Kitchen & Bath - Buying Guides

Buying guide: The kitchen sink

Martha Uniacke Breen

Add form and function to your kitchen by choosing the sink that's right for your space.

In many homes, kitchens are high-traffic areas. They're often the hub of the home and must be able to withstand lots of traffic and lots of activity. Want to improve the style and function of your workspace from the get-go? Think new sink.

Stainless steel
- Most popular, economical and practical sink material.
- Has some give, reducing glassware breakage.
- Huge range of styles and prices.
- Look for 18/8- or 18/10-grade stainless steel for durability; consider sound insulation to help reduce the clattering of dishes.

Vitreous china and fireclay
- Traditional look.
- Vitreous china is vulnerable to chips; fireclay is rugged, nonporous and hygienic.
- Both can be moulded with raised designs and transfer patterns.

Enamelled cast iron
- Traditional look, but not as durable as fireclay.
- Stylish at an economical price.
- Look for a lifetime warranty against chipping.

Solid surfacing
- Can be melded to the solid-surface countertop so it's easy to clean and has a seamless look.
- Can stain or scratch, but surface stains and scratches can easily be buffed out.

- Can be custom-carved and designed.
- Can be blended with matching countertops.
- More stain-resistant than other natural stone surfaces.
- Surface scratches and stains can be sanded out.
- Needs monthly oiling with mineral oil.

- Less expensive than other custom sinks.
- Chic, modern look.
- Vulnerable to cracking over time if not properly cured.
- Can stain; will need to be sealed once a year.

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This article is featured on Buying guide: Kitchen essentials

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