There is, perhaps, no more multifunctional thing in the kitchen than a sink: in it they not only wash dishes, vegetables, fruits and hands, but defrost food, and now even dispose of kitchen waste. Choosing this versatile assistant with the current variety of designs, designs, materials and decorative finishes is not easy. However, in this matter, let us give advice: it is worth being guided by the coincidence of the washing style with kitchen furniture, its convenience for your rhythm of life (cooking frequency, number of family members), your desire to have additional, more modern, functions, and, of course, the price. But in any case, a good sink must be resistant to aggressive media (acids, detergents), temperature changes and mechanical damage (chips, scratches). Its surface should be easily washed from dirt, grease and water salts, not darken or yellow over time.
If the design of the sink (the number of bowls, the presence and location of the “wing”, the location of the mixer) are determined by the size and features of the intended location of the module with the sink in the kitchen, then its material, appearance and decorative finish – by the style and color of your kitchen furniture.
In terms of shape, sinks are single or with several bowls (most often two), round or rectangular. Classic sink – rectangular with one bowl. Once upon a time, it was cast iron and covered with a layer of white ceramics, which over time turned yellow, cracked and chipped off. Now such sinks have become a rarity, they can still be found in the kitchen, but there are practically no more in stores.
Traditional rectangular sinks continue to lead the way, perhaps because they use space most economically. But now they have two or even more containers. This is convenient when washing dishes, defrosting food or washing vegetables at the same time. It is believed that two-bowl sinks are more hygienic, but if there is a large assortment of modern detergents and disinfectants, a single sink can also be washed with high quality. So, if you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, it is quite possible to do with a single sink..
Convenient designs of sinks with a wing-dryer, especially if it is close to the stove. Then on the wing you can put not only washed dishes, but also hot pots. From the additional equipment of the sink, you can mark an opening to prevent overflow of water and the presence or possibility of installing a tap for filtered water.
It is not difficult to choose a sink by size now, since manufacturing firms produce models of standard sizes for the width of the countertop for inset sinks and according to the size of the cabinet on which overhead sinks are installed.
The most common and practical material for kitchen sinks today is stainless steel, alloyed with nickel and chromium, which provides a protective film on the metal surface. But when choosing sinks, it is almost impossible to determine the quality of the steel from which it is made, the only available “test” is its magnetism: a close magnet will not be attracted to stainless steel.
Sink made of “stainless steel” is easy to clean, does not change its appearance over time, it has no chips or cracks, it easily withstands aggressive environments and high temperatures. These sinks have the only drawback – they make noise from the water falling in them. But even this drawback is currently easily eliminated: there are sinks specially equipped with a sound absorber (a special soft gasket installed under the sink).
Steel sinks are stamped or welded, depending on the manufacturing technology. Stamped ones are made of a solid sheet and there are no seams in them (this is the main advantage of such sinks). And due to the relative ease of manufacture, stamped sinks are cheaper. These sinks have one “but”: their depth, and therefore capacity, is limited to fifteen centimeters. In addition, the wall thickness of stamped sinks can be uneven, and very thin on bends – accordingly, the durability of the sink is reduced..
Welded sinks, unlike stamped ones, can be of any depth, because the bowl in them is welded separately to the base sheet. At the same time, the weld seam is not visible due to grinding and polishing, but in such sinks, despite the high quality of the weld seam, there is still, at least, a hypothetical probability of leaks (which increases over time). In addition, welded sinks are more expensive than stamped ones..
The inner surface of a stainless sink can be mirror-smooth or with an engraved pattern. The second option is more preferable for those who do not want to put up with scratches on the sink surface..
A stainless steel sink is practical, durable and easy to clean, but, nevertheless, somehow monotonous in its metallic luster. And sometimes you really want to complement colored and sophisticated kitchen interiors with colored sinks. There is a way out – sinks made of ceramics and composite materials.
Ceramic sinks can be made of porcelain and faience. Porcelain is more expensive but has a denser and less porous structure. Ceramic sinks are resistant to aggressive environments, withstand high temperatures, and are resistant to scratches. The disadvantages include their fragility, high weight and structural rigidity (these two factors complicate the installation of sinks). Ceramic sinks can have a decorative finish in the form of painting, they look very harmonious in country and retro interiors, such as a sink with a blue finish.
A relatively recent invention is composite sinks, they are made of filler (granite chips, quartz sand) and polymer binder (usually acrylic). Composite sinks have a variety of colors due to the natural color of the stone chips or the added dye. In addition to being particularly decorative, composite sinks are easy to clean, durable (resistant to wear and tear), and are not afraid of aggressive environments.
The additional “equipment” of sinks can be attributed to the recently appeared garbage shredders, or disposers. This electrical appliance is installed under the sink and connected to the drain. Shredders can handle almost any type of food waste in a few minutes (they grind even small meat bones), it is not recommended to recycle only plastic bags, threads and rags in them.
So, it is not difficult to buy and install a sink now, it is more difficult to choose the model you need from the wide variety and to it – additional accessories (disposer, water purification module, additional tap, etc.), the main thing here is to stop in time and not overdo it with equipment.