Best Kitchen Sinks: Reviews & Buyers Guide

In the marketing for a new kitchen sink? It might seem like a straightforward buying process, but in recent years sinks have evolved to be anything from basic to upscale. They are available in a wide array of colors, styles, shapes, materials, and sizes.

Nowadays, the kitchen has become a gathering hub for the whole family. Families spend 5 times more hours in the kitchen then they do in the living room.  Spending a little extra time making sure the space is not only functional but also looks great has become extremely important to most people.

Depending on the kitchens style, the sink can be a focal point, so make sure you take the time to pick out the right one!

My Top 5 Kitchen Sinks

Kraus Standart PRO KHU100-32

The Kraus Standart PRO KHU100-32, measures an acceptable 32" x 19" x 10". The minimum cabinet size to accommodate this sink is 36". This lovely, upscale sink features a contemporary design that easily accommodates even your largest cookware such as skillets or baking sheets.

One of the key advantages of the KHU100-32, is that it has been fashioned from durable T304 stainless steel. The TRU16 is 16 gauge with a 1.5mm thickness which provides excellent dent resistance. Also, the sink’s surface will not show any signs of corrosion or rust even after years of use.

Keeping your kitchen immaculate is of utmost importance to you and your family. The design of the Kraus Standart PRO boasts gently rounded corners which not only maximize workspace within the sink’s bowl but also makes the interior easy to wipe clean. The gently sloping sides of the sink also prevent standing water from accumulating and maximizes the sink’s draining ability. The design angles of the sink even help keep glassware from inadvertently falling when placed into the sink.

This Kraus kitchen sink even has special NoiseDefend soundproofing technology which minimizes noise and vibration when using the sink. The sink’s base has extra-thick sound-absorbing pads that make up 80 percent of the surface to effectively absorb all noise from waste disposal or dishwashing for a quieter kitchen experience. Also, a protective undercoating has been applied that prevents condensation build-up, so you can always rest assured that your kitchen cabinet is safe from water damage.

Pros:

  • 10” depth to accommodate even large pans and baking sheets
  • Made from durable T204 stainless steel
  • 16 gauge with 1.5mm thickness for dent resistance
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Built-in sound absorbing pads
  • Undercoating to prevent condensation

Cons:

  • Scratches can occur on the sink’s surface
  • Some owners have reported rust

Ruvati RVH8300 Undermount Kitchen Sink

The Ruvati RVH8300 is more than a typical sink. Considered a ‘workstation,’ it features several built-in accessories that slide on integrated tracks across and in the sink’s surface.

The built-in accessories in the sink’s workstation include the following:

  • Colander: There is a built-in colander that lets you strain with ease.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board made from solid Sapele hardwood which is well-known for its ability to stand up to water.
  • Roll-up rack: There is also a convenient roll-up rack that fits on the top track of the sink, so you can quickly use it as a drying rack. The rack’s unique construction features stainless steel construction with flexible silicone framing. The rack folds-up or rolls-up for storage.

The RVH8300 features solid T-304 grade stainless steel construction with an 18:10 nickel chromium to resist rust. There is a layer of heavy-duty sound guard coating with rubber padding on the outside of the sink’s basin to insulate for sound reduction and provide thermal insulation to protect against condensation.

The interior of the Ruvati RVH8300 has been finished with a pristine commercial grade brushed finish that provides the piece with a truly upscale appearance. There is also a bottom rinse guard to protect the sink’s surface from scratches.

The square bowls have zero-radius and have sharp inside corners for a contemporary appearance. The sink measures 32” x 19”. The bowl dimensions measure 10.5” x 16”. The bowl depth is a deep 10” so it can easily accommodate even large cooking pots. It has a groove that helps funnel water towards the drain effortlessly.

