If there's any kitchen product that imparts "presence" it has to be a granite kitchen sink.
Now before we get too far ahead, let's point out that this web page is about solid stone granite sinks. It's not about granite composite sinks, the kind that are made from a combination of crushed granite or quartz and resin. Those sinks, like the Blanco Silgranit products, are known as composite sinks.
The kind of granite sink we're talking about here is the type made from solid stone.
A composite granite sink is an engineered product, made from a combination of materials.
It's important to make the distinction ahead of time because the terminology is very often used interchangeably and many times when you search for "granite sink" on the web, you'll end up finding a lot of information dealing with the composite variety.
The second method of making a granite sink entails assembling it out of several pieces or slabs of granite. The pieces are bonded together and the seams are sealed to make the sink watertight.
In either case the walls and bottom of the sink are polished or honed to form a smooth surface. Some models leave exposed surfaces, like the front of an apron front sink, in the rough-hewn state as a style option. This type of surface finish is also known as a 'broken edge' exterior.
Most granite kitchen sinks are made in the farmhouse or apron-front style, with a prominently visible front. This style is popular because it shows off the granite.
As you've probably guessed, these sinks aren't light. They can weigh in at several hundred pounds depending on size. They're also made with relatively robust parts, meaning the walls and any bowl dividers are usually fairly thick. They're similar to concrete sinks in this way, and it's this heft, this massiveness, that gives a granite kitchen sink its "presence".
With regard to style and configuration, you have a choice of buying a granite undermount sink or a top-mounted sink. The term "undermount" should probably be clarified because in essence, this type of sink is really supported from underneath. It can be installed so that the surrounding countertops overlap the edge of the sink like a true undermount, but it's supported by the base cabinet and any necessary structural members.
Both single bowl and double bowl styles are available too. Then there are the options on the type and color of granite. Some manufacturers offer plenty of granite types to choose from, in various colors and patterns.
OK. So it's obvious that a granite sink is going to be heavy and one of the more conspicuous items in your kitchen. And you know that it's going to cost more than conventional sinks.
But maybe you're still on the fence about whether one of these sinks is right for you. Let's take a look at some other considerations that might help you decide.
Finding a granite kitchen sink isn't difficult although you won't find them in the big-box home improvement stores. The following information lists three avenues you can pursue to purchase one.
There are several benefits of ordering online too. First, it's hard to match the shopping capabilities that the internet provides. The range of inventory is more than you'll ever see at a conventional retailer or showroom. Second, you'll likely not pay any taxes (depending on where you live), because many internet retailers don't charge tax.
The following online retailers carry various makes and models of granite kitchen sinks:
ATG Stores - www.atgstores.com
FaucetDirect - www.faucetdirect.com
StoneSinksOnline - www.stonesinksonline.com
The best way to find one is to search the internet and type "stone carving" or "custom stone shop" into a search engine. You can do the same thing for a local internet search (click "maps" on Google and MSN, "local" on Yahoo and input the city you're in) to see if there are any in your local area.
I actually did this for my local area to test it out. I found a few but I live in a major metropolitan area which may be the reason I got lucky. Whether or not there are any such artisans in more rural areas is anyone's guess. However, you never know what small businesses are just around the corner until you need their services and start looking. At any rate, it's worth a shot.
Two makers of granite sinks that utilize a network of dealers and retail showrooms are:
Stone Forest - www.stoneforest.com
Terra Acqua - www.terracqua.net
Choosing A Kitchen Sink - This article will help you understand what's available as well as what to consider when choosing a kitchen sink.
Cast Iron Sinks - If you're not completely decided on a stone sink, cast iron is another durable and long-lasting sink that comes in a wide range of color and styles. Find out more in this article on choosing a cast iron sink.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks - Find out what your choices are and what you should consider when thinking about buying a stainless steel kitchen sink.