Choosing A Kitchen Sink

Nadia Hursky on July 3, 2011

Your sink provides a practical and stylish touch, and serves as an essential feature of your new kitchen. With so many models available, you might have trouble knowing how to find the one that best suits your needs. When choosing a kitchen sink, consider the following:

1. THE LOOK AND FUNCTION: There are three different styles of sinks: Inset, Undermount and Flushmount. Each has a variety of options to suit different needs.

2. THE BENCHTOP: The type of bench top material and the available space influences the kitchen sink model.

3. THE QUALITY: Consider the grade of steel, sound insulation and sink thickness. Remember your sink gets used several times a day for an average of fifteen years.

The Look and Function

The sink is pivotal. You want it to be as functional and as beautiful as your new kitchen.

Ask yourself the following questions. Your answers will guide you in choosing the type and size of sink for your needs.

  • How do I use my kitchen sink, do I use the double bowl and/or drainer function?
  • How will my new kitchen design affect the way I use my kitchen? If I have a dishwasher, will I be using the sink as much?
  • Do I frequently use large pots and pans that will require a deep bowl kitchen sink?
  • How do I use my sink for food preparation?
  • Am I right or left handed? (The drainer should be on the left side for right-handed people and on the right side for left-handed people)
  • Where is the dishwasher? The optimal placement for a drainer is above the dishwasher.

As well as the function of your new sink, you want to make sure that it looks good, and blends in well with your new kitchen. Various styles are available—each with its own pros and cons.

Inset Sinks

Inset sinks are dropped into the bench-top from above. The sink and drainer are combined. Pro: This sink model is durable. If pots and pans hit the internal edge of the sink they do no damage to the bench-top. Con: There is a lip top of the bench-top which may not always be visually desirable. Featured is the Blanco Sink BTIPO45SRHD rrp $259

blanco sink

Undermount Sinks

Undermount sinks are slung from underneath the bench-top, so the cut out on the bench-top is cut and polished perfectly. The sink sits neatly underneath. Pro: Undermount sinks are sexy and stylish and provide extra bench space. Con: The internal edge of the sink is exposed and susceptible to being damaged by rough usage. Features is Clark Sink Razor Single Bowl with Drainer rrp $992

undercount sink

Flushmount Sinks

as the name suggests sits flush to the bench-top. The cut out needs to be exactly cut and the sink fits snuggly in. These are relatively new to the market and need to be fitted precisely to give the maximum streamlined effect. Frank Epos sink 211 rrp $1199.

* undermount and flushmount sinks cost a few more hundred dollars for the actual cut out of stone, plus the sink models tend to be higher in price. Pictured below: stylish mixture of toughened glass and stainless steel. Franke Epos Glass Range flushmounted sink EOV 651is a luxury at $ 2799

glass sink

The Benchtop

The kitchen bench top is a guiding factor when choosing your sink. How much bench space do you have in your new kitchen design? If space is tight, a single bowl sink is recommended, if you have surplus bench space, then a double bowl sink can be used. The most common sink model type in Australia is an inset 1 ½ bowl sink with a drainer.

Bench top materials influence the style of sink you can have. If you opt for a laminate bench top, keep in mind that you can only have an inset sink. CaesarStone, marble and granite tops are the most flexible, as the sinks can be inset, undermounted or flushmounted. With Corian, the sink can be seamlessly moulded into the bench top.


Whilst stainless steel can scratch lightly, stainless steel sinks are hygienic, durable, easy-to-keep clean and will tie in with your kitchen appliances.

Stainless steel is steel that has been combined with other elements to give it beneficial properties that it does not have on its own. In kitchen sinks, the elements that you need to look for are chromium and nickel. Chromium combines with oxygen in the air to form a strong, protective film, which is resistant to corrosion and gives it a long life. Nickel adds strength and lustre.Stainless steel sinks are labelled by the amount of these elements, which is presented as a ratio. For example, 18:10 means 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The higher these percentages are, the better quality the stainless steel.

The thicker the sink the better quality it is. Many sinks are insulated to reduce the noise of banging dishes. The insulation can be easily seen from underneath. Insulated sinks also help reduce condensation build up that could lead to moisture problems in the cabinet below.



  1. Beth says:

    I find that a double bowl is a must, unless we are talking about a very small kitchen where space is an issue… With respect to what stainless steel is made up; I had no idea about the percentages of nickel and chromium! I always wondered why some stainless steel products lasted longer than others (I thought “stainless steel” was exactly the same thing for all products!) Thanks for the info!

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Beth, thanks for the comment, glad you found the info helpful 🙂

  2. Bill says:

    I really enjoyed this article. It is concise and mentions key areas of concern when choosing a kitchen sink. The graphics are especially appealing – some beautiful high end kitchen sinks 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Andrea says:

    Great tips to consider as I try to sort through the choices, have been recommended Franke but recently looked at AFA Sinks which are considerably cheaper by comparison. So I need to study the composition and thickness of stainless steel for each product in order to make my decision. Had decided on under mount but flushmount option sounds good to. I’ve chosen Qantum quartz benchtop

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Andrea

      Yes keep in mind the stainless steel thickness, and also remember that sometimes you are just paying for a brand name…good luck with your search!