Everything in the kitchen revolves around the refrigerator, stove and sink, and it is the latter that gets the most: boiling water, a sharp temperature drop, greasy and dirty dishes, detergent … To withstand such an attack, the sink must be very durable, but at the same time its appearance important. Let’s not hide the fact that today the palm among kitchen sinks belongs to stainless steel models. Sinks made of artificial stone breathe into their backs, but the demand for the once so popular enameled samples is small today. What is the reason? Are enamel sinks really that bad, or are we just not paying attention to them, following the fashion for stainless steel and composite bowls? We deal with this issue and learn to choose the right enamel sink for the kitchen.
# 1. Enamel sink: pros and cons
Until recently, a cast-iron or steel sink covered with snow-white enamel was the same symbol of the kitchen as the sofa for the living room today. Such items were believed to be ideal in terms of aesthetics. Today enamel sinks are often used by those who want to create a retro style interior in the kitchen. However, you can love such products not only for their original appearance, but also for a lot of excellent performance.
So, the advantages of enameled sinks for the kitchen include:
- durability. With relatively simple maintenance, the product will quietly serve for about two decades;
- low price. An enamel sink is almost always the cheapest option;
- strength, resistance to high temperatures and temperature extremes;
- enamel protects the base from corrosion;
- excellent appearance;
- variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Steel sinks, for example, cannot boast of a large assortment of shades;
- versatility. A wide range of products allows you to easily fit an enamel sink not only in a retro interior, but also in almost any other interior style.
There are so many advantages that an enamel sink can be considered for purchase on a par with stainless steel and stone models, but do not forget to take into account the disadvantages of such products:
- strong impacts can crack the enamel, which will not only worsen the appearance of the bowl, but also make it less resistant to corrosion. Cracks and chips can occur when heavy pots and pans are dropped, so be extremely careful;
- snow-white enamel may gradually lose its whiteness as a result of interaction with dyes in food and detergents. Maintaining the bowl in its original condition will not be easy, but, in principle, possible;
- it is impossible to clean the surface of the sink with acidic agents (they corrode the enamel) and metal brushes (they scratch the coating);
- when water falls, a loud loud sound will occur. If before that you had a stainless steel sink, then you will not have to get used to it – the sound is about the same.
Enamel sinks are not ideal, but with proper care they can last long enough, so when choosing a sink for the kitchen, the option with an enamel bowl should definitely be considered, especially if the budget is very limited.
# 2. Types of enameled sinks
Enamel is only the top layer of the sink, its protective coating, thanks to which numerous useful performance qualities are provided. Enamel usually hides steel, less often cast iron, and sometimes ceramics. Some washing properties differ depending on the base material:
- for the manufacture of the steel base, low-carbon grades of steel are usually used, due to which it is possible to obtain products of various shapes. These are durable sinks that withstand heavy loads, are not afraid of high temperatures, have a relatively low weight, but at the same time they make noise when a stream of water from the tap hits them. In terms of their basic properties, such products resemble ordinary stainless steel sinks, but at the same time they differ favorably from them in a variety of colors;
the cast-iron base makes the product unnecessarily heavy, and if earlier this shortcoming was somehow put up with for lack of alternatives, now cast-iron enameled sinks have lost their popularity. However, outwardly, such models look no worse than their competitors, they are distinguished by high strength, durability and a very favorable price, and for this cast-iron sinks can be forgiven for their weight and the inconveniences caused by it in terms of transportation and installation;
- enamel is also applied to a ceramic base, but such products are still commonly referred to as ceramic sinks. Enamel makes ceramic sinks, already sufficiently resistant to negative factors, practically invulnerable to high temperatures and mechanical damage. The downside is fragility.
The first two options have gained the most popularity. If there is a need to save money, you can safely take a cast-iron enameled sink – it will be just as durable and strong, but in terms of the variety of shapes, cast-iron products are much inferior to steel ones, which is explained by the nuances of production technology.
No. 3. The shape and size of the enamel sink
The main thing when choosing a kitchen sink, no matter what material it is, is depth. If you take an unnecessarily deep bowl in the hope of putting more dishes or vegetables in it for washing, then you can face back pain, if, of course, the work processes in the kitchen are more or less active. A shallow sink will cause splashes all over the kitchen. The optimal depth parameter is 15-18 cm.
