Where do you spend most of your time in the kitchen? Whether you are head chef in your family or chief dishwasher (or both!) you probably spend much of your time centered around the kitchen sink. This often-underappreciated part of the kitchen design is essential to running an efficient kitchen that is both easy to use and maintain. The sink, plus the faucet and accessories you pair with it, also influence your room’s style. From the size and shape to the material and finish, your kitchen sink and faucet combination can transform the way you use and enjoy your kitchen remodel.
Learn more in our essential guide to finding the perfect pairing of sink and faucet.
Start by Asking What You Need
As with any element of a kitchen remodel, you should first identify your requirements. Every family is unique, so your specific needs may differ from your neighbor or that beautiful kitchen you saw on social media. Also, there is a wide array of options available in different budget ranges, so it helps to start by narrowing down the choices based on your functional needs.
Start this process by identifying what you like and don’t like about your current kitchen design. Call a family meeting, walk through your kitchen, and make a list of what you absolutely want to change and what you would like to keep the same. Maybe you love the position of your current kitchen sink, but really need to update the style and include a faucet with better functionality. Or perhaps you want to update you layout by relocating your sink to an island, so you can more easily prepare dinner while keeping an eye on the kids. Jot down your ideas and bring this, along with photos, to your meeting with your kitchen designer.
You should also look at your family and lifestyle when planning all elements of a kitchen design, including the kitchen sink and faucet. Identify who uses your kitchen and will this change during the lifetime of this proposed kitchen remodel. For example, are you a young family with small children? Or have your kids left for college and beyond, and you are remodeling for your own use and for aging in place? There are many options that can make life easier, whether you anticipate small children using the sink to wash playdough from their hands or older family members preparing favorite meals.
Who does most of the cooking and food prep in your kitchen, and do you typically have more than one person preparing food at one time? If yours is a busy kitchen with more than one person helping or multiple activities going on at once, you may want to consider a larger sink with two faucets or even two separate sinks for different purposes. Also look at what else you use your kitchen for, other than food preparation. For example, if you entertain frequently, you may want to consider a standalone beverage bar with a separate sink.
Design your kitchen functionality and style, including the kitchen sink and faucet, to meet your family’s requirements. A design customized to your needs will enhance your quality of life for years to come.
Then Consider What You Want
Like any component of your kitchen design, the sink and faucet influence your room’s style. They are typically situated in a prominent location, like near a window in the perimeter of the kitchen layout or at the center of the kitchen island. Sinks and faucets also come in a range of styles, so you can find a combination to enhance any kitchen design aesthetic, from farmhouse to modern.
Many of the latest faucets have a high arc and come in different materials and finishes. You could select a faucet that matches your sink or go for a more eclectic look by pairing different, but complementary, styles. Think of the faucet as one or your kitchen design accessories and consider how it will fit together with other elements like cabinet hardware or lighting. You can match these components or select a contrasting tone for your faucet that lets it stand out.
With so many options, it can be difficult to find the perfect combination. In addition to browsing online style galleries, work with an experienced kitchen design professional and look at options in person in a full-service showroom. This will help you to narrow down the choices and visualize how they will fit into your overall kitchen design.
Find the Sink Style That Fits Your Requirements
From the most basic to the deluxe, there are sinks and faucets to fit every style and budget.
The most common and popular choice is an undermount sink. They fit neatly under the countertop attached by clips and provide a clean look that fits any kitchen design style. They require more skill to install as the sink must be precisely matched to a hole cut into the countertop, so this is not ideal for a DIY project. They also allow for easier clean up, since water and other liquids can be simply swept from the countertop into the sink with nothing in its way.
Farmhouse or apron front sinks are another option that have grown in popularity. Despite its name, these sinks are not limited to only farmhouse or rustic kitchens. They refer to sinks that are installed just below the countertop level and exposed at the front, often sticking out just past the countertop. Farmhouse sinks are typically large and deep, as they were intended for a busy household that needs to accommodate washing lots of large pots and pans. The more traditional farmhouse sink is white, but they come in stainless, stone, copper, and more to complete the look of your kitchen design.
Top mount or drop-in sinks are usually a less expensive option with an easier installation method. They are not as easy to keep clean and do not offer as sleek a profile since they have a rim that sits around the hole cut into the countertop. They can be found in a range of materials and offer a more cost effective solution that can be installed as part of a DIY home improvement project.
In addition to the installation method, sinks are also differentiated by their basin options. These include single bowl, double bowl, and low divider double bowl. A large single bowl sink is ideal if you need to accommodate large pots, while double bowl sinks allow for multi-tasking where one side can be reserved for food prep and the other for clean-up. The low divide double bowl simply provides a cleaner profile with the benefits of a double bowl sink, since the divider sits lower into the sink basin.
The workstation sink, like the Galley Ideal Kitchen Workstation, takes the definition of a “sink” to the next level. The Galley transforms your kitchen sink area into a stylish, efficient, multi-purpose workstation where you can easily transition from food prep to serving to clean up. Every Galley can be paired with a variety of accessories like colanders, cutting boards, and serving compartments that slide in and out when you need them. Learn more on our Galley web page or ask to see our full Galley display when you visit our Pleasant View, TN showroom.
