5 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Kitchen Sink

Here's how to choose the kitchen sink of your dreams.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Farmhouse Sink
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Choosing a brand-new kitchen sink is an investment that will completely change the look and functionality of your kitchen. To make sure you get the kitchen of your wildest dreams, you should weigh some factors before taking the plunge. From the material to the ideal size, to the important choice between an undermount or drop-in sink, here's everything to think about before you buy a sink.

1. Consider the material.

When it comes to kitchen sinks, there are many materials to choose from—porcelain, stainless steel, and cast iron, to name a few. Be realistic about how much use the sink will get and how frequently (and thoroughly) you plan to clean it. Porcelain sinks are prone to stains and scuff marks, but don't worry, they are removable! It just takes a little elbow grease and a mildly abrasive cleaner, like baking soda.

If you're a little tougher on your kitchen sink, it might be smart to invest in a stainless steel sink. They look very minimal and modern and will be easier to keep clean.

2. Choose a drop-in or undermount.

What's the difference? As the name suggests, a drop-in sink drops into the counter, so there is a visible lip that rests on the counter. Alternatively, an undermount sink attaches beneath the counter, creating a seamless look.

An undermount sink (like the beautiful Elkay Lustertone Iconix Stainless Steel Sink) maximizes the available counter space since the lip of the sink rests under the counter rather than on top. If you love a clean kitchen, this sink is for you: Because there's no lip, dirt and grime can't get stuck between the sink and the edge of the countertop. Plus, undermount sinks are considered a high-end option, so this stylish kitchen sink could boost your home's resale value.

A drop-in sink is usually a more affordable choice, but it will require some care to clean. But if you need to do the sink install yourself, it's your best option.

3. Select the right size.

There are a few questions you have to keep in mind when choosing a sink size. Consider budget—generally, the larger the sink, the higher the price. You also need to be realistic about how much you use the sink. If you're not an avid cook, you can probably get away with a standard size (about 22 to 33 inches long), but it's always better to go bigger than smaller if you have the countertop space to accommodate it. Pay attention to the scale of the design as well. If you have a small kitchen, a huge farmhouse-style sink risks overwhelming the entire room.

4. Determine if you'll need to adjust the cabinets.

Think of cabinets as the foundation for your sink. Depending on what is already there, you have to carefully choose the style, unless you're doing a complete renovation. The biggest consideration: Make sure the existing cabinets can accommodate the depth and weight of the new sink. For example, a porcelain farmhouse sink that's filled with water can easily weigh over 100 pounds—the cabinetry has to be able to withstand that.

5. Pick a side: single or double bowl?

Have you ever met someone who complained about their sink being too spacious? We didn't think so. If you have the space and the money, consider a double-bowl sink. It helps you separate dirty dishes from useable sink space and makes the cleanup process easier. Plus, it gives you extra time before having to wash the dishes—perfect if you like to entertain or have a big family who goes through a ton of dishes in a day.

Alternatively, opt for a large single bowl sink if you want one big useable space without a divider in the middle. This is ideal if you tend to wash a lot of large pans or big serving dishes. Start by thinking about how you cook and clean, and you're sure to find a kitchen sink you'll love.

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