Pros:

  • More than just a simple sink; it is also a complete workstation with drying rack, colander, and cutting board built-in
  • Made of tough 16-gauge stainless steel
  • Features nickel and chromium for rust resistance
  • Sound guard coating with rubber padding
  • Thermal insulation to protect against condensation
  • Commercial grade brushed finish
  • Large bowl depth of 10”
  • Grooved to funnel water towards the drain
  • Bottom rinse guard

Cons:

  • Even with the bottom rinse guard, the surface of the sink scratches easily
  • Square corners might look modern but are difficult to clean
  • The surface can stain with a white discoloration

Latoscana LFS3318W Farmhouse Sink 

The Latoscana LFS3318W features a lovely Italian made design that is completely reversible because the fireclay sink has been finished on all sides. It features a wonderfully simple fluted design on one side but a smooth surface on the other, so you have the option of achieving the look you envision.

Undeniably versatile, you can mount the sink under-mount, raised, or flush. You will need no extended flange. Please remember that there is no overflow. The drain opening measures a standard 3.5 inches, so it is completely compatible with waste disposal units and standard basket strainers.

The single basin design measures 33” x 18” x 10” so will easily accommodate even large pots and pans. The white coloration of the Latoscana LFS3318W ensures that it fits into any kitchen design with ease.

Pros:

  • Solid fireclay construction for optimum durability
  • Reversible design
  • Can be mounted multiple ways
  • Italian made
  • Deep basin to easily fit large pots and pans

Cons:

  • Surface stains easily

KOHLER K-5827-0 Under-Mount Sink

The KOHLER K-5827-0 Whitehaven Self-Trimming Under-Mount Single-Bowl Sink with Tall Apron is a lovely, pristine white farmhouse sink. It is made from durable cast iron that has been enameled to resist chipping, denting, cracking, or burning. The sink has one deep basin that can easily accommodate even large baking sheets or pots.

One of the notable features about this sink is that it comes with a self-trimming edge, so your cabinet requires only a rough cut and the sink will still look amazing when installed. This means that unlike other farmhouse/apron style sinks that require a complete cabinet renovation to install, the KOHLER K-5827-0 Whitehaven apron sink will easily fit into any existing cabinet. The sink measures 32.69” x 21.56” x 9.63.”

Pros:

  • Built of durable cast iron with an enamel overlay
  • Features self-trimming sides
  • Will fit virtually any cabinet
  • Resists chipping, denting, burning, staining, or cracking

Cons:

  • Unlike other sinks, this one does not come with a cutout template for installation

Type of Kitchen Sinks

Choosing a kitchen sink is no easy task. Nowadays, you might feel overwhelmed by the multitude of choices and appearances. You must select a sink that not only appeals to you aesthetically but is also functional. You will be using the sink to wash dishes, prepare food, soak items, and many more chores.

The sink you choose should be easy to maintain and well-designed. Modern sinks are made of a variety of materials and styles to fit your kitchen’s appearance. You can choose from drop-in sinks, stainless steel sinks, copper sinks, double bowls, single bowl, or cast iron. Some even have specially designed traps that catch food waste for composting purposes.

Single Bowl

A single bowl sink features a single basin that has no dividers. The basin is typically large so will easily accommodate pots, pans, and baking sheets. With such a design, you can often lay a cooking sheet flat for easier cleaning.

Many modern kitchens feature a single bowl sink. The single bowl sink is available in the same mounting options as the double bowl: drop-in, under-mount, and apron-front configurations. They will easily work on various countertop surfaces and complement different kitchen designs.

Farmhouse sinks, bar style sinks, under-mount sinks, drainboard with sink combo, and cast-iron sinks all tend to be a single basin. Only rarely are such designs double basins. The single bowl works well in any kitchen.

Many people opt to install a single basin sink along with an additional, smaller prep sink in a work or island region of the kitchen.

Pros

  • Ideal for a small kitchen that cannot readily accommodate a large double or triple basin sink.
  • Easy to clean design with fewer corners
  • The extra-large bowl can easily hold large pots and pans

Cons

  • Harder to wash and rinse in a single basin.
  • With no separation, multitasking becomes difficult

Double Bowl

A double bowl sink is simply a divided sink that features two distinct basins in a single unit. The two basins are divided with a divider in the middle of the bowl.

For decades, the double bowl sink has been the most popular kitchen sink. Usually, both bowls are the same size. The double bowl design rose in popularity because many homes did not have dishwashers, so the dual basins made washing and rinsing a easier.

