensions and styles.
But also ask yourself if you really require a larger (and, potentially, more expensive) kitchen sink. Does it fit in with your lifestyle? Do you have a dishwasher and only require a sink for the odd rinsing task?
➤Round sinks: Round sinks ensure a ‘softer’ look for a kitchen via their curvy shapes. They look chic, are pretty versatile, plus are available in the same variety of sizes, styles and materials as rectangular ones. And remember that round sinks are ideal for corner units.
➤Rectangular sinks: Most modern and contemporary kitchens flaunt a rectangular sink, usually embedded into the countertop. Compared to round ones, rectangular kitchen sinks might be a bit more difficult to clean.
A farmhouse-style sink is instantly recognisable by its distinctive apron front and vintage vibe. A great choice for country, rustic and colonial kitchens, farmhouse kitchens are still rectangular, but with curved edges to provide a softer look.
Just bear in mind that these designs don’t come in many colours, finishes or materials, meaning you are limited to their signature look without the possibility to customize your kitchen décor too much.
While most sinks are available as either top-mount (inset) or under-mount options, newer models can be mounted flush with the countertop.
Insert sinks are the easiest to install and also the most affordable. But under-mount sinks allow greater flexibility in terms of mixing and matching different bowls to create your own sink configuration.
➤Stainless steel: Everyone knows that stainless steel is hygienic, stain-resistant, and wears well. Plus, a stainless steel sink can complement just about any kitchen design. Another great advantage is that a basic stainless steel sink is the most affordable option – a single basin can cost around R700, while a triple basin shouldn’t work out more than R2 500.
Just keep in mind that, should you decide to go much more contemporary with a designer sink, expect to pay R6 000 and upwards.
➤Composite materials: The next generation of composite materials, Fragranite is a scratch-proof, heat-proof and colour-proof sink option that allows you to introduce colour (graphite) and texture into the kitchen, instead of settling for regular stainless steel.
➤Ceramic and porcelain: Another popular option for cottage or country kitchens, Belfast and butler sinks are available in a variety of materials, including composite materials, ceramic and porcelain. For a single-bowl butler sink you can expect to pay from around R1 500, and up to R9 000 for an imported double bowl.
Belfast sinks provide deep bowls, making them a great choice for hardworking kitchens. Butler sinks may not be as deep, but are equally hardwearing and durable. Even a single-bowl model provides adequate space for regularly washing up. The only downside is that they are sold separately, meaning you’ll need two sinks if you want to wash and rinse.
In the end, keep your kitchen’s look and functionality in mind, but also your lifestyle and personal requirements. And remember: your kitchen sink (like everything else in the room) can either complement the existing space in a subtle way, or stand out stunningly. The choice is yours!
Struggling to make all that space work? Let’s see How to furnish an open-plan kitchen: 8 simple tips.