Building & Renovating Tips
Synthetic Grass Maintenance and Installation: A Complete GuideSynthetic grass gardens and artificial turf landscaping has been on the rise lately. Despite being seen as a novelty not so long ago, artificial grass or "fake" grass has been the go-to landscaping option among home-owners due to its versatility and easier maintenance as compared to natural grass.
- Jimmy T
Butler SinksButler sinks are often smaller in size than the standard kitchen sink that is often used in the butler pantry, their origins came as a fireclay butler sink or ceramic sink but in modern times we've taken the concept of the butler sink and made changes and adaptions.
How to Unblock a Kitchen Sink: A Short GuideBlocked kitchen sinks are the bane of many homeowners. It can be a stressful experience especially if you’ve never fixed a blocked sink. What’s even worse is that the blocked sink may be very dirty and smelly!
- Andrej Kovacevic
Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks: A Guide for Home Owners
It might not be obvious at first, but choosing the right sink for your kitchen is one of the more important aspects of furnishing a house.
Choosing the best sink for your kitchen is a mixture of several elements; you’ll need something that works great when you’re cleaning your dishes, preparing your food, and everything else that you’d need in a sink - it has to be practical.
After that, if you want something that looks nice, you have to know that you’ve chosen the right type of material, style, and cost for your sink.
You may feel a little overwhelmed by the decision to choose a sink. Over here at Build Mat, we’ve come up with a short guide for you to make an informed decision.
Understanding what your kitchen sink needs
You have to ask yourself: are you refurbishing your entire kitchen which includes the sink too? Are you looking for a replacement for your current sink?
Whatever your choice is, you’ll have to consider these factors when looking or a new sink:
- The size and shape of your new sink
- The type of material that your kitchen counter is made from
- The type and size of the drainer for your sink
- The design of your sink (some sinks may not fit your current kitchen counter unless you’re looking for a complete kitchen renovation)
- The cost of the new sink
There are other factors to include but these are the main ones. Having a good understanding of these factors will allow you to choose a sink that looks nice in your kitchen as well as saving you money in the long run.
The factors to think about before your next purchase
In this section, we’ll cover the factors mentioned above in greater detail.
Material of the sink
Your sinks will go through years and years of water flow which (believe it or not) can corrode your sink. Fortunately, modern kitchen sinks are able to last basically forever.
So, it doesn’t matter if you want a marble or copper sink, it’ll last for a long time. With that being said, the best kitchen sink that you can get is always a stainless steel sink.
However, every stainless steel sink is not the same in grades. 18/8 stainless steel sinks (also known as grade 304 stainless steel) are the best choice for kitchen sinks as it has a higher resistance to corrosion.
Lower quality sinks are made from grade 430 stainless, a grade that is more vulnerable to rust and corrosion. A good way to find out if your sink is of the highest quality stainless steel is to test it with a magnet. If it sticks to the sink, it is a grade 304 sink.
Thickness (gauge) of the sink
Sinks are generally more expensive the thicker it gets. For stainless steel sinks, the thickness of it is measured by its gauge. The lower the gauge of a sink, the thinner it is.
However, the thickness of a sink does not affect the quality or performance of a sink. The only difference between sinks with different gauges is the noise generated by running water.
A 20-gauge sink (which is “thinner”) will emit a lot of noise when water runs on it. In contrast, a heavier and thicker 16-gauge sink is less noisy when water splashes on the surface of the sink.
If you are trying to cut costs as much as possible, there are sprays on the market that coats your sink with a layer that reduces the sound of water splashing on the surface. With the spray, you’ll be able to get a cheaper 20-gauge sink with zero noise emission.
The style and size of the sink
The size and style of a sink are determined by the layout and design of your kitchen. Bar sinks are the smallest category, requiring little more than a foot in either direction and about half that for depth.
Single-bowl sinks, on the other hand, run a bit larger, with widths of 20-25 inches as well as an average depth of 10-inch. If you are looking for double bowl sinks, they have the same measurements as a single bowl sink except that it is wider.
There are several other styles such as the oval sink but most of them should have measurements that are almost the same as the single and double-bowl sinks.
Style-wise, stainless steel sinks are usually available in two styles: a brushed-satin finish or a polished mirror finish. A mirror finish will look better but a brushed-satin finish is easier to clean and maintain.
