If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the sink must surely be the heart of the kitchen. Used in every single task – from washing hands before you start cooking, to food preparation, to cleaning dishes and wiping down worktops when you’ve finished – it’s part of the kitchen work triangle. It’s such an essential appliance that getting the right sink for your kitchen is key.
Depending on your exact needs and the available space in your kitchen, you may already have decided on the sink design, such as the number of bowls and whether the drainer should be an integral part of the sink or the worktop. You may have thought about inset or under-mounted sinks too.
Of course, you’ll want the kitchen sink to fit in with the overall style and design of your kitchen. When it comes to looking at the material your kitchen sink is made of, you may be surprised at the wide range of styles and finishes you can choose from. Here are the top 3 contenders.
A practical choice that has stood the test of time, stainless steel is hardwearing, long lasting and easy to keep clean. Stainless steel sink designs have come a very long way over the years, making them not only a stylish choice for contemporary spaces but often a less expensive option compared to other materials too.
Stainless steel is impossible to crack or chip, making it extremely durable to withstand the daily demands of everything your kitchen can possibly throw at it (though perhaps not literally!). The material is heat resistant, if perhaps a little prone to water spotting and scratching, and will tolerate most cleaning products.
Because of the vast range of styles and finishes available, a stainless steel sink can blend in beautifully with any kitchen design, including appliances, fixtures and fittings.
Ceramic sinks are nothing new – they’ve been around for centuries and are still popular today. Traditional models such as Belfast sinks or Butler sinks are still available from many manufacturers and there’s a huge range of newer shapes and styles on offer too. Ceramic sinks really come into their own in country kitchens and traditional settings.
Ceramic is silky to the touch and very robust, which makes able to cope with everyday kitchen use with ease. Extreme temperatures are not a problem, nor are common household chemicals. What’s more, a ceramic sink is a doddle to clean; a regular wipe down will ensure that it stays stain free for years.
Be careful, though, when handling heavy saucepans, as carelessness has been known to cause chipping.
If you’re looking for durability and strength, a composite sink could be the answer. Composite sinks are manufactured in stone – they look and feel like natural stone. Depending on their exact composition, countless matt colour and texture variations can be achieved to suit the specific requirement of your kitchen design.
Good quality composite granite sinks are formed under high pressure, man made from about 80% granite and 20% acrylic resin. The resulting material is non-porous, very hygienic, and resistant to scratching, chipping, staining and extreme temperatures.
Composite sinks made of quartz and acrylic resin are close cousins; the labels ‘granite sink’ and ‘composite stone’ are sometimes used instead to describe the materials.
Granite composite sinks don’t need chemical cleaners, and abrasive cleaners may in fact scratch and dull the surface. To look after your sink, give it a good wash with soapy water every day and then dry it off with a towel to prevent hard water staining.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with UK-based luxury kitchen provider Price Kitchens, who were consulted over the information in this post.