Kitchen Sink Buying Guide
If you’ve yet to decide which sink to install, there are plenty of considerations to take into account before making your purchase. For instance, you’ll need to consider your budget, how much room on the work surface you have, whether you need a drainer, and which style suits your kitchen’s aesthetics.
Using One or Multiple Bowls
On top of coming in different dimensions, kitchen sinks can either be a single bowl, a single and a half bowl, or a double bowl. The majority of kitchen sinks have pre-cut holes for kitchen mixer taps, but we also stock a range of sinks that have two holes for kitchen pillar taps.
Single Bowl Kitchen Sink
A sink with one bowl is the standard sink, suiting smaller rooms where workspace is at a premium. Despite being the smallest and often most basic type of sink, there are plenty of high-quality small kitchen sinks that will perfectly suit a luxury kitchen design.
1.5 Bowl Kitchen Sink
As well as your standard bowl, many kitchens have an additional smaller bowl at the side next to it. Although it’s too small to do your washing up in it, it is perfect for rinsing dishes and pouring liquids away if your main bowl is already full of water. As the extra little sink is not quite large enough to be called a proper sink, they are referred to as 1.5 bowl sinks.
Double Kitchen Sink
A double bowl sink, or 2 bowl, is literally two main sinks next to each other. Having two main sinks side by side allows you to use one for soaking dishes, peeling vegetables and general food prep whilst using the other sink do your washing up and pour liquids away.
Kitchen sinks are typically positioned in three different ways on a work surface: inset, undermount, or recessed into the worktop with what’s called a Belfast sink. Many worktop surface materials are unsuitable for some types of sink, so you need to first work out what your countertop will be made of.
Inset kitchen sinks are the most common type of sink, and are the easiest to fit. The bowl fits in the cutout of your work surface, and its edges sit over the top of the countertop. Inset sinks can be used with any type of work surface, and often come with a drainage board. If you’re on a budget, then a stainless steel inset sink will provide good value for money.
Instead of sitting above the work surface, an undermount kitchen sink sits beneath surface, creating a more sleek and uninterrupted countertop. This means that liquids from drying dishes and scraps can be easily brushed into the sink. As an under-mounted sink is supported by the work surface, the surface needs to be strong enough to hold the sink, especially if it’s also made of a heavy material like ceramic. An undermounted modern kitchen sink will help create a minimalist aesthetic in your kitchen.
Belfast sinks, interchangeably known as butler sinks, are a traditional style kitchen sink that sits within the worktop but it has it’s front exposed. As classic style sink, they are made of white ceramic, and are often larger than other bowls. Much like undermount sinks, it’s important that you have a solid work surface to support it.
Kitchen Sink Materials
There’s every chance that your kitchen sink will outlast your stay at the property, as you’re unlikely to replace your unit every other year, so choosing the right material for your sink is vital.
The most common material kitchen sink units are made from in the UK is stainless steel. Stainless steel kitchen sinks are budget-friendly, durable, and with minimal wiping should avoid getting stains. This material is modern and lightweight, meaning that it has a lot more possibilities about how the sink can be fitted.
Ceramic is still used in most bathroom basins, but was also traditionally used for kitchen sinks. Found today in traditional style kitchens, ceramic kitchen sinks are very durable, very easy to maintain and look very stylish. On the otherhand, they are very heavy, and as mentioned early, ceramic belfast sinks need to be mounted on a worksurface that can handle it.
Manufacturers have used cutting-edge technology to mix natural stone and with a small amount of resin to produce granite composite kitchen sinks. These granite sinks are incredibly durable and come in a huge range of beautiful colours. Like ceramic sinks, they need to be mounted on a sturdy worktop.
If you’re looking for a grey or black kitchen sink, our range of Hansgrohe Silicatec sinks are made from a composite material made from quartz and acrylic resins, resulting in a smooth and hard-wearing surface.
Sinks With a Draining Board
If your work surface does not have draining grooves or an added ceramic draining board, then an inset sink with a draining board is the perfect way to keep your sink simple and budget-friendly.
Sink Waste Pipes & Fittings
Sink waste fittings are as important as your sink itself. Many new kitchen renovations don’t require you to change the pipework, but if the new sink has a different depth then some alterations to the drain pipes may be necessary. At Tap ‘n Shower, we have a huge range of kitchen sink waste kits and overflow sets.
Waste Traps & Plugs
Keep your sinks clean and prevent blockages by using a kitchen sink waste trap. Food waste that is allowed to drain into the pipes often gets caught, causing unpleasant smells and further blockages. As opposed to a standard kitchen sink plug, a sink strainer allows the liquids to drain from the sink whilst catching the larger waste to be emptied into the bin.