Price of the sink
You can expect to pay an average of $250 to $450 (AUD) for a new kitchen sink. Something like a double-bowl sink with a 16-gauge stainless steel finish would cost you about $350 (AUD). Of course, the bigger your sink is and the better the finish is, you’ll have to fork out more than $500 AUD.
If you enjoy something more classy such as a marble sink, expect to pay up to $1,500 AUD. While many of these sinks come with a limited lifetime warranty, it’s important to have a chat with your retailer to understand what’s covered under the warranty.
Installation fees and process
Surprisingly, the installation fee for your sink is something that many homeowners forget about. If you are a handyman, this should not be an issue for you. If you are not, however, it’s best to contact your retailer to see if they provide free installations.
It’s also important to know that hot and cold water lines must be run from the house and insulated properly to protect against freezing during the winter season. You can also run cold water only through your tap.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that the sink’s drainage must be redirected to your town’s municipal wastewater system. You can get a plumber to do it for you for about $1,000 to $3,000 AUD depending on how much work needs to be done for your sink.
Your stainless steel kitchen sinks will need to be cleaned from time to time. A simple rinse and scrub with a sponge removes a lot of dirt from your sink. If you are worried about scratching the surface of your kitchen sink, use baking soda as it cleans dirt without leaving behind scratches.
Before winter, homeowners in cold areas must shut off the water supply and drain the lines to prevent the freezing and bursting of pipes. A good-fitting cover will protect the sink from rain, snow, and debris, extending its life.
Looking for the best kitchen sinks?
Over here at Build Mat, we have plenty of high-quality kitchen sinks for homeowners like you.
All of our collections are fit for Australian Standards and UPC certified as well as coming along with a 5-year warranty. View our Stainless Steel Sinks range.
You can also head over to our main website to have a look at out home improvement products which will definitely make your house look great!
- Jimmy T
Keeping the Kitchen Sink Fresh, Fragrant and Fantastic
Your stainless steel kitchen sink is a valuable asset that can make the kitchen look a million dollars. But kitchen sinks have a tough life. Food is slopped onto it, saucepans scrape it, cutlery and crockery scuff it, and harsh chemicals and scratchy dish cleaners are often used in its cleaning, taking away its gleam and wow factor.
To ensure it continues to be an asset for many years to come, there is an easy, scratch-free, and environmentally friendly way to clean it, so it stays gleamingly fresh and like new, for a very long time. Here’s how.
Make sure you are prepared for the job
Before starting, gather together all the items you need. This will be bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar, vegetable oil and a cleaning cloth. Wipe down the area to be cleaned with hot, soapy water so it is clear of debris. This includes taps and draining boards.
Cleaning the sink
Sprinkle bicarbonate over the area and use the cleaning cloth to push it around the sink until you feel it is clean. Rinse this off with the vinegar. Vinegar is a disinfectant that will make the bicarbonate fizz. Failure to use it will result in a powdery surface that is hard to rub off. Wash all this off with hot, soapy water and dry the area. Wipe down with a smidgen of vegetable oil and buff it off.
What about the plug?
The kitchen sink will be left fresh and clean, but the plug will need extra care. To keep it in tiptop condition, put it and a good amount of bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and pour vinegar onto it. The vinegar will fizz and the froth will quickly rise to fill the bowl, covering the plug and cleaning it thoroughly. When it has finished fizzing, tip the mixture down the plughole. This will effectively eliminate smells coming from the u-bend.
Keeping the kitchen sink looking fantastic is easy when using these natural products. Without a doubt, it will retain its original properties and be an outstanding centrepiece for many years to come. Visit our Range of Buildmat Kitchen Sinks here.
- Greta Vu
How to Choose a Cheap and High-Quality Kitchen Sink
The living room may be the most attractive part of a house but it is wholly agreed that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home.
Being one of the more important parts of a house, the sink handles most of the legwork in the kitchen. Since you’ll be using the kitchen sink a lot, having a high-quality sink is essential for any modern home.
One of the aspects to consider when choosing a kitchen sink is its durability. Most kitchen sinks can last for up to 20 years with proper maintenance; however, they do wear out over time.
