Posted on June 4, 2014 If you’re renovating or building a new kitchen, there are a number of extra features you may be considering. Without a sink, though, it won’t be much of a kitchen at all. However, before you head off to purchase one, think through your options. The following buyer’s guide will help you understand what to look for in order to purchase the perfect model. The General Components of Kitchen Sinks Stripped of any bells and whistles or modern designs, all kitchen sinks have a few things in common. They are all designed to be bowl-shaped basins wherein people can wash their hands, food or dishes. At least one faucet is always included with one lever or more to moderate the temperature and volume of water. A kitchen sink also needs a drain for the water to exit and this often involves a strainer. PRO-TIP: There is no standard size for a sink, so it’s important you measure what your kitchen can accommodate before you begin spending any money. Kitchen Sink Mounting For the most part, there are three different options for how you can mount your kitchen sink. Top-Mount: The first are top-mount sinks, which are the most common. These have a hole made in the counter and the sink is dropped into it, so that there is noticeable overlay where the top of the unit is designed to be too large to fit through the hole Undermount. Undermount kitchen sinks are the second most common and are sinks where there is no overlay so that the counter just drops off into the sink. Apron is your third option is an apron kitchen sink. These get their name because your counter will appear to be wearing an apron. The front of the sink is exposed, so that the stainless steel/porcelain/granite/etc. is actually visible from the front. Materials: Speaking of materials, that’s something you’ll eventually need to consider, as well. The material you choose will not only affect your kitchen sink’s performance, but will also play a major role in the overall aesthetics of the room. There are more and more materials and combinations of materials for you to choose from these days, but let’s take a look at three of the most common. Commercial Stainless Steele Kitchens In commercial kitchens, stainless steel is by far the most common type chosen. Many people choose this option for their home kitchens, as well. Stainless steel represents an ideal intersection between durability, usability and cost. It’s also extremely easy to clean. The amount of duress steel has to be put through in order to manipulate it into a “stainless” sink is more than enough to vouch for its durability. No amount of cold or hot will crack it and it’s very impact-resistant, as well. One drawback for some may be the fact that stainless steel tends to be a bit noisy when used, as compared to other sink materials. It’s a very thin sheet of steel, after all. However, higher quality models will have vibration-canceling materials applied to them that will help to dampen the noise. Porcelain Kitchen Sinks Porcelain is an another popular choice for kitchen sinks is porcelain over cast iron. Unlike stainless steel, you have a number of options with this material in terms of both colors and shapes. Like stainless steel, porcelain over cast iron is very resistant to extreme temperatures. That being said, porcelain is essentially a form of glass, so the wrong angle from a sharp object could easily damage it. You’ll also need to be careful with vigorous cleaning as it can actually dull the surface, which makes it easier for dirt to accumulate. Enamel over cast iron is very similar to the porcelain version, except it’s more affordable. Unfortunately, this also means it’s a little less durable. On the other side of the spectrum is solid granite and fireclay. This material also shares a lot in common with porcelain over cast iron, but with far more durability, meaning you won’t have to worry about surface damage in the same way. If you want the granite look, but can’t afford it, consider composite sinks made to look like granite. You’ll save money and these versions are far lighter Finally, you’ll want to consider the different forms available for sinks. Though there is no standard form, most are about 22 by 30 inches and 8 inches deep. This encompasses two separate bowls. However, you can also get one with three distinct bowls or opt for a single bowl. In terms of the actual size of these bowls, that’s completely up to you. Sinks can be found with bowls all the same size or ones with different size bowls. This concludes this edition of our buyer’s guide. What other kitchen sink topics would you have liked us to address? Feel free to leave your comments, or ask some questions in the comments area below. As well, if you liked this guide, please share it with your friends. With so many choices, it can be tough making a decision when it comes to your next kitchen sink. Fortunately, we at Deer Valley Plumbing Contractors, Inc. have been helping people pick out the right sink for their needs and installing it for them. Contact us today if you’d like us to do the same for you.