For many years, your only choice for kitchen sinks was between stainless steel and ceramic ‘Belfast’ types. Well not anymore. There have been huge advances in sink materials, features and finishes, and they are finally a component within your new kitchen of which you can be proud.
Kitchen sink planning and placement and materials
We normally put sinks in the ‘wet activities’ category, placing them near to food prep areas, the dishwasher and bins. This makes it easy to peal, throw out the waste, and wash vegetables etc without moving more than a few feet. We also like to place sinks near a window, because it’s a place where you’ll likely spend some time and so it’s nice to have a view. There is also the all-important golden triangle of kitchen planning, but I’ll save that for another of our Elements guides…
As well as stainless steel and ceramic, we very much like the high-end composite options that Franke and The 1810 Company produce under the brand names Fragranite and PureQuartz, respectively. These are made from ground-up quartz and resin, and give a matt appearance similar to a quartz worktop. According to the manufacturers, these sinks are less stain and heat resistant that stainless, but our experience, and that of our customers, is wholly positive. They seem to stand up to the rigours of everyday life and stains can be removed with normal cleaning products.
Another excellent development in the area of kitchen sinks are the robust, beautiful plating technologies that allow for sinks with copper, brass and gun-metal finishes. They look absolutely fantastic when paired with a matching tap (take a look at the 1810 Spirale and matching sinks). These finishes bring a real sense of luxury into your new kitchen that’s a league above the average spec. Although these options are a little more expensive (we’re talking in the low hundreds), they give a lot more bang for your buck than, say, the additional costs of up-speccing your fridge or dishwasher. I choose these as examples because our experience is that the additional benefit you gain with more expensive versions of either of these appliances is marginal, based on our own experience and customer feedback.
To under-mount or over-mount…… or flush-mount
Well, if ever there were a first world problem…….. I jest, this is actually something we take a lot of time and effort over. The way your kitchen sink is detailed into the worktop and cabinetry is a really crucial part of kitchen design. If done badly, it can look cheap and clunky; if done well, your sink become a real feature, and a statement piece.
Under-mounting is a great looking and user-friendly option. It allows your worktop to run over the top lip of the sink, preventing a visible muck-trap, and crumbs can be wiped directly into the sink and washed away with ease. An important thing we avoid is having the overhang too large. The worktop should overhang the sink by no more than 3mm, or it starts to look odd.
Overmount sinks are generally seen as a bit old-hat nowadays, as they (fairly or not) have an association with budget stainless steel sinks, with incorporated draining boards, sitting on top of budget laminate worktops. However, a lovely development is the flush-mount sink, where the worktops are machined to accept the sink bowl so that the lip is flush with the surrounding countertops. This is great for cleaning and looks particularly good with stainless steel or other metal finishes.
Kitchen sink sccessories
A great option for our luxury kitchen clients is the addition of sink accessories such as chopping boards, colanders and knife blocks that sit in purpose-made pockets over larger sinks. These really help at minimising clean-up, and give a place for everything so your work surfaces are left clear and useable. We particularly love the Zen10 range from The 1810 Company, and we often make bespoke items such, as chopping boards, that sit in the 1810 pockets, but which match with our cabinetry.
If you have a question about kitchen sinks, or you’d like to talk to us about a project, we’d love to hear from you. You can use the form below to email us, or call us at the workshop on 0151 709 0970.
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