The choice of sink width depends on the area of the kitchen and your activity on it. The standard parameter is 50-60 cm, but there are also more compact products if space in the kitchen is in short supply. If the countertop is narrow, you can look at the sink wider than the standard one. Bowls more than 60 cm wide are also suitable in cases when the hostess actively uses the kitchen, and the area of the room is sufficient.
Keep in mind that it is difficult to find a bowl over 80 cm wide. If 70-110 cm is planned for the sink, then it is much wiser to take a product with an additional bowl. It will allow you to organize your kitchen processes more efficiently. In the second bowl, you can defrost minced meat or wash vegetables, while dirty dishes are stored in the first. The additional bowl can be identical in size to the main one, or it can be several times smaller. There are sinks with three bowls: these are, as a rule, corner models, where two small additional sinks are located on the sides of the main one. Note that it is not easy to find an enamel sink with an additional bowl – the most popular option is considered to be an ordinary sink with one bowl.
In terms of forms, the variety is small. Yes, theoretically, you can make a sink of any shape, but in domestic stores, the most popular option is a square sink with rounded corners. It is quite comfortable, roomy and, most importantly, versatile. If you search, you can find round enamel sinks and even corner ones.
Many products get a wing, a place to pre-dry dishes. It can be positioned to the left, right, or both sides. There are products in which the wing is located between the bowl and the wall, in the area where the mixer is attached. This is a good option for small kitchens.
No. 4. What must be considered when buying?
Going to the store for an enamel sink for the kitchen, do not forget to look not only at the size and appearance, but also at the quality of the product. The enamel should be perfectly flat and smooth, without chips, cracks and other defects. The enamel layer should be even and thick enough. If it is insufficient, then the base material will show through. Any chipping, even the smallest, will shorten the life of the sink and bring it closer to rusting, so be careful.
On sale are mainly white samples. It’s a classic. If you work hard, you can find products in other shades. Choose a shade to match the countertop, apron or other significant elements of the kitchen interior.
In addition to the sink, you can purchase a drain plug, which will allow you to take a small bath and soak dishes, vegetables or herbs. It is also convenient to wash vegetables in special baskets, and defrost meat and minced meat in colander (these are bowls with small holes at the bottom for water drainage). All these devices exactly repeat the shape of the sink, due to which the kitchen space becomes more comfortable for the hostess. You can also buy a cutting board that matches the shape of the bowl: not only will an additional workplace appear, but the cleaning / cutting / cutting processes will be much more convenient. You can retrofit the sink with a soap or detergent dispenser: the dispensary will be located under the sink, and the dispenser itself will be near the mixer.
No. 5. Installation method
Depending on the installation method, enamelled kitchen sinks are divided into:
Overhead sinks actually replace part of the countertop and are mounted on top of one of the kitchen modules or on a cabinet. The installation process is quite simple, but it is necessary to qualitatively process the joints of the sink with the wall and other cabinets.
Inset sinks are installed in the work surface. A hole of the appropriate size is prepared in advance on the countertop, where the sink is mounted. From above, you will notice small sides, and on the back side, the sink is attached to the tabletop using self-tapping screws or brackets. Such a mount, although it gives excellent stability, can lead to some difficulties during repairs. That is why today, more and more often, the installation of such sinks is carried out using clips-clips, which are installed on the tabletop and snap into place on the sink. In which case, it is enough to simply unfasten them and remove the sink, gaining access to communications.
No. 6. Care features
To keep your enameled sink as good as new for a long time, you need to keep it clean. Each time after use, the walls and bottom of the bowl must be wiped with a sponge or nylon brush. Once a week, you can wash the sink with a special enamel cleaner. You can use other detergents, but it is important that they do not contain acids that have a destructive effect on the enamel.
It is not recommended to use abrasive cleaners, too hard sponges and metal brushes – they can leave micro-scratches on the enamel surface and start the process of its destruction.
As for the manufacturers, enamel sinks are mainly represented by domestic companies. Quite good products are sold under the brands Elsotherm, Santekhprom, Gran-Stone, Santeks, Antika. Basically, these are simple and inexpensive products that perform well in operation. If your budget allows, you can purchase a more expensive and sophisticated model that will have an unusual shape and color, perfectly fitting into your kitchen interior.