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Sinks come in a variety of styles including self-rimming, under mount, farmhouse, integral with the countertop, and even dual-level sinks. You can get extra large, extra deep, single, double, triple and corner bowl styles and specialty sinks.
Some people like one large, deep basin that provides more room than double-bowl sinks for rinsing large pots, plates, and platters before loading them into the dishwasher. The placement of the drain-bowl is also a consideration. There are center-drain models and rear-positioned drain models. With the rear-positioned drain models you have more room under the sink.
Double and Triple Bowl Kitchen Sinks are great for washing dishes by hand. You can rinse in one bowl and do the washing in the other. Some multi-bowl sinks also come with one bowl smaller than the others where the garbage disposal mounts. It's convenient for scraping scraps into the garbage disposal.
Self-rimming Kitchen Sinks are the most popular sinks. They are the easiest to install and are often used on laminate such as Formica countertops. The rim of the sink lays on the countertop and the sink is supported by the countertop. Clips and bolts under the counter are used to hold the sink in place. The faucet mounts to the deck at the back of the sink.
Under mount Kitchen Sinks are often used with solid surface countertops such as granite, marble, soapstone, concrete, butcher block and composite such as Corian. Undermount sinks mount underneath the countertop providing a seamless look around the sink and it makes cleaning the counter top very easy.
Apron-front Kitchen Sinks are also called farmhouse sinks have a stylish panel in the front. Farmhouse sinks can be tiled in or you can get them in under-mount. This is a custom installation and you should have the sink on hand during cabinet construction.
Bar/Prep/Entertainment sinks are small sinks originally designed to scrub and prep fruits and vegetables, but you can find many applications for them. Bar sinks vary greatly in size and shape from 91/2"" inch round to 18" square.
Stainless Steel is the most popular sink material. Stainless steel doesn't chip, nick, crack, rust, stain or fade. Stainless steel provides a sanitary surface and comes in shiny mirrored, brushed or satin finishes. Stainless steel comes in different thicknesses, the lower the gauge number the thicker the steel. Thicker steel is less likely to dent and are sound deadening. Premium sinks are made from 18 and 19-gauge stainless steel.
Enameled Cast Iron sinks are made of a solid cast iron and layered with an enamel surface making them very heavy. They last forever, are quieter, are resistant to almost any type of structural damage. They have very good heat retention but are hard to install because of their weight. You can choose from a wide variety of colors but they scratch easily.
Vitreous China and Fireclay sinks are ceramic based material with a baked on porcelain for a glossy finish. Generally referred to as a French country style this material is impervious to water, easy to clean, germ-resistant, durable and available in almost any color including hand painted and sculpted designs. Damage can occur in these sinks so a sink gird or rack is recommended to protect it.
Solid Surface Material sinks have become very popular over the past few years and are available in a wide variety of colors to coordinate with countertops. They can mimic granite and other high end stones and are heat and stain resistant. This material is not completely scratch-proof but scratches buff out easily.
Copper sinks are made from a very thick copper and are hand-hammered. As such they are like art for your kitchen. Copper sinks have a living finish that patinas with age, and bacteria cannot grow on copper.
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