When chosen well, the humble kitchen sink can be a stunning feature in your home. Getting it right involves striking the right balance of style and function. The good thing is, there are so many options you don’t even have to compromise.
These helpful pointers should inspire you to find the perfect sink for your kitchen. We’ve broken them down into five categories:
- Type and configuration
- Style and material
- Tapware and waste
If you’re here reading up on kitchen sinks, we assume you’re doing one of two things:
- Replacing an old sink or
- Creating a new kitchen
Either way, you need to determine the minimum and maximum size of your new kitchen sink – that’s front to back, side to side, and how deep it can be.
When replacing an old sink, your new sink will most likely need to be exactly the same size to fit the bench space and the tap and waste configuration. Read more in our buying guide for kitchen sinks and tapware.
In a new kitchen, you’ll need at least 800mm to fit a double sink.
But, washing dishes can be back-breaking work, so this is the size factor that really counts. Too shallow and you won’t fit large pots and pans. Too deep could mean you have to bend forward uncomfortably. And too big or too small just won’t look perfect in your kitchen.
One kitchen trend that’s impacting sink size is the butler’s pantry. Some of our customers are choosing to have only a small sink in the kitchen for basic handwashing and prepping, with a larger, more practical sink (and accompanying dirty dishes) hidden away in their secret kitchen cubby space.
Don’t forget to leave drainage and stacking space beside your sink, regardless of what size you want.
Budget for more than the sink itself! A small kitchen sink can cost as little as $135, but they can be 10 times that or more for a luxe product.
You will also need to budget for:
- Waste and tapware.
A quality set could average around $1,000. There are certainly cheaper options that won’t let you down. There are also higher-end options with filters for boiling, cold or ambient water that can reach $3,000 or more.
- Installation by a
Expect to pay around $100-$250 per hour. A simple swap will take an hour or two, but a complex job with new water or waste configurations will add up.
You may even need to engage a cabinetmaker if you want to change your existing space to fit a new size or style of sink.
Type and Configuration
The standard types are explained in our useful buying guide for kitchen sinks and tapware. They include topmount, undermount, flushmount, and farmhouse or butler’s sinks.
But, this is where it gets exciting… there are new sinks in town!
- Vessel sinks
This popular bathroom trend is branching out. A feature vessel sink could be a stunning addition to your island bench or bar if it’s just there for washing hands or basic prep.
- Smart sinks
Think faucets with touch sensors or voice control, water temperature regulation, automatic measuring, digital displays for water temperature and usage, and more.
- Workstation sinks
These sinks come with interchangeable accessories such as strainers, chopping boards, drying racks, or just extra bench space to make your life a whole lot easier.
Most types come in single or double bowl options with or without a drainer. A larger single bowl is better for washing pots and pans, whereas a double bowl gives you more multipurpose flexibility.
Style and Material
You used to have the choice of stainless steel or stainless steel, but not anymore! While this is still the most common type, kitchen sinks come in way more variety now. Decadent colours like copper and brass in polished or brushed finishes are on trend for 2023 and beyond. These are quality options if you have the budget and want a sink with a difference.
With the trend for bright white kitchens cooling slightly, darker sink colours like black, grey and gunmetal are also very popular.
For a luxurious sense of quality, consider a marble, granite or sealed natural stone sink. They will still give you long-lasting quality but may require a little extra maintenance over time, and of course a little extra outlay to start with.
Don’t get us wrong, stainless steel is still a very long-lasting option for your kitchen that offers plenty of classic style. You can go for the classic polished look or a modern brushed finish. Things to look for with stainless steel are the grade, thickness/gauge, and coatings. Grade 304 is considered the highest, with the best ratios of chromium, nickel and iron. Gauge ranges between 16-22, but don’t get confused - 16 is actually the thickest and 22 the thinnest. Thicker stainless steel is less ‘clanky’ and tougher against dents. Having a coating will also help reduce noise and condensation build up.
These days you also have the choice of perfectly round or perfectly straight kitchen sinks. Round or curved sinks have a softer more traditional look. Square and rectangular sinks lend themselves better to contemporary and minimalist styles.
Tapware and Waste
You can find the most beautiful kitchen sink, but your effort is washed down the drain if you pair it with the wrong waste and tapware.
Where possible, look for in-store demos and shop for your tapware and sink together so you can see how they pair up.
Need someone to guide you?
Buying a kitchen sink is definitely an occasion where you can’t risk purchase regret.
Further your research by speaking to our expert Tradelink showroom consultants. They can even guide you through the whole process of your kitchen build or renovation.
In the meantime, browse our range of kitchen sinks from quality brands such as Raymor, Caroma, Fienza and of course, Oliveri, which is the only commercial pressed bowl sink manufacturer in Australia.