European Kitchen & Bath | Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

A friend told me about a grid that fits in the bottom of her kitchen sink to protect the bottom. Why should I consider this and is this something all sinks have available?

A sink grid is a easy way to preserve your stainless steel sink or any other sink you may be installing. It does protect the bottom of your sink and usually has rubber or coated feet to eliminate the possibility of rubbing a large pot or pan and gouging or scratching the sink. These are not available on all sinks, but most reputable manufacturers offer this accessory on their popular sink configurations. Check with your sink guy or retail supplier if a sink grid and additional accessories are available ( e.g. – colanders, cutting boards, special drains).

What are the pros and cons of a stainless kitchen sink versus a composite sink (colored sink made out of quartz, silgranit or porcelain)?

Stainless steel – Doesn’t matter if it’s a $100 sink or a $1,200 sink. Stainless will scratch. The quality of the stainless steel does make a difference, look for sinks that are 304 Series, Surgical Grade, and 18/10 (first number is chromium content providing hardness and the second number is the nickel content which prevents rusting). A satin polished finish is your best bet. The good news of a sink with these compositions is they will last a very long time, take on a look of their own due to the finish (indicates a higher quality of manufacturing) and as our mother tells us, “Stainless is like an elegant pearl, it goes with everything.”

A composite sink made of quartzite or silgranit. These sinks are generally scratch & stain resistant, heat resistant (usually to 500 degrees Fahrenheit), non-porous (so it won’t stain), and will usually be less expensive than your higher quality stainless sinks. Porcelain or cast iron is heavy, will scratch and rust over a period of time but is still a popular product despite technology in the industry bringing other products to the market.

Can I clean my stainless steel sink with Ajax or Comet?

Those are abrasive cleaners and will scratch the surface. Products available today on the grocery shelf or at most kitchen & bath remodelers are easier on the variety of sink finishes in the market than from your grandmother’s day. Bar Keepers Friend, Bon Ami and Soft Scrub are simple off-the-shelf products that can be used to get stains out along with keeping the product in tip top shape as far as appearance and finish go for years to come.

We are replacing our existing kitchen countertop but reusing our existing cabinets. Is there anything we should be aware of regarding the new undermount sink we select?

This is a good question. When selecting a new undermount sink, regardless of type (stainless steel, composite, farmhouse) the key thing you should verify is the INSIDE dimension of wall to wall (left to right) of the existing cabinet. This dictates what size sink you can mount in the cabinet. Unlike a drop in or top mount sink which has the widest dimension visible on top of the counter (typically 33”), the undermount’s widest point is under the counter and must fit in the cabinet base. The flat edges or rim of the undermount must allow for the overlength of the sink plus an additional inch or two for the mounting clips used to secure the sink to the underside of the solid surface being used for the countertop.

Additional tip: If you are installing new cabinets, we recommend you find the sink of your dreams prior to the layout and selection of your cabinet, so if it is an oversized sink ( larger than 32-33” width) your cabinet supplier can incorporate the additional length kitchen cabinet to accommodate the larger length sink. Good luck and enjoy your new kitchen sink!

Can I get a new under mount kitchen sink to fit where my old under mount sink was?

Yes and No.
Yes…You can replace your sink with the same manufacture and model# of the existing sink. Most customers want a new sink style when they replace them. However, even though many sinks appear the same size and shape, they never are. The radius of the corners, and subtle differences make each sink unique.

This is an excellent argument for taking the time necessary, and consulting with a professional when purchasing your new kitchen sink. When replacing counter tops any sink can be installed. Make sure you choose a quality brand name manufactured sink designed to complement your kitchen work flow. The sink is the main “Work Station” in the kitchen, and care should be taken in selection.
We have at least one customer a week wanting to buy a new sink to match the existing sink hole their granite counter top, many sink outlines that appear straight or simply rectangular, actually have a slight curve to them.

Does a thicker gauge steel make a stainless steel sink better?

Not necessarily.
The real measure in a stainless steel sink is the quality or the Stainless steel itself…not the thickness.
Stainless steel is an alloy metal which includes steel, chrome and nickel. Sink cost can be greatly reduced by “skimping” on the more expensive metals. That is why it’s important to choose a sink from a quality manufacture to assure that these metals are used in the proper proportion. 18 gauge quality Stainless Steel perfect for household kitchen sinks. A heaver gauge Stainless [(16 gauge) The smaller the number, the thicker the metal] steel may be necessary on bigger sinks such as restaurant commercial sinks, or sinks with large surface drain boards.

Why are stainless steel sinks prices so diverse?

The manufacturing processes are very different. Less expensive sinks are stamped from a single piece of Stainless steel, then finished with a machine. (Limited hand labor) In Other higher quality sinks, each bowl is made individually and welded to the top plate, beveled @ 45 degrees (the weld) and hand polished. These sinks are easier to keep clean, are quieter, and have a beautiful luster when compared with the stamped sinks.

Stamped sinks need to be manufactured at a much higher temperature than the hand processed sinks. Even though the gauge of the sink may be the same (18 gauge) the density of the hand processed sinks is higher because of the lower manufacturing temperatures.

Do I have to replace my faucet when I replace my sink?

No…but here are some things to consider.
Chances are your faucet is the same age as your sink, and your faucet has more moving parts than your sink. Replacing both at the same time assures continuity in design, and keeping current with industry improvements. Improvements such as engineered water flow which delivers the same feel and power, while actually using considerably less water.
When having a new sink installed, the plumber is already at your house. Having a new faucet installed at the same time is convenient and saves installation costs.

Keep up with trends (not fads) such as single hole kitchen faucets, instead of older faucets that have a standalone side sprayer and separate mixer controls. Manufactures continually introduce new colors and finishes, which can enhance/upgrade any kitchen.

What are the basic features to consider when choosing a new kitchen faucet?

Basics:
Todays efficient kitchen layout utilize a single hole kitchen faucet, with the sprayer in the spout head instead of a standalone side sprayer. This unclutters the kitchen area, leaving room for more functional accessories such as a soap dispenser, or a remote Garbage disposer air switch.
There are two basic single hole faucet designs.

The Pull Out:
This is a more traditional design low rise faucet. The spray head pulls out of the faucet spout, and when held in the upright position, mimics the feel and function of the old side sprayer. The head has a selection button which toggle between water stream and spray. These faucets are ideal for the customer who does not want a high arc faucet, but desires full functionality. Or have height limitations such as raised sills, or plantation shutters.

The Pull Down:
This design usually features the unique “high arch” faucet spout. The spray head features a stream or spray function, and normally pulls down out of the spout. The high spout gives more work space in the sink for large pots and pans, and makes a bigger design statement than the pull out faucet.

The Commercial Faucet:
With the numerous cooking shows on television, many people are using their kitchen for gourmet cooking and entertainment. Putting together a kitchen that is suited for filming a cooking show is fun and rewarding! Drama and functionality work hand in hand in this design. New products that mimic a commercial kitchen, while still keeping a glamorous appeal are becoming very popular.