Any housewife wants her kitchen to be perfect. And this applies to every detail, including such seemingly insignificant as the sink. When thinking about an ideal kitchen, few people will remember about the sink, but in vain, because this detail is very important: a huge amount of not only dishes passes through it every day (even if there is a dishwasher in the house), but also products with which the dishwasher is clearly not in any way you can handle it. Of course, such an important thing should be stylish and fit into the interior, and many are lost when choosing. Models made of artificial stone will help to comply with both of these conditions..
Stone sinks are extremely rare, but they look very beautiful, so sinks made of artificial stone have become a good alternative to them. This material consists of stone chips and polymer resins that bind everything into a single whole, the ideal ratio between chips and binder is 80% to 20%, respectively. Of course, plumbing made of artificial stone is different and looks different, which is why it is important to start with a view. Such shells are usually made from:
- Agglomerate. A good, durable material, which contains from 70 to 90% granite chips, and everything else is a binder resin.
- Porcelain stoneware. With proper operation, such a sink will serve for many years, but you must treat it with care, in particular, do not drop heavy objects, since if this happens, only a master can repair it.
- Granite. We can safely say that this type is even better than natural stone, and in terms of strength and performance, granite sinks are the best of all the listed options. The only drawback is the high price..
- Marble. Compared to granite, one can single out a clear plus of this option – the relative cheapness. But if strength and durability are first of all important, it is better not to dwell on this type, since it is more fragile, temperature changes affect it worse, and over time they fade..
- Acrylic or composite stone. As a material for a sink, this type is very popular due to its good performance and low cost. Nevertheless, when buying such a sink, one must be careful: they should not be too cheap, and the manufacturer must be checked, otherwise there is a risk that this is a low-quality product that deforms, collapses, etc. after the first contact with something hot.
Advantages and disadvantages
Kitchen sinks made of artificial stone have a number of undeniable advantages, of course, there are also disadvantages, but they can be easily compensated for by careful selection, the ability to pay a little more for good quality and easy operation. The advantages of this material are:
- Versatility and beauty. Such a sink will always look beautiful and expensive, and thanks to a huge number of colors and designs, it will fit into any interior. It will always be possible without any problems to choose exactly the model that will look best in a particular interior..
- Ease of use. If they say that even with the slightest contact with something hot or dirty, there are stains that cannot be washed later, then most likely people simply bought goods from low-quality material. A good and high-quality car wash will never leave traces that cannot be washed off. It is very easy to care for it, just wipe it with a regular detergent. To achieve the best effect, you can rinse it every time you wash the dishes, so the sink will look like new all the time..
- Hygiene. Another very important indicator. Due to the tightness and non-porosity of the material, harmful microorganisms and fungus cannot grow in it, and some manufacturers, in order to increase this indicator, additionally process their goods with antibacterial agents, so an unpleasant odor will not appear in the sink, and you can not worry about cleanliness in it.
- Soundproofing. Many people are annoyed by the sound of water beating on the sink, and if it is made of stainless steel, then such a problem has to be encountered very often. But with a sink made of artificial stone, such troubles will not arise, it perfectly absorbs sound.
- Strength. Again, if they say that at the first contact with something scratching, defects will necessarily remain on the sink, it means that this is simply the wrong product. A really high-quality sink made of artificial stone is not so easy to break, to break to put scratches on it. Of course, you shouldn’t specifically throw pans at her, but accidental drops of heavy objects are not afraid of her..
- Heat resistance. Artificial granite (if, of course, it is of high quality), in fact, can withstand very high temperatures and at the same time not deform in any way.
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Well, as mentioned earlier, such sinks have their drawbacks:
- High price. This is a really significant drawback, all the advantages listed above can only be observed in an expensive sink, so if the quality of the sink is really important, you will have to spend a lot of money. This can be justified only by the fact that this purchase will serve for a very long time and will not require the cost of repair or replacement..
