How to Choose a Kitchen Sink Size

By Jennifer Ott

In addition to choosing the best materialmounting typenumber of bowls, and bowl depth for your kitchen sink, you also have a range of sink size options. An extra-wide kitchen sink will obviously give you more space for food prep and cleanup, and you might prefer it over the confines of a smaller sink, but bigger sinks typically cost more and can take up valuable real estate in a small kitchen.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry. We’ve pulled together kitchens that feature various sink sizes, along with tips to help you figure out the perfect sink size for your cooking and cleaning needs.

1. Size Your Sink to Your Kitchen

It may seem obvious, but if your kitchen is on the smaller side, consider installing a smaller-width sink. An oversize, triple-bowl model would have overwhelmed this charming but compact loft kitchen. The more modest-size, yet still deep, the single-bowl apron-front sink is large enough to accommodate most kitchen tasks, but it isn’t a space hog. Countertop and base cabinet storage areas are likely to be at a premium in a smaller kitchen, so a smaller-width sink will improve overall function too.

2. Size Your Sink to the Window Above It

Homeowners often install a kitchen sink beneath a window, preferably a window with a nice view. But some homeowners overlook how these two elements work together. That’s not to say your sink and window need to match widths exactly, but it can look odd to have a super-wide sink set below a skinny window and vice versa.

3. Size Your Sink to Be a Focal Point

If you choose to go with an extra-wide sink, you’re going to have a difficult time disguising it. My advice is to take the opposite approach and make your wide sink a focal point. Repurpose an interesting salvaged sink or consider an unusual material, like copper.

4. Size Your Sink to Your Budget

This might also be obvious, but it’s all too easy to fall in love with a huge, gorgeous, apron-front sink only to find that it’s priced well above what your budget will allow.

Installing all top-of-the-line materials, fixtures and appliances in a kitchen doesn’t make sense for everyone, so it’s helpful to strategize on where you’re going to spend money and where you can save.

Personally, I’d rather splurge on my countertops or kitchen floor than the sink. After all, you can get a perfectly good 20-inch-wide stainless steel undermount sink for less than $200.

5. Size Your Sink Based on Your Needs

If you’re an avid cook who prefers hand-washing dishes to running the dishwasher, a large divided-bowl sink with an integrated drainboard is a great option. The wider sink allows multiple people to work at the sink without getting in each other’s way, and that built-in drainboard makes the business of draining and air drying dishes less of a wet mess.

A sink this size will require an extra-wide sink cabinet and will take up quite a bit of space, so it’s best for a generous-size kitchen.

If you need a hand with prepping meals or cleaning up, consider installing two single-bowl sinks instead of one extra-large sink. A configuration like this allows two cooks to work together, and because these sinks are set apart, traffic jams are less likely.

If you have space and budget for it, a three-sink setup is nice for a multi-cook household that does a lot of entertaining. The separate sinks allow several people to work in the kitchen simultaneously. None of the sinks needs to be exceptionally large. One main sink can handle bigger tasks and the others can be sized much smaller. Of course, this configuration has the potential to be costly due to the duplicate plumbing fixtures and installation fees.

6. Consider Fun-Size Sinks

I love these linear sinks. While it’d be difficult to wash dishes in one, they work just fine for fetching a glass of water or dumping out abandoned drinks when the party’s over. You can also fill one with ice and stash cold drinks in it, a nice alternative to keeping an unsightly cooler in the kitchen or having guests rummage through your refrigerator for a cold one. And it doesn’t take up much space on the countertop.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Sink Looking Great

By Erin Carlyle

A new sink can give your kitchen that oh-so-fresh feel. But sinks get a lot of use, and they’re not made of Teflon (at least we hope not), so over time they’re bound to show some wear and tear. Here are tips for keeping 10 popular kitchen sink materials looking great. And if you have a sink-care secret of your own, please share it with your fellow readers in the Comments.


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1. Stainless Steel

Basics to know. Easy-to-maintain stainless steel is the most popular choice for a kitchen sink, according to the majority of the designers I interviewed — and with good reason. “A stainless sink is very hygienic,” says Andrew Williams of Andrew Williams Designs in Boulder, Colorado. “There’s not anything in there where bacteria can grow.” 

Stainless steel isn’t indestructible, but it’s about as close to that as a sink can get. Still, stainless is prone to scratching through daily use. Hard water also can be a problem, with marks showing more on mirror-finished stainless, seen with very high-end sinks, than on brushed, or satin, finish, which is the more common finish for these sinks. Also, if something extremely hot touches a dry stainless sink, the material can become discolored in a process known as “blueing,” Williams says.

Cleaning regimen. To keep stainless sparkling, wash the sink regularly with mild dish soap and a sponge or soft rag — that’s it. “You don’t have to worry yourself with a lot of daily maintenance,” Williams says. Alternatively, manufacturers recommend using a stainless steel cleaner or polish about once a week. 

When you clean your sink, avoid using steel wool, wire brushes or abrasive sponge pads, as they can cause the material to scratch. Also avoid cleaners that contain bleach, as they can corrode the sink. And if you do for some reason use a cleaner with bleach, be sure to rinse the stainless surface immediately to prevent corroding.

How to protect it. To keep stainless looking great, you may want to keep a grid on the bottom to protect it from scratching during daily use. If your sink gets water marks from hard water, a mixture of vinegar and water may work to remove the marks. Don’t allow water to evaporate on the sink, or this may lead to more water
marks. Instead, after you use your sink, wipe it dry with a soft cloth to prevent water stains. And to prevent blueing, be sure to always add water to the sink before putting a hot pan in — never put a hot, dry pan directly in the sink.

How to repair it. If your stainless steel sink does get scratched, you can buff out the scratch with steel wool. But do keep in mind that buffing doesn’t actually remove a scratch; it smooths the sink’s surface so the scratch is not in dramatic relief but instead blended into a larger buffed area. This works best on satin or brushed finishes. A buffed area will stand out more on some of the higher-end stainless sinks that come with a shiny, mirror-like finish.

If you dent your stainless sink — something that might occur if you bump a cast iron pan against its side, for instance, or drop a heavy object on the sink bottom — there’s pretty much nothing you can do, and your sink will have a dent, Williams says. But to put this potential problem into perspective, consider that a ceramic or enamel sink placed under the same pressures would chip.


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2. Granite Composite

Basics to know. Granite composite sinks are typically made of 80 percent granite and 20 percent acrylic resin, which makes them an extremely durable material. They are resistant to heat, stains, scratches and chips. This material comes in a range of colors (though only in matte finishes), but be aware that lighter composites can stain, while darker colors camouflage food scum best. Granite composite doesn’t show scratches the way stainless steel does and the colors don’t fade when exposed to high heat. But these sinks are prone to stains from waterborne minerals, which can dull the finish over time. These sinks can work with a range of kitchen styles, “from cottage to more contemporary,” says Heather Kirk, of Kirk Riley Design in Seattle, Washington.

Cleaning regimen. You can clean daily with a mixture of mild soap and warm water, Kirk says. Alternatively, you can use a non-abrasive cleaner like Bar Keepers Friend, Soft Scrub or Soft Scrub with bleach. Simply scrub any marks or stains with the sponge and soap or cleaner, then rinse with water. After cleaning and each use, be sure to dry the sink with a towel. Kirk recommends microfiber, which is more absorbent than a regular towel. “Yes, this is an additional step, but it will help prevent water stains or limescale from building up on the surface,” she says.

Despite your cleaning, over time the matte finish of a granite composite sink may dull and begin to look as though it is coated in a hazy film, due to buildup of dirt from daily use, or mineral deposits from hard water. A white ring of calcium deposits may appear around the bottom of the sink. To remove these blemishes, use a cleaner targeted at stains from hard water and mineral deposits, such as Lime-A-Way or CLR.

