What do you focus on during a kitchen renovation? Cabinets, countertops, appliances–all of those are good options, but there’s one key part of every kitchen that you can’t afford to overlook: the sink.
A new sink can make a huge difference in a kitchen. For one thing, the sink gets constant use, washing produce, dirty hands, and dishes; for another, your sink can add a touch of your personal style to the room.
Buying a new sink isn’t as simple as grabbing the first sink you see, though–you need to make sure your sink fits your kitchen, both aesthetically and functionally.
Read on to learn nine things you need to consider before you buy a new kitchen sink.
1. The Right Material
The first thing you need to decide when buying a sink is what material you want. Many people choose a stainless steel sink, as it’s affordable, easy to install, and goes well with most countertops.
There are many other options for sink materials, though; enamel is another popular choice thanks to its sturdiness and classic look. You might also choose composite for a more modern style.
The material you choose can have an impact on the other decisions you have to make, as some materials are better suited to certain sizes and types of installation.
2. Sink Depth
How deep do you want your sink to be? The depth of your sink has a big impact on the sink’s usability, as well as the surrounding cabinetry: the deeper the sink, the less space in the cabinets beneath.
On the other hand, a deeper sink can hold more dishes (or bigger dishes, if necessary). You need to decide which space is more valuable to you!
Comfort is also a consideration. Are you a tall person? If so, you should be able to use a deep sink with ease; if not, leaning down to reach the bottom of your sink could get uncomfortable.
3. Sink Size
Depth is only half of the equation when talking about sink size–you also need to think about how wide you want your sink to be. Like depth, this is mostly a matter of how you prioritize your kitchen space.
A wider sink is going to translate to less counter space. On the plus side, it will also be able to hold more and may allow you to wash large items like pans with ease.
Cost is also a factor. A larger sink will cost more, so your budget might end up making this decision for you.
Where will your sink be relative to the rest of your kitchen? Knowing where you want your sink placed can make considerations like size easier to think through. It might even impact what kind of installation you want.
One thing to think about is whether your sink will be near a fixed element in your kitchen–for instance, will it be under a window? If so, you may want to keep your sink size proportional to this element.
If you have a dishwasher, it’s handy to install your sink right beside it for ease of use.
5. Style of Installation
The way you install your sink is important. There are two popular styles of installation: drop-in and under-mount. The drop-in sink is more common, being the cheaper and simpler option.
A drop-in sink has a lip that rests on your countertop, allowing you to simply drop it into your sink space (hence the name). An under-mount is installed beneath the countertop, which gives you more counter space.
A larger sink, like a farmhouse sink, has a more involved installation process. You’ll need this equipment to tackle a farmhouse sink installation.
6. How Many Bowls
Bowls are the individual sections of a sink. Most home sinks have two bowls, though there are also many sinks with only one. Deciding how many bowls you want is a crucial part of buying a sink.
The main benefit of a one-bowl sink is that it can fit very large dishes. Is washing your casserole dish or pizza stone a pain in your two-bowl sink? Switching to one bowl gives you more room to wash those up.
7. Drain Location
The location of your drain affects a lot of things, from your cabinet space to the drainage in your sink. The best drain location is toward the rear of the sink, and to the right or left rather than centered.
These drains will give you more cabinet space, as the drain assembly beneath the sink will be farther back and out of the way. The sink will also drain better, as dishes are less likely to sit directly over the drain.
8. How Will It Affect Your Cabinets?
We’ve talked a bit about the way your sink can affect your cabinets: deep sinks take up more cabinet space, drain placement can optimize your cabinet space, and so on.
There’s another reason your cabinets matter when buying a new sink: they need to be able to support whatever sink you buy.
Certain sink materials, like stone, are heavier than others. When you fill them with water and dirty dishes, they can put more strain on the cabinets beneath. Make sure your cabinets are sturdy enough for your new sink.
9. Sound Dampeners
This factor is most relevant if you’re buying a stainless steel sink. The clatter of metal silverware–or even water from your faucet–on a stainless steel sink can be distractingly loud.
Pads or a coating of rubbery material on the underside of the sink can help quiet things down. These coatings will also reduce the amount of condensation in the cabinets, making them even more useful!
The Perfect New Sink for Your Home
A new sink is an opportunity–a chance to customize your kitchen and maximize its usability. Do you need a deep, single-bowl stainless steel sink, or is an under-mounted double-bowl enamel sink a better fit?
Now that you’ve handled your kitchen sink, what’s next? There are lots of other repairs and upgrades you can make around your home. Visit our home repair blog for more advice on home improvement!