Are you shopping for a new sink in Indianapolis? Every kitchen has a sink and when you’re shopping for countertops, the sink buying process can seem daunting with so many options out there. Today we’re going to take you to class and cover the most popular sink options we encounter in our work. We here at Peak Stone Company are motivated to provide you with education and honest advice to make the most informed decision. Download our FREE Countertop Buying Guide here. for your space, so grab a cool confection from Indy’s own Circles Ice Cream (we are wild about their flavors!) and get ready for Sinks 101!
Indianapolis Sink Materials
Love it or hate it, stainless steel is king. With the ease of cleaning and thousands of options out there, stainless steel sinks are the most widely available sink selection in the industry. Whether your kitchen is traditional or modern in design, stainless steel is a flexible material choice that will fit with any aesthetic.
The thicker the steel your sink is made of, the better, so make sure you’re getting the correct gauge when you’re making your selection. The way gauge works with sinks is, the lower the number, the thicker the steel is. We here at Peak Stone recommend a 16-gauge thickness for its stability and lasting power, but an 18-gauge thickness is also acceptable. We recommend you avoid 20 or 22 gauge thickness because it puts a lot of strain on your flange if you have a garbage disposal, as well as generally being louder when dishes or cutlery ramble around.
Folks who aren’t fans of stainless cite the ability to scratch and dulling of the finish as pitfalls to ownership. If your stainless ever loses its luster you can use a product called Hope’s Perfect Sink to clean and restore your shine, as well as protect your steel from deposits. It is available in stores and online.
There is no denying that copper provides a luxurious look and warm option for the sink in your home. Copper has the added benefit of being antimicrobial and antibacterial but demands a bit more care than stainless steel because it can patina or darken over time.
If you opt for a shiny copper sink and want to keep it that way, you will need to have a copper cleaner and a wax in your arsenal to clean and protect it. Luckily, they’re available at most supermarkets and hardware stores, as well as online.
If you select a sink that has already had a patina applied, you will need to wax it to protect the finish every 4 to 6 weeks. Patinaed copper is susceptible to food acids removing the patina, tomatoes and lemon juice are usually the culprits. If allowed to be in contact with your copper too long, acid can take that beautiful chocolaty finish back to “shiny penny” and you’re left with that spot until either time passes or you accelerate that oxidation process.
Fortunately restoring your patina isn’t a difficult process. There is a product called JAX Copper Darkener that you can spot treat those areas with that will accelerate the process and restore your patina. You can also use a product called Liver of Sulphur to do this as well. Both are easily available online. You just apply them to the area and wait for the sink to darken to your desired color. Follow up with a wax like Renaissance Wax to protect it. The extra maintenance is absolutely worth the effort when considering this classic material.
Granite or Quartz Composite
If a pop of color is your desire, granite and quartz composite sinks are going to provide a design option that will coordinate with your top and really make a statement. Composite sinks are created in a similar way to engineered quartz countertops and are a great option for homeowners that don’t want to go with a metal material for their sink. Pricing is middle range for this material and is usually determined by the model selected.
Composite sinks are scratch resistant (meaning not scratch proof) as well as stain resistant (again, not stain proof). However, if you want a shiny gleaming sink, composite may not be right for you, as they tend to have more of a matte or satin finish than a high polish. Some brands of composite sinks do not have a high heat resistance, so make sure you know their recommended temperature threshold before purchasing. Never put a hot pot into a dry composite sink. Peak Stone Company offers Blanco composite sinks because they have one of the highest heat resistance thresholds in the industry (536 degrees Fahrenheit) and all their sinks come with a lifetime warranty. With a composite sink you need to avoid cleaning paintbrushes in it, the resins they use to bind the stone particulate together are like a magnet to paint runoff and it will cloud your finish.
If your composite sink ever loses its luster, you can usually refer to your care and maintenance guide from your manufacturer to learn tips on how to restore it. Blanco recommends using mineral oil periodically to restore the sheen, but another manufacturer may not recommend it. Never use undiluted bleach or ammonia in a composite sink, it will damage the finish over time.
If you like color AND a shiny sink, cast iron is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Enameled or porcelain coated cast iron sinks are available in a plethora of colors that can really customize the design elements in your space. Cast Iron has fallen out of favor in recent years because it can chip or scratch if handled roughly, and it has a history of staining issues in lighter colors. Cast iron sinks are extremely heavy and require extra support to hold the weight if it is undermounted. Abrasive cleaners are a no-no with coated sinks. If you use them, they can wear the finish down.
Fireclay is a material most utilized for apron front sinks and is extremely durable. It is made of enamel-coated clay that is fired at extremely high temperatures and withstands chemicals and household acids, as well as being fade, scratch, and chip resistant with proper care. Take care not to carelessly drop or throw dishes in the sink, they are more likely to break with fireclay. It is also strong enough to withstand abrasive cleaners without dulling its finish. The largest pitfall to fireclay is that it can be a little on the higher end in pricing, but the security you have in knowing your sink is built to last is worth the added expense.
Indianapolis Sink Types
This type of sink is the most popular option for stone countertops and comes in all materials, shapes and sizes. It is mounted underneath your counter and your fabricator will custom cut the hole in your counter to match your sink manufacturer’s specifications. Undermounts provide a clean profile and allow more of your top to be seen without the visual interruption of a sink sitting on top of the counter.
Drop–in sinks are probably the sink you are most familiar with. Drop ins are commonly found on laminate countertops and come in all materials, shapes and sizes. Drop-in sinks sit on top of your countertop. They provide the most flexibility if you ever want to replace your sink, because their hole requirements are more standardized than undermount sinks that are custom cut.
Dual Mount sinks are sinks that can work as either a drop-in or undermount.