To help prevent this buildup as well as to rid the sink of stubborn stains, some sink manufacturers recommend deep cleaning monthly by sprinkling a mild household cleaning product around the sink bowl and adding hot water (140 degrees Fahrenheit). Let the water stand at least two hours and up to overnight. Drain, clean the sink with a sponge and wipe dry. “This should remove any discoloring from food or limescale residue,” Kirk says. Alternatively, you could leave a solution of half bleach, half water in the bottom of the sink for an hour, then scrub and rinse well. 

How to protect it. Follow your sink manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to deep cleaning. Straight bleach or products that contain ammonia are typically not recommended. For daily cleaning, avoid using steel wool or abrasive scrub pads, as these can scratch the sink. 

How to repair it. Granite composite sinks are resistant to stains, chips, scratches and burns. Marks from metal pans can be removed using the rough side of a sponge along with a mild cleaner — dish soap or a household cleaner should be fine in most cases, but check the sink manufacturer’s recommendations first.


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3. Fireclay

Basics to know. Fireclay sinks are made from a mixture of clay and glaze fired at temperatures of at least 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in the clay and glaze fusing together to create a durable, ceramic-like finish. This material is non-porous and highly resistant to scratching or chipping. Though they are generally stain-resistant, designer Lauren Davenport, of Davenport Designs in Atlanta, recommends rinsing a sink thoroughly after placing red wine, coffee or tea bags in it, as they can leave a mark on the sink. You can place hot pans and dishes in the sink without fear of damaging the material. These sinks are often apron-front and found in farmhouse-style kitchens. 

Cleaning regimen. Use mild dish soap and a soft cloth or sponge to clean fireclay sinks of daily messes. For heavier, crusted-on messes, apply baking soda or a mild abrasive cleaner to a sponge or soft cloth and clean off the gunk. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots.

These sinks often have flat bottoms and food can accumulate in the sink’s corners. When this happens, you can use a plastic spatula or a soft scrubbing sponge to scrape off this food muck. Applying a liquid wax to the sink once a month will help with proper drainage, particularly useful for flat-bottomed sinks. “It can help with water flow and helping prevent the water from pooling in the corners of the sink,” Davenport says.

How to protect it. Using a sink grid can help prevent scuff marks that may come from pots and pans. Take care with heavy cast iron pans; if you whack the sink hard enough with cast iron, the sink body could crack.

How to repair it. These sinks will not scratch, burn or crack during daily use. If you do see what looks like a scratch in a fireclay sink, it may be a metal mark left from silverware; these can be cleaned with a scrubber. Chips are rare, but if they do happen, you can get a repair kit from your manufacturer. Davenport says you should follow the instructions on the kit precisely, then avoid using the sink for a week so the compound can fully cure.

Also important: “When comparing fireclay sinks to other sinks, know that the only available finish is in white,” Davenport says. “While these sinks are very durable, dishes and glasses that are dropped into these sinks tend to shatter more easily.” Also, fireclay sinks are very heavy and will require extra reinforcement to accommodate their weight.


concrete sink

4. Concrete

Basics to know. The most important thing to know about concrete is that it’s fairly porous, and although these sinks will have a sealer, they’ll still show use with time. “When you go with concrete you have to like that worn look, because the material will change,” says Ellinor Ellefson of Elle Interiors in Chandler, Arizona. But you can have a concrete sink custom-made and get it in custom colors. Often used in industrial-style kitchens, these sinks can go with all sorts of countertops. “I have used it with both quartz countertops and granite,” Ellefson says.

Cleaning regimen. Wipe down once or twice daily using a mild dish soap, Ellefsen recommends. Stay away from any abrasive cleaner, as this can wear down the sink’s sealer. Once or twice a week, clean the soap with a household cleaner that is not too abrasive — she recommends checking to make sure that the cleaner is OK to use on natural stone. If not, don’t use it on a concrete sink because it will seep in and start dulling the concrete’s surface.

How to protect it. Avoid placing hot pots and pans directly in the sink; instead, run water into the sink first. The concrete itself won’t be damaged by heat, but the temperature could damage the concrete sealer. You should expect some minor white scratches to appear in your concrete over time; applying Pledge periodically can help fill them in and give your concrete a nice sheen, according to manufacturer Trueform concrete.

Don’t let acidic foods or liquids — lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, wine, soda, tomatoes — sit on your concrete, as they can eat through the sealer and possibly stain the exposed concrete beneath. Similarly, don’t use cleansers that contain ammonia, citric acid, vinegar or bleach. 

To keep it looking good, reseal a concrete sink using a special concrete sealer or a concrete wax, Ellefson advises. When the sink is first installed, she recommends waxing frequently the first month, then re-waxing about every six months. Similarly, if a concrete sealer is used, she suggests resealing every six months. 

How to repair it. Again, if you choose a concrete sink, you should be prepared to accept some scratches as part of the character of this material. But if they build up and are bothering you, you could have a handyperson skim coat the sink with a fresh layer of concrete, which would effectively give it a new finish. You’d just have to avoid using the sink until it is completely dry and has been sealed. Chips in a concrete sink can be repaired with polyester resin and a putty knife — you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do it yourself or contact a concrete fabricator.


natural stone kitchen sink

5. Natural Stone

Basics to know. Natural stone can bring a gorgeous organic note to your kitchen sink, but it is not as durable a material as granite composite or stainless steel. While there is a wide variety of natural stones to choose from — including black granite, green or gray granite, limestone, marble, travertine, sandstone, onyx, quartzite and soapstone — some stones are better suited for kitchen sinks than others. Natural stone may scratch or chip, and many stones are susceptible to staining since they are porous. Proper sealant is critical to maintaining the look of these sinks. “A general rule of thumb is that the lighter the stone is, the more porous it is,” says Ellefson, the Arizona designer. 

Cleaning regimen. Natural stone can be cleaned with warm water and a soft brush, or mild dish soap and a soft cloth. Alternatively, you could clean with a product recommended for countertops of the same stone material — check with the manufacturer to get a list of such products. With either method, be sure to wipe your sink dry after use or cleaning to help prevent water marks. If your sink does develop stains, try using a non-abrasive household cleaner like Soft Scrub, a dishwasher soap or a professional stone cleaner to remove them. 

Your kitchen sink will frequently have contact with water, which can remove the protective sealer, so you’ll want to regularly reseal natural stone with wax or a stone sealant to protect the porous stone from damage or stains. Most tile or hardware stores will carry a variety of stone-sealing products. Check with your manufacturer for recommendations on how frequently you should seal the particular stone you have; once or twice per year is often the recommendation. If you prefer to use wax, you’ll want to apply it at least once per month.

How to protect it. Don’t use acidic or abrasive cleaners, like tub or tile cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners, on the sink. Also don’t use ammonia, vinegar, alcohol, window cleaners or lemon juice on a natural stone sink. Avoid abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool and metal brushes. 

How to repair it. If you get a scratch in your natural stone sink, call a repair person. If your sink gets stained, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to remove a stain.

Also important: Natural stone can be hard on dishes and stemware. “Avoid throwing dishes and glasses into the sink, as they [will] have a tendency to chip and break easier than [in], say, a stainless steel sink,” Davenport says. These sinks are also quite heavy and will need extra reinforcement to accommodate their weight.

Soapstone

Basics to know. Soapstone is distinct from other natural stones because it is not porous, which makes it very stain-resistant. While this stone is known for a rich, dark look, it’s actually light gray in color when it comes from the quarry; the charcoal tone comes from exposure to water, grease or oils that cause the stone to oxidize. “What people like the most about soapstone is the way it looks when it’s oiled,” says Erika Couture of Inspire Kitchen and Bath Design in Colchester, Vermont. Typically, mineral oil is used. But since the water used in a kitchen sink on a daily basis rinses away the oiled finish, maintaining that oiled look in a sink can take some elbow grease. If you don’t keep up the oiling, your sink can end up looking streaky, Couture says.

Cleaning regimen. To keep the sink clean, scrub it with soap or a household cleaner like Ajax or Comet. You can use a small brush to keep the corners of the sink clean. 

