How to Choose Sinks and Taps for Solid Oak Kitchens Part 1 – Sinks
If you have decided upon solid wood kitchen cabinets, matching cabinet doors and spectacular kitchen worktops, it is now time to think about some of the details. Your sink will be the most used part of your kitchen – even more perhaps than your oven and hob. Whether you are washing, rinsing, cleaning or diluting, the sink sees a lot of action.
There are a variety of different kitchen sinks on the market, and an even larger selection of taps to complement them. Our collection features a selection of styles and include options from the leading brands, such as Reginox and Rangemaster, so you are sure to find something to suit your kitchen.
Choosing a Sink for your Solid Oak Kitchen
When designing the layout of solid oak kitchens, there are some key things to consider when choosing a kitchen sink. The kitchen triangle principle or kitchen zone planning can be useful when deciding on the right position for your kitchen sink. If you’re choosing anything other than an over-mounted sink, you will want to consider extras such as drainage grooves, which can easily be routed into a wooden worktop by the talented fabrication team at our sister company: Worktop Express®.
When ordering a sink with included drainer, be careful to check the ‘handing’ of the drainer. This refers to whichever side of sink the drainer is located, as not all sinks are reversible. Contemplate the design of your kitchen and location of the sink to help you make the right choice.
Not all sinks are designed to fit in all standard-sized base units. Sink base units are anywhere from 500 to 1200mm wide, but most sinks will require at least a 600mm unit. If you are fitting waste disposal units or other accessories, you might have to allow extra space to accommodate.
Kitchen Sink Materials
Kitchen sinks are manufactured in a number of different materials, to suit any budget and style. Some sinks will more able to withstand greater wear and tear in a busy household, so it is important to consider this when selecting the right sink for your home.
Stainless Steel – This type has been by far the most popular throughout the 20th century. Stainless steel sinks are highly durable and relatively easy to keep clean. Unless coated in a ‘linen’ or anti-scratch finish, they can be marked easily, and can tarnish and discolour over time.
Ceramic – This was the only option for kitchen sinks for many centuries, and is still a favourite up to this day. ‘Belfast’ and ‘Butler’ sinks are the most common styles, and do wonders in bringing that classic farmhouse look to a kitchen. They’re also usually rather spacious, can be easily cleaned and rarely tarnish. Just be careful with heavy pots and pans, as a heavy impact on ceramic can cause cracks or fractures in the glaze.
Plastic – During the advent of plastic in the mid-20th century, plastic sinks became a popular low cost alternative to stainless steel and ceramic. They have become less popular in modern kitchen refurbishments as other types of sink have become available at a lower cost. Plastic sinks can be purchased in a variety of different colours and styles, but they can scratch easily, and discolour over time.
Composite – Sometimes referred to as ‘granite’ sinks, composite sinks tend to be a mixture of powdered granite and resin. They’re renowned for being very durable and are a much sturdier alternative to plastic. They are available in a range of colours, shapes and sizes and can be inset, undermounted or flush.
Different Kitchen Sink Styles
Once you have selected the most practical material for your sink, there are a number of different configurations in which most types of sink are available. It is important to take your worktop into consideration when choosing the style you would like, as some sinks are not compatible with certain types of work surface.
Undermounted – Undermounted sinks are fitted under the work surface using a combination of clips, fixing posts and adhesives. They can be used to create a sleek, seamless look between the worktop and sink, and work particularly well in conjunction with wooden worktops. They are not typically well-suited for use with laminate surfaces, as they leave a cross section of the worktop’s fibreboard core exposed.
Flush mounted – These are a neat option and provide a great alternative to undermount sinks as they also leave no overhang. The rim of these kitchen sinks is fitted flush with the top surface of the worktop rather than underneath it.
Overmounted – Possibly the most common type of installation, overmounted sinks are often stainless steel or composite, and include a draining board as part of the design. They’re easy to fit and replace, but can look cumbersome in a modern kitchen.
Inset – Belfast and Butler sinks are usually inset into a cut-out in the worktop, so that the front of the sink is on show. This is largely an aesthetic decision, but also gives you good access to these sinks that are often deeper than other types available.
In part 2 of this guide we will be looking at kitchen taps to help you select the best option for your home. If there is anything you would like more information about, please do not hesitate to get in touch so we can assist you further.
Note: This guide was originally published on August 8th 2014 and was updated on 16th May 2017 to include additional information.