Kitchen sinks are an essential part of your kitchen. They’re not just functional places to wash your dishes and prepare food; they’re also crucial to the overall design of the room. For a kitchen to look great, your sink has to look great. Kitchens aren’t just convenient places to cook – they’re also places to gather as most new homes or condos don’t even come with dining rooms!
Open space designed kitchens have broken down the barrier between the cooking and the living room guests – you literally invite people into space. If you use this to your advantage, your beautiful looking kitchen could be the talk of the town. First, you’ll need to decide on your focal point – the kitchen sink.
What is the Most Durable Kitchen Sink Material?
Before shopping for the material of the kitchen sink you’ll buy, it’s essential to research what you’ll need to use your sink for and what materials it’ll need to withstand the work in your home.
Think about whether the material you’re buying requires special attention or if it’s easy to clean. Certain materials are more resistant to scratches from abrasive cleaners, while others will leave imprints. Let’s take a look at the most common sink materials and compare them.
- Stainless Steel: The most popular kitchen sink material is available in a multitude of finishes and gauges. Keep in mind that Steel gauges relate to its thickness, so the higher the gauge, the thinner the steel will be. Stainless steel sinks are durable, lightweight, and easy to clean. The factory produced sinks may not come with a sound-deafening coating, but they are available to you to reduce noise.
- Granite: Although there isn’t an actual granite sink available cheap, you can get a resin base that’s sprayed with a granite and acrylic blend. Granite sinks are commonly made scratch, stain, and heat resistant and are coated with a barrier that protects against bacteria.
- Copper: Probably one of the more unique sink materials available, copper is incredibly durable and won’t succumb to rust or tarnish. Copper is naturally antimicrobial, so it resists viruses and bacteria that could coat the surface. These sinks are also easy to clean.
- Fireclay: A new addition to the sink market, the ultra-durable fireclay is fired at high heat to create a sink that resists scratches and chips. A massive positive is that they won’t fade or discolor over time and come in multiple colors. Also, they are nonporous and bacteria resistant.
- Cast Iron: Virtually indestructible, cast iron is made entirely out of iron and are thus very heavy. Solid cast iron is then coated with porcelain enamel to offer long-term durability. They are soundless, easy to clean, have many color options, and are resistant to heat.
- Acrylic: These sinks are made by molding acrylic material in the shape of a sink. They’re reinforced with fiberglass or composite backing for support. This also makes them more sound, stain, and impact resistant. They are easy to clean and easy to install, though they are susceptible to scratches.
- Composite: Composite sinks are made by forming a mix of materials, usually granite/quartz particles that are combined with polyester or acrylic and form together to create a hard surface. If made with granite, they are a stain, scratch, and chip resistance.
- Porcelain: Lightweight and steel coated, porcelain enamel is smooth, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant. They’re easy to install and are resistant to high temperature.
So, which of these materials are the best choice for you? Although it depends on your individual needs, cast iron will be the most durable option. Granite, copper, fireclay, and stainless steel are also fantastic options. Thankfully, stainless steel is very easy to find and often come pre-packaged in new homes or old apartments due to their small price tag and durability.eeee
How Much Should I Spend on a Kitchen Sink?
The average cost of a kitchen sink varies depending on what material you buy. However, a new kitchen sink will be anywhere from $50 to $1,500. It’s definitely possible to find a well-made sink for $500, or even as low as $200.
If you don’t mind buying used, your sink will be more affordable. Used sinks can be anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on the age and imperfections on the item. Estate sales are great places to find good quality sinks for cheap.
Installing a kitchen sink adds an additional $150 to $300 depending on the difficulty of the job. Moving sink locations, or adding a second sink will likely require an extra water line ($250 to $350). Modern kitchen sinks are usually easy to install, so if you know how to do this yourself, you can save a few dollars.
What Gauge of Sink is Best?
Some sinks will allow the option of different gauges; one of those is the stainless steel sink. Since stainless steel is so readily available, most of the following terminology will relate to that material.
Steel is measured by gauge. Thinner stainless steel will have a higher gauge number, and thicker steel has lower numbers. An 18 gauge sink will be more durable and more expensive than a 22 gauge sink. The hard and fast rule is that the thicker steel will provide greater durability and will last longer.
Thin gauged stainless steel is excellent for small sinks. Larger sinks, however, are more efficient and function better if they’re thicker. 22-inch gauge sinks are the cheapest available to you, but keep in mind they’re more susceptible to bowing, dings and dents.