The sink may start to chip or fade out which can cause leaks to happen if you do not get it fixed. Corrosion may also occur over time if you handle a lot of acidic stuff in your sink.
Today, sinks are available in an array of styles and materials. It’s not uncommon to see porcelain or stone finishes for sinks, particularly in modern homes.
Despite being an essential part of the kitchen, sinks are one of the more cheaper components in the kitchen. The price may go well into the 4-figure range for higher-end finishes, but most sinks will cost you $300 at most.
In this post, we’ll offer insights and tips on how to choose a great kitchen sink for your kitchen while maintaining a reasonable budget. We strongly believe that you don’t have to break the bank to get a high-quality kitchen sink for your home.
The material of the sink
Traditional kitchen sinks are usually made from grade-304 stainless steel or from solid surfaces such as cast iron. Choosing the material of your kitchen sink is usually based on a few reasons such as its look and its function.
Stainless steel sinks are also the best option for your kitchen if you want a sink that is balanced in the design and functionality department. Besides, they are also cheaper than sinks that are made from other materials.
If you have a solid surface counter that is made out of stone, stainless steel sinks will look great when paired with it. Stainless steel sinks also have the added advantage of being able to be undermounted in the surface (placed inside rather than on top of the surface).
Stainless steel sinks are also a good option if you don’t want to worry about being gentle in the kitchen. They are strong enough to handle abuse from heavy usage. For example, a ceramic sink may crack if you drop a pestle in it (although that’d be silly of you!)
While you’re shopping for a stainless steel sink, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that are:
- The grading of the stainless steel sink
- The thickness (gauge) of the stainless steel sink
Grade-304 stainless steel sinks are the best quality kitchen sinks for homeowners. Kitchen sinks with this grade are more resistant to corrosion and dullness.
One way to find out if a stainless sink is a grade-304 sink is to use a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the sink, it is a grade-304 sink. Of course, you can also take the easy way by asking your manufacturer.
As for the thickness of the sink, the general rule is that the thicker the sink is, the more expensive it is. For stainless steel sinks, you measure the thickness of it by measuring its gauge. The higher the gauge of a sink, the thicker it will be.
The gauge or thickness of a stainless sink matters if you are easily annoyed by the noise of running water. A thicker sink will absorb most of the sound from water splashing on the surface while thinner sinks will produce more sound.
If you are not bothered by the sound of running water in your sink, you can go with a thinner sink to save money.
There are some other kitchen sink materials that you might like such as:
Not to be confused with composite sinks, stone sinks are usually made from natural stone such as soapstone. This type of sink can help create an elegant look for your kitchen with its sleek and contemporary finish.
However, stone-based sinks are usually made from expensive materials which make it very costly to install. Stone-based sinks also scratch and chip easily; you’ll need to be extra careful when handling it.
Porcelain sinks are very common in modern kitchens. Like stone-based sinks, porcelain sinks can add a modern touch to the interior of your kitchen. Porcelain sinks may also come in different colours although white is the global standard.
However, porcelain sinks chip easily and may leave behind stains or marks if you handle things such as cast-iron pans in it. You would also need to be careful while handling heavy things in porcelain sinks as it can crack under pressure.
Composite sinks are usually made out of granite. They are popular due to the fact that composite sinks are resistant to corrosion which makes it ideal for outdoor use or when there is hard water flow in your home.
However, composite sinks will need special maintenance to keep it clean. Lighter-coloured composite sinks are more prone to stains from food or other materials.
The number of sinks that you need and its configuration
Usually, the number of sinks that you need for your kitchen is decided by the size of your kitchen.
Modern kitchen sinks look beautiful but you need to consider its practicality as well. The size of the room matters a lot when choosing a kitchen sink. Large kitchen sinks, for instance, will look out of place in a small-sized kitchen.
If your kitchen is small but you still want a double-bowl sink, a combination of one large sink and one small sink is an excellent choice. Of course, if you don’t care about the aesthetics of your kitchen, you’re free to do whatever you want!
For your convenience, here are the pros and cons of each kitchen sink configuration:
Large, single sink configurations
What’s good about it? A large, single sink gives you a lot of space to work around. This means that you can fit large dishes or many dishes at once which cannot be achieved with smaller sinks.
