Kitchen sinks are such an important part of your kitchen as it sits along your countertop, the best type of sink is one that aesthetically suits your house's theme as well as being highly functional. The best example of this is an Undermount Stainless Steel Double Bowl Sink. the reason for stainless steel is that it is always neutral and timeless, it doesn't stand out too much and avoids being the centrepiece of a modern kitchen which could end up becoming dated and require replacing.
Why would you choose Stainless Steel kitchen sinks?
At BuildMat we would recommend choosing a stainless steel sink over something like cast iron, granite sink or even farmhouse sink. These are popular when trying to match a theme or popular in other countries outside of Australia. The best Australian kitchen sinks suit your functional needs and the aesthetics of your kitchen. the Chrome look Stainless Steel Kitchen sink is always the most popular sink you'll find in any kitchen showroom, this is because it is the most versatile and it is a vintage look that ages very well.
- Farmhouse sinks have an apron front, some think that this is appealing, but they don't realise it cuts out a large section of your cabinetry as well as your countertop which would eventually stick out like a sore thumb. In America, the farmhouse kitchen sink is popular and made by brands such as Kraus, Blanco, Franke but they are not as common in Australia because the apron sinks stands out too much in the kitchen.
- Cast Iron sinks are made with a durable iron alloy and are covered with porcelain enamel. because of this enamel what could happen is that it could chip or wear away, these sinks are generally thicker which would mean that it would have to sit as a top mount rather than an undermount sink, fireclay sinks are very similar but more durable but end up being fairly heavy and expensive.
- Granite sinks are currently in trend and can be considered to be more heavy-duty, the main flaws of a granite sink are it's bulkiness because it needs to be made into a thick mould it is extremely heavy and the kitchen cabinets must be designed to hold it's weight. It is also considered one of the more expensive sinks but is appealing for it's matte black santorini style.
Square or round edges?
All Buildmat hand-made stainless steel sinks are formed with either bent square edges or rolled round internal edges. Round edges do make it easier to clean and allows for better water flow. Some prefer the slick modern look of the square sinks whereas others prefer the smooth rounded edges. Your call!
Undermount, Overmount or Flush mount?
The benefit of having your kitchen sink undermount is that the sink lip is disguised and bench scraps can be pushed straight in rather than get caught on the lip. This makes it easier to clean. If you're planning to have a stone or granite benchtop an undermount kitchen sink Again, in terms of aesthetics, it’s personal. All Zen kitchen sinks can be installed as overmount or undermount.
Overmount and Top mount are the same types of installation, it is a much cheaper option alternative because the cut out for the sink doesn't need to be perfect because it is not visible, whereas for an undermount sink the stonemason would need to smooth out the edges so that it is nice and clean. Cheaper sinks such as a pressed stainless steel sink are generally come as a top mount sinks and cannot be undermounted, often they are referred to as a drop-in sink because they just drop straight into the cutout.
You should always check if the sink you're planning to purchase has the correct mounting hardware, as each mounting style will require different types of clips on the sink. BuildMat kitchen sinks come with undermount, overmount and flush mount mounting hardware.
Stainless Steel Sink Uses outside of the kitchen sink
The stainless steel sink is most commonly used in the kitchen, but it has many uses and can be used in other rooms in the house!
Like in the laundry, the best masters laundry sink can be found in the kitchen sinks category, this is because laundry tubs or cabinets are now being replaced by a beautiful stone benchtop with custom cabinets, this allows you to have an bowl inset sink or bowl undermount sink. When you're planning your laundry, the most common selection is a single sink because there are not many uses of a double bowl sink. Make sure you find a great tap such as the Coco pull out tap mixer because it allows you to be very versatile in what you're doing in the laundry, as you know sometimes it's not just dirty clothes that we're washing, it might be the odd item from the garden or just something large and awkward.
Single Bowl or Double Bowl?
Double bowl sinks have a partition down the middle and assist in separating dirty and clean dishes, separating dishes with food. Whereas a single bowl sinks are more useful for washing large pots and pans. So generally there are more options on how to use a double bowl sink in comparison to a single bowl. When choosing your sink style also consider where the sink will be located, for example in a laundry there would be more uses for a large single bowl sink such as soaking your laundry, washing your dog or pets or even washing your baby which wouldn't be as easy in a double sink because it'd be much easier in a large basin.
1.0mm, 1.2mm or 1.5mm Thick Stainless Steel?
All of our Buildmat Kitchen Sinks are made with 1.5mm thick (16 gauge) 304-grade stainless steel, you will notice the high-quality and sturdiness just by picking up the sink and feeling how heavy it is compared to competitors.
