Hello, ladies and gents, boys and girls, old and young from all places! Welcome back to this humble kitchen I call mine.
I was making chicken picatta for a dinner party the other night, trying out that skillet I’d got for my birthday last year at the same time. I was pretty excited and happy with both the food and the pan, and you know what happened? IT OUTSIZED THE SINK! I didn’t know why it upset me so much but it did. Before you know it, I was writing this review on the best kitchen sinks.
Looking back to when my family was remodeling our kitchen, I remember struggling to decide. Man, they were too many to handle. I even kind of had a mini-panic. Before that, it had not occurred to me at all that kitchen sinks can have that level of diversity.
Now I think about it, it was only logical. In a market as fruitful and full of potential as the U.S., of course there are a lot of products and companies. We should be thankful, even, that there is no single enterprise who holds total control over a particular market.
Acknowledging that, the process of finding the most appropriate one remains painful nonetheless. That’s why this article exists: to clarify and simplify certain aspects, to make it less troublesome for you to find a kitchen sink that best suits your home.
This article should be taken for reference, along with advice from friends and family (nothing beats actual experience) before you make a decision. If this helps you in any case, consider leaving a comment to let me know. I’d enjoy life more knowing I’ve done good work.
How to Choose a Kitchen Sink
TopmountVs UndermountKitchen Sink
First thing you need to know (that is if you have yet to know): sinks are categorized by how they can be mounted into your countertop or their number of bowls. We’ll discuss the bowls later.
Now, regarding the mounting, there are topmounts— also called “drop-in”— which can be placed in the available cavity with the edge being atop the counter, and there are undermounts which cling to the under surface, rather. The main thing that differentiates the two types is that topmounts require less effort than undermounts to install.
There are, of course, other reasons why we prefer one to the other. Besides that above, people also consider the aesthetics, practical uses and the price of the two. Let’s take a quick look.
|+It’s easier to swipe residues down from the counter into the sink||-Residues would get caught at the edges|
|+Appears better aesthetically (shows off the counter with a seamless look)||-Looks bulgy|
|-Counter edges are exposed||+Protects the edges of the counter from chipping (especially marble)|
|-Less available for modifications||+Easy to replace if there’s the need|
|-Costs more||+Costs less|
In reality, the general opinion tips toward the undermounts’ favor. Apparently, most of us would be happy to pay a bit extra for the style and practicality. After all, that’s what kitchens are all about. Although it’s more difficult to uninstall undermounts, I doubt that would be a regular thing. We buy one and we stick with it, through thick and thin!
Ok, that’s stretching. But the point is: replacing our sink is not something we do frequently. So either a sink can be taken out with ease or not seems irrelevant in most cases.
And the chipping with marble or anything of the sort can be effectively solved with one simple solution: a rounded edge (or a radius edge).
So yeah, undermounts all the way.
I know I sound biased towards the undermounts but it’s not without causes, and not just me.
I’ve had both, and undermount is the one in my kitchen right now. The sink at my old house, the first sink, was a topmount. I didn’t think much about it back then. But once I got the undermount, topmounts immediately fell to the bottom of my list.
- How easy they are to set up, however, should not be a standard for you to consider a quick DIY if you haven’t any experience. Setting up sinks, if not done right, can root to many annoyances.
- Ask for advice on the space under your cabinet since undermounts would normally occupy more space than topmounts.
- Also, seek guidance on the countertop structure before picking up a sink, for its weight might create pressure on the frame.
Single Bowl Vs Double Bowl Sinks
In terms of bowls, there are a bit more to be informed. The two most popular are single bowl and double bowl. You probably already have one of either in your kitchen right now.
What you may not know is that there are different variations of the double bowl. By variations I mean varied proportion distributions. In addition to the normal double bowl divided by 50/50 for each bowl, there are also 60/40 and 70/30.
People choose the double bowl over the single bowl because it’s more convenient for multitasking. You may have one bowl filled with dirty dishes and you still have another bowl to use; or, like me, when you’re washing dishes, you’ll have space to rinse the soap off the plates.
However, a lot of people find that the bowls of the double sink individually don’t have enough space for large pots, pans or platters. Especially with sheet pans, one large single sink seems to be more helpful.