Sink Materials and Finishes
Sink materials affect not only the final style of your sink, but also the weight, durability, ongoing maintenance, and of course the price point. Some of the materials available for kitchen sinks include:
Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used materials since it scores highly in terms of durability, ease of installation, price point, and style. It is a moderately more affordable option, though this can vary from one model to the next and can be found in all installation methods. Stainless sinks tend to fit any style and are a quality, durable option.
Cast iron sinks are heavy and durable, with a higher price tag to match. These sinks are finished in a glossy white porcelain enamel coating, which makes them an ideal choice for a farmhouse or cottage style kitchen design. They require specialist installation as they are quite heavy and, while durable, the enamel can chip if heavy items are dropped on it.
Fireclay sinks have a similar appearance to cast iron, but they are more durable and therefore more expensive. These sinks are made from clay and a glaze that is fused at a high temperature.
Granite composite is another sink material that has grown in popularity due to its durable, hygienic, and stylish qualities. They are nonporous, scratch- and heat-resistant, and relatively easy to maintain.
Another option is an integrated sink, which is made of the same material as the countertop and often is one continuous piece. This creates a unified style that is simple to clean and generally easy to maintain, though this depends on the chosen material. Keep in mind that an integrated sink is difficult to replace, and often involves replacing the countertop too.
Find the Faucet that Works with Your Sink
We all know how essential faucets are to a room that relies on hot and cold water on demand. You depend on your faucets for cleaning hands, washing food, and cleaning up dishes, pots, and pans. You only become truly aware of a fixture like a faucet when something doesn’t work right. Choose the right faucet that meets your needs and it’s like an old friend who is always there when you need it. Faucets can be differentiated based on the type, mounting method, and the material and finish.
There are several types of kitchen faucets that range from the most basic to professional style and even high tech. Here are some of the key types and the mounting methods.
- Pull out faucets pull straight out and have a greater range of motion, whereas pull down faucets have a spray wand that pulls down into the sink to facilitate clean up.
- Two handled faucets are a more traditional style with two handles on either side of the spout, which can be either levers or knobs. Single handle faucets, on the other hand, control the temperature and water pressure with a single lever.
- Touchless faucets use sensors to allow you to turn the water on and off by waving your hand. They are ideal for when you are handling raw meat or children with messy hands want to turn on the water.
- Smart faucets take your faucet high tech, by using voice controls, an app, sensors, or the handle to control the water. You can specify the amount and temperature of the water and save presets for tasks you perform regularly.
- Commercial faucets have a longer and more flexible spout to help in preparing meals and cleaning and bring a distinct industrial feel to any kitchen design.
- Neck styles are another differentiator, including a standard curved neck, straight neck, or high-arced gooseneck.
Faucets also come in different mounting options, which impacts the position of your faucet, plumbing and installation requirements, and the number of holes required. Deck mount are the most popular for a kitchen design, but make sure you have sufficient clearance for the faucet if it is installed under wall cabinets. Wall mount is another option, though this is more typically seen with bathroom faucets.
Faucet Materials and Finishes
Faucet components come in different materials, which impact the longevity, maintenance requirements, and price tag. Talk to your kitchen design expert about the mechanism that sits behind your faucet options to see which is best for you.
A finish is applied to this material, which is another main factor influencing the faucet’s style. These finishes include:
- Stainless, which goes well with any style kitchen and sink, and offers a cohesive look when paired with a stainless sink.
- Polished chrome, which has a silver finish that helps your kitchen design sparkle but can be prone to water spots and fingerprints. Polished nickel has a similar finish and works well with traditional styles.
- Matte black is a choice that has grown in popularity. It works well with light colored cabinetry and is often paired with matte black cabinet hardware.
- Brushed or satin brass bring a muted gold look that works well with trendy cabinet shades like blue or black, while rose gold is an eye-catching shade that will make any kitchen sink the focal point of the design.
- Oil rubbed bronze offers an alternative with a deeper finish and is perfect for a more traditional style kitchen design.
Pick Your Perfect Sink and Faucet Pairing
Now that you have a better understanding of kitchen sink and faucet options, how do you go about picking the perfect pairing for your home? Follow these steps to get you started:
- Think about your home and family and what you need. There’s no point picking a traditional style with intricate knobs if small children or elderly family members won’t be able to grip and turn them as easily as a single lever or touchless faucet.
- Look at the size of your kitchen, the layout, and where you want to position your sink. Consider the clearance available for your faucet and how well your faucet choice and sink size go together. Don’t overwhelm your kitchen design with too large a sink, and don’t choose the biggest pro faucet for a smaller sink, because they just won’t work well together.
- Consider how your faucet and sink fit into your overall kitchen design style. Do you have a clear aesthetic for your kitchen and what style sink and faucet work best with this? Or would you prefer an eclectic vibe that pairs some elements of different design styles. Do you want your sink and faucet to match, or your faucet to match other design elements like cabinet hardware?
- Finally, examine your available budget and how much of your remodeling dollars you can commit to the sink and faucet. If your first choice is out of reach, then look at alternatives that come as close as possible to your needs within your budget range.
Choosing the ideal kitchen sink and faucet pairing for your kitchen design can transform the way you use your kitchen You probably spend more time at the sink than you realize, so why not choose a sink and faucet that enhances your style, improves efficiency, and is easier to clean and maintain. Our kitchen design experts are ready to help when you stop by our Pleasant View, TN showroom!