An introduction to kitchen sinks
The kitchen is one of the most popular areas in the home – and with good reason. Meals are not only a necessity, but they help bring friends and family together for good times and lifelong memories.
When it comes to choosing a new kitchen or doing a kitchen renovation, it’s easy to let big-ticket items like appliances and cabinetry grab the limelight. One element that tends to get treated as an afterthought is the kitchen sink.
What’s important to know is that the humble sink is actually the most used area in the kitchen, with about 60% of our time spent there! Not only do we wash pots, pans and dishes there, we also peel and prepare vegetables, clean our produce and wash our hands in the sink.
Expert tip: it’s not necessarily worth going for the cheapest kitchen sink style. We recommend spending time researching and carefully weighing up what’s out there before you make a purchase.
So, of the seemingly endless range of options, which type of kitchen sink is best? What is the most popular kitchen sink style, and is it necessarily suited to you? How much do you want to spend? How will you use your available space to maximise comfort and efficient food preparation?
In short, it all depends on your personal needs, and your home. Be practical, know your budget and have clarity about what you want.
It’s helpful to consider what kind of aesthetic you prefer, how you like to work in the kitchen, how many people will be using the space and how often you’ll be cooking (you may be a takeaway king or queen, who knows?).
The range of Melbourne kitchen styles is simply breathtaking. If you haven’t already been through the process, it can be overwhelming to decide which kitchen sink style works best. Which is why we’ve pulled together this step-by-step guide to make this all-important decision super simple.
Some of the areas we’ll be tackling include:
- Number of bowls
- Installation method
- Sink shapes
- Kitchen sink styles
Expert tip: make sure you know the exact interior and exterior measurements of your benchtop and cabinet depth before you buy a kitchen sink. Seek the support of kitchen professionals for advice and installation expertise.
Without further ado, let’s dive into which type of kitchen sink is best for you.
How many bowls?
One of the first decisions you’ll come up against is how many bowls you want, or need. Believe it or not, a sink can come with one, two or even three bowls.
This kitchen sink style is a fantastic choice if you haven’t got much room in your kitchen because it’s simple and compact. A single bowl offers a wide, open space and is usually deeper than other types, it’s well suited for cleaning produce (or soaking large pots and pans).
Here, we head into multi-tasking territory, with a double bowl giving you the flexibility to work on different tasks. Rinsing produce on one side and soaking dishes on the other, the separation makes simultaneous washing up and food prep a breeze. We find this option of kitchen sink style a great match for people who do a lot of cooking. To keep water off the counter, the second bowl can also be used to support a dish rack. Keep in mind the bowls can be of varying dimensions and depths.
Chosen for its extreme versatility, the triple bowl offers space and width, again to make meal preps and clean up easy. Often, the middle sink acts as as a garbage disposal. Remember that the larger the sink, the more space you’ll need for the bench and cabinet below.
Choosing an installation method
What is the most popular kitchen sink style when it comes to installation methods? These are the three most common kinds you’ll find:
The highly durable topmount sinks, are so called as they are inserted into a pre-cut hole into the benchtop. The wide lip or rim rests on the benchtop as support. A cost-effective and highly popular choice, this type of kitchen sink style is easy to install. Just make sure to regularly clean the area around the exposed lip to avoid grime from building up, particularly in the older-style sinks or more basic builder sinks. Ideal for laminate or timber benchtops and comes in many configurations.
It’ll come as no surprise that the undermount kitchen sink style is installed under the counter, giving the area a smooth, sleek and streamlined look. While more expensive than a topmount, the undermount sink provides fuss-free bench cleaning. It goes well with solid-surface, non-porous countertops (think granite, marble or manufactured stone such as Caesarstone). Don’t attempt to DIY, though. A well-installed undermount is one for the experts as additional supporting structures and precision cutting is needed! Great for kitchens that are limited on space.
How to understand sink shapes
We know the process of selecting the best kitchen sink style can be bewildering. So it may come as a relief that casting a vote on the shape of your sink is relatively straightforward.
While there are a handful of left-of-field options (such as a specialised corner sink with a U or L-shaped counter), most people will lean towards the standard range. So if we’re talking shapes, what is the most popular kitchen sink style?
Rectangular or square
This shape is one of the top choices for contemporary kitchens. Offering simplicity and a minimalist look, rectangular or square sink basins are usually inserted into the countertop. It’s a great choice if you need a sink built into a kitchen island.
Round or oval
Also highly popular, this shape works best for preparation sinks or as a space to hold dishes, pots and pans. The size and depth of round or oval sinks can vary, depending on your needs. You’ll appreciate their curved shapes, which are easier to clean than a kitchen sink style with sharp lines and angles.
