Image: Grohe

Although it seems like a mundane task, choosing the right sink is one of the most essential things you can do when outfitting your kitchen. It’s also one of the first things you should do, because your contractor will need the dimensions early in the renovation or fitting process. Here’s how to pick the right sink, and which factors to consider.

Top-mount vs undermount

Easier to install, top-mount sinks or drop-in sinks are positioned with their rim on the countertop. This provides extra security since the countertop helps to support the sink’s weight. But having that protruding edge means sweeping food or water over the countertop and into the sink can get messy. Plus, you’ll have to clean the rim regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt.

Undermount sinks are fitted beneath the counter and held in place with cement, with no visible rim. This style gives you a little more prep space (essential in tiny kitchens) and creates a continuous flow from the countertop and into the sink. It is also easier to clean. However, since the sink is held in place with cement, it’s important to perform regular checks to ensure there are no leaks, which could lead to mould and expensive reinstallation.

Width and depth

When purchasing a sink, ask your contractor to measure the space it can take up. Also, consider its positioning: is it going to be in a corner or on a kitchen island? Will there be sufficient space for cleaning tools and a drying rack?

Single vs double bowl

Image: Hansgrohe

This should depend on what you’re washing and the availability of countertop space. If your space is limited or your sink is going to be on an island, the smaller, single-bowl size may make more sense. Since they don’t have a divider in the middle, single-bowl sinks also often have more room for washing large woks and pans.

If you prefer soaping and rinsing separately or need a space to stack dirty dishes, a double-bowl sink may be more practical. The extra bowl offers space for washing hands, making food prep easier and adding a drying rack.

Material

The most common options for a kitchen sink are stainless steel and granite composite. The former is popular for its heat resistance, easy maintenance and ability to complement your fridge and oven. Washing dishes in a stainless steel sink can be noisy, though, and it may collect dings and dents over time. Opt for a gauge of 16 or 18 – the lower it is, the thicker the stainless steel. Granite composite is similarly easy to clean and has colour options. If you prefer a more natural look over an industrial one, get a granite sink. 

On farmhouse sinks

With their exposed front, classic farmhouse sinks can be a focal point of the kitchen. These are usually made of porcelain but can also come in a variety of other materials such as copper, marble and even concrete.