One side of the basin could be filled with warm soapy water and the other basin clean water for rinsing. As more homes started to have a dishwasher, manufacturers began to make the second bowl smaller (often half the size of the main bowl) and shallower. The smaller bowl could be used to rinse or prepare foods. With the double bowl sink, you can mount the unit as a drop-in, under-mount, and apron-front configurations.

Pros

  • Easy to multi-task with the two basins. Depending on their size, you can wash, rinse, and drain with ease.
  • Considered the "gold standard" of kitchen sink designs for decades.

Cons

  • Often both sides are too small to accommodate large pots or baking sheets easily.
  • Takes up more counter space than a single bowl sink.

Triple Bowl

A triple bowl sink features three distinct bowls. The configuration of the various triple bowl sinks might differ but, in general, the design usually includes two medium-sized bowls that sit on either side of a smaller bowl that is in the middle.

Typically, the middle bowl is connected to the garbage disposal and is often used for hand-washing or smaller chores. Usually a dish rack can be fitted into one of the sides, larger bowls.

If you enjoy multitasking in the kitchen with activities like fruit and vegetable washing, dish washing, air drying, food preparation, and garbage disposal use, then you will enjoy a triple bowl sink. Triple sinks are available in drop-in, under-mount, and apron-front configurations.

Pros

  • You can easily place a dish rack in one bowl.
  • The middle, smaller bowl can be used for food disposal or hand washing. It also works well for a colander.
  • You can soak dishes in one of the large bowls will preparing food in the other two bowls
  • Comes in many styles and shapes to fit any kitchen.

Cons

  • The bowls may not accommodate baking sheets or large pots.
  • Takes up additional counter space compared to smaller sink types.

Apron/Farmhouse

A farmhouse sink, also called an apron sink, can hold a large amount of water. Before running water, people would bring freshwater in from rivers, lakes, or wells to use in their homes. Large farmhouse sinks were used due to their capacity to hold a great deal of water.

Now their large capacity is just one of the appealing things about them. They are also positioned forward in the cabinet, so you do not have to lean over. A farmer’s sink has a built-out appearance so that the front of the basin is exposed instead of being hidden by the countertop. Most people either love or hate the sink’s appearance.

Modern styled apron sinks allow you to choose either a single or double bowl. They are generally available in traditional white or stainless steel.

Pros 

  • Extra-large capacity bowl to hold even the biggest pots and pans with ease
  • Makes a stunning focal point in any kitchen
  • Available as a single or double bowl
  • Installed under the counter for easy countertop cleaning

Cons

  • Requires a custom cabinet
  • Difficult to install
  • Takes up far more space in the kitchen then traditional sink designs

Kitchen Sink Materials

In the past, sinks were available only in stainless steel or enameled iron. Your color choices consisted of either white or shiny stainless steel.

However, in the 1970's, sinks in shades of yellow and green became more common, but the materials remained the same. Today, manufacturers have started to create sinks out of a wide variety of materials. The various materials come in numerous sizes, colors, shapes, and styles.

A kitchen sink is no longer a utilitarian fixture in your kitchen but now a focal point that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Depending on what style of sink you choose, you can now pick from a variety of eye-catching materials that are not only functional but lovely.

Stainless Steel

Undoubtedly, the number one choice for most kitchen sinks has been and remains stainless steel sinks. They are exceptionally durable, offer superior longevity and are very cost-efficient. There is a stainless-steel sink to fit about every budget.

A stainless-steel sink is rated by its gauge which usually ranges between 16 to 22 gauge. The lower the number, the thicker and higher quality the steel. Ideally, a high-quality sink is manufactured out of 16- to 18-gauge — the lower the gauge, the higher price.  If you are seeking durability and longevity, then you will want to choose the smallest gauge that fits your budget.

Stainless steel sinks do require frequent cleaning to maintain their appearance. In areas of the country with hard water, the tub may develop spots or discolorations.

Also, even though the sink may not readily dent, the surface can become marred with scratches when abrasive materials or cleansers are used. It is highly recommended that you dry out the sink after every use to prevent water spots from developing.

The sinks’ chromium content should be taken into consideration when purchasing a stainless-steel sink. A sink with high chromium offers better corrosion resistance than a sink with low chromium.