The butler’s sink is also called a farmhouse, French, skirted or apron sink. It features a distinctive exposed ‘apron’ front and a large, deep basin. Rectangular in shape and with curved edges, the butler’s sink is set into the benchtop and cabinetry. It boasts a classic vintage look which beautifully complements a French Provincial, Hamptons style or country-style kitchen. Today’s makes are made to last and are delightfully easy to keep clean, particularly if you go for the stainless steel version.
Selecting the right material
We’ve saved the best for last – kitchen sink styles. The decisions you’ve faced so far will seem like a breeze compared to sourcing the right material for your kitchen sink. Why? Because the array of materials available in Melbourne kitchen sinks is truly breathtaking.
Just remember there’s no right or wrong. Material choice simply comes down to a blend of aesthetics, functionality and budget. Here’s an introduction to the most popular kitchen sink styles material-wise. Enjoy the ride!
While other materials are gaining headway in popularity, stainless steel has traditionally been the go-to option in many households. Known for its durability, easy maintenance and high-hygiene standards, stainless steel is an extremely versatile kitchen sink style. Available in different qualities (measured by gauge) and price points, this material seamlessly integrates into any modern or industrial-style kitchen.
With its distinct old-world look, ceramic sinks look right at home in more traditional kitchens. However, nowadays, you’ll find brands that blend well with modern kitchen designs too. With plenty of colours to choose from, you can veer towards a ceramic sink that offers a bold contrast to the benchtop or effortlessly colour matches it. Manufactured with traditional methods, modern ceramic sinks are enduring and unbeatably easy to care for.
Not to be confused with ceramic sinks, fireclay sinks are created using time honoured methods of artisanal craftsmanship which involve firing at extremely high temperatures. Complementary to either a modern or Hampton style home, fireclay sinks boast a quality of elegance.
Check out the world-renowned Shaws range of kitchen sink styles, which come with a lifetime guarantee. The company’s heavyduty fireclay sinks have been handmade in Lancashire, England, since 1897. Shaws sinks are notable for their beauty, quality, craftsmanship and sheer practicality. Part of its unique production process includes firing sinks at extreme temperatures and glazing them twice, making it one, if not the only company to do this. Apart from having beautiful hand-moulded lines, Shaws sinks are ‘white white’, shock resistant, heat resistant, and dirt and stain resistant. They come in a variety of styles such as fluted fascia, a lowered offset diving bar, classic square, a rounded bowl, and bow fronted.
Natural stone sinks have a killer stylish look and can lift any kitchen. However, beware. They do need special care and sealing. Luxurious and attractive, stone sink types include 100% marble and 100% granite. For a cheaper alternative, you can try a man-made composite. With their attractive speckled appearance, granite composite sinks can be a smart choice for your kitchen.
Ask yourself, what is the most popular kitchen sink style? For some folk, the answer could well be the butler’s sink. With its bowl and exposed apron in the front, the butler’s choice brings a certain old-world charm to a kitchen. You can have some fun with the apron by decorating it with tiles, leaving it natural or painting it. When it comes to choosing sink material, you’re spoilt for choice. The original butler’s sinks were made of cast iron. These days, the range includes porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, natural stone and copper.
Porcelain is associated with fragility. If you use heavy cook wear or tend to throw things into the sink with wild abandon, this might be a kitchen sink style you want to avoid as you’re more likely to get chips and scratches. If you’re prepared to commit to a degree of care and upkeep, then this may be a good selection for your household.
This Melbourne kitchen sink is affordable and attractive. Because it’s lightweight, an acrylic sink suits any benchtop material. Reinforced with fibreglass and resin, an acrylic sink comes in a rich variety of colours, patterns and shapes. On the flip side, this kitchen sink style is enduring, but not as much as some other materials.
A high-budget choice, copper sinks are a stunning addition and talking point for a kitchen. Plus, they come with an intriguing advantage. Studies show that copper has anti-microbial properties, which in simple terms means that bacteria can’t thrive on a copper surface!
This is by no means a complete list of all the materials available for kitchen sink styles. There are many others such as solid surface sinks (a non-porous material made of resin and minerals such as Corian) and vitreous china.
Making the right choice
We hope this detailed guide to kitchen sinks has helped answer the pressing question, ‘what is the most popular kitchen sink style for me’? Whether you’re a confident DIY-er or planning to enlist the help of a professional team, doing your due diligence is the first step when shopping for your new kitchen sink.
By making the right choice, your kitchen sink will be transformed from a functional unit to a design highlight of the space.
Expert tip: an out-of-the-box handy tip to make your kitchen sink buying journey a little easier is to put some thought into whether you want a utility draining tray. These are gaining in popularity as they free up a lot of bench space, especially in a smaller kitchen.
Good luck and happy hunting!
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