Are you wanting to find the best sink for you and your new kitchen? There are a lot of different types of sinks available. The one you choose should depend on how you use your kitchen.

Firstly, think about the size of sink you will need in your new space. Some people find a second or extra half bowl a useful addition to a sink. If you’re planning to wash a lot of larger cooking pots, pans and baking trays by hand, then a larger bowl might be better suited to you. Alternatively, an extra deep bowl could do the job equally well.

Are you reliant on a sink to wash all your pots, with no help from a dishwasher? If this is the case then it’s worth thinking about a larger draining area with enough space for all your pots as they dry. This could either be part of the sink itself or drainer grooves cut into your worktop.

The type of sink you choose may affect your choice of worktop. Let’s first look at the different types of sink: inset, undermount and integral. Then we will consider the different materials you could consider for your new kitchen sink.

What types of sink are there?

Inset sinks

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.

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 require a solid surface worktop of some kind, as the edges of the worktop need to be sealed to prevent moisture ingress. For this reason, they’re not suited to a laminate worktop.

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.


The classic Belfast-style sink falls into the category of undermount sink and will influence the type of work surface you pick. Belfast sinks are always popular and fit a variety of kitchen styles.

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 make the surface much easier to clean.

However, if one part becomes damaged for some reason, then the whole thing has to be replaced.

Which kitchen sink material is best?

Stainless steel

Pros: durable, recyclable, easy to clean, value for money
Cons: scratches easily, limited finishes, can be loud when pouring water

Things to note:

  • Good for smaller budgets
  • Avoid bleach products on stainless steel as it eats away at the metal and can cause rust spots.
  • Avoid leaving acidic foods like citrus fruit juice, salt, vinegar, mustard, pickles and mayonnaise on your surface for prolonged periods. These foods can cause corrosion of the material.
  • Never use steel wool pads on a stainless steel surface as this will cause deep scratches.

Ceramic

Pros: difficult to discolour, easy to maintain, bring a high quality feel to a kitchen
Cons: easy to chip and crack

Things to note:

  • Pouring boiling water down the sink without running cold water at the same time can cause the glaze on the ceramic surface to crack
  • Ceramic sinks tend to be more expensive, but it depends on the style you opt for

Composite

Pros: durable, hard to scratch, come in a variety of colours, good value for money
Cons: lighter colours can stain easily, darker colours fade over time

Things to note:

  • Always rinse the sink out after use to avoid staining, do not leave tea bags sitting
  • Pouring boiling water down the sink without running cold water at the same time can cause cracking on the sink
  • You should also avoid using any drain unblocking chemicals that involve filling the sink with water, as these can cause damage to the sink.

Looking after your new kitchen sink

A general rule for all sink types is never to pour boiling water down without running the cold tap at the same time. Waste pipes are usually made from plastic, so boiling water can cause damage to these in the long run.

It is also important to always wipe excess water from around your sink area. This will prolong the life of your worktop and the sealant around your sink.

In conclusion

In this guide to choosing a kitchen sink, we have covered a number of things you should consider. As well as the size of your sink, we have looked at different types of sinks and how this might affect your choice of kitchen worktop. We have also covered the different types of material available for sinks and the pros and cons of each. Each material will have different maintenance requirements and it’s important to find the one that suits you and your lifestyle.

We believe it’s key to finding the right one, so you will love it for years to come.

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