Selecting Your Perfect Sink

The kitchen sink is one of the hardest working fixtures in your kitchen. Used for everything from hand washing to meal preparation and clean up, few items in your home perform as many different tasks. Beyond its important functional role, the kitchen sink also serves as a focal point in your kitchen, so it needs to look good in addition to standing up to daily use.

Selecting the right kitchen sink is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when designing your kitchen. With kitchen sinks now available in more shapes, sizes, colors and materials than ever before, the options can seem overwhelming. But finding the sink that strikes that perfect balance of beauty and brawn doesn’t have to be complicated. Having a clear plan before you shop can help.

Choosing A Sink Material

The material you choose for your sink will be the biggest factor is how well it will stand up to the rigors of daily use. You’ll want to look for a durable material that maintains its appearance over time. At the same time, you’ll want a sink that is attractive and complements your other fixtures.

image

The most popular choice in today’s kitchens, stainless steel is a classic material that is practical and extremely versatile. It’s strong, non-porous and easy to clean, and can fit with almost any kitchen style, from traditional to modern.

Stainless steel sinks are available in a variety of finishes. Brushed satin finish will hide water spots and minor scratching. A high-polished finish will provide a sleek look, but will require more care and maintenance to preserve an unblemished appearance. As you shop, the gauge of stainless steel sinks will also be an important consideration. An easy rule of thumb is, the lower the gauge, the thicker and better the stainless steel. At 25% thicker than the standard 18-gauge, a 16-gauge stainless steel sink will be less susceptible to denting.

Stainless steel sinks can be noisier than most other materials; however, selecting a model with sound deadening technology can offset this. A thicker stainless steel will also help here, reducing the vibrations from running water or a garbage disposal.

Available in a multitude of colors, cast iron sinks feature a smooth, glossy, easy to clean enameled surface. Although the glass-like surface may look delicate, these sinks are sturdy – designed to withstand cracking and burning and are highly resistant to chipping.

In the past, enameled cast iron sinks were most commonly associated with vintage or country designs. However, with the right styling, enameled cast iron can fit in with even the most modern or trendy kitchens.

One drawback of cast iron sinks is that they tend to be more susceptible to staining, especially in the lighter colors. They also aren’t compatible with strong or abrasive cleaners, which may wear away the enamel coating over time. And because these sinks are so hard, you may experience more broken dishes.

image

Composite granite sinks are made of a mixture of granite particles and acrylic resin, combined to create an extremely durable sink with the look and feel of natural stone.

Granite is highly resistant to heat, chemicals, scratches, chipping and discoloration. Red wine, coffee and hot pans leave no marks, and food and liquids can be removed with ease – requiring less cleaning time and fewer cleaning agents. Composite sinks with high granite content – around 85% – are especially durable.

Although most often seen in dark hues, composite granite is offered in an array of colors. However, due to the manufacturing process, composite granites sinks are limited to matte finishes.

image

If you’re looking for seamless integration between your sink and countertops, you’ll want to consider solid surface.

Solid surface sinks are permanently seamed into a solid surface countertop becoming part of a continuous surface with no sink lips to trap dirt, mold, and mildew. They're nonporous, so germs and odors can't penetrate, and naturally resistant to chips, dents, impacts and stains. And because the color runs all the way through the material, solid surface sinks can be buffed and polished to easily remove scratches.

Solid surface sinks are not DIY friendly, as seamless installation will require special fabrication.

image

Copper is a natural material, offering a unique blend of functionality and luxury. Resilient against rust and tarnish, copper requires little maintenance. And natural antimicrobial properties make this material a hygienic choice for your home. It is available in smooth and hammered finishes, and in patinas that range from dark and rich to bright and shiny.

When shopping for a copper sink, you’ll want to look for one that contains 99% copper and 1% zinc for added strength. Like with stainless steel, gauge is also important to avoid dents.

Depending on finish and patina, copper sinks can look at home in any kitchen, whether rustic or modern. You’ll want to keep in mind that copper will continue to patina, or transform over time. This patina is the natural oxidation of the metal that occurs with exposure to the air and results in a darker color over time. Acidic items left on the surface of copper sinks will also temporarily lighten the metal’s appearance.

image

Created through a process by which clay and glaze are fused together at extremely high temperatures, fireclay sinks are especially tough. Fireclay is non-porous and resistant to acid, alkali, bacteria, impact and scratches. The strong, glossy surface is similar in appearance to enameled cast iron.

Shape and color options are limited with fireclay, which is most commonly found in farmhouse or apron-style sinks. Also, similar to enameled cast iron, fireclay’s hard surface tends not to play well with dropped dishes.

