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Sinks and Faucets Buying Guide

yury, 09/14/2016

BUYING A NEW SINK?

You use it every day. Whether you’re washing dishes, food or maybe even the baby, your sink works just as hard as you do. You’ll want a sink that combines functionality and style. With so many colors, designs, depths, widths and new materials, it will be an exciting adventure to replace an old sink or install a new one to match your kitchen design and décor. You’ll need to consider the space, countertop, and cabinetry while selecting a sink.

In order to find the best sink for your home, the following information on sink configuration, materials and installation will guide you to your perfect match.

KITCHEN SINK SELECTIONS

SELECT THE KITCHEN SINK THAT’S BEST FOR YOU

There are several things to consider when selecting a sink. You need to consider the space you have to work with.

Configuration refers to the size of the sink and the number of bowls. Think about the size of your kitchen and how you use your rink. The scale of the sink should match the scale of your kitchen.

Number of Holes: The majority of top-mount sinks are available with 1-4 pre-drilled holes for the faucets and accessories such as separate sprayer, soap dispenser, hot water or filtered water unit. Make sure that the sink has the necessary number of holes aligned to accommodate your faucet and accessories. If the sink you select has more holes than needed, you can purchase a decorative cover to hide them.

DEPTH

Most kitchen sinks are 8” deep. If you cook with large pots or baking pans you’ll want to consider sinks with a 10” depth, making it easier to wash or soak oversized items. When replacing a sink with an extra deep bowl, make sure that the depth will not interfere with the existing plumbing or disposal unit.

DRAIN POSITION

The most common is a center-drain. Some sinks have an off-set or rear-positioned drain, which offers more usable bowl space and cabinet space underneath. Sine the pipes run at the back of the sink, it may require a change in plumbing.

KITCHEN BOWL SINK TYPES

GET THE RIGHT LOOK FOR YOUR KITCHEN

Whatever your requirements are, there is a sink to meet your needs. Here’s how to determine if a single bowl, double bowl, triple bowl or bar sink is the perfect match for your space and lifestyle.

SINGLE BOWL SINK

Generally used in small kitchens where counter space is at a premium. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a 22” x 24” single bowl sink for kitchens 150 sq. ft. and smaller. Single bowl sinks vary in size ranging from 14” – 50” or more in width and a large single bowl is becoming a popular option in kitchen design. If you have a tiny kitchen, consider a corner sink designed for installation in an L-shaped countertop making great use of wasted space otherwise.

DOUBLE BOWL SINK

The traditional kitchen usually has a 33” Double Bowl Sinks. It can be two equally sized 13” wide bowls, one used for washing and one for food prep; or a dual level sink with one oversized bowl to wash in and a significantly smaller bowl for rinsing or for a garbage disposal.

TRIPLE BOWL SINK

These sinks have two large bowls for washing and rinsing on either side of a small center bowl for food prep and garbage disposal. They are often found in large gourmet kitchens or busy homes where food prep and washing goes on at the same time. Wider sinks may require custom cabinets.

BAR SINKS

Today it’s trendy is to have two separate sinks. Bar Sinks, also known as entertainment or prep sinks, are great for kitchen islands.These are small sinks range from measurements of 15” – 25” long, 15” wide, 5” – 6” deep, often round or square and are usually made of either stainless steel or copper. These sinks can also be installed in a home bar or entertainment area.

Bar Sinks

KITCHEN SINK STYLES

AN AMAZING ARRAY OF KITCHEN SINK STYLES

Your countertop and sink need to work together. The way that a sink is installed in the countertop – the one already in your home, or the new countertop you are planning to install – factor into the type of sink you can use. The type of sinks available are Drop-in sinks, Under-mount sinks, Apron Front, and Integral sinks.

DROP-IN

Also known as “Top Mount”, these sinks are installed by simply “dropping-in” to a cutout in the countertop. These sinks have a raised edge or rim that extends above the countertop and supports the sink’s weight. It requires limited expertise to install, just clips or bolts underneath hold it in place. Rimmed sinks are more recessed into the countertop and the joint is covered by a metal rim, yet they install in a similar manner. Unfortunately,the rim traps food and dirt and makes it harder to clean. Drop-in sinks are commonly used because they are inexpensive, easy to install and work well with almost any countertop.

UNDERMOUNT

Undermount Sinks or rimless sinks prove a sleek, seamless look popular in contemporary kitchens. They are installed under the countertop either by attaching it to the underside of the counter or are supported underneath by the cabinet. There is no sink rim on the countertop, so messes can be wiped over the edge for easy clean-up. Undermount sinks are not recommended for laminate or other non-waterproof countertops because they can cause damage to the countertop. They work better with solid surface, granite, or other natural stone countertops. Undermount sinks are more expensive and more difficult to install often requiring a trained professional.