That’s why a number of consumers opt for the 60/40 or 70/30 double sink: you’ll have a big enough bowl to work the cookery tools and a smaller bowl for other things. Alternatively, a single bowl with a drain rack/ basket or a sink tray can be a good option.
Anyhow, it really depends on your daily kitchen routine. Okay, to summarize:
- More convenient for washing and drying dishes
- One can be occupied and the other is still available.
- 70/30 or 60/40 sink might be enough for large cookery.
Large single bowl:
- Good for big pots, pans, and platters
- A drain basket is a nice addition when it comes to washing dishes.
Full-divide vs Low-divide
If you decide to go with a double-bowl sink, then there’s something more that you should know: aqua divide.
A divide is what we call the wall that separates the bowls. A full-divide sink— or sometimes an equal-divide sink— is the standard double sink that looks like two smaller sinks merged into one.
A low-divide kitchen sink is a bit different: the dividing wall is only half the depth of the sink itself. For example, if a low-divide sink is 10 inches deep, its aqua divide should be about 5-6 inches high.
The halfway divide is a relatively modern design, and its practicality is still open to debate. Some love the versatility, saying it works perfectly with medium and small sized cookware while still leaving an opening for larger tools; whereas others dislike the inability to full-soak large pots and pans
I, personally, enjoy the idea of a low divider and think it would go with my mid-sized kitchen setup. It’s like having a double-basin sink that is topped with another large basin. It’d have both the size for big prepping tasks and the compartments for doing the dishes. That’s pretty much the dream.
Farmhouse Sink (Apron Front Sink)
Farmhouse sinks are one kitchen sink style that is adored by more than just a few. It’s a classic, really, so it doesn’t really fit in any of the categories above. Because it’s… all of them.
Basically, they can be topmount (drop-in) or undermount as well as single-bowl or double-bowl. My initial plan did not include farmhouse because it’d be difficult trying to categorize them, but later I realized it would be an absolute shame not to.
I mean, they are (at least to me) immediately impressive. If you’re familiar with the available stylish choices for kitchen sinks, chances are you’ve already seen this. For those who don’t know yet, oh boy, you’re gonna love this. I mean, the look of it… just peek at the picture below.
There is a certain stylish impression to it. Something of elegance and uniqueness in a kitchen.
I have to admit, the kitchen designs (of that picture) are emphasized partly thanks to the choice of finish colors. That being said, hues can only impact so much if it is not neatly staged.
With normal sinks, the design of the outer surface cannot be shown, simply because it’s hidden by the cabinets. This creates a sense of seamlessness and has its own look (especially with undermounts).
Farmhouse sinks, on the other hand, appreciate and encourage the bold look. The type tends to show its presence where it stands and airs out an underlining focus point for the whole kitchen space.
The design stems from that of sinks from the days of yore (positively the 17th century, when there’s no running water and sinks are meant to hold a large amount of it fetched from near rivers and wells.
The only drawback of farmhouse sinks, unfortunately, can be the most pivotal one. Since they’re not as popular as other regular sinks, your regular cabinets are usually not designed for them. To install, you probably have to remodel your cabinet to resize the capacity for a proper fit, for better supports and seals.
The safest bet is to plan the kitchen with a farmhouse at the beginning (not recommended for laminate worktops). A replacement to an already existing cabinet would be trying, to say the least.
Best Kitchen Sink Materials
As you may well know, kitchen sinks are made of various materials, from the ever-favored stainless steel to natural stones.
The diversity plays a huge role contributing to kitchen designs for the different shades of constructing components offer curiosities in color options, and the mechanics of materials allows flexibility in style and framework.
Let’s have a quick read about the best materials for sinks in the market right now.
1. Stainless Steel
This should not appear as a surprise to all of us. Stainless steel, since the day of its discovery, has always been growing up in its fanbase. Its anti-corrosive nature and heat/ stain resistance, as well as strength, makes it one of the best kitchen sink materials, or just for kitchen equipment in general.
Still, even the best stainless steel sinks can be a bit excessively loud to some ears (water or kitchenware hitting the bottom surface). So look for ones with sound deadening pads or undercoating to reduce the effect.
