Buying Guides
Jun 22, 2006

Buying guide: The kitchen sink

By: Martha Uniacke Breen
Style at Home
Buying Guides
Jun 22, 2006

Buying guide: The kitchen sink

By: Martha Uniacke Breen

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.


Water-filtration units feature dispensers mounted either on the sink deck or the faucet. The filtration unit itself is installed under the sink.
Cost: $40 to $400

Hot-water dispensers are installed similarly but connect to a special heating unit.
Cost: $300 to $800

Soap or lotion dispensers coordinated with the sink or faucet can be deck-mounted; the supply is filled from under the sink.
Cost: $60 to $150

Garbage-disposal units reduce garbage, odours and clean-up chores; however, they increase water consumption. Cost: $150
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Buying Guides

Buying guide: The kitchen sink