Selecting the Right Sink for Your Kitchen Countertops
It is often said that a kitchen is the heart of a home. Your kitchen sink should be a reflection of your style, with all the functionality you need to handle daily chores. Over the years, Arch City Granite has helped many St. Louis homeowners to select suitable sinks for their kitchen countertop projects. We would like to share our experiences with you, so that your shopping for a sink becomes easy and pleasant.
Without saying, a kitchen sink you select should be the one you are in love with and should last for long years of usage without the need for replacement.
What to consider when selecting a sink for your kitchen countertops?
- Contributes to the visual appeal and décor of the entire kitchen
- Functionality to help daily usage
- Durability to last for many years of usage
- Fits within your budget
Different Kitchen Sink Materials and Their Pros and Cons:
Stainless Steel Sinks
Stainless steel sinks are by far the most used sinks with granite and quartz kitchen countertops. They are a complimentary match to most faucets, they do not rust, chip, or stain, and they are easy to clean and maintain. A majority of granite countertop purchasers in St. Louis area preferred the satin finish over the high gloss finish. This may be because the satin finish goes well with most appliances and because scratches are less apparent compared to the high gloss finish. Also, more and more manufacturers are making faucets in the satin finish, which makes it easy to select a suitable faucet as well.
Gage or Thickness of Stainless Steel Sinks
The gage of the stainless steel sinks is an important aspect you should know. The lower the gage, the thicker is the steel. 16 gage stainless is thicker than 18 gage.
The common industry standard is 18 gage stainless steel, at Arch City Granite we use 16 gage stainless sinks for all our kitchen countertops, because of more durability in terms of dents or damage.
Sound Dampening Pads
If you examine the lower side of the stainless steel sink, you will see a pad attached to the sink. This is a sound dampening pad that reduces the sound of splashing water or when utensils are placed in the sink.
Composite Granite Sinks
Composite granite sinks are becoming more popular because of their beauty and durability. Composite granite sinks are manufactured with a mix of 80% crushed natural granite powder and 20% epoxy resins and coloring pigments.
They are highly durable, heat resistant up to 280 degrees Celsius, extremely scratch resistant, very hygienic, and easy to clean. They are available in many colors to compliment granite, marble, or quartz countertops. They come in wide variety of sizes, styles, and shapes to go with any kitchen.
Composite granite sinks used to be more expensive when they were first introduced, but as more manufacturers began making them, prices became more affordable. A good granite composite sink price ranges between $350 and $395.
One of the most popular brands in this category is SILIGRANT® sinks made by Blanco America. Arch City Granite has installed hundreds of siligrant sinks for St. Louis homeowners.
Enamel-Coated Cast Iron Sinks
Cast iron sinks are very elegant and durable. Cast Iron sinks used to be the choice for elegant homes but with the introduction of lighter and more cost-effective sinks, the usage of cast iron sinks has gradually been reduced.
They are still perhaps the prettiest sinks in the market and they can be purchased in an array of beautiful colors and styles, including the Farmhouse style, which is the most popular.
Over time the enamel coating can begin to peel off exposing the black cast iron below. They are incredibly heavy, and need additional bracing to support it. They also tend to be extremely expensive.
With the introduction of variety of composite sinks in the market, the popularity of cast iron sinks is diminishing.
This aesthetically appealing metal has been used to make ornamental-like kitchen sinks. Copper is a very soft metal. In order to make into durable kitchen sinks, a composition of 99% copper with 1% zinc is mixed to ensure strength and durability. Many beautiful models of copper sinks are available to choose from.
You should be careful when buying copper sinks because cheap copper sinks can be contaminated with harmful Mercury and Lead.
We advise that if you want a copper sink, you purchase it from a very reputable manufacturer.
Under mount vs. Over Mounted Sinks (Drop – In Sinks)!
Under Mount Sinks
Installing under mount sinks with granite and quartz countertops is unquestionably the most popular choice and became almost a standard practice.
Under mount sinks have a beautiful seamless look and blends well with the granite that they are installed into. It is easy to clean the debris from countertops straight into the sink without the edge or the rim of the sink in the way.
Many varieties of attractive and durable under mount sinks are available in the market.
98% of our customers in the St. Louis area have chosen an under mount sink while doing granite countertops installation.
Top Mount or Drop-in Sinks
Top mounted sinks was the only choice for laminate countertops because the edges of the laminate cannot withstand the water exposure that happens when under mount method is used. Laminate countertops are also not strong enough to hold the weight of a sink mounted under its surface.
At Arch City Granite, we have installed a few drop in sinks because the customers loved their old drop-in sinks so much that they asked us to reuse their sinks with their new granite countertops.
Usually we use Drop-In method in case of utility sinks like laundry room sinks etc. Drop – In sinks are little less expensive, but in the overall big picture of the project, the difference in the cost does not justify.
What Size Sink Should Go with your Kitchen Countertops?
It is often your personal preference to choose size of the sink for your new kitchen countertops. However, you should consider the size of your kitchen. Obviously you do not want to select a 48” wide Triple Bowl sink for a small kitchen! You can go with a 22” to 28” kitchen for a smaller application.
You can only select a sink with external measurements (length and width) that fits into the inside measurements of your sink cabinet.
In certain situations, we might have to trim the dividing walls between the cabinets to fit slightly oversize under mount sinks and their attachments. This has to be decided by the Arch City Granite templating person and the homeowner at the time of Templating.
You also have to consider the space from the front to the back of the cabinets because there needs to be enough countertop space on the back portion of the sink to install the faucet.
If you decide however to choose a sink depth that does not allow space for a faucet, you can bump the sink cabinet out to the front to add the extra space needed. This has to be done when the cabinets are being designed.
This method may not be useful if you are keeping the old cabinets and installing new countertops.
What is the Ideal Depth of the Bowls?
The depth of under mount sinks range from 7” to 10”, but the ideal depth for a more comfortable use is 8 ½” to 9”.
You have to remember that the effective depth of the sink bowl bottom will be 1 ¼” deeper than the depth of the bowl because of the fact that it mounted under 1 ¼” thick granite. Thus, a 9” sink actually becomes 10 ¼” deep.
You should also consider that a sink that is too deep may strain your back while you are working with the sink.
Which Side of the Sink is the Garbage Disposal to be placed?
This is another frequently asked question from our customers who want a double bowl sink. You can choose to install the garbage disposal on whichever side you like, but it should ideally be on the side in which you wash you dishes that way scraps can go directly into the garbage disposal.
The bigger side of a double bowl sink is the ideal choice.
In the case of an equal double bowl sink, it may be preferred to install the garbage disposal of the side near the dishwasher for easier loading of rinsed dishes in to the dishwasher.
The only constraint is if the garbage disposal of very big size and will only fit under the bowl with the smaller depth.