The kitchen may be the service hub of the home, but it needs to be decorative, too. The ways of doing up your kitchen are endless with so many trendy accessories, especially sinks, available in the market.
Gone are the days of the simple white porcelain sink. In fact, a coloured sink can become the USP of the kitchen.
There are several material variants and shapes could vary from rectangular to round and oval to even hexagon.
So, how do you zero in on the correct sink? Bear in mind the style of the kitchen, your family (and cooking) size, maintenance and budget.
High-quality stainless steel (Grade ASTM 304) sinks are preferred the most, which is justified for they are rustproof, often temperature-resistant, easy to clean and durable. More important, they blend well with the stainless steel appliances and kitchen accessories that are so common.
Their price range varies, depending on the gauge of the steel sheets and the surface finish. Thin-gauge ones are noisy and tend to dent. Surface finish can vary from gloss or satin to anti-scratch (grained surface finish).
Porcelain sinks probably are the healthiest as they can be made squeaky clean with conventional toilet cleaning liquids. But these are most susceptible to cracks.
If on a budget, go for polyester/acrylic sinks. But remember that these are not scratch and stain-resistant since they are made from soft materials. On the other hand, these sinks come in an array of colours and tend to be shiny that brightens up a dull kitchen.
A warning: refrain from custom-designing your sink out of natural stones such as marble or granite. The 90-degree inner corners are bound to collect grime. Plus, the marble may get stained.
Probably the classiest and the best sinks are those made of composites as in the Corian tops. They come in scores of colours and can be moulded into whatever shape or depth you require. The real clincher is that these sinks can be integrated into the worktop, which means you are insured against water seepage and dirt traps. The price? Very steep.
Shapes & sizes
Square and rectangular sinks are the top choices, followed by the D-bowl with its curved-back edge, which allows the faucet (tap) to be fixed at the side for the convenience of a short cook. Some opt for round sinks, which can be cleaned very easily, for a contemporary look.
Consider how deep a bowl you need. A shallow photographers sink may look just the part, but may not accommodate your bevy of not-so small pans and plates. Again, too deep a bowl means that you are forced stoop.
A sure-fire test is to decide your sink counter height; then stand erect, make a fist and stretch out your arm downwards. The lowest level of your knuckles dictates the depth of the correct bowl.
Double-bowl sinks are ideal because while one handles cleaning, the other can be used while preparing food. If space is a constraint, opt for one main bowl with another half-bowl for draining and rinsing.
A drain board is a must for a sink. It helps drain out water from washed utensils so that they can be wiped easily.
To be continued
(The author is an interior design consultant, specialising in the design of corporate and residential interiors. As a senior faculty member at a Calcutta institute, she has delivered lectures, guided research and conducted projects in the field of Housing & Interior Design for over two decades. She can be contacted at email@example.com )