For the best results, choose a deep basin that is roughly 35 inches wide and about 9-10 inches deep. Anything shallower and you may find out that there is too little space for you to work with.
What’s bad about it? Having a single sink means that sharing workload is not an effective option. You may also need to switch between two tasks at once since there’s only one sink.
With that being said, you can add accessories to a single sink such as a drainer or colander to make work easier.
Two sinks with varying sizes
What’s good about it? Having two sinks grants you the flexibility of performing multiple tasks at once e.g washing dishes in one sink and cleaning fruits in the other.
For the best results, you want a sink that is about 18 inches wide while the smaller sink should be about 13-14 inches wide. The general idea around dual sinks is to handle the preparation in one and clean in the other.
For instance, you can soap the dishes in one sink while the other sink is used to rinse off the soap from the dishes.
What’s bad about it? Smaller basins don’t have as much space as single sinks. This means that having multiple or large dishes may be a problem if you are not good at managing your workload.
You are free to adjust the ratio of your sinks’ size to your liking. The general ratio is 60/40; with 60% being the size of the larger sinks and 40% the size of the smaller sink.
You may also go with a symmetrical 50/50 size for both of your kitchen sinks.
Choosing the best sinks for your kitchen
Over here at BuildMat, we pride ourselves in only supplying high-quality materials for your kitchen appliances.
Our products come with a 5-year warranty as well as being 100% locally owned and operated. Our products are also quality-tested extensively according to ISO9001 standards.
We’re having a sale right now of up to 50% for kitchen sinks!
Make your decision now by clicking here to go our products page.
To learn more about home appliances, head over to our blog where we have guides and how-tos for builders and homeowners.
The Latest Kitchen Design Trends for 2019: Sinks, Appliances, Colours and MoreA kitchen needs to be more than just a random collection of appliances and fixtures. Since the kitchen is typically the central hub of activity in Australian homes, it’s a space that needs to appeal to the emotions. Ideally, it should evoke feelings of comfort, peace, hospitality, security and vitality. The kitchen also needs to be suitably practical, allowing the chef in the house to efficiently wash, chop, blend, cook and perform all the myriad functions essential to preparing each meal.
Causes of Rust on Stainless Steel Products
Rust is caused by a metallic particulate which has oxidized on the surface of a product and turned it to rust. When rust occurs on a product, it resides on the top surface. Glass, enamelled cast iron, vitreous china, stainless steel, and Vikrell cannot rust on its own. Rust is not the result of a manufacturing process, nor is it considered a defect in the product.
Maintenance-Free Ways to Liven Up Your Outdoor Space
Is your home missing that little oomph? If you’ve tried everything to improve your patio or yard but still can’t get it to gel, this article is for you. Whether you own an apartment or a ten bedroom mansion, these maintenance-free lifesavers will breathe some life back into your yard or outdoor space. Best of all, there'll be no gardening required whatsoever! Perfect for parents or busy professionals.
1. Synthetic grass – not as fake as it sounds!
Years ago, synthetic lawns were a faux pas, but not anymore! Synthetic grass technology has come a long way recently, and the flexibility of synthetic grass is extraordinary. In some situations, planting a real lawn is just too much work, or even impossible.
Whether you have a plain concrete courtyard behind your unit, or a bare space beside your house, synthetic grass can be installed in almost any area to liven up your home! You’ll never have to water or mow - just rinse your grass with the hose every few months to keep it clean. Synthetic grass is great for kids to play on, and as long as you replace the infill every few years it will be a spongy pleasure to walk on.
2. Maintenance-free plant walls
Have a fence or wall on your property that you can’t bear to look at? Artificial plant walls could be the answer to your problems. With zero maintenance, artificial plant walls are the perfect way to brighten up your exterior spaces and cover up unsightly fences. You’ll never have to trim or water them, unlike a hedge, so you’ll be able to spend your time relaxing and admiring your garden or courtyard, and less time maintaining it.
Artificial plant walls can be ordered in varying sizes and foliage varieties. The plant walls are also made up of multiple smaller panels, so you can shape the wall however you like!
Interested in making over your outside space?
Take a look at our extensive range of synthetic grass, artificial plant walls and other great products, or contact our friendly staff for more information!
- Jimmy T
What Kitchen Sink is Right for Me?
Undermount or overmount?
- Jimmy T