How to protect it. If the sink is new, you’ll need to treat it regularly with mineral oil to keep it looking good — at least once a month is recommended, but the choice is up to the individual homeowner. A general rule of thumb is to apply mineral oil when water begins to leave a noticeable dark spot, according to Vermont Soapstone in Perkinsville, Vermont. Over time, the soapstone should absorb the mineral oil and you won’t need to continue coating it. 

How to repair it. A soapstone sink is not likely to stain because the stone is not porous, and it won’t burn, Couture says. If you gouge or scrape the sink, you can buff out the damage with fine sandpaper. If the sink chips around the edges or corners — perhaps you hit it with heavy dishes — use fine sandpaper to smooth down the edges.

6. Cast Iron

Basics to know. Cast iron sinks have an enamel finish that is fired at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The polished enamel is nonporous, and if the quality is high this material is very durable. However, be wary of lower-quality enamel finishes that may be more prone to chipping. This type of sink can be hard on dishes and glassware, so be careful how you place these items into the sink. 

Cleaning regimen. Rinse the sink after use and wipe it down with a soft cloth. You can also use a mild dish soap and a soft cloth or sponge for cleaning. Avoid abrasive cleaners, which can cause the enamel finish of the sink to wear off. 

How to protect it. Use a sink grid to protect the sink bottom from scuff marks from pots and pans. Don’t leave dirty dishes, coffee grounds, tea bags or other materials that may stain in the sink for long periods of time. 

How to repair it. If you do chip the enamel on your sink, the underlying cast iron may be exposed and subject to tarnishing or rusting. Acidic foods like orange juice can start to damage the sink. Rather than spot-repair chipped enamel, Davenport recommends having the entire sink professionally resurfaced or re-enameled.

Also important: Cast iron sinks are sometimes used in place of fireclay sinks, which tend to be more expensive. But these sinks get mixed reviews from designers. Davenport prefers to use them in bathrooms, where pots and pans won’t damage their enamel finish. On the other hand, Kirk, the Seattle-based designer who specializes in restoring vintage homes, uses cast iron sinks often and finds them easier to repair than fireclay, arguing that if you hit cast iron hard with a pan, it will damage the enamel but not the cast iron, while if you hit fireclay hard enough, you could crack the actual sink body.


copper kitchen sink

7. Copper

Basics to know. Raw copper is rust-resistant and anti-microbial, and a just-bought copper sink will have a glorious glow to it. Raw copper will naturally develop a patina over time. “It’s like a penny: It’s going to be bright and shiny, and then it’s not,” Kirk says. Keep in mind that there are a few types of copper sinks on the market: those that are raw, and therefore designed to patinate; as well as lacquered copper, designed to preserve its bright look; and finally pre-patinated copper sinks, which have patination before you buy them. The care instructions for these types of sinks are essentially the same. 

If you’re buying a sink, be sure to choose one that is at least 99 percent pure copper — otherwise you lose the benefits of using copper, “namely its anti-microbial properties as well as its malleable-yet-tough quality,” says designer Jennifer Ott of Jennifer Ott Design in San Francisco.

Cleaning regimen. Clean your copper sink daily with mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth or sponge, then dry with a cloth to prevent water spots. It’s best not to use abrasive cleaners or tools like steel wool.

The development of patina is a natural process with copper, but if you want to try to intervene in the look of your sink, there are some steps you can take — you will just need to be ready to take on some work. You may want to apply a product that can help prevent water spots, especially if you have hard water that could leave mineral deposits. One option for protecting the sink from such spots is a spray wax applied once per month.

Too much moisture can lead to green spots in your copper sink’s patina; this is a mineral buildup that you can remove with your fingernail or a soft cloth, or with warm water and a sponge. Some soaps may also cause green spotting if they sit on the sink’s surface for too long. Sometimes these sinks can also get a brown film; similarly, it can be wiped off with a cloth or scratched off with a fingernail. For some people, none of this is really a big deal — others will find staying on top of the development of patina an annoyance. 

How to protect it. Don’t leave a rubber mat, sink grid or sponge inside the sink, and don’t leave food or dishes in the sink for a long period of time, as all of these items can stain the sink. Don’t let bleach touch the sink; it will remove the patina. Acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, ketchup and soda also can strip the patina from your copper sink. So can cosmetics and toiletries like toothpaste, makeup or shaving cream, as well as abrasive chemicals like bleach or drain unclogger. Even oil from your fingertips can affect the patina on copper. Some manufacturers make sink grids that work specifically with copper and don’t take off its patina; consider one of these to protect the sink.

8. Porcelain

Basics to know. A white porcelain sink can look great with a farmhouse style, especially when it’s new. But the look of these sinks will degrade over time. “No matter what you do, a porcelain sink will become scratched and the finish will get dull,” says Ellefson. “You can try to be careful, but there’s really no way to keep it looking as pristine [as it was] in the beginning.” Porcelain sinks can chip, and metal pans can leave black marks or scuffs that can be difficult to remove. Porcelain isn’t as durable as fireclay, and it isn’t as popular a sink material as it once was. “It’s still used, but mostly when farm sinks are in play,” says Angie Keyes, a kitchen and bath designer in Naples, Florida. These days, porcelain is more commonly seen in bathrooms. 

Cleaning regimen. Wash your sink on a daily basis with warm water and dish soap, and use a semi-soft brush to scrub it. Wipe your sink dry to prevent water stains. If the porcelain starts looking dull or dirty, sprinkle a little Borax laundry detergent in it, then rinse that with water. The Borax will help take off mineral deposits that build up and dull the sink’s finish. For a deeper fix, you can get the porcelain sink refinished — hire a professional to do this. 

How to protect it. Ellefson advises keeping a rubber mat at the bottom of your porcelain sink to prevent scratches. 

How to repair it. To repair a chipped or cracked porcelain sink, you can purchase a porcelain repair kit and follow the directions — but the look may not be completely smooth. Alternatively, you can have your porcelain sink professionally refinished.


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9. Solid Surface

Basics to know. Solid surface sinks are man-made, synthetic material composed of acrylic or polyester resins, powdered fillers and pigments — Corian is one brand name. Sometimes people also refer to engineered quartz as solid surface, but engineered quartz is a distinct material made of naturally occurring quartz chopped up and mixed with a resin-like material, similar to the process for forming composite granite (see next sink description). Solid surface sinks are supposed to be stain-free, but they do actually stain, says Couture, the Vermont designer. Dark cast iron pans, blueberries and anything that sits on the sink for a while can leave a mark. 

Cleaning regimen. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a soft cloth after each use. Alternatively, wash the sink with soapy water before drying. Mild abrasive cleaners like Comet or Bon Ami can be used occasionally to scrub down the sink, and stains can be sanded down with fine sandpaper. “Be careful not to do it in just one area” or the sink will show a depression in that area, Couture says. 

How to protect it. Don’t leave dirty dishes, coffee grounds, tea bags or other items that could stain in contact with the sink for a long time. Use a basin rack to protect the sink’s bottom from scratching. 

How to repair it. Solid surface sinks can be damaged by heat. If you pour boiling water in without first warming the sink up by running hot water on it, the bottom of the sink might drop out, Couture says. You also want to make sure you avoid placing anything very hot straight out of the oven and onto the sink, or the hot item could melt the material, Couture says. If your sink has a crack or burn that needs to be repaired, call a professional. Synthetic solid surface sinks can be lightly sanded with very fine sandpaper to remove stains or scratches, Couture says. “But because it is soft, you don’t want to oversand in one spot or you will create a depression in that one area.”

Also important: Avoid using window cleaners on the sink, as they can leave a waxy buildup that may dull the sink’s finish.

