They may not be the most glamorous of kitchen accessories but sinks and taps are the workhorses of the kitchen. Along with worktops, they’ll get the most day-to-day use so it’s essential that you buy ones that will withstand all your family has to throw at them.
With the advent of watertight luxury laminates and composite worktops, traditional sit on the worktop sinks have largely lost their place to sleek undermounted steel models, although you can find inset models that sit flush to the work surface and look suitably elegant – try Grohe or Caple.
Undermounted designs with contemporary square edges can look the business in a modern design but something softer and more rounded will also keep the style contemporary without the hard edges – which can be difficult to clean.
For a classic farmhouse feel ceramic butler or Belfast sink is a great option. By the way, the difference between the butler and Belfast sinks? The Belfast sink traditionally has an overflow as fresh water was readily available in Belfast in the late 1700s when the sink was originally used so it didn’t matter if some was wasted whereas in London water was drawn from deep wells and was a precious commodity not to squander so the butler sink (named thus as it usually sat in the pantry) had no overflow.
If you’re opting for stainless steel, choose a sink that’s made from quality 18/20 steel. Companies such as Blanco and Franke have plenty of size and shape options that can be combined to make the perfect sink station for your needs. While many of us have eschewed washing up in favour of the dishwasher, it’s as well to remember that there are still things that won’t be able to be cleaned that way – delicate glassware or pans that need soaking for instance – so don’t skimp on your sink size. Combining a full-size with a half size one is a good idea if you’ll be doing a lot of prepping and washing of food. If you prefer a seamless feel, then why not try a composite stone sink to match your worktops. A few years ago only Corian made these but now a number of other worktop manufacturers, including Silestone, have got on board.
Tap choices are huge, not just in terms of style but in the finish, too, with the rose gold and copper tones we love elsewhere in the home now coming through strongly as well as brushed finishes and coloured taps, with black being a favourite right now. Brands such as Grohe, Perrin & Rowe and Franke have a huge choice. Your tap will get used every day – whether you’ve picked a standard hot and cold tap or a model that also delivers filtered water and even boiling water, so it’s hugely important for durability that you pick a design from a reputed manufacturer with aeration (to help save water) and ceramic filters as standard. It will save you money in the long run. Monobloc models with many functions are the preferred choice these days as they give a tidy look in a modern space but if you’re after something more traditional, pair a bridge mixer with white ceramic handles with a classic butler or Belfast sink.
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Already have a design in mind? Visit your local Harvey Jones showroom and book a complimentary design appointment to discuss your plans here.