Hand-made stainless steel sinks in Australia generally come in 19 gauge (1.0mm thick) or 18 gauge (1.2mm thick) stainless steel. If you plan on using your sink a lot, the 1.2mm is considered a more durable sink but it is also more expensive. BuildMat would not recommend any sinks less than 1.0mm thick as they are prone to long-term wear a lot easier and sooner. Our
Some competitor products try and advertise 3.0mm thick sink where they have just made the lip thicker but then used a 1.0mm on the actual sink, this is to try and confuse customers of a superior product but in fact, the bulkiness of the lip can actually trap more gunk along the lip.
What is sink gauge?
The sink gauge refers to the thickness of the steel sheet that the sink is made from. In Australia the most common sink thickness is 1.2mm (18 gauge) and 1.5mm (16 gauge). BuildMat do not recommend 1.0mm thick sinks as they are often flimsy. Sinks also come in 2.0mm thickness, however for domestic applications this is overkill and can be cumbersome to work with. At BuildMat we stock 1.5mm sinks with rounded internals, this ensures a sturdy product whilst embodying seamless edging not only for a sleek design but also for practicality with drainage and cleaning.
Drainboard or no Drainboard?
This is a question that we get asked a lot, a drainer sink is so that you can put a dish rack out and fill it up as you're cleaning the dishes. Just make sure that when you're buying it you plan whether you want a right hand bowl or left hand bowl sink because it can create some nasty headaches for you if you purchase the wrong one. The taphole could be one aspect that could determine whether it's a right hand sink or left hand sink, the other thing is the waste hole, sometimes it is position slightly back to make more room under the cabinet, but if you choose the wrong one you could end up losing your entire cabinet space to piping.
Luckily at Buildmat our drainboard sinks have been designed to be left hand or right hand so that you don't have to choose. Also speak to your cabinet maker about trying to fit the dishwasher under the drainboard, this is the best use of the space
If you are getting a kitchen sink, it always pays to get one that comes with some decent accessories such as an insert chopping board, roll mat, dish drying rack, drainer and colander. Especially if you are tight with space, custom-sized kitchen accessories can save valuable bench space in the kitchen!
Remember to also make sure you choose the right sink mixer tap or tapware, to match your Kitchen sink and Kitchen style. Also know what kitchen appliances you're going to have so that you can plan around it, even if they're small appliances that are in your wishlist, they still need a spot in your kitchen. You may also want to match with your bathroom accessories too, if you're going for square tapware look in the bathroom on your basin mixer you might want to consider a square gooseneck style in the kitchen.
SS304 or SS316
Stainless steel 304 is the grade of steel required for food preparation and the most common grade used for domestic sinks, it is also known as SS304 and can be also used for commercial-grade kitchens. For hospital use or for use in external areas subject to high salt and acidic content, use the SS316 which is the marine grade stainless steel.
Do I need sound pads or anti-condensation paint?
Yes! When you get your sink, flip it upside down and ensure it has;
a) at least 1 sound absorbing pad on each external face including the bottom where the drain is;
Sinks that do not come with sound pads will end up being quite loud when you put your dirty dishes in the sink or even when you're filling it up with water the pads will help absorb the vibrations from the sink to help reduce the sounds from your activities with the sink.
b) a painted coating applied to all areas of the external face that prevent condensation on the underside of the sink.
When storing cold items or even water it is common that condensation may occur on the other side of the sink inside the cabinet, and this condensation could cause a major headache over time, after a long period it could start to rust or it could drip into the wooden cabinet and warp the insides, so it is important that the sink has an anti-condensation undercoating. The undercoating is a normally dark colour and you will be able to tell if it has it because you won't see the exposed stainless steel.
Other Things to Consider When Looking for a New Sink
Faucets or kitchen taps are a very important part of the planning process of your new kitchen, the type of faucet that you will choose can completely change the look of your kitchen and can also dramatically assist or compromise the practicality of your kitchen. For example, a faucet with a pullout hose or an extended hose can make it extremely easy for you to clean your dishes and pots, whereas a standard faucet may make it a bit more difficult. Check out BuildMat's collection of Faucets and Kitchen taps here.
Garbage Disposal is something that you shouldn't forget, whether you have a rubbish bin or wastebasket under the sink, or you're planning to install a waste Incinerator you should consider making sure that your sink suits your plan and Kitchen design.
Basket Strainer make sure the sink you're purchasing includes a basket strainer, some retailers choose to exclude this and sometimes it may be hard to find the right-sized basket strainer to suit your sink.
Buy from a trusted seller
You want a sink from a reputable seller that provides support and warranty. You also want someone who knows what they are talking about when it comes to the right sink for you – not just an out of the garage operation! Ask your buyer for technical detail drawings, assembly instructions and product specification to make sure they are the real deal.
BuildMat knows building materials and source products from around the globe and around the corner. See our range of kitchen sinks online by clicking on any of the photos. We hope this Buyer’s Guide has been helpful in your selection of kitchen sinks.