Kitchen Sink Replacement
One of the Most Useful Kitchen Features Can Also Be One of the Most Stylish
Replacing a kitchen sink, whether it's done as part of a kitchen remodel or a standalone project, is a simple undertaking that can improve both the utility and beauty of your kitchen. In this buying guide Home Improvement Educator brings you up to speed on kitchen sink options and costs.
Kitchen Sink Options
Your first consideration when buying a new sink should be the sink type. There are two major types of kitchen sinks: drop-in and undermount.
- Chances are good that your current kitchen sink is a drop-in style. This sink is installed above the countertop and fits through the sink hole, with a flange that rests on the surrounding countertop surface.
- An undermount kitchen sink is installed beneath the countertop and attaches to the underside of it. The major benefit of this sink style is that the countertop can extend into the sink basin. With no protrusion above the countertop surface, cleanup is much easier. Undermount sinks require a stone or solid surface countertop to support their weight.
After choosing a sink mounting style, you need to address how many basins, or bowls, you want your sink to have.
- Single bowl kitchen sinks have a clean, streamlined look and are found in many modern kitchens.
- Double basins are extremely useful for food prep and cleaning. One side can hold all of your dirty dishes or unwashed vegetables, which, when sufficiently scrubbed, can be moved to the "clean" side.
- Triple bowl sinks offer unsurpassed utility, but tend to take up a lot of countertop space, so be sure your kitchen layout can accommodate them.
Kitchen sinks, once only offered in a couple of different materials, are nowadays made from many natural and manmade substances, including the following:
- Metal: Stainless steel sinks, due to their durability and budget-friendly pricing, are by far the most popular choice in homes today. Bronze and copper sinks are also available, but at a significantly higher price.
- Stone: Natural and engineered stone sinks are the most durable option on the market. Heavy weight and a hefty price, however, are drawbacks for some homeowners.
- Composite: Composite sinks are typically made from a combination of stone and acrylic materials. Granite and quartz, which provide strength and durability, are two popular stone additives. Extremely heat-resistant, these sinks are capable of withstanding temperatures up to 500 degrees without damage to the finish. A wide variety of color choices are available.
- Other kitchen sink materials include 100% acrylic and porcelain. These sinks are typically chosen to match a specific kitchen decor, as they offer a very broad color palette.
Kitchen Sink Costs
Kitchen sink replacement is generally a simple job that takes a professional an hour or two to complete. Note that labor costs will increase if a current garbage disposal must be removed and reinstalled, dishwasher or refrigerator water lines need to be disconnected and reconnected, or your current faucet cannot be easily removed (a common problem caused by rusty connections).
- Expect a typical 25 inch stainless steel drop-in sink to cost $100 to $150. Prices can reach as high as $300 for a top-of-the-line commercial duty model.
- Designer copper sinks can cost up to $1,000.
- A typical single bowl composite sink will cost between $350 and $600, depending on its size.
- Stone sinks are available for as little as $350 for a typical 25 inch sink and as much as $2,000 for larger designer models.
- An undermount sink will typically cost $30-$60 more than the sinks described above.
- Certified contractors typically charge $100-$150 per hour to install kitchen sinks. With an average installation time of 2 hours, expect labor to add $200-$300 to the project cost.