Choosing the style of your sink

image

The most popular choice in today’s kitchens, stainless steel is a classic material that is practical and extremely versatile. It’s strong, non-porous and easy to clean, and can fit with almost any kitchen style, from traditional to modern.

image

The rectangular shape of small radius sinks offers a sleek and angular appearance that is in keeping with a more minimalist and modern kitchen. The flat bottom of a small radius sinks will let glasses rest solidly, while the rectangular shape allows you to fit more in the sink basin. And because the corners are slightly rounded, they’re still easily accessible for cleaning.

image

A classic style found in many homes, rounded or curved edge sinks are considered by many to be easier to clean than those with angular corners. However, the sloped sides and curved edges of these bowls mean larger rectangular items like cookie sheets and casserole dishes may not fit as well.

If your family is full of cooking enthusiasts, a trough sink can solve the problem of multiple cooks feeling crowded around a standard kitchen sink. Traditionally longer and narrower, trough sinks have room for multiple faucets and drains and offer significantly more elbow room for washing up or preparing food.

image

Prep sinks are another wonderful option if you frequently entertain or share your cooking time with someone else. These are smaller, second sinks that provide another workstation for washing hands, rinsing vegetables, or even a place to chill a bottle of wine on ice.

Deciding on bowl configuration and depth

Thinking about how you’ll be using your sink on a daily basis will help determine your ideal bowl configuration.

image

Single bowl sinks require less counter space and ideal if your kitchen is on the smaller side. A large, single basin offers plenty of space for soaking pots and pans, but note that performing prep work and cleaning duty at the same time can be a challenge with this style of sink.

image

For the multi-tasker, double bowl sinks may be the way to go. With a divider that separates them into two basins, these sinks enable you to preform double duty – dishes can soak in one side while food prep occurs in the other basin. Compared to single bowls, the narrower sections of a double bowl sink can make cleaning large pots and pans a challenge.

image

Deep basins reduce splashing and are great for hiding dirty dishes and large pots and pans. Shallower bowls are ideal if you’re on the shorter side, allowing you to avoid uncomfortable reaching. If you’re taller, you may also prefer a shallower bowl to avoid crouching down to a deeper basin.

Size matters

The size of your kitchen will dictate the size of sink that will be ideal for your space. If you have a small galley style kitchen, a smaller single bowl sink will likely make the most sense, whereas a larger kitchen will be better able to accommodate a wide, deep, and multi-bowl sink without sacrificing too much countertop space

The width of your cabinet below the sink will also influence the size of sink that can fit in your kitchen. You will want to leave around 4” of clearance for sink installation. For example, a 32” (outside dimension) sink would require a 36” cabinet base. This means that some larger sinks may require custom cabinetry to fit.

image

Mounting options

Also known as drop-in, topmount sinks are lowered into a pre-cut hole in the countertop, with the sink edge resting on the surface. These sinks are easier to install and compatible with most countertops. But because the sink edge rests on the countertop, more cleaning will be required to avoid the build up of crumbs and grime.

image

Undermount sinks sit below the surrounding counter, so there's no lip or crevices to catch dirt. Clean up is easier, as kitchen scraps and spills may be swept directly from the countertop into the sink. Because the countertop edge is exposed, undermounting is only compatible with waterproof countertops. Undermount sinks are also more difficult to install, so we suggest you leave the installation to a seasoned professional.

You’ll be living with your sink a long time, so you want to be happy with your selection. Starting your shopping trip armed with the above information will set you up to make a stress-free, confident decision and enjoy long-term satisfaction.

Hahn Kitchen and Bathroom Sinks provide distinctive style, craftsmanship and uncompromising performance designed to delight and inspire. Every HAHN sink is produced using the finest materials with meticulous attention to detail — including more features and components than those offered by well-known brands at three times the cost.

Our Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks are a popular choice for today’s kitchens, the neutral color and sleek finish of stainless steel compliments a wide range of contemporary and transitional kitchen styles. From the elegant lines of Hahn Classic Chef Series, to the sophisticated finish and intelligent design features of Hahn Farmhouse and Small Radius — you’ll find a Kitchen Sink that is not only beautiful, but built to last.

Hahn Signature Series Kitchen Sinks are the ultimate expression of design innovation, iconic style and hand craftsmanship. From the functional luxury, durability, antibacterial properties, and ageless beauty of the Hahn Copper and FireClay Series to the cutting-edge design and unparalleled performance of the Hahn Granite Series — we deliver an truly exceptional kitchen sink product.

Hahn Ceramic Bathroom Sinks are designed and chosen for their clean lines and durability. These sinks will lend an understated elegance to any bathroom, and complements both transitional and modern décor styles. The smooth, non-porous surface of Hahn Ceramic Bathroom Sinks are naturally durable and hygienic, and offered in both Drop-In and Undermount models in glossy White or Bisque finishes that give your bathroom a vibrant look. Pair it with any single-hole faucet for a beautifully coordinated look.

Purchase your Hahn products online today, or contact us by phone for sales and support.

855.411.HAHN
How to Select Your Perfect Kitchen Sink | ShopHahn.com