Granite Works in the Sink
Homeowners can achieve a timeless look for their kitchens by installing granite sinks.
To learn the pros and cons of using granite for kitchen sinks, HGTVRemodels talked to one of the foremost upscale kitchen designers in the United States, Mick de Giulio, president and founder of de Giulio Kitchen Design. His company installs a large number of granite sinks in their luxurious custom kitchens throughout the country.
"Seeing a 400-year-old stone sink in Verona, Italy, in 1988 inspired me to try incorporating similar sinks in our kitchens," he says. "We soon discovered that granite sinks offer definite functional advantages in addition to their beautiful appearance. And we have learned how to prevent or overcome potential problems that may occur when using stone."
De Giulio lists the following as some of the advantages of using granite for sinks:
Aesthetics. The most obvious reason for deciding on a granite sink is that it is usually recessed into the countertop, blending beautifully with a granite counter. It also retains its polished finish, he points out. "A granite sink and counters are a perfect complement to the warm, inviting, yet elegant look we strive for in our kitchens," he says.
Flexibility of size. "You can make your granite kitchen sink any size you want; you’re not limited by what the manufacturers have to offer. Most of our ‘trough’ sinks are 6 feet long. We usually limit the depth to 9 inches because anything deeper is not ergonomically comfortable," De Giulio says. Often his company installs granite sinks with multiple levels inside, such as a 4-inch or 6-inch-deep section.
Accommodating sink accessories. De Giulio Kitchen Design offers a trough granite sink that is made to carry a variety of accessories. Offsets in the granite hold a teak cutting board, which fits over the sink. Underneath and also resting on additional granite offsets is another level of accessories: a colander, a draining rack, and a cutting block holding knives. Holes can be drilled in the back of the sink for any type of faucet accessory. A spray hose is one of the most useful since it helps clean these larger sinks.
Overcoming cleaning problems. "Small food items like coffee grounds do tend to get caught in the right-angled corners of granite sinks," he says. "We line the bottom of our sinks with a 1 ½-inch-deep stainless steel pan so everything drains perfectly." The pan also helps prevent stains to the granite itself. De Giulio seals its granite sinks as additional protection.
Preventing leaks. Leaking is not a problem because his company uses epoxy in the corners and wraps the bottom of the sinks in fiberglass.
Repairing chips. He points out that 90-degree stone corners are prone to chipping. "We ease the corners by putting a slight radius on them," he says. His company also goes back to the client five or 10 years after the kitchen project has been completed for a "brush up." At that time, a mixture of granite dust and epoxy is used to patch any chipped areas.
Listening to de Giulio, it was hard to think of anything negative about having a granite sink, except possibly its cost. He puts that at about $4,000 — pricey for a sink, but not bad for a product that can last 400 years.