Kitchen Sink Types – Pros and Cons (Ultimate Sink Guide)
When building or remodeling your house, people often struggle with deciding on the right kitchen sink ideas for their situation. This is especially true when they’re trying to picture the perfect layout for their kitchen. That’s why we’ve created this overview about the different Kitchen Sink Types Pros and cons, so you can make the best buying decision for your kitchen remodel.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, you have to first think about what type of kitchen sink you want to purchase and how it fits into the design you want for your kitchen. What sink style or material will standout and express your kitchen personality?
Finding the right sink for your kitchen shouldn’t be confusing. There are numerous modern, transitional, and traditional kitchen sink designs you can choose from. I’ve poured myself a big cup of pumpkin spiced coffee (Hell yeah! It’s fall right now!), and sat down to explain the different choices and how to find the right sink for your kitchen remodel. So, let’s get started!
Kitchen Sink Types – Pros and Cons by Material
Kitchen sinks are made of different materials. Sinks can be made out of copper, cast iron, stainless steel or composites like granite or quartz composite. Here is an overview of some common kitchen sink types pros and cons by material.
Copper Kitchen Sinks
This material is great because bacteria can’t grow on copper. The rich color and exquisite look of the copper sink has made it a great alternative to the conventional stainless steel sink. Not only do copper sinks add a dash of class to your kitchen, they also enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen.
However, maintaining copper sinks is laborious and time-consuming. You have to consistently dry it with a towel after use to prevent water spots from developing. Copper sinks are more expensive than traditional sinks like the stainless steel. Copper sinks start at about $800 and up. You can find a great selection here.
Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks
Cast iron sinks are made by casting iron and because bare iron rusts easily, cast iron sinks receive a heavy porcelain enamel finish.
The porcelain enamel finish that is used on cast iron sinks isn’t just paint. It’s melted glass that has been fused to the bare iron. The enamel finish used on cast iron sinks is extremely tough so it resists stains and scratches.
The smooth, glassy finish on cast iron sinks is very easy to keep clean and does not show spotting from dried water.
Cast iron is heavy. An average-size can easily weigh 100 pound or more, which is 2-3 times as much as most stainless steel sinks. This makes installation more difficult, especially in the case of under mounted sinks, which require additional supports to hold it in place under the counter. For a decent Cast Iron sink the cost can range anywhere from $400 – $1,500. Find more cast iron sinks here.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks
Simple, light, beautiful, and sturdy, this is the most popular kitchen sink and the most economical to own. Stainless steel is classified in terms of gauge. The lower gauge steel is heavier and the higher gauge is lighter. Stainless steel sinks offer excellent resistance to heat and stains. When choosing a stainless-steel sink, make sure to choose at least an 18 gauge or lower. An 18-gauge stainless steel sink will be of great durability and won’t disappoint.
The drawback, however, is that stainless steel tends to be louder than other sink materials, although many sinks feature a spray coating or padding to reduce the noise. I must say that the big brands do a much better job in the quality of the stainless sink than your average big box stores. You can feel, see and hear the difference. Despite their durability, stainless steel sinks scratch more easily than other materials, but again, a good sink like from Kohler will have a protective shield on top to help prevent scratching.
This material also tends to show water spots more clearly so you may find it difficult to keep them sparkling clean at all times. The costs of stainless steel sinks range anywhere from $200 and up. You can find a great selection here.
Composite Kitchen Sinks
The composite sinks have been the newest addition to the sink market and have made a fashionable entrance in the last few years. Composite sinks are a combination of at least two different materials, which gives them their natural toughness. The most common composite sinks are for example granite composite sinks or quartz composite sinks. Due to their high stone density, they not only look great, they’re also extremely durable.
With the high durability comes a great heat resistance of up to 500 degrees. This means, dumping the water of the big potato pot for the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes won’t be so hard on you. They’re also less vulnerable to dents, scratches and dings from silverware, plates or dropped dishes.
Kitchen Sink Types – Pros and Cons by design & installation
Just as kitchen sinks are made with different materials, they come in different designs also. There are the single bowl, double bowl, top mount, etc.
A single bowl sink has just one basin. Many homeowners think having more bowls is better, but this isn’t always the case.
Single basin sinks come in compact sizes, making them good for situations where space is limited. The basin of a single bowl sink is going to be bigger than a double bowl sink designed to fit into the same space. This can make cleaning large dishes such as oven trays and slow cooker crocks much easier.
Cleaning a single bowl kitchen sink is a bit faster due to reduced amount of corners and edges, and single bowl models are cheaper than equivalent two or three bowl models.
Most modern kitchen sinks have two bowls. In most cases, a double basin arrangement is good due to the flexibility it affords the user.
If you’re the kind of person who does a lot of cooking that involves large dishes, you need sinks with big basins to wash them.
Double bowl sinks come in different styles -two equally-sized bowls of the same depth, two equal bowls of different depths, unequal size bowls and more. The right one for you depends on what you do in your kitchen, so consider your options before buying one.
This style of installation is designed to be dropped into a hole in your counter top. They almost always have a rim or lip that holds the sink in place and gives it a finished look.
Top mount sinks, also known as drop-in sinks that are easy and inexpensive to install. The lip of the sink reduces the need for an internal support system under the counter, making it a good choice for DIY lovers or people on a budget.
The drawback is that the Top mount sinks lack the sleek, modern appearance of an under-mounted sink and it’s easy for the area between the lip of the sink and the counter to accumulate scum and dirt.
Drop In sinks were commonly used for laminated countertops because the seams to the plywood underneath weren’t waterproof. Nowadays we mainly work with stone or quartz countertops which provide a greater surface for under-mount sinks.
An under-mount sink is mounted underneath the counter. There is no lip or rim, meaning the edge of counter drops off directly into the sink basin.
It provides a clean, modern look and is easy to clean because debris can be wiped straight into the sink. This design is very attractive and doesn’t have grooves and crevices where food can accumulate.
However, it requires more effort to install since the sink must be glued to the underside of the counter. It also requires weight bearing countertop materials. A great benefit of having an under-mount sink is that the thickness of your countertop, which is an average of 1.18” adds to the overall depth of your sink. This means if you can instantly add over 1” to your average 9” deep bowl.
Making your Sink Selection.
Kitchen sinks have come a very long way. Today’s kitchen sinks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and may include a wide range of accessories such as cutting boards, utensil trays and drying racks. You’ll have to consider your needs, budget and of course quality to choose a kitchen sink that is most suitable for you. I’ve sold and coordinated a lot of new kitchens and it’s the worst scenario when you are spending a lot of money on your counters but not on your sink and then something happens to the sink just a few months after you’ve completed your remodel. Unfortunately, you truly get what you pay for. So please invest in a good quality sink that you can work with on a daily basis for several years to come.
I hope this overview of the different Kitchen Sink Types Pros and Cons gave you valid inspiration and solved some of the typical mystery around this topic. You can also find a selection of my favorite sinks that I use with most of my clients right here.