It’s easy to take the kitchen or bathroom sink for granted. To many, it’s a little more than a deep repository for soiled dishes, a source of tap water that we drink from less today, or a designated hand-washing zone. But the sink is actually so much more than a practical basin with an attached faucet. It’s a crucial centerpiece to two of your home’s most valued spaces that set the tone for your entire bath or kitchen. All the more reason to consider replacing an old and outdated sink and give thought to the latest bathroom and kitchen sink trends.
Your sink is one of the most important aspects of your kitchen or bathroom. The right material can draw the eye and work as a focal point of the entire room.
Three popular sink styles worth considering are fireclay, trough and farmhouse sinks. The latter features a large basin and a vintage aesthetic that harkens back to the 1700s when early settlers built farm homes.
Farmhouse sinks have a much bigger bowl than a typical sink, so they are bigger and deeper – which is desirable to many homeowners. The apron front, however, is very narrow, but it can be fluted or embossed with a pattern.
There are two main types of farmhouse sink: custom-built or under-mount (great for a seamless look). Most are made of stainless steel, copper or cast iron.
Farmhouse sinks are quite heavy. Not only do you have to have the just-right size cutout in the countertop and a base cabinet that can support the weight, but you also need to take care to have the joint between the countertop and sink seal properly so that it doesn’t leak.
Although a farmhouse sink could work in almost any home, it will likely look best in a kitchen or bathroom sporting a transitional design.
Also inspired by farmhouses, trough sinks are long, narrow vessels typically comprised of cast-iron, concrete, enamel, porcelain, stone, or metal.
Trough sinks are sturdy and extremely versatile and give an instantly upscale and luxurious feel to your home, particularly in the bathroom. They are much more hygienic than other sinks, as they don’t have as many seams and crevices, making them easier to clean and less likely to build up bacteria.
Jimmy Slattery, senior product manager for Elkay Manufacturing, a sink maker headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, says that trough sinks “create sleek lines and clean surfaces that we see trending in bathrooms. The main advantage of using this type of sink is easier plumbing – since there’s only one drain needed.”
Fireclay sinks are typically handmade from clay and heated to extremely high temperatures, causing the glaze and clay to fuse.
“Fireclay sinks add an elegant touch to any kitchen design, from traditional decor to cozy urban. They are trending because they offer a fresh, clean, and modern alternative to more classic options,” adds Slattery.
Fireclay sinks are scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, and extra-durable, in addition to being beautiful and available in a variety of colors. However, this is definitely a luxury item because the sinks are heavier and more expensive, and difficult to install.
Before selecting a new sink, be sure it will meet your needs and match the room’s style.
“Ask yourself: How does your family plan to use the sink? Do you entertain? Do you want to be able to hide dishes or have multiple work areas?” says Slattery.