Choosing the right sink from among the myriad of sinks that are available requires that you know just a little bit about the “technical details”. Once you have that down, you can pair that knowledge with whatever aesthetic and style choices you want to make.
There are three important details to keep in mind so that you’ll choose the right sink for your lifestyle.
- Installation - how the sink is installed in your countertop or vanity (sometimes described as the “type” of sink)
- Configuration - its design relative to faucet compatibility, etc.
- Material - what material it’s made from
Types of Installation
These sinks offer a clean, modern look. They free up usable counter space, and since there is no rim to catch debris, they’re also the easiest type of sink to keep clean.
Above-counter sinks rise above the countertop, or sit directly on the countertop. This means that they stand taller than other types of sinks, which can make washing ones hands and face in them more difficult. Another thing to consider when selecting them is what type of faucet to use. The faucet will need to be a wall mounted or a taller deck-mounted faucet.
These sinks, also known as drop-ins and self-rimming, fit into a variety of countertops. Their self-rimming nature makes them the simplest type of sink to install. Countertop sinks are the style most commonly found in high-traffic family bathrooms.
These sinks combine a countertop and sink together. Their one piece, seamless design allows for a clean, sleek look. Since there are no crevices they are also one of the easiest styles to keep clean.
A good choice for powder rooms and guest baths where storage is less important and space is limited. Their sleek, sophisticated lines can visually enlarge a room, while also enhancing its appearance. Pedestal sinks come in a variety of styles and shapes.
These sinks are attached directly to the wall and can be a good solution in small bathrooms, allowing for usable space below the sink. Even if there’s only room for a wastebasket, the space that it offers will make the room appear larger and more open. Some wall mounted bath sinks offer an apron or decorative cover to disguise some of the plumbing and drain pipe.
When selecting a sink it is important to take into account the type of faucet you want and it’s compatibility with your sink. There are single hole mount electronic faucets, single lever, 2-hole and center set, 3-hole faucets and wall mount faucets. It is also important to consider the height of the lip of the faucet in relation to your sink. You want to make sure the two are compatible. Consider washing your face and hair…washing a large bowl or filling a vase.
Glass is one of the primary materials used for vessel sinks. There are endless ways in which glass vessel sinks can be colored and decorated, for an endless number of
Unique Shows water spots
Many color,style & design options Prone to cracking, scratches
Concrete sinks can be custom-fabricated or bought pre-made. Concrete is porous and should be sealed to protect it from staining. Concrete sinks can be made in virtually any color.
Modern look Heavy
Sustainable, green material Require sealing
Wood / Bamboo
One of the more exotic types of bathroom sink materials includes wood and bamboo.
Expensive Require oil treatment or sealer
Unique Soft and subject to denting/nicking
Sustainable, green material Darken with age
Things to consider when selecting stainless steel are the guage of the material for dent resistance and durability and the sound deadening capabilities
Most popular, claims 57% market Prone to scratching
Economical Can look dirty
Resistance to peeling, chipping & cracking
These sinks are available in either cast iron or enamel over stainless steel and have been around for decades. If you have an older kitchen that has not been through a remodel, chances are you have a cast iron sink.
Array of available colors Chip easily
Stain resistant Subject to rusting
Resistant to heat damage Heavy and difficult to install
Limited under-mount options
These sinks have been growing in popularity over the past several years due to seamless look.
Integrated appearance Not heat resistant
Unlimited shape options Subject to scratching
Easy to maintain
Resistant to mold & bacteria
Fireclay has been around for quite some time but has become one of the newest trends in kitchen fixtures. Made by pouring liquid clay into a mold, then removed form the mold and sponged to a slick finish, fireclay sinks are then allowed to air dry. Later they’re sprayed with a ceramic finish and fired in a kiln.
Durable Limited sizes and colors
Glossy finish Can chip easily
Low maintenance Hard on dishes
Is a soft, light grey rock consisting primarily of talc, a type of metamorphic rock. The light grey rock darkens with age.
Smooth texture Expensive
Custom look Can scratch
Retains heat well
Good for hot pots
Fairly easy to maintain
Quartz / Granite
These sinks can be made in one of two different ways: they can be carved from a single block of granite or can be constructed out of multiple granite pieces or slabs that are bonded together and later sealed to ensure that the sink doesn’t leak.
Natural look Heavy and require reinforcement
Unique and different Can stain
Can be cut to any size Food can get caught in corners
Work with any sized faucet
Copper is a unique and glamorous sink finish option. These can be shaped into a variety of sizes and can be made smooth or finished in a variety of textures and designs.
Antimicrobial properties High maintenance to keep shiny
Variety of copper tones Stain easily
Anti-rusting properties Darken over time
Can be damaged by acidic foods
The bottom line? Consider cleaning, use, beauty and budget when making your choices. Now, if only picking countertops were as easy…
Make it fabulous,
Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas
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Tran + Thomas Design Studio creates beautiful, custom residential and commercial interiors for clients in Kansas City and around the country.