Buying a Sink-What to Look For

By: HHr Staff ~ Colbyt

Everyone's seen a sink before. I'm sure you have. You probably use a sink every day. Surely, there's one in your bathroom, one in your kitchen, and maybe one somewhere in your basement. But, I ask, have you ever wondered what makes one sink different from another - what makes one better and one worse? Chances are that you haven't. Luckily, you can read on to find out.

The Bathroom Sink
You use this sink to wash your hands, mainly.

Depending on your existing bathroom set-up, and your sense of style, a bathroom sink can come mounted in a countertop, have its own pedestal, or simply jut out of the wall. The materials also vary, with sinks made of porcelain, marble, clay, steel, and glass all being regularly sold. Prices can soar to over $1500 USD, but the best value-for-the-buck has always been, and still is, a porcelain bowl mounted in a countertop or over a cabinet or attached to a pedestal.

However, if you'd like to spend more money - and have an eccentric personality - you can also buy retro or specialty bathroom sinks: an egg-white bowl mounted on a Greek Ionic column, perhaps? Now that's a style!

If you are considering changing the style of your sink, it is very important to consider the installation implications. Going from a wall mount to a pedestal or cabinet model generally poses no undo problems. Changing from a pedestal or cabinet model to a wall mount unit may require the addition of some additional framing materials inside the wall as all the weight is supported on a wall mounted hanger bar.

The Kitchen Sink

Picking a kitchen sink is a bit more complicated, because in addition to material (which, really, is an aesthetic choice ), you have to also choose a size and a layout. And, because kitchen sinks are used for lots of things - many important, if you value your food and cleanliness - these choices matter.

For example, do you want one big bowl, or two smaller ones? Or do you want two medium sized with a small one in the center? Perhaps you want a sink with two standard sized bowls and a low divider (called a low divide) in the middle. That comes in real handy when you need to soak a larger pan or baking tin.

Most people go with two, because they allow you to split up your tasks - dirty dishes on the right, clean veggies on the left, for example - and that's a sensible way to approach things. A sink that can multi-task is a huge time-saver! As for size, two cliches sum it up best: it does matter, and bigger is better.

The other consideration is that the sink must fit the existing cabinet and countertop opening if it is being installed into and existing cabinet and countertop.

You should be able to pick up a good quality, durable, stainless steel or acrylic, double bowl kitchen sink for less than $200 USD.

If, in general, you're stuck in how to approach buying a sink, think of this: for the bathroom, something that looks good; for the kitchen, something that's easy to use. There's more to it than that, of course, but you're well on your way already!

Now that you have picked that sink it is time to look at faucets. But that is another article.


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