While they’re not the first item most of us pop on our new bespoke kitchen wish list, sinks and taps are definitely the workhorses of the kitchen. The difference between choosing one that looks fabulous and also serves its purpose and one that doesn’t can make a huge difference. Along with worktops, they’ll get the most day-to-day use so it’s essential to invest in products that will withstand all your family has to throw at them.
The advent of watertight luxury laminates and composite worktops, has resulted in traditional sit on the worktop sinks largely losing their place to sleek undermounted steel models, and inset models that sit flush to the work surface and look suitably elegant – try Grohe, Franke or Caple.
Undermounted designs with contemporary square edges can look the business in a modern design but something softer and more rounded will soften hard lines in a contemporary kitchen.
For a classic farmhouse feel ceramic butler or Belfast sink is a great option. And, if you’re wondering, the difference between the butler and Belfast sinks is the overflow. 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.
For a more modern kitchen look, workstation sinks that are more than just a bowl are also growing in popularity. Designs such as the Box Centre stainless steel double bowl sink from Franke mean even the most compact of spaces can benefit from extra work surface if necessary. It features a main bowl for everyday use plus a smaller one that incorporates a range of accessories including chef quality knives and knife holder, a stainless-steel strainer bowl, a food preparation platter plus chopping board and wire rack.
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 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. Models that feature a pull-out hose are also hand for rinsing fruit and vegetables and reaching those hard-to-access corners of a larger sink.
Increasing in popularity 3-in-1 and even 4-in-1 taps from companies such as Quooker, Grohe and Perrin & Rowe. They are a great time saver, saving you having to boil water for not just tea and coffee but also for cooking, and they look good too. Quooker’s latest innovation is the Flex, which not only dispenses hot, cold and boiling water, it also has a flexible pull-out hose. Some, such as Grohe Blue Home or the Quooker range can provide both cool filtered and sparking water on tap. Saving you money and helping you to cut down on your plastic bottle consumption.
Harvey Jones Kitchens
20 – 22 The Exchange
T: 0115 924 3600