APRON FRONT

Also known as “Farmhouse” sinks usually consist of one large bowl with the front of the sink exposed about a foot and finished in the material that the sink is made from – mainly stainless steel, fireclay or copper. Popular for their rustic, country charm, they are available in single or double bowl configurations and top mount or undermount designs. Apron front sinks may require custom cabinetry and professional installation. A shallow apron front sink that fits in a standard sink base cabinet is suitable for remodeling purposes and can be used if you are only upgrading to new countertops.

INTEGRAL SOLID SURFACE

This type is a sink and countertop that are integrated into one piece. Made from a solid surface material, usually granite or quartz composite they are installed as a single unit and require professional installation. Integral solid surface sinks are easy to clean without crevices for food to get stunk in.

BATHROOM SINK STYLES

STUNNING BATHROOM SINK OPTIONS

Whether your bathroom is no frills, a place for kids to splash in the tub or a luxurious get-away for mom, there’s a bathroom sink that can effortlessly add beauty, elegance or convenience. Today’s sinks come in traditional, transitional or modern styles, all built to last. The variety of colors, shapes, sizes and custom options are amazing. Keep in mind that the sink has to work with your countertop or vanity, faucets, toilet, and other fixtures in the bathroom that will be affected by the sink.

There are two important considerations when selecting a bathroom sink; the style and material. The way the sink is installed will be based on the style. If you are simply replacing the existing sink, you’ll need to measure for the same size and shape. A complete renovation will allow you to make a bigger change, but you’ll need the exact measurements of the space. Unless you plan to change pipes, find out where the plumbing comes into the bathroom. Also, ensure that the faucet you intend to install with the sink is compatible.

TOP MOUNT

Also known as “Drop In” sinks, are self –rimming sinks that are mounted with the rim of the sink resting above the counter. The sink itself rests in a pre-cut hole in the countertop and is secured in place. One type of self-rimming sink is the title-in bathroom sink that installs with tiles that fit over the rim of the sink to create a flush surface.

ABOVE COUNTER

Also called “Vessel” sinks, are freestanding ornate basins that sit on a decorative counter or piece of furniture. Available in a broad selection of colorful, hand painted or hand crafted choices, vessel sinks are popular for the bold, modern statement they make in any bathroom. Faucets must be tall enough to extend beyond the edge of the basin.

UNDERMOUNT

These sinks mount beneath the counter to create a seamless counter-to-basin transition. The edge of the countertop material is exposed at the hole to create sleek style and allow for easy cleaning. This style requires a finished edge to the sink opening and an installation kit.

KITCHEN FAUCET TYPES AND STYLES

FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN FAUCETS

A new kitchen faucet can dramatically change the style of the room. While the main functions of proving hot and cold water for food prep and clean up remains the same. Today’s faucets are not only easier to use, more functional and durable, but are also works of art. If you haven’t looked at kitchen faucets in a while, you’ll be awed by the number of styles, sizes, finishes and features available.

CONSIDER MOUNTING

The first thing to consider is mounting. A Deck Mount faucet, installed on the sink or behind it on the counter, is commonly found in most kitchens. If you prefer an easy to clean countertop, a Wall Mount faucet, installed directly above the sink, may be the best choice for you. Once this decision is made, you can move on to handles, spout types, sprayers, finishes and mechanisms. So besides looking great, here’s a look at the other factors involved when selecting your new kitchen faucet.

EASY TO HANDLE

Kitchen faucets have one or two handles or levers. This seems like a simple choice until you consider the specialty faucets on the market today. It is important to make sure the faucet’s spout will effectively reach the entire sink and that the size of the spout works with the size of the sink and with the overall kitchen space.

SINGLE HANDLE FAUCETS

Are equipped with one handle you move from side to side to control the hot and cold-water temperatures by using just one hand. Single handle faucets are easier to install, can be attached to the faucet or stand-alone, and requires one or two sink holes. Many models come with a mounting plate to cover up three unused holes and a side sprayer that is integrated in the main faucet deck.

DOUBLE HANDLE FAUCETS

Comes with two separate handles that control the hot and cold water for more precise temperature settings. The double handle faucet requires three sink holes and is harder to install. The handles may be deck mounted or mounted individually. The sprayer is typically separate from the faucet head and requires a sink hole.

FAUCET ARC TYPES

When it comes to the type of arc you select, it is important to make sure that the faucet’s spout will effectively reach the entire sink and that the size of the spout works with the size of the sink and the overall kitchen.

HIGH ARC SPOUTS

Also known as “Gooseneck” spouts, are generally 8” – 10” above the surface of the sink providing more room to easily accommodate items such as pots. While high arc faucets add style, they can cause splashing in a shallow sink.

LOW ARC SPOUTS

Also known as standard spouts, are generally 3” – 5” above the surface of the sink. These compact models are often less expensive but make it hard to fit oversized items underneath.

FAUCET SPRAYER TYPES

Sprayers are convenience that allows you to get close to whatever you are filling or cleaning – pots, vegetables or the sink itself. The targeted spraying with added water pressure gets you faster results. Some faucets incorporate pullout or pull-down spray heads into the spout, combing style with function by leaving the sink deck clean. Whatever you select, make sure the handles are easy to maneuver and that the sprayer returns easily.