10. Engineered Quartz

Basics to know. Engineered quartz, also called quartz composite, is a blend of ground quartz and resin. Similar to granite composite in terms of the way it is made, engineered quartz is non-porous and resistant to scratches and heat. This material comes in a variety of colors and, like most sinks, can show hard-water marks if not properly maintained. Force or pressure from heavy objects can damage its surface. On the downside, engineered quartz is not quite as strong or scratch-resistant as granite composite. “Until recently, quartz [composite] sinks were only available as a custom integral sink in a quartz [composite] countertop,” says designer Barbra Bright, of Barbra Bright Design in San Francisco. However, these sinks are now available as standalone products. 

Cleaning regimen. Wipe clean with soap and water, and the scrubber side of a sponge. To clean off tougher spots and dirt, use a non-abrasive household cleaner like Soft Scrub Liquid Gel. To remove food or other items that may stick to the sink, scrape with a putty knife and then clean the sink’s surface with a damp cloth. As with many sinks, wipe dry after use to avoid developing mineral deposits from hard water. For tougher stains on lighter-colored engineered quartz, use a product such as Bar Keepers Friend, Bright suggests. Also, you’ll want to be sure to clean the sink on a regular basis to avoid developing a haze from everyday cooking greases and oils. “Some of the designers say they use Magic Eraser on them daily,” says Cindy Aplanalp-Yates of Chairma Design Group in Houston.

How to protect it. Though this material is heat-resistant, it can be damaged by sudden, dramatic changes in temperature, so avoid transferring hot pans directly into the sink. Instead, run warm water to acclimate the sink first. 

How to repair it. An engineered quartz sink that gets a crack or divot in it could be repaired by filling the damage with epoxy, Bright says, but the patch method might be visible, depending on the color of the sink. The best course of action would be to call a professional — either the fabricator who initially installed the engineered quartz or a stone repair company. 

All the Details on 3 Single-Sink Vanities

Article by: Becky Harris

There are more decisions that go into planning a bathroom vanity than you might think. Since January is the month when the most people go in search of the right vanity, we decided to take a closer look at them. In this story we focus on three single-sink vanities designed for three different situations. We chose three fairly modest full bathrooms, ranging from 50 to 74 square feet, and looked at each vanity’s style and dimensions, sinks, faucets, color, materials, hardware, storage, countertops and lighting.

Vanity 1: Eclectic traditional-modern mix in a double-duty bathroom

“This bathroom acts as both the guest bathroom and the powder room in this condo,” says interior designer Jodie Rosen. “The vanity had to do double duty in looking pretty and functioning for a secondary bathroom with storage and counter space.” 

Style: The approximately 50-square-foot bathroom mixes elegant traditional elements like the marble countertop and glass knobs with more modern ones like the clean-lined vessel sink, square hand towel holder, mirror and faucet. “It’s fresh- and light-looking while still providing the utility required,” the designer says.
Door style: Raised panel with a beveled edge
Dimensions of vanity: Five feet long by 32 inches high by 18 inches deep
Paint color on vanity: Oxford White in a matte finish, Benjamin Moore
Hardware: Glass knobs, Upper Canada Hardware in Toronto
Sink: Ove by Wetstyle. Vessel sinks change up the height of the vanity. “The overall height of the sink should sit between 34 to 36 inches [from the floor], and if you’re working with a vessel sink, the top of the sink should sit at that height and the countertop height would be subtracted,” Rosen explains. “So a 4-inch-high vessel sink would be at 36-inches high and the countertop would sit at 32 inches high.”
Faucets: Open-top tall fixture
Counter: Statuario marble
Floor: Statuario herringbone mosaic
Backsplash: 7-inch Statuario slab
Mirror: This is a custom mirror. Its sharp lines add a modern touch to the room.
Lighting: These are custom refurbished fixtures. The finish is stainless steel.
Wall color: Oxford White, Benjamin Moore
Challenges: “We had a limited depth we could work with because of the door opening and the subsequent casing,” Rosen says. “The vanity is slightly narrower than standard, and it meant that we had to put the faucet to the side, which was not originally part of the design — it’s an interesting detail that I think makes the bathroom that much more beautiful.”

Rosen advises being mindful of the proportions of each piece. “The hardware sizing, if too large or small, can offset the look dramatically,” she says. “I always like to keep things somewhat monochromatic with the fixed finishes — too much zing can pull your eye drastically away from the overall feel of the space.”

Vanity 2: Transitional and functional for her

In this 55-square-foot bath that was the “hers” half of his-and-hers bathrooms, interior designerTracey Stephens was going for “feminine but not froufrou.” The vanity’s curves accomplish this. “The vanity is rather large for a one-sink configuration, but she wanted lots of countertop space and storage underneath,” Stephens says. 

Style: This is the Louis vanity by Waterfall Bathroom Furniture, crafted in custom extra-long dimensions and then customized by a carpenter who turned two awkwardly large doors into four. A gracefully shaped edge along the bottom adds feminine flair and throws a few curves into the room.
Dimensions: 60 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 36 inches high
Vanity paint color: Light Pewter, Benjamin Moore
Special details: Stephens included a holster for a hair dryer inside one of the vanity doors.
Hardware: The designer chose polished chrome, which coordinates with other accessories in the room. The cabinet knobs are the K-11485 Archer by Kohler.
Sink: Stephens chose an undermount sink that gives the countertop a sleek look. The sink is the Loretta undermount by Bates & Bates.
Faucets: Nexus faucet by Toto
Counter: Quartz Reflection 7141 by Caesarstone
Backsplash: A pencil line of glass tile in a color that that picks up on the wall paint breaks up the simple white porcelain 6-by-6-inch square tiles. The square tiles are topped off by a 2-by-6-inch bullnose tile. 
Mirror: “More storage was also the reason for three medicine cabinets,” Stephens says. To fill the length of the vanity, the designer used three recessed cabinets ganged together. 
Lighting: A three-light sconce over the mirror provides plenty of light for makeup. 
Wall color: Thornton Sage, Benjamin Moore

Because the client wanted an extra-long vanity top with a single sink for lots of counter space, the company customized it for her. The problem was, they could only make it in a two-door version. 
Challenges: “When the vanity was delivered, as I suspected, the two doors were huge and quite problematic due to the narrowness of the room,” Stephens says. “My awesome cabinetmaker, Jason Aksman of Fine Custom Carpentry, made four smaller doors out of the two.”

Across the room, a valance plays off the curved shape of the vanity. A polished nickel square pyramid nailhead detail picks up the other finishes in the room. 

Vanity 3: Clean and contemporary with lots of storage

This is the master bathroom for a husband and wife. “It’s their sanctuary from their four kids,” says interior designer Beth Kooby. “They wanted a clean, contemporary look.” Because there’s no medicine cabinet, the vanity needed to hold all the toiletries the couple needed at the sink and mirror. The bathroom is 74 square feet. 

“I custom-designed this to be simple, sleek and not too fussy — because my clients are not — but also elegant,” Kooby says. “I chose a warmer-colored wood to balance the coldness of the marble floor and all the glass in the room.” The style of the vanity also coordinates with custom cabinetry in the adjacent master bedroom, creating a pleasing cohesiveness between the two.

StyleContemporary
Dimensions: Forty-two inches wide by 20 inches deep by 34 inches high
Sink: Kohler Ladena in white
Faucets: Purist line by Kohler
Backsplash: 2-by-12-inch Lucian glass tile in Oxygen Gloss from Ann Sacks
Mirror: Custom
Lighting: Modern sconces in clear glass

Vanity wood: Sapele
Hardware: “I had a dream about this hardware before I found it!” Kooby says. “It’s acrylic with nickel posts, from Matthew Quinn Collection.”
Countertop: Custom concrete with bits of recycled glass, fabricated by Dex Industries. The bits of glass pick up on the glass tile as well as a Starphire glass shower niche. 
Challenges: This vanity, with its six drawer fronts and pedestal base, has the look of a contemporary dresser. But of course, with an undermount sink and plumbing hidden behind it, there’s more going on than meets the eye. 

Both of the top drawers have an L-shaped interior to accommodate the sink; the middle section is one front made to look like two separate drawer fronts, with a U-shaped interior to accommodate the plumbing, and the bottom is two separate full drawers,” Kooby explains. 

