Choosing A Kitchen Sink - Part 3
Faucet Hole Drilling
Drop-in sinks have the advantage that you can purchase them with a back lip on the sink that the faucets and other accessories such as soap dispensers and spray arms mount into, see Figures 9 & 17.
The advantage to having holes in the sink rim for faucets and accessories is that any water running down the faucet will end up in the sink bowl rather than on the countertop.
Figure 17 - Drop-in double bowl, stainless steel kitchen sink with drill holes for faucets and accessories.
Numerous hole combinations are available, the most common being 3 holes with the 2 outside holes on 8 inch centers. However, it is becoming more common to have a single faucet hole, due to the number of single lever kitchen faucets now on the market
Kitchen sinks are manufactured from a variety of materials, however the most common, by far, is stainless steel.
- Stainless steel kitchen sinks - Stainless steel sinks, as shown in Figure 17, provide the homeowner with the most choices in price, sizes, shapes, mounting, hole drilling and quality.
Quality - the most important part of the quality level of a stainless steel kitchen sink is the quality of the stainless steel itself. There are many thicknesses and blends of stainless steel. The thickness of the steel is its gauge (material gauge numbers are reverse to thickness - a 20 gauge stainless steel is thinner than an 18 gauge stainless steel).
A quality stainless steel sink will be at least 18 gauge. The best stainless steel blend for a kitchen sink is #304 18/10 (18% chrome and 10% nickel). The chrome is blended in to increase its resistance to wear and add extra hardness to the material it also helps prevent corrosion. The nickel is used to provide some resistance to shock and increase the overall strength of the material.
Inexpensive stainless steel kitchen sinks can be as thin as 22 gauge. These sinks will dent easily and will not wear well.
Another consideration is the rim. Sinks that direct the water into the bowl, by having a slightly raised rim, keep counters from becoming covered in water, see Figure 17.
Other factors that pertain to quality include thermal insulation on the underside of the sink which aid in retaining water temperature and noise deadening pads to help reduce the sounds created by running water into the sink.
For individuals concerned about bacteria, a stainless steel kitchen sink is one of the easiest sinks to keep clean. That is why stainless steel is the only acceptable material for commercial and restaurant kitchens.
Figure 18 - Drop-in double bowl, porcelain enameled kitchen sink with drill holes for faucets and accessories
- Porcelain kitchen sinks - Porcelain kitchen sinks (as shown in Figure 18), unlike a toilet or bathroom sink are generally cast iron sinks (although other metals such as steel and aluminum are now being used) with a porcelain enamel baked into the surface, in the same manner as the older style bathtubs, ranges, and refrigerators.
The porcelain enameled sink, if properly cared for will last longer than any other sink material, some estimates show a life of over 35 years. Porcelain enameled sinks are available in most bowl configurations and mounting methods.
- Copper kitchen sinks - Copper kitchen sinks are the "in" product (as shown in Figure 19). When copper is hammered it produces an extremely pleasing texture and as it ages it develops a beautiful patina.
Copper sinks are available in all the mounting styles and with a fair number of single and double bowl options.
But, they are quite expensive. The unit in Figure 19 has a price tag slightly over $1,000. and that does not include the copper sink drain baskets (Figure 20) which are another $100.
Figure 19 - Copper double bowl kitchen sink
Figure 20 - Copper sink drain basket
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