interiors & styling

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink - roomfortuesday.com I know I just shared kitchen inspiration yesterday, after having just revealed the space I designed for Joanna, but obviously I have alllllllll the kitchen things on my mind. With my own renovation wrapping up soon, I figured I’d share some helpful information on how to choose a kitchen sink. It’s a topic I’m asked about frequently and there is more to consider than you might expect. Click through for my tips, some helpful vocabulary to know, my favorite options for every aesthetic, and ways to determine which type of sink will best fit your kitchen and lifestyle. I’ve labeled and linked all of the sinks in this post to make it easier to understand, too! 

*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!

KITCHEN SINK VOCABULARY

Let’s start with some vocab… because things can get overwhelming or confusing if you don’t know the sink lingo. This is also helping for searching sinks online!

  • apron front sink = a sink with a front facing, exposed side that is cut into the cabinet. It’s also called a farm sink or farmhouse sink.
  • farmhouse sink = this is the same thing as an “apron front” sink. The front panel is revealed, exposed, or cut into the sink cabinet.
  • undermount sink = this sink sits underneath your countertop. It attached to the bottom of the stone from underneath. It’s easiest to clean, as you can wipe materials from the countertop into the sink.
  • overmount sink = this is also called a “top mount”, “above mount”, or “drop-in” sink. It means there is a flange, rim, or lip that covers the countertop to provide a flange or reveal.
  • single basin sink = a single basin sink has one bowl or basin- with no separation or divider. This is great for people who like a lot of room for dishes and washing larger items (like pots & pans).
  • double basin sink = a double basin sink has two bowls or wash basins. Many people like to use one section for washing and one for rinsing.

Let’s get into the different styles now. First up – apron front or farmhouse sinks…

APRON FRONT / FARMHOUSE STYLE SINKS

These are my personal favorites! I’m partial to single basin, apron front sinks because I love having a TON of room to wash dishes, large pots & pans, and even give Cash (my smaller dog) a bath in the sink. I enjoy not being restricted by the divider that accompanies a double basin, but it’s totally a personal preference.

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink - roomfortuesday.com

01: elkay white single basin sink // 02: kohler whitehaven apron front sink // 03: bocchi classico matte grey single basin sink // 04: kohler whitehaven short undermount kitchen sink // 05: blanco ikon black single basin sink // 06: barclay hammered copper apron front sink

I used white in my two previous kitchens, so I wanted to go with black this time around and switch things up! After designing my bestie’s tuxedo kitchen a few years back, I fell in love with the black sink & black countertop combo. Someday, I realllllly want to incorporate that hammered copper sink (#6). If we ever renovate a beach house… that’s definitely happening.

Most farmhouse sinks (pictured above) are undermount installed… just FYI. Next, let’s explore the contrary- top mount, overmount, and drop-in sinks:

TOP MOUNT SINKS

Remember my friend Emily’s kitchen I shared a few weeks ago? The stainless top mount sink works perfectly with her ultra modern aesthetic. It’s a great example of how to use this style.

Ready to see some of my favorites? I prefer clean simple shapes and neutral colors. Below, I think #1 and #2 are my favorites.

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink - roomfortuesday.com

01: dekor white single basin sink // 02: houzer onyx single basin sink // 03: transolid radius white double basin sink // 04: kohler toccata stainless double basin sink // 05: kraus pax drop-in sink // 06: kohler deerfield double basin sink

Next, we’re moving onto undermount sinks. These don’t all have to be apron front or farmhouse style (like mine pictured below)! There are plenty of undermount options that drop into a sink cabinet with a hidden front.

UNDERMOUNT SINKS

How to Choose a Kitchen Sink - roomfortuesday.com

01: elkay single basin undermount sink // 02: kohler irontones single basin sink // 03: elkay gourmet undermount kitchen sink // 04: crosstown undermount kitchen sink // 05: blanco white undermount sink // 06: kohler kennon undermount sink

Lastly, let’s chat about material. Not all sinks are constructed equally. You definitely want to choose a material that best fits your kitchen, budget, and lifestyle! I’m breaking it down below…

KITCHEN SINK MATERIALS

With different materials, come a multitude of factors: durability, finish, cleanability, price point, and aesthetic.

  • cast iron / enamel = heat resistant, typically covered in a layer of porcelain enamel over iron, hard durable surface, easy to clean, smooth glossy finish, water spot resistant, very heavy.
  • granite / silgranite = smooth, non-porous, highly resistant to dirt & grime, low-maintenance, easily wipes clean, heat resistant, dull / matte finish, scratch resistant.
  • fireclay = extremely hard and durable ceramic material, looks nearly identical to cast iron, non porous, resistant to scratching, acid, and chipping… smooth glossy finish.
  • stainless = durable, chip, fade & stain resistant, light weight, and corrosion resistant.

I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of our current kitchen sink in our very dusty construction zone. We bought every single item for our kitchen from Lowe’s (including the sink). I’m pretty amazed that I can get designer products that fit out budget. It’s just so convenient! I can’t wait to see the countertops installed! Things will start to come together really quickly once the countertops are totally in. Stay tuned for the big reveal and more kitchen posts coming soon!

One last thing to know when purchasing a sink… they typically don’t come with plumbing fixtures (drains, disposals, strainers, faucets, etc). Just note that you’ll need to purchase those items separately! Still have questions? Drop me a comment below. Hopefully this was more helpful than confusing? I feel like sinks are more complicated than they seem!

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    June 19, 2019 at 5:59 am

    So much helpful information…that I could have used when I was updating our kitchen a few years back! I ended up with a sink and faucet that I really love (undermount, double basin, zero radius stainless), but buying online and making sure my measurements were right was nerve-wracking. I chuckled at your last paragraph because I was surprised when I had to go buy a drain! I’m intrigued by a black sink and also that fireclay material. I’ve also been drawn to that hammered copper one! A beach house sounds like the perfect spot. Even though my kitchen is done, can’t get enough of kitchen posts!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 19, 2019 at 9:09 am

      I love hearing that posts are informative and helpful! Sorry I’m a few years too late with this one for you ;) Your sink sounds great though! It’s funny… most people expect all of the extra plumbing items to be included with the sink (which would be easier), but most of the time they aren’t.

  • Reply
    Katy
    June 19, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    This is really helpful! I’m picking fixtures for a kitchen redesign and I’ve been surprised to find so many sink options. Would you consider adding what scenarios would call for which material to this blog? I don’t see a particular advantage or disadvantage to the ones you listed. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 20, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      So happy to hear that, Katy! I could definitely help narrow down scenarios. Each material has advantages- none are really bad… some are just more durable than others. For example- the silgranite sinks show more waterspots than an enamel or cast iron glossy option. It really depends on you lifestyle, how much you cook, etc.

  • Reply
    Lisseth
    July 7, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    What is the best type of mounting for a farm house sink ? Under mount or over ? Which is easier to install, clean around ? Exc…

    • Reply
      Sarah
      July 10, 2019 at 11:46 am

      I would recommend undermount… then the countertop goes over the edge of the sink and you can easily clean / wipe things into it!

  • Reply
    Emily Holweger
    October 13, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Loving your designs and info. Thanks for sharing in such detail!
    We’re renovating our first flip home and I’m finding my design taste is lacking. I have to see it elsewhere to envision it in our space. So appreciate being able to glean from you’re site!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 13, 2019 at 9:56 am

      That’s so exciting! Congrats on your first flip home, and thank you for the sweet compliments :) xo

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