The vanity turned out so beautifully that the clients didn’t want anything mucking it up. “She insisted on a free-standing toilet paper holder so we wouldn’t drill in to the side of the vanity, because it’s so pretty!” Kooby says.

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink

Article by: Anne Ellard

“Eight,” I hear you say. “She can’t possibly be serious. Isn’t a sink just a sink?” But yes, I am serious — and my clients are often baffled when trying to choose from the available options. The truth is that choosing one can be a bit overwhelming, but only when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. First, you need to consider which room you are shopping for (master en suite, family bathroom, powder room), who will use the room and how much space you have. 

So before you head off to choose your new bathroom sink, grab a coffee, have a read and then go out armed with the information you need to help narrow down the best options for you and your space.

1. Top-mount sink. Probably the most commonly used sink, a top-mount, or drop-in, sink is designed to sit on top of the counter, as the name suggests.

Generally speaking, most of the sink sits below the counter, with just the rim of it sitting on top of, and visible above, the counter. The rim can be either very slim or a bit chunkier, like the one pictured, depending on the style you choose. 

Pros: Top-mount sinks are suitable for pretty much any countertop material, including wood and laminate, as the cutout is completely covered by the sink and therefore doesn’t risk being damaged by water. They are also less costly to install in a stone countertop, because they don’t require laborious polishing of the cutout edges, as with an undermount sink. 

Con: You can’t wipe water and spills straight from the counter into the sink. 

Good for: Elegant en suites and minimalist schemes.

2. Undermount sink. This sits underneath the counter. The rim of the sink is fixed to the underside of the countertop, as opposed to sitting on top of it. 

Pros: This creates a seamless, clean look, as less of the actual sink is visible. Another advantage is that water and spills can be wiped directly from the countertop into the sink without any obstruction, making it a great, easy-to-clean option for family bathrooms. 

Cons: Undermounting a sink will usually only be possible with a solid-surface countertop, such as stone, and isn’t suitable with a laminate, as it can’t be sealed as well against moisture. These sinks also tend to cost more than top-mount ones. 

Good for: Busy family bathrooms.

3. Wall-mounted sink. This is fixed directly to the wall without needing to sit in or on a countertop. It looks streamlined and gives a minimalist feeling to a room. 

Pros: A wall-mounted sink doesn’t have any cabinets below it, which saves on space and also leaves more visible floor area, making the room feel bigger. For a wall-mounted sink to work in your space, all the plumbing, including the waste, must be positioned inside the wall to have a clean look.

Cons: There is no storage space, and there is a lack of “landing” space due to the absence of a countertop. Consider your need for storage in your bathroom before opting for a wall-mounted sink and maybe reserve it for the powder room, where storage isn’t as important. 

Good for: Small spaces.

4. Pedestal sink. If your preference is a simple wall-mounted sink, but your waste pipe has to go through the floor and can’t be changed, then a pedestal sink is a great option.

Pros: The pedestal under the sink sits between the underside of the sink and the floor, concealing any pipework in between. A pedestal sink is also aesthetically pleasing and perfect if you want to give your bathroom a classical vibe.

Cons: Again, consider the fact that you won’t have any storage space under the sink or any counter space around it. This option can also be a bit tricky to clean around, as there is usually a gap between the wall and the back of the pedestal (as pictured here).

Good for: Period properties and traditional schemes.

5. Semirecessed sink. If your bathroom or en suite has limited space, but you would still like some vanity cabinets below your sink for storage, then a semirecessed option might be the solution you need.

Pros: A semirecessed sink sits proudly at the front of cabinets and the countertop that it sits on, allowing you to have much shallower cabinets — maybe even as shallow as about 12 inches (300 millimeters), depending on the model you choose. This frees up valuable floor space. It also keeps a lot of the counter space free for cosmetics and other products. Much like a pedestal sink, this is a good option for young children and people with limited mobility, as you can get closer to the sink to reach the faucet without the obstruction of a countertop and cabinets.

Cons: The storage space underneath is limited. Also, because there isn’t any countertop around the front of the sink to catch water, splashes and spills onto the floor are more common, especially in a home with children. 

Good for: Mini-me’s and beauty queens.

6. Washplane sink. Washplane sinks, often spotted in sleek hotels and restaurant bathrooms, are the simplest of the options. They’re slim, streamlined and stylish. 

Pros: Washplane sinks take up very little space, so they are great in a room where space is limited, such as in a powder room. You can buy one made of ceramic, porcelain or glass off the shelf. Alternatively, a stonemason can make them in this style from granite, marble or engineered stone. They simply mount a small stainless steel trough under the sink to catch the water before it runs into the waste pipe in the wall behind.

Cons: Washplane sinks are best suited to the powder room, where the sink will be used just for hand washing. They don’t come with the option of having a plug, plus they are extremely shallow, so they’re not designed to hold water. 

Good for: Powder rooms.

7. Vessel sink. A vessel sink is one that generally sits completely on top of the countertop, although there are some models that sit partially below the counter. 

Pros: Unlike most other sinks that are exposed above the counter a little or not at all, vessel sinks demand attention and are a great way to create a statement in your bathroom. As the name suggests, a vessel sink is basically like a large bowl, so it is a great choice if you like a deep sink that can hold plenty of water. 

Cons: Due to the height of vessel sinks and the way they sit above the counter, careful planning of the counter height, and of the height of the cabinets below, is required to ensure that the sink doesn’t end up being too high and uncomfortable to use — this often leads to less storage space under the counter. Cleaning around the base and back of the sink can also be a bit tricky. 

Good for: En suite bathrooms.

8. All-in-one sink and countertop. Many off-the-shelf vanity cabinets that can be purchased from bathroom supply stores offer an all-in-one countertop with a sink that sits on top. With this style, the sink itself is actually molded as part of the countertop. It can be made from various materials, such as porcelain or acrylic. 

Pros: The main advantage is that it’s so easy to clean. There are no ridges or seams, so it’s very streamlined and a great choice for busy family bathrooms. These sinks are generally available in set standard sizes; however, some suppliers may offer the option to have one custom made to the size that suits your space best.

Con: These all-in-one tops are usually designed so the countertop gradually slopes down and inward to create a sink in the middle. This can lead to having less flat counter space to put things on than what you would have had if you had opted for a top-mount sink sitting on top of a countertop, for example. 

Good for: Time-poor renovators, and those who need to buy something straight off the shelf and don’t have time to wait for a custom-made sink.

How to Hide the Toilet

Article by: Royston Wilson

What is the one item that no one wants to be the star attraction in the bathroom? Yes, you guessed it — the toilet! Camouflaging a toilet in a bathroom is surprisingly easy. If you have the space for the toilet to be separate, then it is very easy; however, most of us do not have the luxury of an abundance of space. This is when the trick of distraction comes in handy. 

But just how do we employ the art of distraction to our advantage? Put simply, it’s all about clever design. Installing an interesting bath, vanity, feature wall or shower, or championing an outside view, can help make the toilet practically disappear from the foreground. It will still be there — but won’t be what you remember when you depart from the space. Let’s take a closer look.

Create a Separation 

Low wall. This bathroom has been designed to maximize the view (not the toilet!). A sense of calm and contentment is present as you soak in the bath, with shelves and a seat conveniently close by for magazines and maybe a bottle of bubbly. The low wall, while seemingly insignificant, underpins the experience and ensures that at no point in your bathing experience will you notice the toilet.

Angled wall. With a tiled angled wall creating a dramatic backdrop, the toilet was never going to be the first thing you notice here. Not only is the angled wall a shield for the toilet and shower at the other end, but it also creates the feeling of more space. A stepped vanity (one that has different levels) and a beautiful freestanding back-to-wall bath keep your attention as you continue your journey through the bathroom.

Nib wall. A nib wall is a very handy addition to a bathroom. In this case it has created a logical place for the vanity to run into and has partially blocked the toilet from view. Two birds with one stone! Interesting light fixtures, handles and wallpaper combine with the various textures of the stone and timber to ensure that a feast for the senses is the primary experience.

