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Our quick guide to selecting your kitchen sink and tapware

Selecting your sink, particularly the size and style is an important part of designing a kitchen. It is also an important component that can change how functional and practical the kitchen functions. As there are a couple of options and things to consider, we wanted to put together a quick guide with all you need to know to decide what sink would be best for you:


SINKS


1 | Sizes and bowls

Sinks come in many sizes with the option of having either one or two side-by-side bowls. The most common sink we use is a double sink, which are two large bowls. If you don't have enough space for a double sink but still want two bowls, you may consider a 1 & 1/2 or 1 & 3/4 sink, which has one large bowl with the second one being either 1/2 or 3/4 of the size instead. If you have really large items to soak, you'll likely prefer one large 700mm wide sink instead. We try to avoid putting small single sinks in kitchens unless we have to due to space, however, if you have a butler's pantry with a bench, you may prefer to have a small sink in the kitchen and a larger one in the pantry for washing up.


2 | Drainers

Sinks come with 1 drainer, 2 drainers or no drainers. Many people are now opting for no drainers to create a more minimal look and to create more bench space. Instead of using a drainer attached to a sink, you can purchase and use a drying matt or a drying rack that can go next to or within the sink and can be removed when you need more bench space. However, depending on your family's needs and how you like to clean, you need to consider whether this is practical for you or if you prefer to have a drainer instead. You can also create draining groves onto stone benchtops which look really clean and minimal, but please check with the stone mason first as it may void the warranty of the product.

Custom Euro Laundry design with Laminex Surf joinery and  subway tile splashback
Brighton project - single top-mount stainless steel sink with drainer

3 | Installation Type

Sinks have four main installation types:

  • Under-mount - the sink sits under the benchtop and creates a really clean, luxurious and modern look. However, the benchtop edge is always exposed and likely to be hit during washing up. It's therefore important to consider the benchtop material when selecting an undermount sink. We recommend sticking with a solid surface or a natural or reconstituted stone. Please note that laminate benchtops are not able to have undermount sinks at all.

  • Top-mount - the sink sits on top of the bench. This is the most common installation type due to being the easiest, cheapest and working with any benchtop material.

  • Flush-mount - the sink is installed so that the top of the sink is inline with the surface of the benchtop. This is a great option of you'd like more of a seamless and clean look without having to worry about the exposed benchtop edge of an under-mount sink. Like undermount sinks, however, you need to have a stone or solid surface benchtop, and it is not possible to install on a laminate benchtop.

  • Apron-front - this is only available with farmhouse sinks which are specifically designed to be installed so that the front of the sink is exposed and becomes a feature in the kitchen.

Custom Polytec Tasmanian Oak kitchen joinery with reconsituted stone benchtop, with white subway tile splashback
Collingwood Project - double under-mount stainless steel sink with no drainer

4 | Accessories

Many sinks come with accessories that you can purchase to assist with the cooking and/or cleaning process. They are usually designed to sit perfectly at the top or bottom of the sink, so it's best to check with the supplier to see what they have available for your particular sink. Types of accessories available include chopping boards, drainer trays and baskets, colanders and strainers.


5 | Materials and Finishes

Sinks are available in many materials and finishes but the 3 most popular materials that we use are:

  • Stainless steel - as the most popular material for sinks, stainless steel is water-resistant, durable and scratch-resistant, with great rust-resistance and antimicrobial properties. As well as the normal grey stainless steel finish, you can find stainless steel sinks in brushed copper, brushed brass and brushed gun metal finishes.

  • Stone composite material - Stone composite sinks like Franke's Fragranite range and Blanco's Silgranit range are a fantastic alternative to stainless steel. They are also durable and resilient to impact, thermal shock and scratches. They usually come in black, grey or white and we often like to use the white sink with white benchtops for a really seamless look.

  • Ceramic sink - this is your traditional farm house sinks.

Custom Kitchen joinery in Dulux Domino with white benchtop and black tapware
Brighton East project - large single under-mount black stone composite sink with no drainer

TAPWARE


1 | Options

The most common type of sink tapware that we use is a gooseneck mixer. This is because it is tall allowing you to fit large items below, it also swivels and is easy to control. However, there are a couple of other options you can consider such as:

  • Pull-out tap - the tip of the spout detaches with a retractable hose allowing you to direct the water as needed

  • Spray taps - the end of the spout allows you to change how the water comes out, changing to a wider spray setting

  • Filtered water tap - can supply filtered water straight from the tap

  • Hot/Cold tap (zip tap) - can supply cold and/or boiling water straight from the tap

2 | Finishes

Like all tapware, kitchen mixers come in a huge range of finishes including:

  • Chrome

  • Brushed Nickel

  • Matt Black

  • Gun Metal

  • Bronze

  • Brushed brass

  • Rose gold or champagne

  • White

If you'd like to read more about each of these finishes, we have a blog post about this that you can read by clicking the link below:


I hope these tips have been helpful! If you want to find out more about how we can help you with your project, get in contact with us below:

Have a wonderful week!


Nina xx


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