Don’t Get Sunk by a Bad Choice of Sink!
Well last week I considered the different types of kitchen worktop available and the balancing act between durability and cost that is performed when considering which to use. This week I’ll look at sinks, and in particular the consequences your choice of sink can have on your worktop!
For some time it’s been fashionable to use ‘flush fitting’ sinks as opposed to the ‘sit on’ variety, but I’m delighted to see that ‘sit on’ is gradually coming back into vogue as people realise how daft flush sinks are. ‘Sit on’ sinks are so called because they sit directly onto the kitchen cabinets beneath, taking the place of the worktop. ‘Flush fitting’ sinks on the other hand sit in the worktop, and actually don’t fit flush at all but generally slightly proud.
They are daft because to fit them you take an expensive length of worktop, cut a ruddy great hole out of it, and then throw the cut-out away! Not only is this wasteful, but it renders the worktop very weak where the cut out is, as there is only a thin strip of material either side of the sink. Worse, if the worktop is made of Formica/Chipboard (F/C) or any other wood-based board, it becomes extremely vulnerable to water damage behind the taps, and as a result yet another disposable F/C worktop finds its way to landfill.
(By the way, if you still insist on using F/C worktops with flush sinks, you can improve their performance massively by coating the whole of the cut-out very thoroughly with a good one-part silicone sealant, NOT acrylic sealant.)
The photo shows the ‘utility’ sit-on sink I fitted from B&Q (£49) at my latest flat. Ikea have nicer sinks for £150, but I didn’t think it necessary. That sink is fine, set in basic and inexpensive granite worktops which still manage to exude quality and will never need replacement.
Other types of sink are the ceramic Belfast, briefly popular a decade or two ago until people realised the folly of fitting such an anachronism into a modern house, with its leaky seal against the worktop and lack of a drainer. Piles of rejected Belfast sinks now languish in reclamation yards as a result.
For high-end flats, you can’t beat an undermounted sink as a great way to show off your granite, with few of the sealing problems associated with Belfast. You can have drainer grooves cut into the worktop, or even a recess scooped out as a drainer. But the cutting, polishing and fitting is expensive!
I’ve had to write this blog very hastily as my computer was down, so not quite sure what I’ll be tackling next week. Possibly kitchen cabinets or taps? Unless anyone reading would like to put in a special request which relates to topics covered so far – kitchens and bathrooms.