Cast Iron

Cast iron sinks have been the standby for generations. In many homes, the enameled cast iron sink still dominates the kitchen. They are undoubtedly durable and long-lasting. They are available in white with a glossy finish or a wide array of other hues. Old-school cast iron sinks were once only white. However, manufacturers finally started to add color to their sinks and pink, green, brown, white, and yellow sinks became common.

Unfortunately, the porcelain enamel of the cast iron sink does require a degree of care, cleaning, and maintenance. Without regular care, the sink’s surface can become etched with marks, scratches, and stains.

It is also common to chip the surface of the sink if you accidentally drop a heavy pan or object into the tub. You should avoid abrasive cleansers which will scratch the surface. If the cast iron of the sink becomes exposed, it will quickly rust and discolor. The area around the sink, where it meets the countertop, is prone towards rusting and discoloring if you do not consistently apply caulk to prevent water droplets from seeping down between the counter and the sink’s rim.

With proper care, a cast iron sink can look wonderful for decades and offers exceptional durability.

Granite

A granite sink has the reputation of being a luxury.

The 100 percent granite or granite composite (85 percent quart granite mixed with 15 percent resin) sinks are extremely heavy and will require specialized cabinets to hold their weight. Also, the installation process is complicated, so you must have a granite sink professionally installed for safety and to ensure professional results.

Granite sinks are available in apron or farmhouse styles. Most have a very distinctive chiseled face that always highlights the natural stone. Many even sport intricate designs to stand out in your kitchen truly. Solid granite sinks have a higher price tag than granite composite. However, both weigh the same and will require professional installation to guarantee they look fabulous.

Although a granite sink is long-lasting, it is naturally porous so will require regular sealing to maintain its appearance and prevent the stone from breaking down. Great care must be taken when cleaning the granite or you can easily scratch the stone’s surface. Ideally, you should only use stone soap to bring out the materials natural shine and keep it looking pristine.

One of the benefits of a granite sink is that you can take a hot pan right out of the oven and place it into the sink’s bowl without causing any damage to the stone’s appearance.

Copper

A copper sink is an upscale, expensive choice for any kitchen. Copper will never rust, and it has strong anti-microbial properties. Manufacturers register their sinks with the EPA guaranteeing the anti-microbial distinction that states that bacteria will not survive for more than a few hours on the sink’s surface.

One of the drawbacks about a copper sink is that the copper develops a distinctive blue/green patina over time. Many people like the look of the aged sink but others struggle to keep their sink polished, so it stays looking new.

However, as any copper sink ages, it tends to develop discolorations that are either treasured or frown upon depending on the owner’s taste. Hot pots and liquids can damage the sink. Also, great care should be taken when choosing a cleaner so that it does not scratch or mark-up the copper’s surface.

Copper is gauged the same as steel. A low gauge is thicker and more durable than a higher gauge. A lower gauge copper sink is less likely to dent but is extremely expensive. However, a higher gauge copper sink will not only dent but also warp over time which can cause it to pull away from the countertop and look visually odd.

Porcelain

Sinks made of porcelain are also known as ceramic. In many cases, they are also made from clay, glass, or metal.

Typically, porcelain sinks are reserved for bathrooms where they are featured next to porcelain tiles. However, many people are opting to purchase porcelain sinks for their kitchens, too. In many cases, they even buy matching sinks so that they can create a flow throughout their home from the bathroom to the kitchen with everything looking identical.

Porcelain has a long history. It first originated in China during the 7th century. The material quickly became favored due to its low moisture absorbency and ability to prevent leaking.

Unfortunately, porcelain sinks stain easily, and many cleaners are too abrasive to effectively remove the stains without scratching the porcelain’s surface. Even with the best of care, a porcelain sink will eventually discolor and develop stains that cannot be removed.

Although a porcelain sink will not dent, it can chip or crack from an impact. Also, many porcelain sinks are not 100 percent porcelain but instead cast iron with a porcelain shell. The cast iron does make the porcelain more durable than a full porcelain sink.

Many people mistakenly believe that a porcelain sink is cheaper than stainless steel, but this is typically not the case.

Composite

A composite sink is a blend of two different materials to create toughness and a refined appearance.

