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Star of the Show
By Tracy Dickinson | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
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Finding the right sink for your kitchen shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Finding the right sink for your kitchen shouldn’t be an afterthought.

It may not be the star of the show, but like any supporting character, bad ones get noticed. We’re talking about the kitchen sink.

The cabinetry gets the spotlight. The countertops are a focal point. Great appliances have that wow factor. And too often the kitchen sink is an afterthought, just there to do its job.

But there’s a lot to be said for a well-chosen kitchen sink. Here are some highlights.

All the makings of a legendary performer

Your choice of material may be the best place to start when choosing a kitchen sink. The material you choose affects durability, maintenance, and even style options.

Woodharbor’s Jill Lampe says, “I always ask clients how they clean since this helps determine the right sink material. Once the selection is made, we discuss how it should be cared for to keep it looking great for the long term.”

Tina Noel of Moehl Millwork says, “Many homeowners are looking for fingerprint-free stainless-steel appliances, and this look with a stainless steel-sink is very popular.”

Granite-look materials are also a hit in the kitchen, says AIM Kitchen & Bath’s Corey Gersdorf. “These products offer looks and low maintenance. They don’t stain easily, and they’re available in a variety of colors, bowl styles, and designs.”

Noel agrees. “A granite composite sink is probably one of the most maintenance-free sinks on the market, and they’re scratch- and stain-resistant, too.”

Cast-iron sinks are also growing in popularity, especially with the trend toward farm-style sinks. “Because of the finish, they aren’t as high-maintenance as cast-iron cookware,” Gersdorf explains. “But you do have to be careful to use a mild soap and nonabrasive cleaning materials.”

Narrowing down your material preferences will help determine which styles are available and most suitable for your personal taste.

Playing the part with style

As Gersdorf mentioned, deep farmhouse sinks are trendy right now, along with the modern farmhouse look. This sink style also affects cabinetry and countertop selections because it is mounted and installed differently than the typical kitchen sink.

Lampe says, “Farmhouse sinks are available in more fun colors now. And things like cutting boards, strainers, and basket drains can be incorporated into the sink as a single unit.”

According to Beisser’s Barb Hyde, while apron front sinks are popular, colored sinks made of polyresin are also a good choice, many of which can be speckled to resemble granite.

“A lot of homeowners like an undermount installation in the kitchen because it eliminates that grouted edge that can discolor or mildew,” Gersdorf says.

“Many times we try to coordinate the sink to the appliances or to pull a color out of the granite to coordinate,” explains Noel.

One of Lampe’s clients took this approach, looking for a bold statement for her sink and counter. “We chose white granite with a bold black veining and selected a black sink and black modern faucet. The client capped it off with bold, modern lights above it, and it was absolutely stunning.”

that something special

Although the typical kitchen sink is a double-bowl design, more homeowners are opting for a look that’s a bit more of a statement or more suited to their lifestyle.

“For homeowners who use the kitchen a lot and do a lot of cooking, one large sink can be a better option,” says Gersdorf. “Not only does it allow plenty of room to wash oversize pans, but it can offer a more modern look, too, with a draining area incorporated into the counter beside it.”

Hyde says, “A double-bowl design with a lower center divide is becoming more popular, especially with remodeling clients. So are pot fillers at the range or at the cooktop.”

Noel says these are a great feature in kitchens where the stovetop is not in close proximity to the main faucet.

“In large kitchens we’ll often do an extra task sink or a beverage bar sink. Pot fillers can be done for a fairly reasonable price, even if the kitchen isn’t huge, so it can be a fantastic add-in,” Lampe says.

Choosing your kitchen sink on style or popularity alone might be tempting, but designers recommend a bit more deliberation about the options.

“Thinking about things like what type of cooking you do, whether you like to entertain, how much of your cookware has to be handwashed, what size your dishes are—all these things should be taken into consideration when you’re looking for the right sink for your home,” Gersdorf advises.

Lampe agrees. “Every person is different. It’s important to think through the process that most homeowners take for granted. Sometimes the best question to ask is ‘What isn’t working for you now?’ That can tell us a lot.”


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