- Severity. Such kitchen accessories, in addition to the price, have a significant weight, they are quite difficult to install, and in order to bring them to their destination, you will definitely need transport.
- Counterfeits. Artificial stone sinks should be subject to careful inspection and scrupulous selection before purchasing. There are a lot of fakes and low-quality goods at an inflated price on the market now, and you will be able to understand this when it is already too late. Therefore, before buying, it is better to read customer reviews and focus on well-known, proven brands..
How to choose the right model
When choosing the type of sink, you need to focus on several factors: the size of the kitchen, the size of the kitchen cabinets and your wishes. In the end, everything, of course, depends on what the hostess likes best. There are the following types of sinks:
- Integrated or built-in sink. A very nice and smooth option, there are no joints, which gives the impression of the integrity of the countertop and the sink. If at the same time the countertop itself is made of artificial stone of the same shade, then an almost natural atmosphere is created. However, many people specifically choose a sink so that it differs in color from the countertop, thereby playing in contrast. Its shape can be any: round, square, rectangular, etc. Another plus of this option is that it guarantees even greater hygiene due to the absence of seams and joints, where harmful bacteria cannot accumulate..
- Overhead sink. This option is suitable for those who value time, since it is mounted in an extremely short time, a hole is simply cut in the countertop in advance, into which the sink is inserted. The same is the case in the event of a breakdown, everything can be replaced in a matter of minutes. In addition, such a sink is often equipped with a “wing”. Classic options have rectangular shapes.Thanks to a huge number of colors, it will look stylish in any interior.
- One bowl. A classic option that suits any kitchen, but especially in a small room. Looks invariably beautiful and is intended for those who need a regular sink without any special bells and whistles, just doing their direct duty.
- Two bowls. The option is not only stylish, but also functional. Such a shell is conventionally divided into two by a small partition, while one bowl can be deeper than the other and their sizes can be completely different. The double option will be really convenient, for example, in a larger bowl you can wash dishes, and in a smaller one you can defrost or wash food. At the same time, you do not have to come into contact with dirty dishes and there is always free space..
- Sink with a wing. Such a sink can significantly increase the functionality of the kitchen due to the fact that the wing can be used as an additional worktop, a surface for cutting vegetables or for drying them..
- Mortise. This type of sink is very similar to an overhead sink, but it differs in that it is mounted exclusively in the countertop, while for an overhead sink it is not necessary and does not have a wing. Such a sink will easily fit into any cabinet made of any material, and also, unlike the overhead model, will provide more reliable sealing..
- Corner. All of the above types of sinks can be made in this style, in addition, it can be of any shape. Its essence lies only in a more ergonomic use of space due to the fact that there is always a free corner, but it is rarely used for something useful.
It should be noted that all of the listed types of sinks are made of stone or stainless steel, so if the stone for some reason does not suit you, you can always choose a similar model made of steel.
How not to make a mistake when buying
The choice of a kitchen sink is an individual matter, but there are several basic rules that you should be guided by when choosing:
- Interior. Of course, this is one of the most important criteria, and basically all washing parameters will depend on this. If, for example, the kitchen is made in an eco-style, it would be better to install a built-in sink of the same shade with the countertop..
- Functional. You must immediately ask yourself what the sink is for. If you just wash the dishes, then it makes no sense to spend money on more expensive, large and functional options, but if it is important that the sink can be used with as much benefit as possible, you need to decide which functions are preferable and then compare them with the next item.
- Kitchen dimensions. The type of sink will also largely depend on this, because it is important that it blends harmoniously with the overall look of the kitchen. So, if the kitchen is small, then a sink with a huge wing or a large sink with two bowls will not only look out of place, but also eat up a lot of space, while a round version with one bowl or a functional corner one will well complement the interior.
- Quality. The amount of stone chips must be at least 80%, otherwise it is fraught with chips and rapid deterioration. It is important to immediately determine the percentage of stone chips and resin.
