Buying Guide To Kitchen Sinks & Taps

February 04, 2015
Buying Guide To Kitchen Sinks & Taps

You’ve made the exciting decision to renovate your kitchen. You’re now at the planning stage of your kitchen renovation and it’s time to think about kitchen sinks and in turn, kitchen taps. Where to begin? Well, we've pulled together a guide to help you know what your options are and what’s available on the market currently when it comes to selecting the perfect kitchen sink and kitchen taps for your dream kitchen renovation.

Before we go into more details about kitchen sinks and taps, one of the most important considerations when buying your kitchen sink and tap is to keep in mind that they both complement each other in size. It seems obvious but you'd be surprised how many people make this mistake. When you think about how many times a day you'll be using your kitchen sink and tap, you'll soon come to the conclusion that it needs to be extremely functional and, the correct size helps make this so.

Read More: Practical Kitchen Design Advice

Kitchen Sinks

The kitchen sink, used for washing dishes and preparing food, is one of the most used items in a kitchen. As such, it needs to function efficiently and be suitable for your daily needs and wants.

Alt text

Kitchen sinks can be commonly grouped into to two categories:

Drop In Kitchen Sinks

Drop in kitchen sinks are the most straightforward to install. This type of sink, as the name suggests, is simply dropped into the cutout kitchen benchtop and the edges of the kitchen sink overlap the cutout. One consideration to keep in mind when purchasing a drop in kitchen sink is that due to it's installation type, a barrier is created between the benchtop surface and the edge of the kitchen sink. As such, when you wipe food and liquids away from the edge of the kitchen sink, crumbs and fluid can be trapped in that cavity and it's difficult to clean fully.

Under Counter Kitchen Sinks

Under counter kitchen sinks, also known as under-mount, are like a drop in kitchen sink suggests, they are installed under your kitchen benchtop. The kitchen sink can either be supported underneath by your kitchen cabinet structure or, can be fastened and hung directly off the benchtops underside. With the latter installation option, you need to keep in mind the weight of the kitchen sink itself as the appropriate attachment fasteners will need to be installed. Opposite to the drop in kitchen sink, an under counter kitchen sink allows you to easily clean around the benchtop and kitchen sink edges as there is no opportunity for food or fluid to be trapped underneath.

Kitchen Sink Materials

When it comes to selecting what type of material your kitchen sink will be, there are several options available.

Stainless Steel - is the most common kitchen sink material. Stainless steel kitchen sinks are incredibly durable and can come in polished and brush finishes. The thicker the steel, the higher the quality of the kitchen sink. When glasses, mugs or dishes are accidentally dropped in a stainless steel sink, they can be more forgiving than other material kitchen sinks.

Fireclay - is basically a clay that can withstand high temperatures and is commonly used for making firebricks. It's very similar to vitreous china but far more robust. Fireclay can be both matte or glossy finish.

Alt text

Kitchen Sink Configuration

Kitchen sinks can come in square, rectangle and circle shapes. There are numerous kitchen sink configurations on the market. When deciding on what kitchen sink configuration best suits your needs, it's worth thinking about the size and work flow of your kitchen layout. The more common kitchen sink configurations include single bowls, single bowls with a return, double bowl, double bowl with return, full bowl with 1/2 bowl and return, the list goes on. If you don't own a dishwasher, a double bowl with a return is recommended so you can wash, rinse and dry your dishes easily.

Some of the most popular kitchen sink brands on the market are Franke, Sagi and Paco Jaanson.

Read More: Which Kitchen Sink Suits Your Needs

Kitchen Taps

Kitchen taps, also know as kitchen faucets, along with kitchen sinks have always been one of the most essential components to a well functioning kitchen. The humble kitchen tap has seen improvements in both style and technology over the years.

Read More: How To Select The Right Tap

Alt text

Kitchen taps can come in the form of:

Kitchen Sink Mixer

The kitchen sink mixer tap is a very popular choice. It is called a mixer because it has a cartridge inside which mixes the hot and cold water together via a lever, commonly incorrectly referred to as a handle.

Kitchen Sink Mixer Tap with Hose

Exactly the same as a kitchen sink mixer except, the kitchen sink mixer tap with hose has a hose that retracts down the spout making it very handy to fill large pots with water, clean vegetables and fruit and wash odd large shape items like vases etc.

Kitchen Filtered, Chilled, Boiling and Sparkling Tap

Kitchen tap technology has advanced so much over the years that there are now taps on the market that can provide instant filtered, chilled, boiled or sparkling water. These taps are usually professionally installed by the brand you purchase the tap from. They do require space underneath the benchtop to allow for the system to work efficiently.

Kitchen Sink Tap Set

More of a traditional tap, the sink tap set consists of a spout and one tap either side for both hot and cold water. Kitchen sink tap sets can be mounted on a hob, wall or the sink directly. Keep in mind, this formation requires three separate holes to allow for the pipework.

Kitchen Tap Material

When it comes to selecting what material and finish your kitchen tap will be, be mindful of your kitchen design style and the look your wanting to achieve. The most popular kitchen tap materials and finishes are:

Chrome - silver in colour, chrome can come in a shiny polished finish or a brushed, matte finish. The polished finish has a tendency to show more finger marks and can therefore be harder to keep clean and free from markings. Both are equally popular choices in modern kicthen renovations.

Brass - gold in colour, brass taps are a lovely addition to a more traditional or country style kitchen.

Solid Colour - for the more adventurous, solid colour taps in the kitchen can make for a real talking point. Ranging from white, black, yellow and every colour in between these are perfect for a modern kitchen renovation.

Some of the most popular kitchen tap brands on the market are Methven, Franke, Webert, Phoenix and Zip Industries.

We hope this buying guide has helped you in your search for your perfect kitchen sink and taps and best of luck with your renovation!

Read More: Renovation tips, hints and trends