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Choosing the correct sink can make or break your kitchen. Think carefully, choose wisely.
Inset sinks are the sinks which use the most conventional method of installation. The sink is simply inserted from above into a prepared cut-out in your worktop. They are often referred to as a "Pop In Sink" or "Drop In Sink" for this reason.
You may have a type of sink in mind, to a large extent it maybe dictated by the style of your kitchen or the material of your worktop. Looking through the summary below should help you choose. There is a more detailed page for each style.
As their name suggests, under-mounted sinks are mounted under the work surface using a combination of support brackets and/or adhesives. Under-mounted sinks can be in stainless steel, ceramic, engineered stone, resin, enamelled cast iron, copper and natural stone.
They offer a clean line for your work surfaces. The worktops often incorporate a drainer area or drainer grooves.
They are suitable for hard surface worktops such as granite, marble, engineered stone, concrete and resin. With care they can also be used with wooden worktops. Under-mounted sinks are unsuitable for laminate type worktops.
Once clearly defined, the names of these types of sinks are often interchangeable these days. Other names include "Apron Front Sinks" and just plain "Stone Sinks." Large rectangular sinks are usually referred to as farmhouse sinks. For more details on these sinks click here.
They are more often than not ceramic sinks but they are also made in stainless steel, copper, natural stone and even wood. They can be single bowl, double bowl or even triple bowl.
They are suitable for hard surface worktops and wooden worktops. They are generally unsuitable for laminate worktops if under-mounted but can be used successfully if they are fitted as a sit-on sink.
These sinks sit directly onto the kitchen cabinet and occupy the full width of the worktop. The ends of the sink are usually level with, or raised above the worktop.
Sit-on sinks offer some advantages over other sinks. They can be fitted using any type of worktop, including laminate worktops.
They can also be used in place of a join in the worktop as the worktop butts snug to both ends of the sink.
A large Butler, Belfast or Farmhouse sink can be fitted as a sit-on sink. First check that there is enough enamel finish on the exposed portions of sides of the sink as these will obviously be seen.
Many sinks designs can be fitted as a surface mounted or free standing sink provided that the seen edges of the sink have been finished. Many Belfast sinks for example only have the enamel on areas of the sink that would be exposed if undermounted.
A flush mounted sink is a fitting method wherby a rebate is cut out into the work surface to allow the sink to be finished flush to the worktop. Some inset and undermount sinks can be flush fitted but increasingly, sink manufacturers are including purpose built, flush fitting sinks to their range.
An integrated sink is a sink that is attached seamlessly or near seamlessly to your worktop to achieve the effect of both components being one piece. Only certain materials are suitable for integrating. Your sink and your worktop must be either a solid surface or stainless steel. Shown is a stainless steel integrated sink, a purpose built integrated sink in marble and an acrylic sink with an acrylic work surface.