The kitchen sink and faucet have a basic function — that is to dispense water for washing dishes, food and hands. Beyond that, they play a major role in your kitchen design. Picking out what’s best for you requires an understanding of the types of styles of sinks and faucets available. Obviously, your personal taste will weigh heavy into the picture as well. Here are some things you should consider with your next kitchen remodel.
The material that you kitchen sink is comprised of is an important choice going both to the aesthetics and cost. That’s the case whether you choose stainless steel or copper, enamel-coated cast iron, fireclay, or other type of sink material.
Stainless steel is very popular and very inexpensive. It is also easy to clean. Stainless steel sinks are heat and stain resistant and are available in a variety of types, styles and sizes. They will not rust. A downside is that they are louder than some other materials.
Copper sinks are another option but are more expensive than stainless steel or many of your other options for that matter. However, they offer a distinctive look. On the plus side, they are rust-resistant and antimicrobial.
Enamel-coated cast iron is also a good choice for a kitchen sink. These sinks are very durable and clean up nicely. Cast iron, however, is very heavy and you need to make sure that your cabinet is built strong enough to hold the weight. While usually coated with white enamel, they come in other colors was well.
Fireclay can make an excellent selection for the kitchen sink. Fireclay is a form of ceramic, similar to vitreous china yet stronger and more durable. It is a clay based structure with a topical glaze, that’s fused with the fireclay base, analogous to ceramic tile. It has a durable, hard, non-porous finish that’s easy to maintain. Fireclay can also be expensive.
You may want to consider a quartz sink if you are putting in a quartz countertop. One thing to keep in mind with quartz however, is that the darker, more solid-colored quartzes tend to show scratches and dings much more than lighter colors that have more aggregate or patterning to them.
In addition to these sink options, there are others to consider such as stone, solid surface, concrete to name a few.
Faucets also go a long way in determining the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. When selecting a faucet, you want to consider whether it is sink-mounted, deck-mounted or wall-mounted.
Sink-mounted faucets mount directly on the sink. This is most common type of faucet-mounting system. When installing this type of faucet, you need to make sure that your sink has the corresponding number of holes. New faucets come in one-, two-, three- or four-hole varieties.
With deck-mounted faucets, the faucet mounts directly to the countertop and not the sink. When deciding on a deck-mounted faucet, you need to have a sink that has no faucet holes. Also, there needs to be more than a finger’s width behind the faucet for cleaning. Deck-mounted faucets provide a seamless look that’s particularly attractive in contemporary kitchens.
Wall-mounted faucets, then, mount to the wall. A big advantage of wall-mounted faucets is that the countertop is clear of any clutter and cleanup can be a breeze. While aesthetically beautiful, wall-mounted faucets are more difficult to install as the plumber must get the placement and spacing just right. Also, in cold weather locations, there can also be an issue with pipes freezing on outside walls if they do not have adequate insulation.
In addition to mounting styles, you need to choose your handle options as well. Faucets can be double-handled, single-handled or hands-free.
Double-handled faucets have separate, dedicated handles for hot and cold water. This configuration allows for more sensitive adjustments to water temperature as well as flow rate. These usually require a minimum of three holes for installation.
A single-handled faucet rotates directionally, usually providing the ability to regulate flow with an up-and-down motion and temperature with a side-to-side motion. One advantage is that they require only one hole in your sink or countertop. Also, they are really convenient for when you have only one hand free.
The hands-free option for faucets, which is not that common in kitchens, is activated by a sensor. On the plus side, this style does not require hands to operate. Either light contact or motion opens the valve. Disadvantages include that there is no way to adjust the temperature or water flow rate through the touch mode. That has to be done manually. Also, these faucets require an occasional battery change for the sensor to work.
Finally, choosing a faucet also requires you to select the finish. Chrome, brushed crome, nickel, brushed nickel, polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze, white, black and stainless steel are some of the standard finishes and colors. When selecting a finish, you need to keep in mind that finishes from different manufacturers may not be exactly the same. If you are planning to buy a faucet, you may want to purchase any accessories such as a hand spray or soap dispenser from the same collection to ensure a good match.
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