Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetSweet-Lookin’ Tough Guy
Big, deep soapstone sinks that harken to the days of Frank Lloyd Wright are making a comeback. Nearly impervious to stains and heat, soapstone requires only an occasional swipe of mineral oil to retain its beauty. It’s so dense that it won’t harbor bacteria, either, making it easy to clean. Save money and buy a used one where salvaged building materials are sold.
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetEnvironmentally-Friendly Sink
This rustic double-bowl sink is made from molded magnesium oxide, a type of ceramic cement. Eco-wise, it trumps regular Portland cement with low embodied energy (it requires less energy to manufacture) and its ability to absorb carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. A good choice for green kitchen remodeling.
Type: Integral (formed seamlessly into the countertop) Material: Magnesium oxide Cost: $125 per sq. ft. for the countertop, add $2,500 for the sink
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetStatement in Stone
Looking for a signature showpiece for your kitchen but don’t want to spend a ton? Vessel-type sinks carved from a single block of stone have beautiful natural swirls and patterns, and are great focal points. You’ll find them in granite, soapstone, travertine, and onyx. The one shown here is marble. For full viewing (and ease of use), set your vessel sink on a lowered portion of countertop.
Type: Vessel Material: Carved marble Cost: $250 to $900
Concrete can be made into virtually any shape, including the one-piece drop-front sink shown here. Special molds are used to create the decorative designs. Concrete sinks can be ordered in many colors and finishes, and each piece usually has unique distinguishing patterns and textures. Concrete sinks must be sealed periodically with a concrete sealer; wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains.
Type: Apron-front Material: Cast concrete Cost: $1,000 to $3,000
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetTimeless Classic
The single-bowl, enameled cast-iron sink (in basic white, please) is one of the all-time most-popular kitchen helpmates. It’s inexpensive, tough, and a good match for any design scheme. This one was placed in a corner, which helps solve the problem of what to do with that wasted space at the back of corner cabinets.
Type: Self-rimming drop-in Material: Enameled cast-iron Cost: $150 to $1,000
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetSleek and Sassy
Stainless steel sinks are especially at home with contemporary surroundings. This undermount type attaches under the countertop and makes cleanup a snap. Stainless steel sinks come in several gauges (the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel), but thickness is less important than sound-deadening material — look for sound-absorbing pads attached to the outside of the sink.
Type: Undermount Material: Stainless steel Cost: $150 to $4,000
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetThe Art of the Sink
Tough yet malleable, copper is a statement metal that readily accepts hand-tooled finishes and embossed designs. It develops a rich, dark patina with age, but you’ll need to avoid acidic liquids and harsh cleaners to prevent stains. Use homemade green cleaners to keep your copper sink looking great.
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetSay It with Color
If color speaks volumes, why not let your kitchen sinks do a little fancy talking? Colorful kitchens are increasingly popular, and enameled cast-iron sinks offer deep, rich colors that grab the eye. “Every room should have surprises and punctuation marks,” says designer Jonathan Adler. “There’s nothing better than a colored sink to bring a kitchen to life.”
Type: Apron front Material: Enameled cast-iron Cost: $1,400 to $1,700
Coolest Kitchen Sinks on the PlanetThe Gold Standard
Resistant to stains, scratches, and thermal shock, solid glass sinks can be molded to any shape and texture. These examples, as you might have noticed, are not your regular glass sinks — they’re infused with 24-carat gold for that “no-ordinary-kitchen” touch of precious metal that your culinary workspace so richly deserves.