Picking the right faucet and sink that match the overall kitchen décor and deliver a reliable long-term service can be tricky. In fact, selection of adequate kitchen fixtures may even come across as a form of art to an inexperienced homeowner.
The market is constantly growing with the introduction of innovative materials and hip designs, but the main problem with modern kitchen fixtures lies in the fact that all that glitters is seldom durable. That is why we have some convenient tips here to help you pick the right plumbing pieces for your home based on your budget, needs and kitchen style.
Trusted Sink Designs and Construction Materials
The main types of kitchen sinks include stainless steel, enamel-treated cast iron, composite and solid surface fixtures. The selection of material will largely depend on your countertop surface and kitchen habits. The standard sink option is a dual-bowl fixture, but single-bowl and oversize-bowl sinks have also become popular thanks to widespread use of dishwashing machines.
- Stainless Steel Sinks – steel sinks go best with clean-cut counters made from granite or engineered stone. The rule of thumb for this sink type is: the lower the steel gauge, the more durable the sink. Although considered noisy by some people, stainless steel kitchen fixtures can stand quite a bit of tough love so they are a good option for people who have a habit of throwing heavy objects into sinks.
- Enamel-Coated Cast Iron Sinks – enamel-treated cast iron sinks are the classic alternative to stainless steel fixtures. Due to their old-school appeal, they are often installed in retro-style kitchens. The biggest problem with this sink type is surface sensitivity as enamel is prone to scratching and can wear out over time so you should handle it with care and re-do the coating if needed.
- Solid Surface Sinks – for kitchens where quick, hassle-free cleanup is essential, a solid surface sink integrated in the countertop will probably be the best choice. This sink type offers a smooth area for cleaning, but you should be careful when handling hot pots as direct contact with a heated surface can lead to sink chipping and cracking.
- Composite Sinks – budget-friendly and chic, composite sinks come in various colors and are usually made from low-resistance materials such as polyester and acrylic. The downside of this sink type is short lifespan and difficult cleaning routines, so if you can afford a sturdier fixture, do it – or go for a really posh option (as one of those stylish Clark sinks, for instance).
Faucets, a Blend of Function and Aesthetics
Once you’ve selected your sink, it is time to pick out a style-appropriate faucet spout. If design is not an issue, aim for maximum functionality and durability. Here are some things you will have to take into account when choosing the faucet.
- Faucet Type – As a general rule, faucets with ceramic disk valves and solid brass base are the most durable, while those with a cartridge or ball valve may need regular repair and potentially a complete replacement after a few years of heavy use.
- Number of Levers – single-lever faucets are a better option for the kitchen although dual-handle faucets are often installed for the sake of daily convenience and lower project costs.
- Faucet Finish – most faucets come in a variety of finishes such as brass, chrome, pewter, new bronze and polished or brushed nickel. A word of caution: if you use your kitchen faucet frequently during the day, avoid brass and opt for a more durable finish.
In addition to the faucet and sink fixtures, you can also get some clever add-ons such as a spray arm, aerators, garbage disposal and hot water dispensers to round off your kitchen getup and ensure maximum savings, comfort and longevity of components in the long-run.
Ready for the kitchen overhaul? It’s actually simple if you have the basic sink and faucet know-how – and now you do, so put your knowledge to good use.
Article written by Lillian Connors. If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. As the Co-Editor at SmoothDecorator, she cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.