A VERY QUICK HISTORY OF THE KITCHEN SINK
Everything has its own story – including the humble kitchen sink. This household item, which is given little practical thought, is present in every single home – and in today’s society, we would be lost without it.
What is a sink? It is a plumbing fixture in the shape of a bowl, with a tap or faucet to fill it with water, and a drain to dispose of said water. The drain can usually be plugged, and the sink is used for hand washing, dishwashing, or laundering.
Prior to modern plumbing, water had to be manually collected and carried from a nearby stream, pond, or well. Water for drinking, cooking, and washing was fetched numerous times every day. The first “sinks” were simply buckets or dishpans of water which then had to be carried outside for tipping the water away. Dirty dishes and pans were scrubbed with ashes or sand, and then washed with water and lye soap in a basin which was placed on a bench or kitchen table. The waste dishwater was then tipped onto the vegetable garden or fed to farm animals.
The first thing we would recognize as a sink was a shallow wood, metal or stone trough which was on legs and set into a window sill or atop a cabinet. This “dry sink” evolved between 1820 and 1900, and was eventually lined with lead or zinc. More prosperous people could upgrade to a “wet sink” which had a wood or iron pump which accessed water. This water was still manually emptied. Some households had cisterns which collected rainwater for indoor use, and this was transported to the sink by a pump.
In 1902, steel, graniteware, and enamel sinks were advertised to replace old wood or stone, zinc or lead-lined sinks. These were plumbed in, had drainpipes, and had to be installed by professionals. By the 1930s, an alloy of copper and nickel was used as it was rust-proof, easier to clean, and resulted in less damage to crockery. It was also resistant to corrosion, unlike its enamel predecessor. Porcelain was also used. Sinks were designed to be smaller and more stylish.
Sink materials range today from ceramic to copper; stainless steel and glass to granite. Stainless steel kitchen sinks are most common today as they represent a great compromise between durability, serviceability, and cost effectiveness.
Incidentally, have you ever wondered where the saying, “everything but the kitchen sink” came from? We don’t exactly know – its first documented use was in 1918. However, according to popular urban myth, the phrase was coined for widespread use in the 1940’s. During the Second World War, the war effort called on people to donate everything possible for its use. In the United States, for example, all of the metal was used for the US arsenal. The only objects not required were porcelain kitchen sinks.
Type of Installation
There are basically 3 ways kitchen sinks can be installed:
– Self-rimming (drop-in)
– Flush mount
stainless steel kitchen sink
Self-rimming or drop-in sinks as they’re sometimes called are the easiest to install. They simply fit into a cutout in the countertop on top of a base cabinet, supported by the flanges of the sink that overlap the cutout.
The main disadvantage is the barrier between the countertop surface and the bowl that’s formed by the lip. You can’t sweep food and liquids into the sink or if you try, you end up catching debris at the edge where the sink and countertop meet.
undermount kitchen sink
Undermount sinks are attached under the countertop. They either hang from the underside of the countertop or are supported from underneath by the base cabinet structure. Undermount sinks allow you to brush items from the countertop directly into the sink without any “catch points” that can capture food particles and moisture. They require clips and other mechanical fastening devices to attach them to the countertop. Heavier kitchen sinks like ones made from cast iron or stone require a well-designed mounting system in an undermount installation.
solid surface kitchen sink
A solid surface sink combined with a solid surface countertop is another form of undermount sink although it may not appear as such. In this situation the sink is glued to the underside of the solid surface countertop. The fabricator then smooths the joint between the two surfaces making the seam between them invisible, similar to what’s shown in the picture on the right. An undermount sink’s “reveal” refers to the degree that the countertop extends over the edge of the sink. A positive reveal means the lip of the sink juts out slightly from the edge of the countertop. A negative reveal means the countertop surface overlaps the edge of the sink.
Flush mount sinks
Are also called “tile edge” sinks. They’re similar to a drop-in sink except they’re used with a tiled countertop. The tile is installed so that it’s flush with the mounting flange of the sink providing a flush surface with the countertop. There’s usually a grout line between the edge of the sink and the tile.
What Are Kitchen Sinks Made Of?
When the time comes to replace or install a new kitchen sink, many things must be considered: style, size, color, durability, and of course, price. The goal for most people is to manage that fine line between looks and cost.
The stuff the sink is made of is extremely important. If you don’t understand the different materials, you might finger through a hundred sites, only to end up unknowingly choosing the wrong sink for your needs and taste.
Even though high-end sinks are beautiful and stunning to look at, they come with beautifully stunning price tags as well! So let’s take a look at what we can find to fit your needs, style and most importantly your kitchen project budget.
You will find an overview for each type of material used to manufacture sinks. Each will tell you what problems the sink material may bring as well as the good reasons for choosing each sink type. And a very in-depth look at everyone’s favorite sink material, stainless steel!
What’s the difference between “basin” and “sink”?
Basin and sink both are used for washing but in the sink, we use to wash the pots and in the basin, we use to wash our hands and do other activities like brushing shaving, etc. The sink is mostly we install in kitchen and wash pots but we use Wash Basin mostly in the bathroom. Washbasin and bath fitting accessories in the bathroom make our bathroom beautiful. Some people install basins outside of their room or bathroom where they use to wash their hands after having breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
WHAT IS A FARMHOUSE SINK?
A farmhouse style sink, also known as an apron sink, extends over the edge of your counter. This type of sink is most commonly used in a traditional or rustic farmhouse style kitchen and can be designed with a single bowl or double bowl. These sinks are gaining popularity with the resurgence of rustic and farmhouse interior design. They typically come as fireclay or cast iron and are incredibly durable and easy to clean because of their nonporous material.