2. Cast Iron
Another metallic alloy that is among the top spots is cast iron. The material, with its strong traits of deformation and wear resistance, is widely adopted to make kitchen tools.
KOHLER is the one brand that has been popularizing cast iron kitchen sinks, more specifically enameled cast iron. Enameling provides the already durable material with more properties. Such are the abilities to withstand extreme temperatures, better corrosion and abrasion protection as well as dirt and graffiti resistance.
A well established public opinion about copper is that cookware made of it might increase the risk of copperiedus, or copper toxicity. On the flip side, copper has this fantastic unique shade and sheen, which makes it a wonderful option for decorative purposes.
Its color, most noticeably, will change over time in parallel to how it’s used. But many do not see this as a negative effect. Instead, they deem it to be an exclusive property of the metal and take pride in it.
It is, in a way, poetic for metal wares to adapt to the owners’ lives as if it has a spirit of its own.
4. Composite Granite
Composite granite sinks are continuingly being one of the best stone sinks in the eyes of consumers and designers. Not only do they possess this elegant and luxurious visual output, but they are also perfectly durable against natural corrosion and don’t show water stains or scratches like metal materials.
The downside of these stone sinks is that they are quite heavy and prone to cracks on harsh physical contact. But don’t worry all that much, because unless you want to deliberately cause some damage, it’s good for quite a while.
Fireclay— as the name suggests— is clay produced at extremely high temperatures. Fireclay sinks are simply pretty with the color and reflective sheen of ceramic. They have very high durability and are relatively resistant to chipping/ scratches.
Like any other fireclay products, they’re heavy and vulnerable against careless mishandling. Therefore, fireclay sinks are just as long-living as you are careful.
Reviews of Best Kitchen Sinks 2021
After some digging, we believe that the ones presented here are quite a proper collection with quality and balance to offer. Read through and decide for yourself. May you find the perfect sink.
- Kraus KHU100-30 Kitchen Sink– Best To Buy In 2021
- Ruvati 33-inch Single BowlKitchen Sink– Best Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
- Blanco 440194 Single 9-1/2 Bowl Depth– Best Durable Kitchen Sink
- Kraus KHF200-33 Single Bowl Multi-mount– Best Farmhouse Kitchen Sink
- Zuhne Modena Series Undermount Single Bowl– Best Small Kitchen Sink
- Ruvati Stainless Steel Low-Divide Series – Best Low Divide Kitchen Sink
Here’s our picks for the Best Kitchen Sinks.
1. Kraus Standart Pro 30-inchUndermount Kitchen Sink -Best to Buy 2021
I bet good money that you all know a thing or two about Kraus kitchen sinks. Kraus has been in the business of kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures for many years and their reputation is not really up for debate. The company is pretty much the go-to brand for many customers whenever a new sink is needed.
- Large sound-insulation pads
- Thick (16 gauge)
- High usability
- Satin finish can scratch
This KrausKHU100 is a stainless steel undermount sink with a 30” single bowl (minimum cabinet size is 33”), large enough for most of your crockery tools. The complete dimensions are 28” L by 16” W by 10 D (exterior: 30 x 18 x 10), offering enough depth for full submergence. Pan, pots, skillets, platters, you name it, the sink can positively house them with space to spare.
The sink is made 100% of the incredibly sturdy T304 stainless steel, with 16 gauge of thickness. That’s why it is durable, flexible, and corrosion resistant, all at the same time. Furthermore, the T304 stainless steel inner body is also finished with commercial grade satin, which is highly resilient and dust-repellent, easing cleaning a great deal.
Regarding noise— one of the most bothersome problems for kitchen lovers, the Kraus kitchen sink presents a doubled solution to the matter: SoundGuard undercoating and large soundproofing pads. Those are not things that we’re completely unfamiliar with. However, what makes this Kraus sink better is that the pads are broad, covering almost 80% of all outer surfaces (the bottom and the four walls).
Those are all the major points of the Kraus kitchen sink model KHU100. Now, onto the minor ones.
