When you set out to buy a kitchen sink, the first thing that strikes your mind is what size it should be. The size is critical to ensure that it can handle the workload, which in turn depends on the extent of kitchen activity according to the family size. The sink size will be quite different for a person living alone and for a family of 4-5 people. The kitchen space is also essential to determine the size of the sink because it should fit nicely within the available space on the countertop.
For example, to install an undermount sink of average size, the countertop should be about 30-36inches wide with adequate space at the bottom to hold the sink. Again, if you want to install a stainless steel double sink that goes well with a large family, then it would just not fit into a small kitchen.
While choosing the sink material is not much difficult, choosing the right design and style can be a difficult task unless you are aware of the types of installation and sink configuration. This is important because there is also a relation between the sink you select and the type of countertop that is compatible with it.
In this article, we will discuss the aspects of sink installation and configuration so that it becomes easy to select a sink that looks beautiful and serves your needs to the fullest.
The way the sink is fitted and supported against the countertop or cabinetry is what we call sink installation or mount. The installation can vary. It can be lightly dropping the sink into the cutout of the countertop so that the countertop bears the weight of the sink. The sink might also sit under the cut out from the bottom duly supported by clamps and brackets to rest against the countertop. What kind of installation will be appropriate for your kitchen depends on the sink design and the space available. Drop-in or Top Mount, Undermount, and Flush mount are the three types of sink installation techniques.
- Drop-in or Top-mount sinks – Top-mount sinks are the most common types of sinks that come with a wide lip or rim, which is wide enough to rest on the countertop and carry the weight of sink placed in the cutout. Once the sink sits in place, the edges are sealed along the countertop to create a water-tight fit by caulking and using silicone. The ease of installation is one of the reasons for the popularity of these sinks. There are concerns about maintaining cleanliness because crumbs and food particles get stuck under the exposed lip, and it isn’t very easy to clean, although it is easy to clean the sink by rinsing. The width of the lip often creates impediments during installation if the space is small. Moreover, the design looks somewhat dated.
- Undermount sinks – Undermount sinks sit under the countertop where it remains firmly fixed with the help of brackets, clamps, and adhesives. If not fitted to the countertop top directly, there must be some arrangement for supporting the sink so that it stays in place firmly. Since the sink fits from the bottom, it does not require any lip or rim and has a clean edge that nicely flushes with the sides of the opening, thereby producing very clear lines that are pleasing to the eyes. Space requirement for undermount sinks is less than Top-mount sinks of the same bowl size, but the sink being massive, the installation might be a little complicated and not as easy as Top Mount sinks.
- Flush mount sinks – The design of the sink has clean edges without rim or lip so that when it sits in place, the edges flush so nicely with the countertop that it remains almost invisible and looks very beautiful. To maintain a uniform appearance, the material of the countertop and sink must be the same so that when the installation is complete, it creates a seamless look. Glue is used to seal the seams effectively. The sinks are useful for saving space and like undermount sinks are easy to clean while maintaining material consistency.
Flush Mount sinks are tailor-made and not available readily, which is a reason for its high cost. Moreover, it requires careful fabrication and installation because re-working is not only tricky and increases costs but might not always be feasible.
Having talked about installation, we will now focus on the functional aspect of sinks that contributes to improving kitchen work efficiencies. The sink configuration, which is part of the design determines how useful the sink will be for your use. It also determines the sink capacity that varies according to the sink size and the number of bowls.
Unless you are aware that sinks can have two bowls, you might believe that sinks always come with a single bowl that enjoys wide popularity due to its affordability. The sinks are available in varied shapes from the traditional rectangular shape to circular shape. The ample space of the bowl allows users to clean large utensils easily. When using these sinks, you must take care of your washing technique, which might lead to higher consumption of detergents and water and increase the cost.
Moreover, since there is a single bowl, it is not possible to segregate items during washing.
Double bowl sinks
As the name suggests, a double bowl sink has two bowls, and the size of the sink is larger than single bowl sinks. You can choose the bowl configuration according to your need because the sink can have two bowls of equal size and depth or different sizes and the same depth or the same size but different depth. Deep bowl sinks are much more versatile, and you can use it for drying or prepping, too, besides washing. The sink provides the opportunity to save water and detergent by modifying the washing technique.
Double bowl sinks are not for everyone because of the bigger size, and as it requires considerable space both on the top and bottom of the countertop. Moreover, it is not as pocket-friendly like single bowl sinks.