Go to Top

What’s in a Sink? A What-to-Know Guide

So you want to upgrade your kitchen sink? There’s a lot more to consider than the way it looks. Use these tips to help you choose the right sink for your kitchen and lifestyle.

What kind of material do you want? Stainless steel is one of the best choices because it’s durable and easy to clean. Look for lower-gauge steel, or material that has lower numbers. Low-gauge is stronger and sturdier; it won’t bend or weaken over time. Composite granite is another good choice for easy cleaning and hardiness, and gives a darker color. If you’re looking for a white sink or are feeling adventurous and want to try something different, cast iron is also hardy and cleans well. It is heavy so you’ll want to make sure your cabinets are built for the job. These three materials aren’t your only options, but are easiest to install and won’t dent your back account too much. All of the materials come in varying sizes—you’ll need to evaluate how big of a sink you want based on the available counter space.

How deep do you want the sink and how will it fit into your countertops? Anything less than 6 inches deep will cause splashing and doesn’t hold a lot of water. Sinks deeper than 10 inches can strain your back. Look for something that has a happy medium; 8 to 9 inches is standard. Keep in mind how the sink will sit in the countertops as well. If you want a lip that goes on top of the counter, you’ll be fine with a standard depth—you’ll just need to take care to keep the area clear of food particles and other debris. On the other hand, an undermount sink, where it sits below the countertop, means you might want a sink with a little less depth, about 7.5 to 8 inches. Because it sits lower, it’s further away from you.

What kind of faucet do you want and where should the drain go? Single-handed models with pull-out hoses have gained popularity because they make clean-up easy and adjust water temperatures quickly. If you want to have a single spout with two water taps, those options are available as well. Try to find a spout that can swivel from side to side so it’s not stuck in one place. As for a drain, finding one that is centered in the back or in a back corner will free up space under the counters for storage.

How many compartments should you get? That depends on what you want to use the sink for. Most sinks have two compartments, one used for soapy water and the other for clean rinse water. That decision is yours based on how you’re going to handle dishes, clean the kitchen itself, and any other lifestyle habits you have. Size and materials play into this as well, so check out styles online and do some measuring in your kitchen to see what will work best for you.