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Everything but the kitchen sink

The kitchen, now more than ever, has become the centre-point of the home. It’s important, therefore, that a ‘living kitchen’ is not only practical, but also beautiful…

Sinks can sometimes be placed well down on a kitchen specification list, as the major features of a kitchen design take priority. But the right choice of sink and tap combination can be a stunning focal point in any kitchen. There is a vast range of modern or traditional designs in a variety of materials, colours, sizes and shapes, so it’s worth spending some time on choosing what works for you.

Whether you are upgrading, or installing a brand-new kitchen from scratch, the overall trend in kitchen design remains minimalism, where clean lines and gentle curves sit easy on the eye. The trick is combining style with what essentially must be usable and practical. The four most popular materials for sinks are stainless steel, ceramic, granite and composite.

Stainless Steel

Still a best seller for its affordability, ease of maintenance, long-lasting quality and resistance to corrosion. New design technology has produced a stunning choice of modern and elegant styles including inset, weld-in, and under mount, and with single or double bowls. These new and innovative models are now available in a variety of colours and shapes. Stainless steel tends to be noisier than other materials, although the addition of a spray coating or padding can help to reduce this.


White ceramic remains a popular choice for sink material. Ceramic has a smooth surface which doesn’t absorb moisture, making it a perfect material for a kitchen sink. Dirt finds it hard to accumulate on its surface and stains cannot easily penetrate the glazing. Again, a vast selection is available; from farmhouse, butter and Belfast and to square round or rectangular. Even those on a budget will have a good choice of creative shapes, sizes and colours. Ceramic surfaces can chip if caught at the wrong angle and minor cracking can occur if the material is subjected to extreme temperature differemces.

Granite and Composite

Granite and composite sinks are becoming more popular, with a wide variety of striking and creative designs and colours. Quality composite sinks are cheaper, as they are a combination of granite and other materials that mimic the appearance of natural stone.

Formed under high pressure, they are hard-wearing and resistant to heat, stains, scratches and chips. Small cracking can occur, however, if the material is subjected to a sudden heavy weight. Many come with luxury features such as automatic wastes and antibacterial surfaces. Granite and composite sinks, together with the smooth lines of granite work surfaces, can create a sleek and stunning feature to any kitchen.

So a little extra thought and preparation at the design stage will be well worth it and, as form and function are seamlessly combined to create the perfect space, the result will be a kitchen that has achieved that much desired ‘wow factor’!