A-22 gauge sinks will likely not be a choice if you have a garbage disposal attached to your drain because of the vibrations they’ll cause when turned on. 20 gauges are a better option, but this doesn’t mean that the 22 gauge is useless as they’re adequate for vehicles, bar sinks or cabins.
19 gauge is the standard size of stainless steel sinks and sits at the lower end of the price scale. The 18 gauge is considered to be of better quality, with the optimal gauge range being between 16 to 18. Though more costly, 16 gauge sinks are often touted as a luxury.
If you have a business that requires a sink, like a commercial establishment, you’ll likely want a 14 to 16 gauge stainless steel sink. These are thick, large and deep and are intended for repeated use. They are considered unattractive in homes but are perfect for a busy restaurant.
If you live in an average home, the 18 gauge is the perfect mix between affordable and durable. The 16 gauge would be optimal if you can afford that luxury.
What Types of Kitchen Sink Styles can I Get?
Picking a sink doesn’t just stop and end with material and gauge type, there are also specific styles for you to consider. When installing a sink, pay attention to your counter type. Look below your sink to see how much space you’ll have, or if you have to potentially move it for something larger like a Farmhouse style.
- Drop-In: This popular style drops into place above the countertop. It is then secured with clips and screws underneath. These sinks have a lip that sits on the countertop for stability and support.
- Apron Front/Farmhouse: These sinks have a deep bowl that needs a special base in the cabinets to sit correctly, as the broad front section is quite heavy. Keep in mind that your front-facing cabinets will be a lot shorter to compensate for the sink.
- Corner: If you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, these can be installed on the corner of a countertop for more counter space.
- Undermount: A sink that is raised into place by installing it from underneath the countertop. No lip rests on the countertop. This makes it easier to push crumbs into the sink. You’ll commonly find these on solid-surface countertops.
- Undermount/Drop-In: These can be mounted from the bottom or top.
- Bar: Specifically for minibars or drink preparation.
- Prep: A second sink that’s commonly used to wash and prepare food.
- Utility/Laundry/Wash: These heavy-duty sinks are primarily used in laundry rooms.
What Other Things Should I Consider?
Number of Bowls
- Single-bowl kitchen sinks are ideal for small spaces and soaking.
- Double/triple sinks have a thick divider along the midsections that makes kitchen work more comfortable. They offer a separate workspace for cleaning and rinsing.
Size/Depth of Bowls
- Deeper bowls are excellent for soaking pans but have less undercabinet space. If you want to install a deep sink, make sure the plumbing will be able to house underneath the sink.
- If you have a double sink with different depths, make sure the deeper depth one takes priority when adjusting for plumbing.
Compatibility with Accessories
- The holes for plumbing that you have underneath the sink will determine how many accessories your sink can handle.
- Dispensers, sprayers, and faucets with one to four-hole specifications have to coordinate with the number of holes in the sink.
- You should update your disposal unit while you update your sink, as your disposal unit may not work with your new bowl due to the height of the base cabinet.
Hot Water Dispensers
- Installing these will provide water up to 190 degrees for hot drinks and soups.
- Although most drains are located in the center, some drains are found in the front of the back.
That’s a lot of information! By now, I’m sure you’ll be comfortable with your sink of choice. Now, it’s time to shop for the perfect sink brand.
Top Options for Kitchen Sinks
Below, we’ll be looking at some of the best options for kitchen sinks on the market currently. These choices just scratch the surface, so if you don’t find the perfect sink for you, there are a lot more options available. Here are the best sink options from the best kitchen sink companies.
1. Ruvati RVM4350 Undermount 32” Kitchen Sink Double Bowl
Ruvati is a popular kitchen and kitchen accessory brand that consistently gets excellent reviews for all of its products.
Double bowl sinks look great, are super functional and helpful in a busy kitchen. You can store your dirty dishes in one sink, and wash and/or dry them in the other. The Ruvati RVM 4350 has a 32” under-mount that has two bowls separated by a wall 3” lower than the sink’s edge, providing more clearance to wash and transport your dishes.
The sink’s brushed satin finish makes the basin easy to clean and maintain. The curved corners mean no food or debris will get stuck in the corners. You can also install a flush-mount installation as it will match the sink’s rim.
The only negative is that the drain basin has plastic threads, and thus doesn’t make it durable. Still, the design is great, and the low wall makes it perfect for cleaning dishes. Find it here on Amazon.
2. KOHLER K-6489-0 Whitehaven Single Basin Sink
KOHLER should be one of your top choices if you’re thinking of purchasing the right sink. Their consistency and great reviews prove they’re one of the best.