PULL-OUT FAUCETS

This is the most popular type of faucet. The spouts are curved or angled, allowing the head to be pulled out and extended with a flexible spray hose that can be directed right where you need it. Pull-out faucets have a longer section of the head that pulls away, allowing for a larger grip area.

PULL-DOWN FAUCETS

These faucets are equipped with faucet spouts that rise into a high arc, allowing the head to be pulled down into the sink. They are available for single or double handle faucets, allowing for more space and flexibility in the sink.

SIDE SPRAY

These are small faucets that allow you to create a controlled spray of water. They are less costly than a pull-out or pull-down faucet and can be installed at the side of an ordinary faucet. However, they are mainly for cleaning small items.

KITCHEN FAUCET STYLES

Style is another factor to consider when selecting a faucet. There are three faucet types to choose from, traditional, contemporary and transitional faucets. You’ll want to determine which style will work the best with your chosen decor.

TRANSITIONAL FAUCETS

Combine the appearances of traditional and contemporary faucets for an enduring style. If you’re looking for a faucet the mirrors more of a modern design, combining practicality and comfort,
then this is perfect style for you.

TRADITIONAL FAUCETS

This faucet has a vintage style, effortlessly adding class to any room. Its high arc is perfect for filling basins, while adding an exciting display of the flowing water. This faucet is perfect for the person who wants something simple, yet classic.

CONTEMPORARY FAUCETS

Provides a sleek and minimalistic look, perfect for the modern home. Originally inspired by Bauhau’s “art into industry,” its symmetry reflects a pure and uninterrupted style, allowing you to focus on its functional precision with its streamlined design.

FAUCET DESIGN TYPES

There’s an array of faucet design types which can easily add style and functionality to your home. Explore your options and see how you can effortlessly enhance your workspace.

BRIDGE STYLE

Provides a classic look for double-handle faucet design. With a nostalgic feel, bridge faucets have a high reaching swing spout and exposed spoke-style handles, that can be deck or wall mounted.

COMMERCIAL STYLE

Brings the industrial look of a professional kitchen and the hardworking features of a commercial-style faucet into your home.

POT FILLER FAUCETS

Allow you easy access to water so you can fill pots without going to the sink. A pot filler is usually a cold water faucet that can be wall mounted over the stove or deck mounted on the countertop next to it. Look for an extra long swivel arm to fill pots on both the front and back burners and an arm that folds back against the wall when not in use.

BAR STYLE

This style is made to coordinate with your secondary sink, whether it’s used for food prep or entertaining. When selecting a bar faucet it’s best to choose one that has both hot and cold water. Many manufacturers offer faucet families where the bar faucet is a smaller version of the kitchen sink faucet.

BATHROOM FAUCETS TYPES & STYLES

BATHROOM FAUCET OPTIONS

The faucet is the key to any successful bathroom design. A fabulous new faucet can change the look of the room from dull to spectacular. So select your style – great function and easy to clean transitional faucets, simple lines for a contemporary look, or the more ornate and comfortable traditional designs. You won’t believe the dazzling styles, finishes and features you’ll find when shopping for bathroom faucets. Before you begin, there are a few things you need to know.

Most bathroom faucets are Deck-Mounted, installed on the sink or behind it on the counter. Many bathroom sinks come with holes pre-drilled so you can easily install the faucet. If you are planning on a new sink and faucet, you can select your faucet based on your sink choice. If you are replacing an existing faucet, take a look at what is currently in your bathroom. If your faucet is deck mounted you will need to see how many mounting holes there are and the spacing between them. The three basic faucet configurations for deck mounted bathroom faucets are single handle, center set, and widespread. Whatever you select, make sure the handle or levers are easy to maneuver.

CENTER SET FAUCETS

Combines the spout and handle(s) in one connected unit. It is compact in size, which requires less reaching. These faucets usually have two separate handles that control the hot and cold water for precise temperature settings. Most are deck-mounted faucets with three pre-drilled holes, measuring 4” apart. However, some are available for only one hole.

WIDESPREAD FAUCETS

Have separate hot and cold handles and spout that are concealed underneath the sink deck. They fit holes spaced 4” – 10” apart and can be mounted in non standard configurations, and are often used for tight spaces.

WALL MOUNT FAUCETS

Installed on the wall directly above the sink for streamlined look and a clear countertop. It is important to check that a wall mount faucet will work with your sink – typically vessel, wall mount or under-mount sinks – to allow for a cascading water flow with minimal splashing. You’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the correct height and installation.

SAVING WATER MAKES SENSE

ENERGY EFFICIENT TIPS

When you select a new bathroom faucet, you can actually help protect one of our precious resources by buying a WaterSense® labeled product. WaterSense® is an EPA-sponsored certification program to help consumers makes smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards. Products that have earned the WaterSense® label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. Something as simple as twisting on a WaterSense® labeled aerator and upgrading to a WaterSense® labeled faucet could save a household 11,000 gallons over the life of the faucet.

COLORS & FINISHES