Wow factor. This is a real case of stating the obvious. Toilet paper is used to create a divider and storage point between toilet and basin here. This is one powder room that will never be short of a roll or two!

Layout

T-shape. By planning a T-shaped bathroom, you allow the vanity to be the hero. Here, the toilet sits neatly behind one wing and the shower behind the other. Function is taken care of, while form is delivered in full.

Defined areas. Depending on your entry point in this two-door bathroom, the toilet can be seen or not seen at all. Within the layout it is essentially treated as a room within a room. The cabinet that divides the space creates extra storage and is a great alternative to a wall, cleverly giving privacy to the toilet area.

Distraction

Central focus. This bathroom is a perfect example of distraction. It instantly draws your eye to another place — the pool. Originally there was a brick wall here, but with the pool in view, a new focus was delivered. Both the vanity and the toilet have become secondary in importance, so that while walking into this bathroom, you find yourself thinking, “What toilet?”

Eyes up. Generally, a built-in bath will not take center stage in a bathroom. In its place, the vanity can be highlighted. The designer of this bathroom has made the wall-hung toilet part of the vanity, with the striking green feature tile drawing the eye to the harmonious pairing with the timber.

Feature walls. A feature shower with mosaic wall in this bathroom is enough to draw your attention past the toilet. With the toilet kept off the floor, a feeling of light and space has been created. What’s more, the timber flooring gives the room lineal interest.

Art is a wonderful medium that evokes such varied emotional responses. This natural stone is beautiful to behold — it fills the room and is framed artfully by the doorway. The whiteness in the stone also allows the toilet to become almost obscure.

Feature cabinetry. In this tight space, everything is on display. However, as the toilet is white on a white wall, it recedes into the background, while the framed cabinets catch your attention.

Decorative items. Sometimes the toilet must be on view. When this happens, embrace it! Again, decorative items like screens and lights can work wonders to redirect attention. The white floor and accessories here also mean that the white toilet does not stand out, but rather forms a part of the overall composition.

Tricks of the Eye

Floating features. It is hard not to want to touch the floor and wall here. They are so textural and inviting. Your eye is drawn to the slim sink that complements the line of the timber perfectly. Everything appears to float. The soft mirror shape follows the internal curve of the sink as though it has been lifted out of its niche. Finally, there is the toilet — last and definitely least!

Unique. Now this is different. The toilet is bench mounted. This unusual setup might lead most people to think a toilet is missing from this bathroom altogether — but they’d be wrong. A very high sink allows the single stone bench to be at a suitable seating height for the toilet, which is discreetly mounted on top. The bonus is that the bench extends into the shower, doubling as a built-in shower seat.

Dark color. The dark, moody colors of this bathroom make the toilet stand out. A brave move, but one that works with enough detail elsewhere to draw the eye.

Light color. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the toilet that almost disappears. With the whites of the wall and floor, this wall-hung toilet can barely be seen.

Everything You Need to Know About Farmhouse Sinks

Article by: Anne Ellard

Being from Ireland and having included the beautiful Belfast farmhouse sink in many traditional country and farmhouse kitchen designs, I have a bit of a soft spot for farmhouse-style sinks. The farmhouse sink originated in a time when there was no running water. The idea behind the sink was that it was a place to hold large amounts of water, which was fetched by hand from nearby wells, lakes and rivers. 

The two original farmhouse-style sinks emerged in Ireland and Britain in the late 17th century. They were of similar design but had their own characteristics. The Belfast sink was deep and had an overflow so that excess water could easily drain away instead of flowing over the sides. The London sink — designed for an area where water was scarce and therefore more precious — was shallower. It had no overflow so that every last drop could be kept inside the sink. 

If you’re thinking about choosing a farmhouse-style sink for your kitchen, here’s what else you should know.

The traditional farmhouse sink is generally a lot deeper than modern stainless steel undermount or top-mount sinks. Its design enables the user to stand directly in front of the basin, with no cabinets or countertop in between. This feature made the farmhouse sink more comfortable to use at a time in the past when women would spend a large part of their day there — preparing food and washing dishes, clothes and even babies.

Though you could still wash a baby in today’s farmhouse sinks, you’d probably find them more useful for washing large pots, big baking sheets and oven trays, and even barbecue grills — items you would generally struggle to wash in a typical sink. 

And if one large bowl isn’t enough, you can find several double-bowl options too, like the one seen here.

Installation

Farmhouse sinks were originally designed to sit slightly to the front of the surrounding cabinets, so that any water flowing down the front of the sink would run to the floor instead of landing on and damaging the cabinets. This is how farmhouse sinks still are typically installed in a kitchen. 

They also are usually installed just under the level of the countertop so the counter can slightly overhang the sides of the sink, making it easy to wipe water from the counter straight into the sink.

Drainage

Having a space on the counter where you can drain your freshly washed dishes is a bonus. Here some shallow channels, know as drainer grooves, have been routed into the countertop. They increase in depth the closer they get to the sink, which aids the flow of drained water into the sink. These drainer grooves are a great way to have the practicality of a draining area without taking away from the look of the farmhouse sink.

Fixtures

Farmhouse sinks add a feeling of nostalgia to a kitchen and bring a sense of rustic character that enhances country- and traditional-style kitchens. Complete the look by pairing your white porcelain farmhouse sink with a beautiful traditional-style tap, many of which are available with matching white porcelain handles, as shown here. Typical farmhouse sinks do not have a hole for the faucet, so the tap needs to be positioned in the counter or in the wall behind.

Materials

White farmhouse sinks are most commonly made of fireclay or porcelain. 

Fireclay. Fireclay sinks are made of clay, which is heated to an extremely high temperature that makes the sink hard and durable. It also gives the sink its beautiful high shine. The durability of fireclay means that it is resistant to scratches and chips and is easy to clean. 

Porcelain. Porcelain sinks are a ceramic material, again heated to high temperatures, although not quite as high as fireclay. They look similar to fireclay sinks but are less expensive. Porcelain sinks are not quite as durable as fireclay and are more prone to chipping and discoloration.

Stainless steel. Farmhouse sinks are now available in a wider variety of materials, including stainless steel. Stainless steel is affordable, durable and easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel adds a contemporary twist to a sink that is typically associated with traditional- and country-style kitchens.

Copper. Farmhouse sinks are sometimes made of copper. The copper can sometimes have a hammered finish and a colored patina applied when the sink is manufactured. Over time, natural copper develops a beautiful patina as it reacts with the different substances that come in contact with it.

Modern Style

There are redesigned versions of the farmhouse sink, such as the one pictured here. Unlike the original farmhouse sink, this one sits on top of the countertop and has a space for a tap hole incorporated into it, eliminating the need to have a countertop run around the back of it. The fact that this sink sits on top of the counter eliminates the risk of water’s finding its way down the sides of the sink. This makes for a more watertight, though less authentic, option.

Considerations

Seal. The measurements of fireclay and porcelain farmhouse sinks can vary slightly, and the surfaces can be a bit uneven. These are natural characteristics of these materials and shouldn’t be considered flaws. This means, however, that when the sink is fitted under a perfectly even countertop, there can be slight gaps where water can escape. 

After it is installed, ensure that your farmhouse sink is correctly sealed around the edges. Designing the countertop so it overhangs the edges of the sink sufficiently will help water flow straight into the sink bowl and keep it away from the edges.

Design. Though designing a farmhouse sink into a new kitchen layout is easy, it can prove more difficult to incorporate one into your existing kitchen layout. The size and nature of farmhouse sinks mean they require custom cabinets to be designed to suit them, as well as a different countertop design. Ask your cabinetmaker if he or she can alter your existing cabinets and countertop to fit.

Surface. Pristine white porcelain sinks look stunning; however, they are a bit unforgiving in that they show every bit of dirt and grime. Having said that, they are easy to keep clean. 