Picking the right kitchen sink means paying attention to the type of sink you’re going to install. Whether it’s intricate or minimalistic, a great sink will improve the look of the area, while a bad one will ruin it. The KOHLER K-6489-0 Apron-Front Sink that comes with self-trimming edges will not only look good in your kitchen but is easy to install.
The side drain provides more space to clean, plus more storage underneath the faucet. The Whitehaven has a 2-degree incline towards the drain so that water won’t pool. This sink is also available in multiple colors!
The only issue is that the sink can be pricey. However, this luxury sink will be the centerpiece of your kitchen if you can afford it. Check it out here on Amazon.
3. Kraus KHF203-36 36 Inch Farmhouse Kitchen Sink
Kraus believes in the power of design and its impact. They specialize in unique looking kitchens and deserve a look if you like that sort of thing.
The Kraus KHF203-36 Farmhouse Sink is definitely eye-catching. Since they’re larger and deeper than most other models, they look better in larger or more open kitchens. The double bowl is made out of high quality 16 gauge stainless steel. It comes with an apron, and the deep basins are great for large families who let the dishes pile up.
The double basin will allow you to put dirty dishes in one sink, and clean dishes in the other. The Kraus has a high-quality sound shield that makes it more silent than your average stainless steel sink, and the deep basin makes it easier to wash dishes.
A significant negative is that the apron can easily be scratched, so be careful not to hit in with your belt buckle. This farmhouse sink is still a great addition to any home that can house it. You can find the Kraus KHF203 Sink here on Amazon.
4. Frigidaire Undermount Kitchen Sink
Frigidaire specializes in all things kitchen including, fridges, sinks, overs, and more. If you prefer, you could buy your whole kitchen from them!
The Frigidaire Undermount Kitchen Sink is common for a reason, as they provide more clearance around the faucet for ease of cleaning. This faucet also makes storing clean and dirty dishes easier. The Frigidaire sink is made out of 16 gauge stainless steel – the most luxury gauge. This sink has a 10” deep bowl that will easily store pots and pans.
Undermounted sinks are easy to install, and this one is no exception. The canceling pad included with purchase makes this sink virtually soundless. Accessories like a dish drying rack, bottom grids, basket strainers, and all mounting hardware are included. The Y304 stainless steel makes the sink have low thermal conductivity and is resistant to corrosion.
The grate does block food though, which can be annoying if you decide not to use it. Keep in mind that it can scratch the basin, so be careful. You can find it here on Amazon.
5. Swanstone QZLS-3322.077 Kitchen Sink
Swanstone is an American-made, high-performing company that specializes in bath and kitchen accessories. They pride themselves in their resistance and durability.
The Swanstone Granite 1-Hole Dual Mount Kitchen Sink is elegant and unique and will bring a lot of personality to your old kitchen. The granite in the sink makes it exceptionally durable. The two bowl design if also made out of 80% quartz stone, so combining this with the quartz makes it pretty indestructible. Although the sink isn’t large, it can fit most standard counters.
Due to the high-quality materials, it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace it anytime soon. The quartz stone is impervious to wear and tear. It’s also low maintenance and easy to clean. The sinks texture actually hides fingerprint stains and watermarks!
The Swanstone is really, really heavy though, which can make it difficult to install. If you can manage to install it, you’ll have this sink for life. You can find it here on Amazon.
Here’s a Comparison Chart!
|Ruvati RVM4350 Undermount 32” Kitchen Sink Double Bowl||$$||18.9 x 32.2 x 8.5 inches||Stainless Steel||Undermount||30 pounds|
|KOHLER K-6489-0 Whitehaven Single Basin Sink||$$$$$||One Size||Cast Iron||Farmhouse Apron Front||150 pounds|
|Kraus KHF203-36 36 Inch Farmhouse Kitchen Sink||$$$$||35.88”||Stainless Steel||Apron Front||44.5 pounds|
|Frigidaire Undermount Kitchen Sink||$$$||19”||T304 Stainless Steel 16 Gauge||Undermount||27.4 pounds|
|Swanstone QZLS-3322.077 Kitchen Sink||$$$$||33-inch by 22 Inch||Stainless Steel||Undermount||29.5 pounds|
We’re sure that after reading this buying guide you’ll feel confident finding and purchasing your next kitchen sink. Finding the right sink doesn’t mean buying the largest one, or the most expensive model – it’s more about the long-lasting durability. Not just that, but having it match your other appliances may be worth the effort of installing those larger, heavier farmhouse sinks!
If I had to choose between the five sinks listed above, I would choose the Ruvati RVM4350 Undermount 32” Kitchen Sink Double Bowl. It’s an exceptional sink that can be bought for $300 new. Not bad for a five-star sink!