A sink is a plumbing fixture that is installed in kitchens, bathrooms, the bar or laundry. Also known as a washbasin, hand basin, basin, washbowl or sinker, a sink is an essential accessory in any home.
Whether it is washing your hands, rinsing produce, washing up after meals or pampering yourself, choosing the right sink for your home can make a huge difference in terms of functionality and comfort.
Typically, a sink features faucets or taps that provide cold and hot water. They may also have a spray feature that allows quicker rinsing. A sink has a drain that helps to eliminate the used water. The drain may include a shut-off device, a strainer and a device to prevent the drain from overflowing. Some sinks may also feature a soap dispenser.
If you’re planning to install a new sink in your home then there are a few things that you must consider such as:
If you’re looking for a kitchen sink, then you must choose one that is very sturdy, durable and can endure rough use, while being long-lasting. A kitchen sink bears the brunt of all the stuff you throw into it—dishes, pots, pans, bakeware, utensils, etc.; all take a toll on the sink. So, the sink that you install in your kitchen must be able to handle the everyday wear and tear of handling all your dirty dishes.
Like the kitchen sink, the sink in the bathrooms undergo wear and tear too, but of a different kind. Right from toothpaste, personal care products, hair care products, cosmetics to dryers and hot curling irons, the bathroom sink is subjected to plenty of use and abuse, day in and day out. And, in general, bathroom sinks focus on decorative styles or ones that are easy to clean and maintain and often, both.
Typically installed in wet bars, bar sinks are also installed in kitchens and used as prep sinks. Bar sinks are quite small in size and come in unique shapes. They are meant to be functional, as well as decorative.
These are similar to kitchen sinks; however, they are installed usually in laundry rooms. While the sizes of laundry sinks differ, the focus of these sinks is on durability and they should be able to handle washing hands, mud, stains, etc.
Sinks come in a wide range of materials, such as:
- Stainless Steel: Most kitchen and bar sinks are usually stainless because these are best in terms of usability, ease of cleaning and maintenance, cost and durability. They are antimicrobial, heat, stain and rust resistant, while being durable to endure any drops of dishes, pots and pans. The main limitation is that stainless steel sinks tend to be noisier and they are prone to dents and scratches.
- Cast Iron: These are heavy-duty sinks that are popular for their beauty, as well as durability. Usually, cast iron sinks have an enamel coating that is fused with the iron. The enamel is quite easy to clean. While the enamel is non-porous and resistant to stains, it is prone to scratching or chipping.
- Solid Granite: Made of natural stone, solid granite sinks are more unique and so, they are more expensive. Quite resistant to heat, stains and scratches, granite sinks are porous, which makes them prone to staining.
- Granite Composite: These are essentially made from granite which is combined with acrylic resins, these sinks are strong and sturdy. Easy to clean, the material is scratch, heat, chip and stain resistant, making it an excellent option for kitchens.
- Copper: Copper sinks have a nice and vintage look because copper develops a patina when exposed to heat or over time. Also, copper has antimicrobial properties and this reduces the risk of food contamination. However, copper sinks can be difficult to maintain, heat and acids can especially stain the copper and affect its color.
- Porcelain: This is quite popular for sinks and is among the strongest ceramic available. Porcelain sinks are available in a range of colors, although, white is the all-time favorite. Porcelain is easy to clean and maintain; however, it is prone to cracking and chipping, especially if you drop sharp or heavy objects into the sink.
- Vitreous China: This is essentially when porcelain ceramic is fused with enamel via a high heat process. Vitreous China is popular for use in bathrooms because of its glossy surface that is easy to clean and is stain and scratch resistant. While white is the most popular color, Vitreous China sinks are available in a wide range of colors; however, sharp or heavy objects can damage or chip the finish.
- Glass: More commonly used in bathrooms, glass is not suitable for kitchens. However, glass sinks are easy to clean, they are stain resistant and are quite durable and long lasting. Glass sinks come in a wide range of styles, sizes and shapes; however, the only limitation is that they can shatter easily and can be damaged if you drop any sharp or heavy object.
- Specialty Materials: There are many materials like wood, marble, lava rock, onyx, travertine, soapstone, etc., which are good options for sinks. These are natural, organic materials, which look very beautiful; however, they need extra care and maintenance.
As there are different materials for sinks, there are different types and styles of sinks too such as:
- Top Mount Sink: Also known as drop-in sinks, these sinks are installed in the hole cut out on the surface or countertop and have an in-built sink lip or rim that rests on the countertop. The faucet is mounted on the ledge of the sink along the back edge.
- Undermount Sink: These are typically installed under the countertop and so, the sink’s rim is not visible.
- Farmhouse Sink: Also known as an apron sink, this is usually installed in kitchens. Farmhouse sinks are mounted on 3 sides of the countertop and cabinet area; however, it gives you ample space to collect water and clean.
- Freestanding Sink: This is usually installed on the wall directly and is supported by a stand or legs.
- Island Bar Sink: Also known as a prep sink, this is a very small sink perfect for home bars or small kitchens.
- Single Basin Sink: Also known as vessel sinks, these are installed on top of the vanity and are open on all sides. These can be made in a wide range of materials i.e., glass, natural stone, bronze, fireclay, etc. These sinks don’t have any faucet holes and so the fixtures are usually mounted on the wall.
- Double and Triple Basin Bowl Sink: Usually installed in the kitchen, double basin bowls are under-mounted stainless sinks with 2 compartments, while triple basin bowl sinks have 3 separate compartments.
- Integrated Sinks: These are usually made of the same material as the countertop and creates uniform seamlessness.
- Wall-Mounted Sink: These sinks use braces and supports and are mounted directly on the wall.
- Corner Sink: Ideal for small kitchens, corner sinks are a space-saving option that is best for L- or U-shaped kitchen counters.
So, as you can see, there are many different types of sinks for homes, be it for the kitchen, bathrooms, home bar or the laundry area. Sinks are available in varying types, designs, materials, colors, shapes and sizes and you can choose the ones that are best for your lifestyle, requirements, home decor and budget.