Everything You Need to Know About Kitchen Sinks

By Pro.com

When considering a sink, form is just as important as function. It has to be able to handle the aftermath of your cooking adventures, as well as serve as a visual focal point.

We’ve compiled a list of materials and styles that cater to specific kitchen needs. All that’s left is for you to choose which of each best suits your dream kitchen.

(Credit: Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock)
(Credit: Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock)

The Materials

1. Stainless Steel

According to one of the world’s largest manufacturers of kitchen sinks, 70% are made of stainless steel. And for good reason. Stainless steel is a relative bargain (unless it’s by a designer label) and can come in a variety of installation types to better fit your kitchen’s current infrastructure. It can achieve any number of looks, is heat- and stain-resistant (though not to water spots), and is easy to clean. Go with a heavier gauge (lower number) if you’re pretty rambunctious with your sink, since higher gauges will scratch and dent more easily.

2. Cast Iron

This material will literally stand the test of time in durability and style. The porcelain enamel finish is what makes the cast iron kitchen friendly while giving it extra strength and stain resistance. It’s extremely easy to clean, won’t show any spots and won’t fade from the sunlight. However, they are extremely heavy, which leads to a more difficult and expensive installation.

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3. Porcelain

Don’t let the name confuse you: This type of sink is simply an extremely durable, molded ceramic clay with porcelain enamel. While it can be more durable than cast iron, the enamel is prone to chipping if you roughly drop items into it. It’s also expensive, but has a timeless style.

4. Composite

If you like the look of granite for your kitchen, a composite sink may be the way to go. It’s made of ground up granite or quartz (with granite being stronger), and mixed with resin so it’s actually more durable than solid granite. It has the same aesthetic as the real stuff, without the maintenance or durability issues.

Style Options

1. Single Bowl

Just what it sounds like, a single bowl sink gives you more room to maneuver—especially when space is limited. If you clean a lot of large items, a single bowl will make the job a lot easier, and it will be easier to clean because it lacks dividers and crevices.

2. Double Bowl

Double bowls optimize the flexibility of your kitchen sink by giving you different areas to multitask. Be aware of the type of cooking, and therefore cleaning, you do so you can match the size of the basins to your needs. Consider differing sizes in the bowls, including the depth, if you have a variety of items to clean.

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3. Farmhouse

This is the style of sink you should choose if you want to make a statement. Farmhouse sinks have a large, forward-facing decorative section that replaces part of your counter. While it’s conventionally used in traditional or country-style homes, lately it’s been used with more modern styles. You can use any material to make this bold sink; however, your counter must be designed to accommodate the installation, which can get pricey.

4. Undermount

Undermounts, as the name implies, seamlessly drop down from the countertop. They have a clean and modern look but are more expensive than topmounts since they have to be glued to the underside of the counter. Also, be sure to leave room to cut a hole for the faucet, since they don’t come with one.

5. Topmount

This is the easiest style of sink to install if you’re on a budget or are DIYing your kitchen sink. You simply drop it into a hole on the counter. Though it’s not as sleek and can get dirty in the seal between counter and sink, a topmount sink has everything you need included.

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6. Commercial

Whether you cook a lot, use a lot of big items or just like the style of a professional sink, this sink will certainly stand up to anything you throw at it or in it. Made with heavy-gauge steel, freestanding and extremely durable, professional sinks have lots of washing space and are very easy to clean. The added bonus? You don’t have to figure out how to fit it into your counter.


Pro.com is a website founded in 2013 by service industry entrepreneurs and former Amazon executives to simplify home services -- especially research on contractor fees and qualifications.

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