It's not the most glamorous item in the kitchen, but we couldn't function without a good kitchen sink for all those tasks when cooking. We spend far less time thinking about sinks than we do about more interesting parts of the kitchen such as work surfaces or flooring, but getting the choice of a kitchen sink wrong can mean you're stuck with a sink which doesn't really meet your needs. Spending time now considering the various options on offer can mean a lot of money and time saved in the long run.
Most sinks are either stainless steel or plastic, but these are by no means the only options on the market. There's nothing wrong with good old stainless steel or plastic - both materials are durable and very easy to keep clean. Sinks made from porcelain or cast iron might look fantastic in your period kitchen, but they will take a lot more work to keep them looking smart and clean. Stone or granite composite is another popular choice for modern kitchens, but are heavy and some types of stone can stain. Copper is something a bit different, but costly. Knowing the pros and cons of the different sorts of materials for sinks should help you make a more informed choice.
Double sinks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and if you have space in the kitchen they can be a useful addition. There is no “best” when it comes to choosing between a single and a double sink though, and it's important to think about how you are going to use your kitchen before making your choice. If you live a busy life and rarely have time to cook from scratch, do you really need a bigger sink? If however you are constantly baking and have small children in the house too, a double sink can meet your needs better. For a more in depth look at the different styles of kitchen sinks we break it down for you in our other kitchen sink guide.
Sinks vary hugely in price and from the earliest stages of planning it's sensible to have a rough budget in mind for your sink. A very basic stainless steel single sink with draining board can cost as little as £30, but if you have your heart set on a designer sink which really makes a statement in your kitchen you can easily spend £1000 or even more. Do some shopping around online or in your local retailers to get an idea about what is available on the market and what it is likely to cost. Also speak to a plumber to get an idea about fitting costs, especially if you are planning on relocating your sink to a different place in the kitchen and will need new pipework to be installed.
If you are replacing one sink with another in the same location, this is a relatively straightforward job and your decision about what sink to buy will be determined by the shape of the hole in the existing work surface. If you are planning a new kitchen layout from scratch you have much more flexibility over where you put your sink and what type of sink you choose, but moving sinks across the room could result in substantial costs for additional plumbing. Speak to a plumber at the early stages of your planning so that they can help you understand the practical implications of your ideal design. Think as well about what taps are suitable for using with your ideal sink, and try to tie everything in with other elements in the kitchen.
Sinks aren't just for rinsing vegetables and filling the kettle anymore, and there are a number of nifty gadgets which can be added to make life easier or more convenient. If you live in a hard water area, getting a sink with space underneath for a water filter unit can do away with the need for keeping jugs on the worktop or in the fridge. Tap's which provide boiling water on demand can allow you to ditch the kettle. A macerator can be added under the sink which mashes up organic waste like leftover food and flushes it into the sewage system. Not all of these gadgets are compatible with every sink, so take advice from your local kitchen showroom or plumber before committing to any expensive additions.
Now that you're on the right track to choosing your new kitchen sink, we do recommend a registered plumber undertakes the install process, but if you are a dab hand at DIY then have a look at the below video from James at Plumber Parts who shows you exactly how to remove and fit a new kitchen sink.