Is your kitchen in need of an upgrade but you’re not ready for a full renovation? One of the easiest ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look without breaking the bank is by replacing your existing sink and countertops. The right sink and countertop combo can completely transform the look, feel and functionality of your kitchen.
When selected thoughtfully, your sink and countertops will complement each other beautifully while meeting your unique needs. From contemporary styling to rustic charm, the material options for both sinks and countertops are nearly endless. By mixing and matching styles and materials, you can create a custom sink and countertop pairing that reflects your tastes and lifestyle.
Choosing Your Sink Style
The sink is arguably the most used and abused fixture in the entire kitchen. As a centerpiece that gets constant use, you want to choose a sink style that is durable, stylish and fits the needs of your household. Here are some of the most popular kitchen sink options to consider:
Undermount sinks are installed below the countertop surface so the edges sit flush with the counter. This creates a smooth and contemporary look, and makes cleaning easier since there’s no lip or crevice for grime to collect. Stainless steel is a top choice for undermount sinks because it complements most countertops while resisting stains, dents and heat damage.
Pros of undermount sinks include their seamless installation and modern aesthetic. However, they do require solid surface countertop materials and professional installation. Cracked or chipped countertops will also need replacement if removing an existing undermount sink.
Farmhouse sinks, also called apron-front sinks, are a popular choice for a classic, timeless look. With a large, deep basin and exposed front, farmhouse sinks make a statement in traditional and country kitchens. The extra depth makes filling pots and stacking dishes easy.
While versatile in style, farmhouse sinks require more counter space for installation. The exposed apron front can also make cleaning behind and around the sink challenging. However, for those wanting a roomy, rugged sink with vintage character, a farmhouse sink is an excellent option.
Bar and Prep Sinks
In addition to the main kitchen sink, adding a bar or prep sink can greatly improve kitchen functionality. Bar sinks are small, secondary sinks installed into kitchen islands that make entertaining and food/drink prep easy. For meal prep tasks like washing vegetables and defrosting foods, a prep sink keeps clutter away from the main sink.
Bar and prep sinks take up minimal space while adding convenience right where you need it most. Look for smaller single-basin or mini sinks if adding one to an existing island. Locate your bar or prep sink near areas for food/drink assembly or cooking.
Countertops take abuse with daily use and play a big role in your kitchen’s aesthetics. With so many options ranging from natural stone to engineered quartz, selecting your countertop material is an important decision.
Granite is one of the most popular choices for its stylish appearance and extreme durability. Made from natural stone, granite countertops are heat and scratch resistant while adding a beautiful, unique focal point.
With a range of color patterns from solid black to multi-colored speckled, granite fits both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. It does require periodic sealing to prevent stains and damage. While granite is one of the more expensive natural stone options, its longevity and resale value make it a cherished investment.
Prized for its elegance, marble has been used for sculpting and architecture for centuries. Its smooth polish and delicate veining patterns create a timeless, luxurious look. However, marble is softer and more porous than other stones, making it prone to etching, stains and damage.
Marble requires extensive sealing to prevent water penetration and staining. It will also need to be cleaned gently with non-acidic cleaners. For those willing to put in the care and maintenance, marble’s beauty is unmatched and develops an aged patina over time.
Engineered quartz countertops offer the look of natural stone without some of the upkeep. Created from ground quartz and resins, quartz counters are non-porous, making them stain, scratch and heat resistant. They also resist damage from exposure to acids and cleaning chemicals.
While durable, stylish and low maintenance, quartz does have some limitations. Seams are often more visible than natural stone, and colors and patterns can be limited. But for those seeking an easy-care alternative, quartz effectively mimics the elegant look of granite and marble.
For budget-friendly options, laminate countertops are affordable, widely available and easy to install. Made by fusing plastic resins to particleboard or fiberboard cores, laminate comes in unlimited colors and patterns from solid hues to simulated woodgrain.
While susceptible to scratches, heat damage and water penetration over time, laminate stands up well to daily wear-and-tear. And if damage occurs, sections can be repaired or replaced easily. Updated styles and printing technology also allow laminate to effectively mimic natural materials at a fraction of the cost.
Achieving a Cohesive Look
With so many sink and countertop options available, it can feel overwhelming trying to choose complementary materials and styles. Follow these tips to help your new sink and countertop feel cohesive.
Mixing and Matching Materials
Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix different styles and textures. For example, combine a polished granite countertop with a hammered copper apron-front sink for an upscale, transitional look. Or, pair a stainless steel prep sink with laminate countertops to add function without breaking the budget.
Focus on how shapes, colors and textures interact. Curved marble countertops help soften the hard lines of a rectangular stainless steel sink. But too many competing textures can feel disjointed. Also ensure your sink and countertop materials have similar durability and care requirements.
Hardware and Accessories
Bridge your sink and countertop materials with coordinating hardware and accents. Opt for satin nickel or oil-rubbed bronze faucets to complement stainless, bronze or copper sinks. Or choose matching marble, granite or stone backsplashes and tile accents to complement natural stone counters. Matching your kitchen hardware finishes creates a unified, upscale look.
Design Ideas and Inspiration
Looking at tons of photos helps spark creative ideas you can emulate in your own kitchen. Search kitchen design sites and social media for stylish sink and countertop pairings. Notice how shapes, positioning and color coordination make the two fixtures feel cohesive.
Some examples could include:
- A rectangular white apron-front sink framed by white quartz countertops and subway tile backsplash
- A single-basin copper sink paired with blue-gray granite countertops
- A stainless steel prep sink harmonizing with glossy white laminate counters
Use images you love to inform your own design choices. With good planning, your sink and countertop combo can feel like they were designed in unison.
The sink and countertop hold major visual weight in kitchen design, so take time getting the combination just right. Keeping your tastes, lifestyle and budget in mind, choose sink and counter materials that complement each other in durability, aesthetics and functionality.
You can give your kitchen an instant style upgrade with the right sink and countertop. For more inspiration on coordinating your kitchen remodeling project, contact our team of designers today.