Sustainable Kitchens

Need some help choosing a sink for your new kitchen? Here is an overview of different types of sink design  and some useful tips to think about.

Choosing a kitchen sink is a key part of planning your new kitchen. Your decision won’t fundamentally change the way you wash up, or prepare food, however it will affect the look and feel of your kitchen.

Your decision can also effect the type of material you choose for your worktop. It is well worth giving consideration to different options when choosing your new sink.

We’ll look at the three main types of sink (inset, undermount and integral) as this will influence your choice of worktop material.


Inset sinks

oak worktop in new kitchen
stainless steel inset sink

An inset sink is effectively “dropped in” to a recess cut out of the worktop. They can often be a cheaper option, and are generally simpler to install. Inset sinks are the perfect match for a laminate worktop and working to a tighter budget.

stainless steel kitchen sink with recycled glass worktop
stainless steel inset sink
ceramic inset kitchen sink in walnut worktop
fragranite inset sink

One thing worth bearing in mind, is that with some inset sinks, it is possible for crumbs to get caught in the sides when cleaning the work surfaces. However, this shouldn’t happen with a good seal between the two.

Undermount sinks

Undermount sinks are probably the second most common type of sink. They require a solid surface worktop of some kind, as the worktops edges need to be sealed to prevent moisture ingress. For this reason, they’re not suited to a laminate worktop.

oak kitchen island with inset sink and boiling water tap
ceramic undermount sink
stainless steel kitchen sink and white metro tiles
stainless steel undermount sink

Most of our clients choose to fit undermount sinks under solid timber or recycled glass worktops. The ceramic sink (above left) is framed by a bespoke green recycled glass and undermounted into a solid oak-topped kitchen island and breakfast bar. 

Undermount sinks give cleaner lines to a kitchen design, as the sink edges are hidden below the level of the worktop. This creates a more minimalist feel.

ceramic kitchen sink with recycled glass worktop
ceramic undermount sink in a recycled glass worktop
Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens manor house kitchen with recycled glass worktop
belfast sink with recycled glass

The classic Belfast-style sink falls into the category of undermount sink, and will influence the type of work surface you pick. Belfasts are ever popular and fit a variety of kitchen looks. Below are examples of Belfast sinks we have set into recycled glass worktops (top left and right). Bottom left shows a Belfast sink set in a recycled paper worktop. Bottom right shows one in a solid bamboo work surface. 

Integral sinks

An integral sink is made from the same material as the kitchen work surface, giving it a seamless look.

The clean lines of an integral sink makes the surface much easier to clean. However, if one part becomes damaged for some reason, then the whole thing has to be replaced. 

Our clients who choose an integral sink tend to opt for one made of Encore, an acrylic-based solid surface material which is highly durable. The seamless finish of the worktop and integral sink works well if you’re wanting to achieve a contemporary look for your kitchen. 

Other work surfaces also work well with an integral sink, such as the quartz product, Silestone. 

So as you can see, all sink types have their own pros and cons. The important thing is to choose one that fits your new kitchen style and budget. 

Probably the most crucial thing is to decide on your kitchen worktop material first, as this will influence the options available to you.

For more advice on worktops and planning kitchens, have a look through our Advice Centre.



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