Morning, everyone! Or afternoon, or evening…
To sum up, HELLO! Welcome, once again, to this humble space of a kitchen I call mine.
How I came to write this article was one of the most random things ever. I was cleaning up after dinner the other day when one of my new pan slightly outsized the sink. And something just popped into my head: a review of the best kitchen sinks would be a fantastic idea!
I remember struggling with the available options back when my family was remodeling our kitchen. Man, there were too many for me to handle. I even kind of panicked a little bit. Before that, it had not occurred to me, at all, that kitchen sink models can have that level of diversity.
Now I think about it, it was only logical. Of course there are a lot of products and companies. And we should be thankful that there is no single enterprise who holds total control over a particular market.
Though, knowing that, the process of finding the best 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.
Top Mount Vs Undermount
First thing you need to know (that is if you have yet to know): sinks are categorised 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 top-mounts – 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 top mounts 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 if you prefer).
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 top mount. I didn’t think much about it back then. But once I got the undermount, top mounts 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 top mounts.
- 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.
Farmhouse Sink (Apron Front Sink)
Farmhouse style sinks are just a beautiful and relatively popular type of sink. But it doesn’t really fit in any of the categories above for it is… all of them.
Basically, farmhouse sinks can be top mount or undermount as well as single bowl or double bowl. Mentioning this style of sinks was not in my initial plan, but later I realized it would be an absolute shame not to.
I mean, they are (at least to me) breathtaking. 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. Something of elegance and uniqueness in a modern kitchen.
I have to admit, the kitchen designs (of those pictures) are emphasized partly thanks to the choice of finishing 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 inside 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 presents 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.
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.
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 and heat/ stain resistant, not to mention durable, nature make it the best choice of material to manufacturers, without a doubt.
Still, stainless steel sinks can be a bit loud to some ears (water hitting the bottom surface). So look for ones with sound deadening pads or undercoating to reduce the effect.
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 cookwares 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 according to how it’s used. But many does not see this as a negative effect. Instead, they deem this 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.
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, they are 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.
Review of Best Kitchen Sinks 2018
Here’s the summary of our candidate list. Take a gander!
|Model||Our Pick As...||Dimensions|
|Kraus KHU100||Best Undermount Sink||30 x 18 x 10|
|Ruvati RVH8001||Best Topmount Sink||33 x 22 x 10|
|Blanco 440194||Best Durable Sink||32 ½ x 22 x 9 ½|
|Kraus KHF200||Best Farmhouse Sink||33 x 21 x 10|
|RVM 4250||Best Sink Under 200$||30 x 18 ⅛ x 9|
1. Kraus Standart Pro 30-inch Undermount Kitchen Sink – Best to Buy 2018
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.
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. Furthermore, the T304 stainless steel inner body is also finished with commercial grade satin, which is highly resilient and dust-repellent, making cleaning a total ease.
Regarding noise, one of the most annoying problem for kitchen lovers, the Kraus kitchen sink presents a doubled solution to the matter: SoundGuard undercoating and large soundproofing pads. These 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 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 is rounded, letting users swipe them all clean without any trouble. And finally, coming with the sink is a set of 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. Nothing concerning usability, though. I mean, it’s a sink, there’s nothing much to go wrong.
2. Ruvati 33-inch Single Bowl Kitchen Sink – Best Topmount 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. It could be said that Ruvati is the number one rivalry of Kraus in this range of price.
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 the 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.
The fact that this is a single bowl sink is not much of a conversation starter. What’s worth mentioning is the sloped base and the non-radius corners.
Like the Kraus KHU100, the Ruvati RVH8001 also features drain grooves and an angled 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.
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.
3. Blanco 440194 Single 9-1/2 Bowl Depth 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.
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 degree 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 kitchen routine. Now, the product can mounted both under or atop the counter. If you want to simply drop it in, the suggested minimum cabinet size is 33”, and 36” for undermounting (refer to plumbers for planning).
Onto the small details. Thickness of the deck is 18 gauge (1.27 mm), thinner than the Ruvati and the Kraus. The corners of the basin are rounded, which will be even more convenient to clean in combination with the smooth silgranit. The base is with grooves (slight radius) and the sink itself is covered with a lifetime limited warranty.
Oh, one more thing. Unfortunately, mounting clips and strainer have to be purchased separately.
4. Kraus KHF200-33 Single Bowl Multi-mount Kitchen Sink – 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 between 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.
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 NOT impossible, 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. Ruvati 30-inch Undermount 16 Gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink – Best Under $200
For a budget of under $200, we are quite confident to say that this Ruvati RVM4250 is the best find, at least for 2018.
The sink is made of T304 stainless steel that is 16 gauge thick. The inner surface of the deck is finished with satin – more specifically, artisan grade brushed satin finish – for better cleanability. The outer side, in turn, is coated with the common soundproofing undercoating.
Across Ruvati kitchen sinks, we can easily spot the use of undercoating in hands with sound deadening pads, including a heavy duty soundguard pad attached to the underside of the sink and four individual pads to push the noise-insulation feature even further.
Interior dimensions are 28” L by 16 ⅛” W (exterior: 30” x 18 ⅛”) and 9” D. Again, not the largest nor the deepest, but sufficient, I’d say. I mean my parents have one with the exact same length and width, and my mom rarely complains about the sink being small or anything. Still, it really depends on what you do daily, so keep that in mind.
Besides all that, Ruvati RVM4250 is a single bowl, undermount (and flushmount, apparently). The corners are radius, as you can well see from the picture so cleaning them is an ease. Included in the package will be the sink, a cut-out template, mounting clips, a rinse grid and a basket strainer set.
The sink is covered with a lifetime limited warranty by Ruvati.