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Upgrading to a Stainless Steel Undermount Kitchen Sink

Updated on July 12, 2012

Home Improvement - Starting with the Kitchen

We've all heard the expression "everything but the kitchen sink" but when it comes to affordable home improvement projects that can really improve the look and feel of your house, it might actually be a great place to start! One of the biggest complaints with standard and outdated sinks is that they do not offer enough room to work and they are difficult to clean up at times. Many lighter colored ones are also known for problems with stains that are very tough to remove.

A great way to improve your kitchen in terms of both style and functionality is to upgrade to an undermount stainless steel sink. When it comes to home upgrades and repairs, this is one of the fastest and most economical ways to give your kitchen a more elegant and refined look.

Why a Stainless Steel Undermount Kitchen Sink

One of the best ways to modernize your home is to focus on areas that get a lot of use and visitor traffic. In most homes, the kitchen tends to see a lot of people and a lot of activity. A stainless steel sink offers many benefits such as low-cost to buy and install along with excellent durability. They also offer a strong resistance to heat and cold so you don't have to worry about setting a hot pan or a bag of ice in your sink.

Another advantage to a stainless sink is they are very easy to clean and will keep their shiny new look for a long time. I've owned sinks that still look brand new even after years of heavy use. Even if they start to get a little dull on the surface, a quick wipe with some stainless steel polish and it will quickly regain its original shine! In addition to a low maintenance, high-end appearance; you also get the flexibility to choose between a range of depths and styles to fit your own personal needs.

This type of unit is available in several different arrangements with standard sizes having one, two, or three bowls. Multi-bowl sinks are great for washing and rinsing dishes or for cooking projects that involve keeping items separate such as seafood and veggies. Which one you decide to go with really depends on your personal preferences and space considerations.

Buying Tips

There are a few important things to consider when you are shopping for a new product. You will install the undermount sink below the surface of your counter top and then seal around the edge for a sleek and updated look.

You will notice that sinks have a gauge number associated with them. This simply refers to the thickness of the steel. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel will be in your sink. Most home improvement professionals recommend going with a gauge number of eighteen or less as it offers some resistance to scratches and dings.

The next important buying consideration is what kind of finish you want. You have a few different options here and as well as having a visual impact; you also have to consider the maintenance part as well. With most stainless steel sinks, you can choose between a mirrored finish which offers a shiny and expensive appearance and a brushed finish which is not as bright. You will find that the ones with a brushed finish are a bit more resistant to showing scratches; this is a major advantage if you have kids or if you have a high traffic kitchen area.

Installation and Accessories

Once you have selected and purchased your sink, you will probably need a new faucet to go along with it. In most cases, you will also want to go with a stainless steel faucet set for the best possible match.

Delta and Kohler make some of the more popular faucet sets and come with handy features such as pull-out or pull-down sprayers. Chances are that you will be able to find a high quality faucet to go with your new sink for under $350.

Now that you have everything you need, it's time to decide whether you want to install it yourself or have someone else do it for you. Fortunately they are not too difficult to install if you have even a little plumping experience and there are plenty of online resources and tutorials available to help you get the job done.

If you would rather just sit back and let a professional contractor handle it, that is always an option as well. Just make sure that whoever you decide to go with is a licensed contractor so you know you will get quality workmanship. If you're not sure where to find a good handy man, you can get a referral from your local Registrar of Contractors.

Last but certainly not least, it's time to sit back and enjoy your newly upgraded kitchen sink! I must warn you from my own personal experience that these kitchen improvements and upgrades are contagious and once you do one, you will want to do several more. The nice thing about it is there is no rule that says you have to do it all at once! These kinds of improvement projects do usually pay off in the long run and upgrading your kitchens and bathrooms typically result in added value when it comes time to sell.

Are you planning to install your new sink yourself or have it professionally done?

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    • kenwrites profile image

      Ken Crawford 7 years ago from Yreka, California

      Very nice and well written hub. The low cost and durability of a stainless steel sink makes perfect sense when replacing your old and outdated sink.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Just decided that the worst feature in my kitchen is the black sink which I find impossible to clean thoroughly. Hard water stains always leave it looking less than fresh. Thanks for a useful hub.

    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Fontana, WI

      Great info! Who are the large manufacturers - Delta, Elkay, Kohler? And where are they made? Never heard of Kindred and Blanco. Very well written Hub.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great info! Luckily, I'm married to a contractor!