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Choosing A Granite Kitchen Sink

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.

'Nuff said.

Understanding Granite Sinks

Big and Heavy, In Several Styles

Granite kitchen sinks can be made two ways. The first involves carving out the basin (or basins, for a multi-bowl sink) from a block of granite. The bowls are literally cleaved out of the block of stone, resulting in a one-piece granite kitchen sink. Some sinks are actually hand carved, with a hammer and chisel whereas others are carved using automated tooling.

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.

Cost

A granite kitchen sink can be an expensive proposition. Prices range from about $600 to $6000, dependent on the sink's size, type of granite and finish. Most of the sinks you'll find fall between $1000 to $2500.

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Considerations To Think About

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.

  • They're Heavy-Give Them The Support They Need
    Yes, we've mentioned it before but this fact bears restating - these are heavy sinks and they'll need adequate support structure under them. At several hundred pounds, granite undermount sinks can't be "hung" from the countertop like a conventional stainless steel sink. If you're having your sink installed by a contractor, make sure that person is aware of what's needed to support it.
  • Flat Bottoms May Not Drain As Efficiently
    Granite sinks tend to have flatter bottoms than other conventional sinks. As a result, there's a greater chance to have residual water standing in the bottom of the sink because of the lack of sufficient slope toward the drain. Wiping out the sink after use will take care of any standing water but that's a level of maintenance you may not want to sign up for.
  • Sealing And Resealing
    Granite is a porous stone and it should be sealed for protection from moisture and staining. Some sinks are sealed by the manufacturer but regardless of whether the sink comes already sealed, you'll need to reseal it periodically to maintain it.
  • A Granite Sink 'Isn't Going Anywhere'
    A granite sink's weight, it's cost and visual presence, and the fact that it needs special support should tell you that it's probably going to be something you'll live with for a long time. In other words, it's not going to be as easy to replace as a stainless or acrylic sink should you tire of it quickly. Be sure a granite sink is what you want before committing to one.
  • It's Unique And Unmatched
    A granite kitchen sink, being that it's made from natural stone, has a uniqueness and individuality that can't be replicated. First, not everyone has a granite sink. But more than that, there aren't two stone slabs or blocks that are exactly the same. Your sink will literally be one of a kind.
  • A Matching Countertop And Sink
    If you have granite countertops, you can install a granite kitchen sink made from the same type of granite. The result is a visually seamless look across your kitchen, should you prefer that type of decorating style.
  • Natural Granite Complements Many Design Styles
    A natural granite sink complements various kitchen styles and surfacing choices. Like granite countertops, it's comfortable with both casual and formal styles and plays well with various cabinet colors and appliance materials.

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Where To Get Them

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.

Online Retailers

There are several internet stores that sell granite sinks. These retailers specialize in all kinds of home products including sinks, faucets and a host of other items.

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

Stone Carvers and Artisans

If you'd rather go with a custom-made sink rather than one of the off-the-shelf models, you can seek out specialists in stone carving. There are craftsmen and stone shops that specialize in stone carving, including household items like kitchen or bath sinks.

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.

Publisher's Comments

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.

Local Home Design Shops and Showrooms

You may be able to find some granite sinks if you live in an area that has home design showrooms or dealers specializing in home fixtures. Various manufacturers and artisan shops that make these types of sinks sell through these types of networks.

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

Sourcing Through A Designer

A kitchen or interior designer usually has sources for interior design products and may be able to locate a granite kitchen sink for you. Check your local phone directory or perform a local internet search for either of these specialists.

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Here's More Related Info That Might Be Helpful...

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.



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