First, the base of the sink is designed with grooves to allow better drainage. Second, the corners of the inner side are rounded, letting users swipe them all clean without any trouble. And finally, coming with the sink is a 3-piece strainer, a stainless steel dish grid to protect the bowl base and a premium Kraus towel (because we deserve a fancy sink towel.)
A limited lifetime warranty is also offered to make sure everything is as smooth as the sink’s sleek design. Also, mounting hardware and a cutout template are included as well.
As for the cons, the only thing I can find is how the finish may scratch and hold water marks/ fingerprints after some time. Nothing concerning usability, though. I mean, it’s a sink, there’s not much to go wrong.
2.Ruvati 33-inch Single Bowl Topmount-Best Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Another excellent brand specialized in kitchen and bath fixtures is Ruvati. Founded almost a decade ago, the company has been successful in winning over customers after customers. It could be said that Ruvati is the number one rivalry of Kraus in this range of price.
- Brushed finish
- Easy to modify
- Thick (16 gauge)
- Catches gunk at the rim
- Hard-to-clean acute corners
The Ruvati RVH8001 is a 32-inch topmount single bowl sink made of stainless steel. Let’s go through the model features respectively to its name’s order.
The interior dimensions are 31” by 18” by 10” (exterior: 33 x 22 x 10). The 31” long and 18” wide unquestionably can accommodate even the largest pans (even sheet pans) with extra space for other tools if there’s a need.
You can totally imagine washing multiple cookwares without spilling water all over thanks to the perimeter, and also the depth. With support from the 10” of vertical space, working the tools is sure to be breezier.
This is a topmount sink, which means its rim will be slightly higher than the countertop surface. The installation of this kind is much less trying than undermounts and it can retrofit with most existing cutout space. Adding to that, the sink rim resting atop the counter can actually protect the edge (especially stone) from chipping. Those are the two utmost benefits of topmounts.
Like the Kraus KHU100, the Ruvati RVH8001 also features drain grooves and a sloped base for better water drainage. But, unlike the Kraus, this product goes with the acute looking corners, focusing on the sharp, modern visuals.
For the sink of this price, of course, it’s made of T304 stainless steel for durability and corrosion resistance. The Ruvati RVH8001 is 16 gauge thick as well and is with a brushed finish. In my opinion, this one is better than satin finishes, simply because it’s less prone to scratches and can last longer.
Another nice touch is the three holes for our faucet and dispensers, and an extra one in the right corner for the garbage disposal air switch or a soap dispenser. The package will include a sink, a strainer set, a rinse grid, a cutout template and mounting accessories. And finally, a lifetime limited warranty to finish it up.
With little left to doubt, the Ruvati RVH8001can easily be the best drop-in single bowl kitchen sink of this year, and maybe beyond.
3. Blanco 440194 Single Bowl Undermount-Best Durable Kitchen Sink
Blanco is one of the oldest manufacturers there are of kitchen pieces, including sinks, mixer taps and worktops. For more than three decades, granite, granite-like and granite composite products from Blanco have been leading the world market.
- Composite granite (silgranit)
- Undermount and topmount
- Easy-to-clean rounded corner
- Thin (18 gauge)
- Strainer & mounting clips sold separately
Talking about Blanco of recent days, we have to mention the patented Silgranit ®— the exclusive granite composite spawned from Blanco material technology. Not only are they gorgeous and incredibly elegant, silgranit sinks are also “hard as rock” and “silky to the touch”, owing to the 80/20 proportion of granite and acrylic, respectively.
That is to say the Blanco 440194— our pick for this spot— is pretty as well as long-lasting. Its heat resistance caps at 536 degrees Fahrenheit; plus, it’s anti-scratch, anti-stain and repellent against solutions of acid and alkali nature (though it’s recommended to go easy with the solutions).
The dimensions are 29 ½” L by 16 ½” W by 9 ½” D (exterior: 32 ½ x 22 x 9 ½). Obviously, it’s not the most spacious sink, but it surely is sufficient for a normal-sized kitchen. Now, the product can be mounted both under or atop the counter. If you want to simply drop it in, the suggested minimum cabinet size is 33”. For under-mounting, it’s 36″ (consult with plumbers about planning).
