I’ve been getting quite a few questions about our kitchen sink – both from readers online and friends in real life.
Recently, one reader writes:
“Congrats on your pregnancy! I’ve just started following your blog. I love a good before and after! We are thinking of updating our kitchen and love the IKEA post you did. I have a few questions. Is your sink from IKEA? How do you like having it inserted into the counter? Easy to clean between sink and counter? I’d really love a product review. Thanks!”
What better way to bring clarity to the issue than with a detailed blog post, am I right?
For starters, even though our kitchen cabinets are from IKEA, the sink is not. We definitely considered IKEA’s options but unfortunately did not find what we were looking for.
What were we looking for, you may be asking?
Our (let’s be honest – my) list of preferences are below:
- REQUIREMENT 1: White in Color
With an all-white kitchen, it made sense that the sink was white, too. Sink color is totally an aesthetic preference, and although white may sometimes require higher maintenance, the clean, streamlined look is undeniably stylish. What’s more, stainless steel alternatives require their own maintenance, as they tend to have dried water splotches. So the maintenance factor wasn’t enough to deter me from choosing white.
- REQUIREMENT 2: Maximum Depth
In one of our previous rentals, we had a super shallow kitchen sink – a major annoyance. Water would splash everywhere, leaving the kitchen a mess no matter how careful I tried to be. That same rental also didn’t have a dishwasher, so as you can imagine, the kitchen sink area was a mess 75 percent of the time.With our new (old) home, I needed the kitchen to be as deep as possible – not only to prevent splashing but also because I had these sweet visions of bathing our (future) babes in the kitchen sink. Standard depth can be anywhere from six to twelve inches. Ours is 9.5, which is deep enough to wash large pots and pans without making a mess on surrounding counter tops.
- REQUIREMENT 3: Single Basin
Double-sinks are a thing of the past – mainly because the invention of dishwashers eliminated the need for two basins. Back in the day, one basin was used for washing and the other for rinsing. Truly, though, it’s a personal preference – and I preferred one, large basin for the ample space it provides to wash large items like pots, pans and cookie sheets. Plus, I just love how neat and modern the single-basin sinks look!
- REQUIREMENT 4: Undermount Installation
Not only does it look much more seamless and instantly raises the value of the kitchen, but the undermount option also frees up nearly half a square foot of counter space that we would otherwise lose with a drop-in sink. We knew our island peninsula wasn’t going to be that large to begin with, so having a thick, white rim all around the sink was out of the question.
Ultimately, we chose the Blanco Precis 32″ Super Single Bowl, and here’s what’s great (and not-so-great) about it:
Great: Stylish, Clean Aesthetic
You hear function being preached over form all the time. But when your kitchen sink is in the middle of the island peninsula that juts out into the open concept dining room, looks are just as important – if not more so. The white color is in line with the rest of our kitchen aesthetic, adding to the overall airy and bright feel of the space. The fact that the sink is undermount makes for a clean and seamless counter top, not attracting too much attention to the fact that hey, there’s a sink in the middle of the peninsula.
There’s no denying that the minimalistic design is not only functional but also beautiful, making the kitchen look more upscale.
Not-So-Great: Regular Cleaning Required
One of the biggest complains I hear about white sinks in particular is that they require constant cleaning. I remember thinking, “Surely not…” – until SOMEONE WHO SHALL RENAME NAMELESS left a piece of spinach in the sink, marking the sink with its very first stain.
I was furious.
I tried dish soap, tried baking soda, tried bleach. Nothing seemed to work!
Then I had the bright idea to visit the manufacturer’s website, and what do you know, they had crystal-clear instructions for cleaning the sink: Bar Keepers Friend All-Purpose Cleaner, which sells at a whopping $1.98 per container at Lowe’s. Thankfully, I already had a couple containers left over from previous projects (it’s also wonderful for cleaning brass!).
The spot was gone in no time, and now I use Bar Keepers Friend on a weekly basis.
Great: Easy Kitchen Cleanup
Undermount sinks are mounted directly underneath the counter, attached to the counter top from below with glue and metal brackets. The seam between the sink and counter top is completely sealed, making cleanup a total breeze. Because there is no exposed rim, you can wipe food crumbs or any excess water from the counter tops directly into the sink without worrying about debris getting lodged in the crevices.
Not-So-Great: Requires Solid Surface Counter Tops
Undermount sinks are typically used only with solid surface counter tops like granite, marble or quartz. The edge of the counter top is exposed to water, so laminate counter tops are not recommended. Otherwise you run the risk of water damage, completely ruining the countertop.
I cover the cost disadvantage in greater detail a little lower on the list. But if you were already planning on using solid surface counter tops, then this disadvantage doesn’t apply to your situation!
Great: Lots of Room
The size of the sink is a popular topic with anyone that sets foot in our house. Surprisingly, it’s no bigger than a standard, double-basin sink. But because there is no divider wall in the middle, it appears much larger. The lack of a divider wall makes washing and rinsing large items so easy. I can fit cookie sheets, large pans, cutting boards, etc. entirely into the sink and not make a single splash while washing them. Pictured you see four different styles of plates stacked 12 plates high, and yet look how much more space there is left over!
Not-So-Great: Requires Professional Installation
Installing an undermount sink requires cutting the stone counter top and pre-drilling holes for the faucet and accessory mounts. Typically, the counter top fabricator installs the sink – not only because the installation requires heavy-duty tools that most DIYers do not have, but also because there’s less room for costly mistakes if the installation is done by a professional with experience.
Great: Higher Quality and Durability
Undermount sinks are typically designed for high-end kitchens, so the quality tends to be better than standard drop-in sinks.
While there are many materials to consider, the Blanco Precis is made from granite composite material, meaning that it’s 80% granite and 20% resin. It resists high heat, stains, scratches, chips and fading.
What’s more, Blanco has a limited lifetime warranty, so should we ever run into any issues, I am confident the company will happily help resolve them.
Undermount sinks, especially ones that are white, are generally more expensive than any other type. The sink alone runs anywhere from $300 to $1000. Add an addition $200 for installation. Then there are all the accessories, which are typically sold separately (the waste strainer alone was $45!). So when you consider the necessity of installing solid surface counter tops, the higher installation fees and the price of the sink itself, you can see why many people may opt for the standard stainless steel double-basin.
I’d love to hear about what kind of kitchen sink you have and what you like (or don’t like) about it! Sound off in the comments below.
If you’re in the market for a new sink, there’s definitely a lot of factors to consider. I hope I’ve convinced you to give a white, undermount sink a chance as well. If you’d like more info on choosing, installing and cleaning your kitchen sink, check out this recent Wayfair article, where I along with three other home bloggers share about our experiences! (You’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the page once you click on the link above.)