In order not to face difficult dilemmas when choosing a sink and not knowing which manufacturer is better to choose, below will be some companies that produce, including sinks, as well as customer reviews.
The most popular manufacturers on the sink market in our country are:
- Blanco washbasins. This is the most popular and well-known brand, probably even those who are not very interested in kitchens and sinks have heard about it. The price range here is very wide, as are the products and their color palette. Despite the high cost of most of the models, it pays off due to their quality and variety. The plumbing of this company meets all the qualities that a good sink should have: impact resistance, resistance to temperature changes, etc. Buyers note the good quality of this product, a wide range, ease of installation and operation. Of the shortcomings, a very high price is distinguished..
- GranFest sinks. These sinks made in Russia can be conditionally called the opposite of the previous company. They are less durable, more susceptible to mechanical damage, but their price is really very reasonable, and the quality offered for such money is quite acceptable. Most often, consumers write that these are very beautiful and stylish sinks that look more expensive than their money and are very easy to clean. However, they do not require very careful handling, as often after several years of operation they can become unusable..
- Florentina sinks. Another Russian brand, but more “Euro-oriented”. Now the company has about 20 options for stylish models, many of which were developed by European designers. At the same time, you do not have to overpay for the brand, as, for example, in the case of Blanco, so the price is not overpriced and does not depend on changes in the exchange rate due to Russian production. Basically, all owners of such sinks note their high quality at an affordable price..
- Franke sinks. This company is better known for the production of stainless steel sinks, however, stone sinks also take place. A pleasant bonus is that the Franke company has a worldwide reputation, but at the same time the prices, which are slightly higher than those of the Russian manufacturer, are still not too high. The design is distinguished by Scandinavian laconicism and simplicity and will decorate any interior. People who purchase sinks from this company note their durability, as well as heat resistance and the fact that you can put very hot dishes in them and drain hot water, which will not affect the quality in any way. Some note the high price as a disadvantage, but among the goods of this company there are a lot of quite budgetary and high-quality options..
- Ulgran sinks. Another domestic manufacturer selling sinks at more than affordable prices. However, the reviews are mostly negative, buyers note a number of serious shortcomings: a mixer of the same company can cost several times more, fragility, instability to high temperatures, short service life.
Since a sink made of artificial stone is mostly an expensive pleasure, there will surely be many among the buyers who want to install it with their own hands. Well, since an overhead sink is one of the most popular and easy-to-install options, it is worth focusing on it. Installation proceeds as follows:
- In a pre-selected and already installed pedestal, it is necessary to determine where the screws should be placed. To do this, the distance to which the sink will protrude from the front is subtracted from the width of the cabinet..
- After that, the screws are screwed directly into the top of the bedside table, but you do not need to tighten it to the end, when installing the sink, they should snap into its base.
- After that, the sink is inserted, and, if everything is correct, the screws go into the holes. To fix the screws, the sink must be pushed against the wall..
- Next, you need to check if the sink is tightly fixed, if nothing is loose. If it is not fixed tightly, then it must be removed and the screws tightened a little and so on until the sink snaps into place..
- When the sink is tight enough, the installation process is complete..
One of the great advantages of faux stone sinks is that they are very easy to maintain. But if it is difficult to get seriously dirty and easy to wash, this does not mean that you should be lazy in this matter. To maintain a presentable appearance of the sink and the kitchen as a whole, you just need to follow simple rules once a day:
- Remove leftover food from the sink.
- Introduce a separate dish sponge or soft cloth that will be used to wash the sink.
- Clean the surface with this rag and soap, or the most basic detergent.
- Then rinse with warm water.
With these simple steps, the sink will remain clean and pretty. And so that it retains its original appearance for many years and does not become covered with persistent stains, you can also add weekly to such daily procedures:
- Make a solution of water and bleach.
- Fill the sink for about 20 minutes.
- Then rinse with warm water.
- And wipe dry.
That’s all, such actions take a minimum amount of time, but they allow you to extend the life of the sink..