Onto the small details. The thickness of the deck is 18 gauge (1.27 mm), thinner than that of the Ruvati and the Kraus. Some might say that the 18 gauge is not as good as shock absorption, but after some testing, the difference in practice between 18 gauge and 16 gauge is barely noticeable.
The corners of the basin are curved, which will be even more convenient to clean in combination with the smooth silgranit. The base itself is, of course, slightly tilted towards the hole to help with drainage. Unfortunately, Blanco strainer and stopper have to be purchased separately, so do the mounting clips.
The sink is covered with a lifetime limited warranty.
4.Kraus KHF200-33 Single Bowl Multi-mount-Best Farmhouse Kitchen Sink
Another fine piece of work from the reputable brand of Kraus, and a sink of farmhouse style, no less. A well-balanced combination of durability and aesthetics. Not to praise it any further, but it’s going to induce a certain sense of sophistication to your kitchen all the same.
- Unique look
- Under/top/flush mount
- Large noise-insulation pads
- Satin finish can scratch
The interior of the Kraus KHF200 is 30” x 16” x 10”. This is the perfect size, if you ask me. The biggest problem with my double sink is sheet pans. But even if mine was a single sink, its 28” inch length is still not enough since one of my sheet pans is already 28” (largest size). So, there wouldn’t be enough free room to maneuver the thing.
The outer edge is 33” long and 21” wide; so for installation’s sake, the cabinet size must be nothing less than 33”. And as discussed above, a farmhouse to an altogether new cabinet would be ideal.
While replacing your old regular sink with a farmhouse is doable, it would require much effort. And no laminate countertops, as suggested by the manufacturer.
Perk-wise, you can expect all the same good stuff coming from a Kraus sink: the thick and high-quality T304 stainless steel with a commercial satin finish, the sound-insulation duo of undercoating and extra large rubber pads, finally a sloped bottom with engineered grooves for better drainage.
Other things that will be packed with the sink are a strainer set, a bottom grid and a Kraus towel. The product is also under a lifetime limited warranty.
5. Zuhne Modena Series Undermount Single Bowl – Best Small Kitchen Sink
Zuhne is a rather young name in bathroom and kitchen fixtures, but by focusing only on the core elements: quality material and craftsmanship, it has caught the attention and appreciation of numerous customers. The Zuhne Modena series in particular, is deemed by many to be one of the best undermount kitchen sinks in the last few years.
- Large sound-deadening pad
- Scratches easily
For a square small kitchen sink, give the Ruvati 15 x 15 inch Undermount 16 Gauge Zero a look.
Right off the bat, the ‘16 gauge T304 18/10 stainless steel’ should give you an idea of just how tough these Zuhne Modena kitchen sinks are. The 16 gauge is for the strength; and the 18/10 stainless steel is for the extra rust and corrosion resistance, as well as the persistent polish.
18/10 indicates the content percentage of chromium (18%) and nickel (10%) in the material.
Zuhne goes on to stress that these are “…stainless steel top to bottom— NOT a thick deck with a thin body”. Now I don’t know if that is just ‘saying it’ or actually calling some brands out on their misleading descriptions, but it is a reassuring claim and a helpful reminder nonetheless.
The other thing I like about it is how the company goes full-on armor-mode with this Modena series on soundproofing. Together with the vibration absorbing undercoating, the extra-large noise insulation pads can handle the noise issue with ease, even if there’s a garbage disposal in play.
Let’s take a gander at the overall look of the sinks now. There are several sizes, ranging from 10” to 15” wide. Their depths and heights are pretty much the same, with 1” in difference?. The base is sloped to help with drainage and the corners are all semi-rounded, which is nice for cleaning while maintaining a modern appearance.
Despite these promising features, there is one thing that I don’t enjoy: the satin finish. Personally, the finish doesn’t do much in practice. It scratches very easily, especially with sinks of small sizes where things tend to get a bit cramped. Sure, it protects the inner sink from corrosion, but so do other types of finishes.
Other than that, the small sinks of the Modena series are faultless, all of intensive workmanship. Reviews from customers bloom with good words and positive feedback (except for the satin coating, of course). The sinks also come with a steel basket strainer that has a designer lid, a bottom grid, mounting hardware and a cut-out template.
