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Shopping for Stainless - Picking the Right Sink for You
June 20, 2017

If you've begun your search for a stainless steel kitchen sink, you already know that it can be quite an overwhelming experience. How do you even begin to sort through the innumerable styles and options? Well, you need to start somewhere, and I've got a few tips on where that should be.

First, evaluate the size of your kitchen. The phrase "bigger is better" is common when it comes to a sink; but if you have limited space, practicality is key. A huge sink in a cramped space will dominate the room and look awkward. Likewise, those very tiny bar sinks are designed to catch a few vegetable peelings or to wash a couple mugs; not to hold the dirty dishes from a full family dinner. Look to regular-size sinks, just smaller models, if space is an issue.

On the other hand, if you have a very spacious kitchen, almost anything goes. An overall-large sink is recommended as long as you don't overdo it. Too little counter space will be as annoying as too little sink space.

The contours of kitchen sinks are getting more and more intriguing. Many manufacturers are breaking out of the traditional rectangular shape by offering new models with both asymmetrical curves and hard geometric angles.

One of the more popular new sink forms is named after the capital letter it replicates: the D-shape. This style allows for the contemporary placement of the faucet at either back corner instead of the traditional central location; leaving you lefties and righties to argue over which side to install the faucet. Even some divided sinks have their main bowl in a D-shape, with a smaller prep sink attached.

Sinks are formed as either a single basin or a divided one. If divided, it can be done equally or unequally in various proportions. Evaluate how much, or how little, you will actually use your sink; and for what purposes.

If you do a lot of cooking and baking using large soup pots, casserole pans, and cookie sheets; you might consider a large, undivided, single-bowl design. If you do dishes by hand, or want a separate sink for the disposal; a divided sink is a smart choice. If you're conflicted because you use large cookware but like a split sink; check out a sink with a low divide which allows long pans or pot handles to fit across the lowered middle.

Also, take a look at stainless, apron-style sinks. Simulating the porcelain sinks of the mid-20th century, their bold front is impressive; but keep in mind that they need special support when installed.

What about depth? If you are fairly short, or a bit tall, a shallower sink of six inches will reduce back strain. Shallow leaves more room below the sink too. The average sink depth today is about eight inches, great for average height people. I'd go deep, ten inches or more, if you often work with large pots and pans, or want to keep that load of dirty dishes from view.

One last thing to consider is the radius of sink corners. Wide, sweeping curves have been very popular. They are easy to clean and present a soft overall appearance. Corner radii under an inch, and even 90-degree angled corners, are gaining more and more attention. Though they are a little more difficult to clean, they offer the maximum amount of sink space.