There are many different styles and sizes of kitchen sinks available, from huge, single basins to small, 3-bay arrangements. To make matters even more confusing, some large kitchens even have enough room for more than one sink. Before you finalize your plans with your designer and make your installation appointment with the plumber, make sure you've taken these five factors into consideration to determine the sink design that's right for you.
Do you cook a lot of fruits and vegetables from scratch?
If you do a lot of cooking from scratch, you'll need a place to wash your fruits and vegetables. Some homeowners install a separate vegetable sink in their kitchen islands or in the corner of one of their counter tops. Others simply install a 3-bay sink with one deeper basin for washing vegetables. Having a designated vegetable sink lets you scrub produce at a moment's notice without worrying what was in your sink last. Typically, vegetable sinks are fitted with indirect drains so that if there is a sewage backup, the sewage does not end up in the vegetable sink.
Of course, if you only cook from time to time, you may wish to save space by choosing a smaller sink and simply making do on the odd occasion that you do scrub veggies or fruits.
Will your kids be helping you in the kitchen?
It's always nice for the kids to have a place to stand and wash their hands, rinse off their apples, or help you wash a few dishes. If you're a parent, consider having a smaller sink installed in your kitchen island or to one side of the counter specifically for your child to use. You can even fit it with a child-friendly faucet and a scald protector.
Do you plan on washing dishes in your kitchen sink?
Deep sinks make washing dishes by hand a lot easier. You'll also want to make sure you have at least 2 basins if you plan on washing dishes in your sink. Having three basins is even better, since this layout leaves on basin for washing, one for rinsing, and one for food prep you may want to do while your dishes are soaking.
Will you be filling large pots in your sink?
If you plan on filling large pots with water to boil pasta or other foods, your sink will need to either be very deep or include a sprayer attachment that allows you to fill the pot as it sits on your counter. Some modern kitchen designs even include a separate water nozzle near the stove specifically for this purpose. If you really want a smaller sink but don't want to struggle when filling pots, this may be a good feature to consider. Just make sure you inform your plumber of this plan from the beginning -- it may be hard to tun new pipes to the stove area later on.
How soon do you plan on remodeling your kitchen?
Perhaps you only plan on living in your home for five years and then leaving the kitchen as is for the new owners, or maybe you're planning on making this house your life-long home. If you want the option of remodeling your entire kitchen in the future, it makes sense to choose a sink made from a more affordable and less durable material, such as stainless steel or solid-surface. On the other hand, if you want a sink you'll never have to replace, enamel-covered cast iron is a great choice. It's typically more expensive than stainless steel, but it will last for generations.
Designing a kitchen is a lot of work, and it's easy to overlook important details. Don't let choosing the right sink be one of those details that slips by. Keep the factors above in mind and look at this as you explore your options and discuss possible designs with your building team.