And the hard surface of fireclay or porcelain farmhouse sinks can be noisy when you’re washing dishes in them and is far less forgiving than stainless steel when breakable items are dropped in them, so take extra care when washing your wineglasses. 

Size. If you are concerned about wasting water, look for a farmhouse sink that has a smaller capacity. The depth of the traditional farmhouse sink is great for washing big items, but it means to fill it you’ll need a lot more water than for a typical sink. 

How to Replace Your Kitchen Faucet

Article By: Meg Padgett

Kitchen remodels require a multitude of skills from conception to completion, and ours was no exception. From tearing down walls to replacing floors, we’ve been through it all — and we’re exhausted. Luckily, the very last change was the quickest and easiest to tackle.

Replacing our basic kitchen faucet with a gorgeous one-handle high-arc pull-down faucet was the finishing touch our kitchen remodel needed. The process was surprisingly easy — it’s a do-it-yourself project that almost anyone can accomplish. 

All you’ll need are a new faucet and a few household tools:

  • Adjustable basin wrench
  • Slip joint pliers
  • Safety glasses
  • Bucket or bowl for catching water 

Clean out the area underneath the sink so you have ample space to inspect your work area and move about freely. Next, turn off both the hot and cold water supplies via the shutoff valve under the sink. Test that the water is off at the faucet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a basin wrench or slip joint pliers, unscrew the connections for each water line at the shutoff valve. Have a bowl handy to catch any residual water, and place the ends of the water lines in the bowl.

 

Unscrew the mounting nuts that hold the faucet to the sink, using either the wrench or the pliers. Remove the faucet from the sink and set it aside. Instead of tossing the old faucet into the trash, consider donating it to a salvaged goods shop, like a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Check here for locations

Once the old faucet has been removed, clean the surface of the sink. I used a baking soda paste to eliminate water stains. 

Place the gasket that came with your new faucet around the sink hole and slip the supply lines and faucet tailpipe through. Our new Moen Woodmere faucet required only a single hole for installation, so we capped the remaining three holes on our stainless steel sink with covers that can be found at any hardware store. In lieu of capping, consider adding accessories such as a soap dispenserwater filter faucet or hot water dispenser. You can also use the deck plate that is provided with some models.

Note: Some faucets do not include gaskets; you need to apply sealant to the sink.

 

Secure the faucet in place from beneath the sink with the provided installation hardware. Ensure the faucet is positioned correctly and then tighten the mounting nut securely. Check the faucet from above to make sure it doesn’t wobble or wiggle. 

Attach the faucet’s supply lines to the shutoff valves and tighten the connections with a wrench.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our faucet included a pullout sprayer, which required a few extra steps. If yours does too, simply insert the spray hose through the faucet and push through until the hose is visible beneath the sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then attach the spray hose to the water line and push in the locking clip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn on your water supply and test that the water is working. If the stream is irregular, you’ll need to adjust the flow at the supply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attach the spray nozzle to the spray hose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tighten the connection with a wrench or pliers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attach the spray nozzle weight to the hose between the marked area and the curve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again test that the spray nozzle works.

 

Here’s what everything looks like from below once the faucet is fully installed.


 


Master Bathroom Choices: One Sink or Two?

Article By: Tiffany Carboni

One sink or two? This is the classic debate for couples renovating a sizable master bathroom. There are pros and cons to both. So what’s right for your bathroom? I spoke with architect Thayer Hopkins, who offered up what you need to consider about installing either a single or double sink during your master suite remodel. 

“Couples these days usually prefer the idea of two sinks for one simple reason,” says Hopkins. “They lead busy lives and need access to the bathroom at the same time.”

On paper the double sink looks ideal. But let’s walk through this two-sided argument. 

Some Benefits of 2 Sinks 

Personal space. With two sinks, theoretically no one will ever again spit toothpaste on your hand as you’re trying to wash up. Also, your very own sink means you can keep your makeup, moisturizers or shaving kit out as necessary without having your partner knock anything over.

And by having your own designated sink, you don’t have to stare at your partner’s toothpaste residue while you’re brushing your own teeth. Even in the best of partnerships, there are some things that neither of you want to see of the other.

Two sinks can help make you and your partner feel like you’re in a loving, adult relationship rather than siblings fighting over a single faucet. 

Some Disadvantages of 2 Sinks

“The convenience of two sinks has its tradeoffs to consider,” Hopkins notes.

Cost. It costs more to plumb two sinks than one. Add to that the additional cost of finishes and a larger vanity.

Space. A typical sink basin is about 17 to 19 inches wide. “If there isn’t a solid 6 feet or more available for two sinks, I will counsel clients to stick with just one sink basin,” says Hopkins.“These 6 feet or more will give the minimum 11- to 12-inch buffer needed between basins to keep a couple from banging elbows and crowding each other out.” 

Even if you do have a good amount of space, two sinks will eat into counter space that could be used for tasks, displays etc. Two sinks will also double the amount of undercabinet space taken up by the double drain pipes. 

If you’ve got ample storage or counter space elsewhere in the bathroom, this space tradeoff may not pose any problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two-sink styles you can both agree on. The prefabricated two-sink vanity is one of the easiest styles to choose and install in a bathroom because of its fixed dimensions. In other words, there’s no guessing if elbow clearance might be an issue for you and your partner. You can see for yourself in the showroom or tape out the dimensions prior to ordering a vanity online to test the sink measurements.

Custom vanities offer even more benefits, as they can be tailored to your exact wishes. But you and your partner have to be willing to work with a designer or cabinetmaker to cull through the endless possibilities.

 

You can also use two freestanding pedestal sinks, either for aesthetics or to overcome any space limitations, as they can be put side by side or on separate walls. “Pedestal sinks have made a resurgence in the last 10 to 15 years,” Hopkins says. “As a result, there’s more product available to suit different needs.” 

If you don’t need the counter space or storage space in a vanity, two pedestals will create an airy feel that may sway your choice. 

You can also use a single basin with two separate faucets. 

This sort of double sink performs duties for two people while acting like one sink underneath with its single drain, which leads us to …

 

The Benefits of the Single Sink

Leaves room for other amenities. “I might push for a couple to install only one sink if there’s a possibility of using that extra space for a separate shower and tub instead,” says Hopkins.

Cost and cleaning. One sink, with one hardware set, is cheaper than two, and one sink is easier to clean than two.

More storage. You can have more storage underneath if there’s only one drainpipe. If you’re the kind of person who loves to pull out every bit of makeup, you’re going to get frustrated if you don’t have enough room for it because of that extra sink. 

More counter space. You can get a lot more usable counter space if there’s only one basin. More countertop space equals more display opportunities and more room for your everyday toiletries.

A Crash Course in Bathroom Faucet Finishes

Article By: Michelle Gann

Choosing a bathroom faucet finish often stumps people. What’s the difference between brushed and polished nickel? What are the benefits of satin brass versus satin bronze? Fear not. Here’s a crash course in faucet finishes that will elevate your knowledge in less time than it takes you to brush your teeth. 

 

Keep in mind that most faucets have a lifetime warranty when it comes to finishes, so if you have an old favorite faucet that’s looking drab, try calling the manufacturer to see what the warranty policy is.

If you’re new to selecting finishes, it’s a good idea to get all the other fixtures and accessories in a matching color. Some finishes are a standard color, such as chrome and most brushed-nickel finishes, but not all finishes from different companies look the same. 

To ensure you are getting the exact same finish, buy all the fixtures and accessories from the same company. When shopping for additional fixtures, take a sample with you to match.

Polished Brass

An all-time favorite. A polished brass faucet helps give the bathroom shown here a vintage look. 

Advantages: Easy to clean and easy to find. A durable finish. Easy to match with accessories and other fixtures.

Disadvantages: More expensive than other finishes, such as chrome and brushed nickel.

Styles it works with: Polished brass is actually coming back in style, so it looks great in modern, traditional and eclectic settings.

