Sinks and Taps: Choosing the right ones for your kitchen design ideas.

Sink design has developed immensely over the last few years, gone are the day’s when the choice was limited to 1 or 2 bowls or perhaps a butler style sink. The options have also been enhanced as a result of the wide range of work surfaces, allowing for the use of under mounted sinks and products which can be seamlessly integrated into the work surface.


UNDER MOUNTED. Designed for use with solid surfaces such as stone or composites, they sit completely under the work surface and can incorporate drainer flutes and additional tap holes to provide sprays and soap dispensers.

DROP IN SINKS. This option is generally used with moisture sensitive wood or laminate surfaces and is installed from above into a pre-prepared hole in the surface and offers the widest range of shapes, styles  and sizes.

INTEGRAL SINKS. Usually the most expensive route, these sinks are fabricated as one piece within the work surface so there are no visible seams or joints.

BELFAST SINKS. Generally ceramic, although one manufacturer now offers a stainless steel version.

How many bowls ? The range of options start with a simple single bowl which can be enhanced with an additional half or three quarter bowl or a second full size bowl. All these alternatives can be applied to all three styles. The next big question, what material would you prefer. The choice includes stainless steel, available in a polished or silk finish, ceramic, Fragranite treated with Sanitized, and lastly glass. A number of sinks are available with a range of accessories such as chopping boards, drainer baskets, hand sprays and rollamats. A good starting point for research is


As with sinks, the range of taps is extensive. In addition to a comprehensive range of standard monoblock taps, systems are now available that deliver boiling water at the touch of a button, filtered water taps ( no need to but bottled water ) or the ultimate luxury, a combination of all three. The final item worth considering is a waste disposal unit. Very useful for the quick disposal of organic houshold waste.

You will use your sink and tap for almost every task you do in the kitchen so explore all the options with your designer.


The Design Challenge

The initial step in designing your new kitchen is to try and visualize the potential of the space, and avoid replicating the existing layout.

Not always easy, but with the help of computer aided design software your designer may be able to explore a number of alternative ideas that you had not previously considered.

Some Basic Guidelines

The tried and tested approach using the work triangle remains a good starting point, this enables you to focus on three major zones in the kitchen which generally consist of the refrigerator, sink unit and the cooking zone.

This basic approach should be enhanced to include storage, preparation and finally serving, the ultimate aim being to create a logical and seamless process.

Looking at each area in turn, the fridge would ideally have some adjacent work surface allowing you to easily unload the shopping with adequate general storage in the same area.

Careful consideration should be given to the size and type of sink, will that large roasting tin fit? An additional half bowl or even a second sink can be very useful and could include a waste disposal unit.

The dishwasher would normally be sited adjacent to the sink and this area can also include an integrated bin system, very helpful if you need to re-cycle.

The main consideration for your cooking zone is creating plenty of work surface on both sides as this area will often include space for preparation and generally be the area used for serving.

Should the space allow, including an island can provide additional storage and more importantly another work surface. An overhang on one side could be used as a casual eating area, great to sit at whilst sharing a glass of wine with the chef.

These are some basic guidelines for your design challenge, but should provide a good starting point for a conversation with your designer.



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