Throughout the home building process there are endless decisions that need to be made. Paint colors, flooring types, and tile to name just a few. Despite the decision fatigue that you will doubtless feel, avoid making a quick decision on a kitchen sink. Kitchen sinks are often the center of the kitchen, and choosing a sink that fits your style and needs will make washing dishes and cleaning food an enjoyable task.

The following information can help you consider all of your options and choose the sink that fits you best.

Stainless Steel

Let’s start with the materials kitchen sinks are made of Stainless Steel. The most common sink material on the market, stainless steel sinks are typically inexpensive, durable and reliable. They are relatively light weight and can be mounted in a large variety of ways.

The high sheen of stainless can be hard to keep clean. Water spots show readily, and the metal can be scraped and gouged occasionally. Being metal they can be a bit noisy as well. However, steel has some flex to it, compared to other sink materials, and can be somewhat forgiving to soapy fingers that drop a dish while cleaning.


Made from ceramic clay that is then baked with a porcelain enamel, fireclay sinks are as durable as they are beautiful. They are not forgiving however, and a dropped dish can break on the hard surface. They are easily cleaned, though home owners should take care to rinse the sink after every use, as some liquids can leave stains on the porcelain. Fireclay is often associated with farmhouse or apron style sinks. They are usually large, and require special cabinetry to support and display them.

Granite Composite

Granite (and quartz) composite sinks can give you the color of a natural granite counter, but without being susceptible to the durability issues associated with normal granite. The sinks are made by mixing crushed stone with acrylic resin that is then poured into a mold. The result is an even colored, very hard and durable sink. While natural granite has fluctuations and patterns, composite sinks are typically a solid color. While very strong, they can be discolored by heat and can be scratched.

Cast Iron

White, shining, and classic. The cast iron sink, encased in a porcelain enamel, has been a kitchen staple since the early 1900’s. Previously large and supported by legs, today most homeowners install cast iron sinks as a top mounted sink. Heavy duty, hard to chip or scratch, this sink can withstand a beating. But it comes at a price. They usually start around $300, and their weight means special consideration must be taken when mounting.


Called by some an “heirloom sink” copper sinks can last for a long time. Copper is an extremely durable material, and because of its ability to patina it does not matter if it gets scratched or dented; it only adds to the charm. Copper sinks are on the expensive end of the spectrum, but their longevity can make them a worthwhile investment.

Now that we have covered some of the materials that kitchen sinks are made from, lets move on to styles. Most are fairly self explanatory, so there is no need to dive in too deeply. Style will vary based upon the home owners needs.

Single Bowl

While perhaps more typical in a wet bar or butlers pantry, the single bowl sink can be a fitting choice in a kitchen where space is at a premium, or if your style of cooking necessitates lots of room for cleaning big dishes. Many farmhouse sinks are single bowl, giving the user lots of space.

Double Bowl

Two is better than one, right? The double bowl sink lets you divide and conquer kitchen tasks. Fill one side with soapy water, keep a dish drainer in the other. Dirty dishes can be piled in one bowl and the other kept free for rinsing produce. Each side of the double basin can be modified, and you will find 50/50 splits, a large central bowl with a small disposal bowl to the side, and plenty of other combinations.

Top Mount

An economic solution to installing a sink, the top mounted sink has pre-drilled holes for your faucet and sprayer and can be easily slipped into place. One drawback – where sink lip meets counter can quickly build up scum and food leavings, meaning regular thorough cleaning is a necessity.

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Under Mount

Those with an eye toward modern styling will appreciate the under mounted sink. Clean counter edges all around the basin, with the faucet rising from the counter. Crumbs and water can be swept directly from the counter into the sink. The under mounted sink installation is a bit more intensive, and counters must be specially made to fit the sink.


This style of sink is making a come back as dishwashers enjoy the ergonomic design of the farmhouse sink. It protrudes beyond the edge of the counter, meaning those using the sink do not have to lean over as far to use the sink. Anyone who has spend a few hours doing dishes after a large meal will recognize the value of the apron sink design. These sinks have an exposed front side, meaning that cabinetry which holds them must be designed to display and support them.

There are so many makes and styles of sinks that you are sure to find the one that fits you just right. Hopefully this overview has helped you narrow your search, and given you the vocabulary to find the sink to help you start Living Better.