The look of an apron front sink is a very popular trend today. You may know this type of sink as a “farm sink”. Apron front sinks are typically made of composite, metal, or fireclay. The front of this type of sink can be smooth or have a design.
Traditional apron front sinks require a special sink cabinet called a country sink base or deep sink base. The false drawer front you’re used to seeing on a standard sink cabinet is much taller and the doors underneath are shorter to allow the taller farm sinks to be installed. Apron front sinks typically cost more than other sink types, but there is no denying that this sink will be a dominant design feature in your space.
If you want the look of a farm sink but are keeping your existing cabinets, you can still get this look with what is called a retrofit apron front sink. Retrofit sinks are a little more common in stainless steel, but if you want that white farm look you see on the television shows, Kohler has a retrofit sink model called the Whitehaven that will give you the look without the cost of completely replacing your cabinetry. They’re typically a little pricier than other apron front sinks starting out because they’re considered a specialty sink, but that cost is offset by not having to spend more on a new cabinet.
Please note that we do not install your apron front sink for you. Apron front sinks must be installed before we can come out and laser measure for your counter space. If the apron sink isn’t installed, we won’t have a reference to custom cut your sink reveal.
Indianapolis Sink Bowls
Double Equal sinks (also called 50/50) are two bowls of equal size and are probably the sink you’re most familiar with. Double bowl sinks are great if you hand wash most of your dishes.
There’s no denying the sleek profile you get with a single bowl sink. Single bowls are gaining in popularity because it provides that magazine look and accommodates most pans and dishes for rinsing, and some models can be found with an offset drain to the side to provide the most surface area in the floor of your sink. This bowl type is going to excel in homes where you use your dishwasher more than you wash by hand.
1 ¾, 60/40, 70/30…what the heck does all these numbers mean? This bowl configuration is going to provide one larger bowl and one bowl that is smaller. This type is most handy if you hand wash and have a lot of larger dishes or pots that just don’t quite fit in the sink if you need them to soak. The large bowl is intended for washing, and the smaller is intended for rinsing. The most frequently asked question we get in our showroom for this bowl type is “Which side do we put the disposal on?” and the smaller of the two sides is usually where the disposal is intended to go. However, there is no hard rule for this, and we recommend putting the disposal wherever you feel is most convenient for your lifestyle.
The Center Divide
High Divide sinks are most common in two bowl configurations and stand the full depth of the sink to allow you to fill each bowl completely. Low divide sinks usually stand about half the depth of the sink and provide you with the single bowl profile when looking at your tops from a distance. Low divide sinks are commonly found in composite or stainless material. A low divide is the best of both worlds between single bowl and two bowl. They’re useful if you have very large pans that you hand-wash often, because there is enough room to fit them into the sink for easy rinsing.
Additional Things to Consider When Buying Sinks
At Peak Stone, we offer many popular sink options you can purchase as part of your installation package. However, you can purchase your own sink and we will mount it for you. If you are providing your own sink, before purchasing it, please contact your Stone Consultant to make sure that your sink will fit in your cabinet and accommodate space for your faucet behind it. This is extremely important because a lot of big box stores offer sinks online that may work in width (east to west) but may be too deep (north to south) to fit your sink, faucet, and backsplash without issues. We’ve had homeowners in the past purchase their own sink and when our fabrication tech digitally lays out your top before cutting, he notices there won’t be enough room to fit the faucet behind. The homeowner must reorder another sink and that pushes their install out a few weeks while they wait for it to come in. Issues are easily avoided if we have a dialogue early in the process, so your Stone Consultant is a valuable source of information that we hope you will utilize for the smoothest experience possible and aid in your decision.
If providing your own sink, it must be physically present in your home when your project manager comes out for your template appointment. Your project manager may take it back with them to our shop. If you provide your own sink, when it arrives to your home, please open the box and inspect the sink for damage immediately and reorder a replacement if there are any issues. If you wait to unbox your sink while your project manager is in the home and it is damaged, your installation will be delayed until after the replacement arrives.
Manufacturers today offer many shapes beyond the usual rectangle or square we’re used to seeing. With a little legwork online, you can find unique sink options that integrate curves and turns or staggered depths. The most common specialty shape we see used is the D-sink, also known as a banjo style.
When considering the best sink for you, we ask you to put a lot of thought behind the shape you like best and compare that with the ease of finding a replacement if it ever becomes damaged. Manufacturers discontinue models all the time and sometimes a replacement cannot be easily found. Modifying your sink cut after it has been installed is not recommended for stone counters. The risk of your countertop breaking during a sink adjustment is extremely high. Most fabricators won’t take a job like this on, and if they do, you will be required to sign a liability waiver that states they’re not responsible for replacing your top if it breaks while they make the adjustment.
Sink shapes today are available in a variety of corner options ranging from tight 90 degree corners to very rounded, and that can have in impact on how easily they are to clean. A small radius sink is going to provide the easiest option for cleaning. Zero radius sinks are going to provide you with a very modern look, but that comes at the cost of extra time spent cleaning out the gunk that can collect in the corners.
Your sink is a vital component to your space, and while the overall design is important, how you use your kitchen should have the greatest impact on your sink selection. We ask homeowners every day when considering which sink to go with, “How do you use your sink?” If you hand wash a lot, a single bowl may not be the best option for you. If you use your dishwasher more often than you hand wash, you have a bit more flexibility.
The goal when finding the right sink for your home should be guided on how it will fit your lifestyle best. If design is most important to you while you’re shopping, you may have to make changes to your routine to make the sink work for you. Congratulations Sink 101 graduates! We hope this guide has been helpful, and we would love to hear your questions or feedback in the comments below!
May the quartz be with you,
Your Peak Stone Family