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Building & Renovating

How To Choose the Right Kitchen Sink

Farmhouse or stainless steel? It's not enough to pick the prettiest or the most affordable sink in the market.

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Photography: Jilson Tiu (Main Photo)

Looking back, have you given much thought to the sink in your kitchen? Many homeowners overlook this element, after all, it’s just there—the specific spot where we wash the dishes, our hands, the utensils, and the ingredients we need when prepping food.

We’re sure you’ve seen quite a number of sinks before—from lovely farmhouse pieces to sturdy stainless steel picks that many prefer. While you can make a decision based on material and style, it’s still best to consider important factors like countertop space and the design of the sink. Shop for the right one with these reminders:

Select a kitchen sink that fits your needs.

Consider the size of your kitchen, and how you use the space. Size, shape and depth are three things to look for when shopping for a sink. Sizes (narrow and wide) and shapes (square to rectangular) vary, and could cater to any of your requirements.

While a bigger bowl capacity is important, pay attention to the depth as well. Standard sink depth is 8 inches, while deeper models are 10 to 12 inches. While a deeper sink may sound like a good idea, know that they can be less ergonomic, as it can strain your back because you’d have to bend more in order to reach for items at the bottom of the sink. Take into account the height of the person using the sink when choosing the depth of the bowl.


Choose a sink with a drain positioned towards the back.

Look for a sink with a drain positioned towards the back—located at the middle, left or right—rather than the center. This will promote better drainage when washing dishes that are piled on the sink. The base cabinet under the sink will also have more usable space for storage with the drainage pipes located towards the back.

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While the more streamlined designs with square corners and angled sides and a flat base would look more appealing than the ones with rounded sides, the latter is easier to clean and has better drainage due to its soft angles.

There are a lot of options, but stainless steel is best.

Stainless steel, solid surface, cast iron, copper, fiberglass and even porcelain are all options for materials to consider when selecting a kitchen sink. But among said options, stainless steel is the best choice for your kitchen because of its food and medical grade qualities. It will not rust, it absorbs shock, and will probably last you a good number of years.


The standard thickness for stainless steel is a 16 to 18-gauge material. The numbers might confuse you, but 16-gauge is of a higher quality of steel as it is stronger and more durable because of its thickness and weight compared to the 18-gauge.

You might also encounter the terms “Type 304” (18/8 stainless steel, the most common) and “Type 430” stainless steel in the manufacturer’s material specifications of the sink. Type 304 is more corrosion-resistant and durable compared to the prior. This 300 series stainless steel has 10.5% (or more) chromium, which makes the material corrosion-resistant.

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]gmail.com.

 

 

Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

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