How to Pick Pro-Quality Sinks and Faucets
If you want to cook like a chef, you may need to dispense water like one, too, with commercial-style fixtures.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
Stainless steel is a great professional look for sinks but it's important to go with a quality brand such as Franke or Rohl, says Lily Crossman, a kitchen designer in sales and design for Costa Quality Kitchens in South Dartmouth, Mass.
"Usually people who care enough to install a pro quality sink will also have a high-end granite counter in the kitchen, and you don't want someone to have to get below the granite later to keep fixing a poor quality sink," she says.
If you've got the budget, go for the most stainless steel content you can purchase. "The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel," says Crossman. "The average home sink is 21-gauge stainless and a good quality Franke sink can be 18-gauge. If you're really going high end, 16-gauge is wonderfully thick, but it makes the price almost double."
The proportion of nickel to stainless is also an indicator, says Crossman. "Look for an 18:10 or 18:8 nickel/stainless steel ratio if you want pro quality," she says.
Linda Applewhite, an interior designer in Sausalito, Calif., favors a single sink to provide both the pro look and practicality for the serious chef. "The trend on the West Coast is towards the big, big, sink — 30 inches by 20 inches and eight inches deep," she says. "If you really cook a lot, one big sink is much more flexible than the traditional double sink with a disposal on one side. You can use the single sink to wash a turkey roaster or just the 10-inch skillet you use every day."
Lately Applewhite has used single concrete sinks from Sonoma Cast Stone with an exposed front apron for her California clients. "They're very durable, even with heavy use," she says. "I've put them into a lot of homes, even one where the clients entertain a lot and have caterers in the kitchen constantly, and I've never seen one chip."
Drowning in a sea of kitchen sink and faucet choices? Here's how to make sense of it all.