Contemporary Bathroom

Satin Brass

A nice twist on polished brass, the brushed-gold look has a lot of class. It’s bold without being too showy. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot more of this color in bathroom remodeling. 

Advantages: Offers a nice accent color without the polished look. Durable. Being a matte finish, it won’t show fingerprints and water spots.

Disadvantages: It’s hard to find and more expensive. It’s also difficult to match accessories and other fixtures to satin brass.

Styles it works with: Piggybacking off the success of polished brass, this satin counterpart is going to be increasingly popular. Great settings for it are traditional, modern and contemporary.

Traditional Bathroom

by

New York Interior Designers & Decorators

Shane D. Inman

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

A great aesthetic alternative to standard chrome and brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze gives the bathroom a more traditional look and feel. 

Working on a budget? if you don’t want to purchase all the matching accessories and you have other brass items in your bathroom, such as an old light switch plate or cabinet knobs, you can always use a brass darkening solution to make all the hardware match.

Advantages: Durable, easy to clean and easy to find. It’s also easy to match oil-rubbed bronze with accessories and other fixtures. It won’t show water spots or fingerprints.

Disadvantages: More expensive than other finishes, such as chrome and brushed nickel.

Styles it works with:Oil-rubbed bronze goes hand in hand with traditional and Tuscan or Mediterranean settings.

Eclectic Bathroom

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San Francisco Architects & Designers

Andre Rothblatt Architecture

Copper

Copper is unmistakable and bold. It gives the bathroom a rich feeling, especially when mixed with a subtler material, such as marble on a countertop. 

Advantages: Copper has natural antibacterial properties. It’s fairly easy to find and also has the ability to “heal” itself. Over a short period of time, a scratch in copper will become darker and eventually blend with the patina.

Disadvantages: A shiny copper finish might require a little more maintenance than brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and chrome, but if you let it age naturally, copper will develop a beautiful patina. It’s harder to match accessories and other fixtures to copper, and it’s not as durable as other finishes.

Styles it works with:Tuscan and farmhouse. And, of course, steampunk.

Industrial Bathroom

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San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Satin Bronze

Satin bronze has a nice, smooth finish that’s in between copper and oil-rubbed bronze. Having a subtler color gives this finish more flexibility for different bathroom styles and settings.

Advantages: Durable and easy to clean and maintain, this is a great alternative to copper and a lighter option than oil-rubbed bronze. Water spots and fingerprints won’t show.

Disadvantages: Hard to find and more expensive. It’s hard to match accessories and other fixtures to satin bronze.

Styles it works with: Traditional, eclectic and Mediterranean.

Eclectic Bathroom

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Fairburn Kitchen & Bath Remodelers

Change Your Bathroom, Inc.

Polished Nickel

If you like a smooth, shiny finish but are tired of chrome, try polished nickel. It’s darker than chrome, and with different levels of lighting, it can appear to change in color. 

Advantages: Easy to clean. A durable finish. A great alternative to brushed nickel.

Disadvantages: More expensive. It’s hard to find matching accessories or fixtures for it.

Styles it works with:Like chrome, it looks great in a variety of settings: modern, contemporary, traditional and eclectic.

Modern Bathroom

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Edison Kitchen and Bath Fixtures

VIGO

Brushed Nickel

The soft metallic look of brushed nickel has stood the test of time. 

Advantages: This is one of the most durable finishes; it has a tendency to keep its finish longer than oil-rubbed bronze and chrome. It doesn’t show wear, fingerprints or water spots.It’s easy to clean, easy to find and easy to match with accessories and other fixtures. It’s relatively inexpensive. Brushed nickel tends to be pricier than chrome but does not cost as much as oil-rubbed bronze.

Disadvantages: Does not coordinate well with stainless steel; it blends in instead of being a statement piece.

Styles it works with: Almost every style.

Contemporary Bathroom

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Saint Paul Interior Designers & Decorators

Indicia Interior Design

Chrome

Chrome is currently one of the most popular finishes because of its versatility. 

Advantages: It’s generally the most inexpensive finish. It’s a very easy finish to clean and maintain. It’s durable, easy to find and easy to match with accessories and other fixtures. 

Disadvantages: Shows water spots and fingerprints. 

Styles it works with:Almost every style.

Contemporary Bathroom

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La Canada Flintridge Window Treatments

The Art of Room Design

Matte Black

Black faucets are becoming increasingly more popular in the bathroom, because of their ability to match other items, such as vanities and accent pieces.If you want to make a classy statement, or you are just doing a small renovation that doesn’t involve changing all aspects of your bathroom, matte black may be the perfect finish for you.

Advantages: Easy to clean. Does not show dirt, fingerprints or water spots. It’s easy to coordinate a matte black faucet with bathroom accessories.

Disadvantages: It’s hard to match other fixtures to it, hard to find and expensive compared with more popular finishes, such as chrome and brushed nickel. 

Styles it works with: Modern and eclectic.

Modern Bathroom

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Phoenix Interior Designers & Decorators

Red Egg Design Group

White

Looking for a clean, brilliant finish? Go with a white faucet as a contrasting statement piece or something that blends beautifully in an all-white bathroom. The white finish comes from durable plastic or porcelain. 

Advantages: Easy to clean. Does not show water spots or fingerprints.

Disadvantages: Porcelain fixtures are more fragile than metal, which makes them more prone to chipping. Porcelain can be expensive, too.

Styles it works with: Farmhouse and modern.

8 Fabulous Faucets for All Kinds of Bathrooms

Article By: Michelle Gann

Bathroom sink faucet options are limitless, and choosing one can be overwhelming. There are lot of different factors to consider, and every house has different needs. Do you need a faucet that’s easy to use for all ages? Is space an issue? Or perhaps budget?

Check out these eight types of faucets to get an idea of what to look for when you’re shopping for your bathroom. 

1. Waterfall faucet. With its clean lines and minimalist approach, this faucet lends itself to a more modern style. It’s most commonly constructed out of metal and glass.

Some waterfall faucets have beautiful colored designs throughout the glass, which give the bathroom a cheery feel. Others have LED lights, creating a colorful display when the water is flowing. 

2. Four-inch-spread faucet. A great budget option, 4-inch-spread faucets (measured from the center of one handle to the center of the other) offer value and functionality. Not only do they come in almost every shape, size and color, but they are also a good space-saving option for smaller vanity areas and can be used in almost any application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Eight-inch-spread faucet. One of the most popular styles today, the 8-inch-spread faucet (also measured from one handle center to the other) comes in many styles and materials. From metal to marble to crystal, the options are almost endless. 

You can find an 8-inch-spread faucet in popular finishes (such as brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and the ever-popular gold) and some not-so-popular ones (such as polished nickel and matte black).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Single-lever faucet.Single-lever faucets are very easy to use and are a great option for all styles of bathrooms. They come in a variety of designs from traditional to contemporary. 


Single-lever faucets are a popular option because of their simple design and the multitude of colors and styles available.

 

5. Wall-mounted faucet. Wall-mounted faucets offer the same functionality as countertop-mounted faucets without taking up any counter space. They also provide a great focal point whether you are mounting them on a sink or a backsplash. 

Wall faucet styles range from minimalist to traditional, and many different colors and finishes are available.

6. Digital faucet. Want a faucet that will always give you the perfect temperature? Digital faucets aren’t all about the sleek looks; they can detect each user and adjust the temperature according to preset comfort levels. Not to mention you can also check the weather and your email while washing your hands.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Motion-sensor faucet.Many faucets can be installed to work with a motion sensor. This not only frees up your hands, but it’s a great way to keep the faucet sanitary and to prevent water waste. Motion-sensing faucets aregreat for children as well; setting the faucet to a comfortable temperature will ensure that children never burn themselves. Also, this option is neat to show off at parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Foot-controlled faucet. Looking for a little convenience in the morning? This faucet operates without hands; foot pedals mounted underneath the sink area control it. Step on the left side for hot, the right side for cold or both at the same time for warm water. Foot controls are a handy option no matter the application and can work with many kinds of faucets.