They are often made from quartz or granite with acrylic blends. The goal of composite is optimum durability which is ideal for a kitchen sink.  A composite sink is resistant to dents, scratches, or dings.

Composite sinks are also highly heat resistant. They can typically withstand temperatures well over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you can place a hot pan directly from the stove or oven into the sink without worrying about damaging the surface.

The 3 types of composite sinks are:

  • Acrylic: Acrylic is combined with polyester or fiberglass to form an attractive sink that is easy to clean but vulnerable to scratches if the sink sports an elaborate luster.
  • Quartz: Quartz is combined with a resin filler to form the sink. A quartz composite sink is ding and stain resistant. It comes in a high gloss and is very affordable.
  • Granite: Granite composite is expensive, but it is exceptionally durable and looks fabulous. It is fast becoming the most popular sink for homeowners because it withstands dents, dings, scratches, and is heat resistant. The granite composite sink requires truly little care to look fabulous.

Mounting Options

Even if you have decided on the style of kitchen sink and the material you are still going to be faced with mounting the sink.

Some types, such as the farmhouse (apron) kitchen sink is notoriously difficult to mount successfully and will require a specialized cabinet. Also, granite sinks are very heavy and often require an exceptionally sturdy cabinet to successfully hold the sink’s bulk.

Your sink mounting options will usually consist of undermount or top mount (sometimes called drop in). The undermount sink attaches to the underside of the countertop, and the top mount sink is fitted, so it sits on top of the countertop’s surface.

Topmount

A topmount sink is often referred to as either a drop-in or a self-rimming.

The lip of the tub sits on top of the countertop’s surface. During installation, a hole is created in the countertop, and the sink is dropped into the hole. The rim of the sink catches the top of the countertop and holds the tub in place.

After the sink has been inserted into the hole in the countertop, special metal clips or anchors help hold the sink in place and keep the rim flush against the counter’s surface. Once the topmount sink has been inserted and affixed to the countertop, a bead of silicone or acrylic caulking is applied around the lip of the tub to complete the sink’s look and prevent moisture from getting between the lip and the countertop.

The topmount sink is considered the easiest sink to mount in your kitchen. Topmount sinks are the most common kitchen sinks in the world. In fact, they were once the only choice for decades.

A topmount sink can be made of any material such as stainless steel, cast iron, or composite. Many people do not like a topmount sink because the lip is challenging to clean, and the caulking must frequently be replaced to keep the sink looking good.

Undermount

An undermount sink attaches to the bottom of a countertop to create a sleek and seamless appearance.

People that enjoy modern kitchens love the undermount sink style. The overall aesthetics of the sink are visually pleasing with no noticeable lip to get dirty and require caulk. The sink and the countertop can easily be wiped clean.

Undermount sinks are installed using high-strength epoxy, silicone, and metal anchors. The metal anchors hold the sink to the countertop. However, exceptionally heavy sinks, such as granite undermount sinks, require a brace or stand for support.

Most undermount sinks are made of stainless steel or granite. However, there are other material options available when choosing an undermount sink such as cast iron, copper, porcelain, or composite.

Unfortunately, an undermount sink does not work well with all countertops. If you want an undermount sink, but your countertop will not look good supporting one, then you will be faced with changing your entire countertop and your base cabinet to have the modern undermount appearance that so many modern kitchens are now sporting.

Also, the cost to install an undermount sink tends to be more expensive than the more traditional topmount sink choice.

Items To Consider Before Making Your Purchase

Picking a sink for your kitchen is a tough decision.

There are several items that you will want to consider before making your purchase such as what type of countertop do you have, or will you be changing out your kitchen’s countertop?

Also, how big is your current sink that you will be replacing, and do you need any plumbing changes? You will want to think about how hard the kitchen sink is to install so you will know if you can do it as a DIY project or if you will need to hire a contractor to install the new sink.

Also, be sure, to be honest about your kitchen aesthetics. You want your new sink to be a part of your kitchen that looks fantastic when fully installed.

 - What Type of Countertop Do You Own?

You will want to make sure you have enough countertop space to accommodate the style of sink that you want to install.