The sinks are certified by third parties to all standards and codes (UPC, cUPC, ANSI & IAPMO). Finally, the company offers a lifetime warranty on the entire series.
6. Ruvati Stainless Steel Low-Divide Series – Best Low Divide Kitchen Sink
A low-divide kitchen sink provides versatility. There are several great examples from different brands on the market. This Ruvati stainless steel low-divide series is one of them.
- Stainless steel
- High versatility
- Thick (16 gauge)
- Not good for large cookware
To be honest, I’m not really a double-bowl kind of person. I guess it’s because I’ve been working with single sinks for most of my life. But the halfway divider does peak my interest— the more I look into it, the more I think about replacing my old sink.
With this Ruvati series, the two compartments with a 6” tall divider— about half of the 10” depth— offer enough vertical space for anything smaller than a medium-sized pot. Washing your tableware and regular cooking tools is going to be as easy as in any full-sized double-basin.
But here’s the best part: you’d still have enough room for larger cookware— a sheet pan, for instance. The remaining 4” of height is quite shallow and may not be able to contain splashing completely. However, a pulldown/pullout faucet, or a side sprayer, or just being a bit more careful should help with that.
If you regularly work with large tools, then a full divider is the better option. Compared to single-bowl or double-bowl sinks, ones with a low aqua divider have less dedicated space. With low divide kitchen sinks, you can’t completely soak large items without wasting water.Everything else aside, the Ruvati low-divide 30-inch stainless steel sink is simply a quality product. The 16-gauge T-304 Grade stainless steel and heavy-duty sound insulation speak for themselves. Additionally, the sink is under a lifetime limited warranty from Ruvati.
Top-rated Kitchen Sinks Comparison Chart
|30 x 18 x 10||0||16||Under|
|Ruvati RVH8001||33 x 22 x 10||4||16||Top|
|Blanco 440194||32 ½ x 22 x 9 ½||1||18||Dual|
|Kraus KHF200||33 x 21 x 10||0||16||Multi|
|Zuhne Modena Series||Varied||0||16||Under|
|Ruvati low-divide series||Varied||0||16||Dual|
Best Kitchen Sink Brands
Kraus USA Inc
Founded in 2007, Kraus Kitchen and Bath is an American manufacturer that specializes in mid-price sinks and faucets. Their goal from the beginning has been bringing affordable, high-quality products to families everywhere.
Admittedly, a dozen years or so of experience is not an impressive number at all for a brand in this market— if you look at Kohler or Moen, you’ll see what I mean. Still, it’s a period long enough for Kraus to grow and perfect what they’ve been doing since day one. Now, it is one of the most favored and trusted companies in the US.
A+ rating on Better Business Bureau®
Another up-and-coming name in the kitchen sink department is Ruvati. Based in Austin, Texas, the manufacturer takes the Italian aesthetics and philosophy in craftsmanship as its compass; and it has been growing towards that end since 2009.
Being a young establishment, Ruvati has always been building its image and reputation as a provider of high-end kitchen and bath fixtures for the last decade. So far, I’d say the company has been successful in doing so. It’s not outstanding, true, but it’s a solid choice to consider.
A- rating on Better Business Bureau®.
With a record of more than 85 years in Germany and 25 years in the USA, Blanco is known worldwide for their renown well-made sinks and faucets. They’re often praised for the exclusive looks and high-quality craftsmanship.
What we love about Blanco is not just how competent its workforce is, but also how they value loyalty. The company proudly mentions in the bio that more than 50% of its staff has been with it through thick and thin for over ten years. “It’s hard to dislike the brand,” as many may have put it.
A+ rating on Better Business Bureau®
Entering the scene not so long ago, Zuhne is the least experienced in the bunch with only half a decade on the field. While that’s true, Zuhne has been meeting the demands lately judging by the growing attention. It’s seemingly because of their line of less expensive, mid-price yet standard-upholding products.
Also, Zuhne goes on and stresses that the company is owned and run by women. That could be a shout out to the females everywhere— a contributing feat, or a vivid example, of women’s empowerment movement, perhaps.
A+ rating on Better Business Bureau®