Form and Function: Choosing the Right Kitchen Fixtures

Form and Function: Choosing the Right Kitchen Fixtures

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Installing a new sink or faucets in your kitchen are a simple, inexpensive way to give the “heart of the house” a quick facelift. Or, you may be in the market to remodel your kitchen, which is a great way to add value to your house and enhance your enjoyment of dining and entertaining. Whatever your reason for changing your kitchen fixtures, finding the right ones and having them properly installed will ensure that your dream kitchen stays dreamy – and not a nightmare of leaks and ongoing repairs from your bluefrog Plumbing + Drain!

Making your kitchen a true showpiece means blending form and function, combining ease of use for the kitchen fixtures and a layout that makes it easy to prepare meals.

Budget Before You Buy

What’s your style? Do you want a country farmhouse kitchen with a deep sink, a sleek stainless steel Chef’s kitchen, or something more “Old World” with an antique feel? Pick your style to help you narrow down your choices and bring everything together in harmony.

Before you choose new kitchen fixtures, set a budget – including labor from your local plumbing service – and ballpark costs for each item on your list. Then, take careful measurements, measuring twice to make sure they’re accurate.

Consult with Professionals

Before you purchase your fixtures, check with your local plumbing service to see if there are any limitations on what your pipes can handle. If you’re planning to add fixtures and plumbing to the kitchen or sink, for example adding a small side-sink into the kitchen island for easier food preparation or a more powerful, larger faucet, you’ll need a plumbing service to add more water and waste pipes to your kitchen.

The Kitchen Sink

From simple single-basin stainless steel sink to a deep, ceramic, dual basin style, the sink you pick should meet your daily needs and accommodate even the more unusual ones, such as thawing a large turkey or filling a big stockpot.

Choosing the Perfect Material

The durability of the material, the ease of cleaning, and the expense are the more functional aspects of picking the materials, but the right finish adds elegance of form to the functionality, too.

  • Stainless Steel is the most common material, and fairly inexpensive. It’s a flexible material and able to be crafted into a variety of styles, including under-mount and basin. Stainless steel comes in different gauges, and a heavier gauge will be more dent-resistant and less noisy. Stainless steel does tend to show water spots more readily than other materials, however.
  • Granite Composite sinks are crafted with a blend of crushed quartz or granite and epoxy resin, about 80% stone and 20% resin. These go well in kitchens with granite counters, giving a more uniform appearance. The material is tough and long-lasting, resistant to scratching, and easy to clean.
  • Copper is a beautiful finish, especially if your design includes hanging copper pots. However, this metal develops a patina, turning the bright shine into a darker brown, much in the way pennies age over time. Copper sinks are as easy to clean and maintain as stainless steel, but they’re more expensive, as they’re made by craftsmen, not mass-produced.
  • Cast Iron is one of the oldest materials for sinks and is finished with a thick porcelain enamel coating. The coating may be available in a variety of colors, which can add a fun pop of color to your kitchen. Plus, the enamel is durable, easy to clean, and doesn’t show water spots. Bear in mind that cast iron is heavy and will require additional support for under-mount sinks.

Styles of Kitchen Sinks

Once you’ve picked your finish, it’s time to pick your style. Consider how you plan to use the sink and the amount of space and clearance between the faucet and the bottom of the basin.

  • Single Bowl sinks just have one basin and are typically more compact. However, a single-basin sink in a larger space will give you more space to clean larger pots and pans than a double-basin sink.
  • Double bowl sinks are the most common, and consist of two sinks, one with garbage disposal and one with a simple drain. While you have flexibility, such as having one side of the sink for dirty dishes and freeing up the second basin for cooking or other use, the lack of space may make it more difficult to wash slow cooker bowls or other oversized items.
  • Farmhouse, aka Apron Front sinks, are distinguished by the front flap of sink material. They’re available in both single and double basin sizes and match well with the country kitchen aesthetic. They’re more expensive and may require special installation.
  • Top Mount sinks are designed to be dropped into a hole cut out in the counter. They have a raised lip and are sealed in place around the edges.
  • Undermount sinks are installed below the counter, with no lip. The countertop is flush with the sink. They’re more expensive than top-mounted sinks and require a more complicated installation form your plumbing service.

Faucets and Nozzles

Many kitchen sinks come with faucets, but a plumbing service can add specialty nozzles after you install the sink, too. Larger, arching necks make it easier to fill a deep pasta pot, and a spray nozzle may make it easier to clean dishes. Your plumbing service can also make recommendations for the size and arc of the faucet, allowing ease of use without splashing you and your counter.

If you’re on a budget, splurging on an intricately crafted faucet can add a touch of elegance to an ordinary kitchen. Make sure that it’s durable, with strong handles, and correctly installed by a professional plumbing service to prevent leaks. The faucet should complement the material of the sink.

Book a Great Plumbing Service for Installation

No matter if you go with basic stainless steel or a more exotic finish, you’ll need the best plumbing service in town to install it. Call your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain or visit us online to find the one nearest you and book your service appointment today!

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