Also, you must make sure that the sink will fit into the existing hole left by your old sink. If the sink is too small, then your countertop will have gaps and look unsightly. With a farmhouse/apron sink, you will need a special cabinet and countertop.

If your countertop is a standard laminate, then it may not look good with an undermount sink. However, a granite or composite countertop might look great with such a modern style.

Before making your sink purchase, you will need to take into consideration your countertop to determine which sink will look best and what type of mounting system you will need to use when installing the sink.

 - How Big Is Your Current Sink?

When purchasing a new sink remember that you can buy a larger sink, but you cannot buy a smaller sink.

A small sink will not fit into the hole in your countertop where you pull out the older sink. There will be unsightly gaps and no way to fill them in between the sink and your countertop.

However, if you choose a larger tub, you can always enlarge the hole in your countertop to easily accommodate the new basin.

Also, remember that models such as the farmhouse often require a very specialized countertop and cabinet, so if you do not currently have a farmhouse sink, then it may be impossible to install one without renovating your kitchen.

 - Existing Plumbing

When making your sink purchase, there are some plumbing items that you will need to consider making your dream a reality.

Any kitchen sink will require a faucet. You can choose single handle models with spouts that have stainless steel hoses, or you could go with a more traditional faucet with knobs and an affixed spout.

Some upscale faucets even have touch control, so no knobs or lever are required to turn the water on and off. Also, you will want to think about a garbage disposal which usually comes in a standard size to fit your sink but features varying degrees of power to shred more easily even hard to break up substances.

There are also racks and grates that further protect your new sink’s surface from scratching or denting.

 - How Hard Will It Be To Install?

If you are replacing your topmount sink with another topmount model, then hopefully you won't have any significant problems tackling the chore as a DIY project.  The same can be said if you are replacing an undermount sink with another similar model.

However, some sinks such as farmhouse/apron and granite sinks are exceedingly challenging to install. A farmhouse/apron sink is large and heavy. It requires a special cabinet and countertop.

You will also be faced with installing special brackets or a brace to hold the large sink in place. A granite sink is also extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver. Often a standard cabinet will not support the sink’s weight, so you will be faced with swapping out the cabinet with a specialized one.

Ideally, you should hire an experienced contractor to install a farmhouse or granite sink safely.

Also, if you have decided to install a much larger sink, such as a triple bowl, into a countertop that did not previously hold such a model, then you will be faced with cutting and altering which might be overly complicated and require a professional to make the sink look fantastic when installed.

 - Aesthetics

Who doesn't dream of a big, luxurious sink?

However, your kitchen may be too small for a large model. You need to honestly evaluate the type of sink that will make your kitchen look complete and serve you well.

If you want to undergo a complete kitchen renovation, then you can probably choose whatever sink you are dreaming about, but if you're going to tackle your new sink installation as a DIY project, then you will want to try to stick with a comparable sink that looks fantastic with your current countertop and cabinets.

 - Do You Cook Often?

If you cook often then you will be using your sink for a variety of functions such as washing dishes, vegetables, fruits, and flushing down food particles into the garbage disposal.

For someone who cooks frequently, the kitchen sink quickly becomes the hub of the kitchen, so you will want to choose a sink wisely to fit all of your needs. Some modern kitchen sinks even double as works stations.

They are a place where you can dry your dishes, strain items with a colander and do a variety of other functions that will prove beneficial in creating your culinary delicacies.

Conclusion

Many people do not realize that they spend as much as 60 percent of their time in the kitchen standing in front of the sink.

The sink is the pivotal necessity for food preparation, washing, cutting, food disposal, and many other tasks. In fact, it is not just a crucial item in your kitchen but also a focal point. Guests might come to your home and ask to wash their hands or grab a drink of water, so the chances are good that they will be inspecting your sink up close.

Choosing a sink that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing should be of paramount importance. Also, whatever kitchen sink you choose should also be easy to maintain, durable, and long-lasting.

Any of the choices listed above are ideal kitchen sinks that boast many wonderful features that sets them apart.

Ideally, you should choose whichever one fits your needs and your home’s sense of decor style. If you are renovating your existing kitchen or building a new kitchen from scratch, you must carefully evaluate each sink to determine which one fits your needs and looks fantastic in your kitchen.