Professional-style kitchen sinks in high-grade metallic finishes with integrated chopping boards, colanders and sink racks are an increasingly popular choice in kitchen design – Sally Smith finds out what’s on offer.
These days, cutting-edge designed kitchen sinks in 1.5 to 2 bowl configurations with contemporary satin finishes are a must-have in any kitchen, regardless of size. The latest kitchen sinks are now a multifunctional workstation, designed for food prep, cooking and dishwashing.
"The market for workstation sinks has grown considerably in the past couple of years as more and more UK consumers are demanding a more sophisticated food-prep zone to assist with cooking from scratch," explains Paul Illingworth, design manager at Abode. "Integrated accessories that have been designed to fit the sink perfectly, such as chopping boards, colanders and flex racks are now the essential food prep tool kit and have been designed to fit the sink perfectly for a much better end user experience."
If space allows, two-bowl kitchen sink options remain a luxurious choice for some customers and are an increasingly popular way to create a dedicated wet zone for food prep, dishwashing and handwashing. Illingworth adds: "The much-loved ceramic butler sink is now equally at home in industrial-inspired kitchens as well as more traditional farmhouse schemes offering a generous depth for soaking pans and bakeware."
Stainless steel kitchen sinks still remain a popular choice, especially as this traditional finish co-ordinates with the majority of taps and appliances on the market.
Jo Sargent, sales and marketing director at Franke UK, agrees. "Stainless steel will always be the material of choice for kitchen sinks but the interest in metallic finishes such as Copper, Gold and Anthracite is undoubtedly getting much stronger," she says. "Consumers are seeking a more design-led look in their kitchens and mixing materials, pairing vintage and new products together is a way to carve out an eclectic style. Taps have led the way with the metallic trend and now consumers are happy to go beyond adding a single accent to embracing a full sink and tap combination."
Brands are increasingly introducing more stylish and functional matching accessories, giving customers the option to upgrade the kitchen sink to a workstation.
Tamsin Mills, Blanco marketing manager, believes this is a key area of growth within the kitchen sink category. "Our sink accessories are suited to even the smallest of kitchens with foldable grids and moveable top-rails that provide additional work surfaces for vegetables to drain or for washing up. Colanders and caddies add further functionality to the kitchen sink and can be nestled neatly in the corner of the sink, or stretched across its entire width to help food preparation."
Ronke Ugbaja, leader, product management for Grohe UK & Lixil EMENA, agrees. "Our latest colander and foldable dish rack sinks accessories are made of stainless steel and are available in the PVD colours Hard Graphite, Warm Sunset, and Cool Sunrise so they can be combined our range of PVD coloured kitchen sinks."
The latest advances in manufacturing technology now mean that there is a growing range of kitchen sinks available in different colours and finishes from natural stone look-alikes, through to Soft White, Matt Black and Metallics such as Gold and Copper.
Ugbaja adds: "Small design considerations are becoming increasingly important in the modern-day kitchen, which has become a multifunctional living space. Our composite sink range uses 80% quartz mixed with acrylic resin for a super-hardwearing material that provides a velvety smooth pore-free surface that is hygienic and easy to clean. Another benefit of the dense material combination is its ability to reduce noise from within the sink bowl itself, caused by water running or when cleaning pots and pans."
Caple offers a range of options from Stainless Steel and Chrome to PVD Black steel and Gold finishes. These special metallic finishes are achieved using a process called Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD). This creates a coating that’s highly resistant to tarnishing, corrosion and scratches, making it ideal for high-traffic kitchen sinks and accessories.
Nigel Palmer, head of communications marketing for House of Rohl UK, comments: "We know of Shaws of Darwen sinks that have become family heirlooms, retained through house moves and kitchen refurbishments, for over 100 years. Made from ‘Fireclay’ a material that chefs often favour over stainless steel as it is heat-proof, stain, chemical and odour resistant, and has a naturally anti-bacterial surface."
The 1.5 deep bowl configuration undermount kitchen sink is now the preferred choice of the majority of households. Installed beneath the countertop this style provides a smooth transition between the countertop and the sink.
James Cunningham, sales director at Rangemaster, adds: "The sink can ‘set the tone’ for an overall scheme and help define a style. Undermount models remain popular, particularly in modern kitchens encompassing clean lines and contemporary styling, as they sit under a worktop. Inset sinks, on the other hand, tend to have more of a presence as the frame sits on top of the work surface, drawing the eye to the area."
The latest ‘cutting-edge’ designed kitchen sinks on the market will elevate any sink area to a hardworking but stylish workstation for customers wanting an on-trend look.