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New for Spring: Stainless Steel Cookware Sets!

Stainless Steel Bar & Prep Sinks
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Stainless steel bar sinks are perfect for any home who loves to entertain. Whether adding one to a wet bar indoors or creating an outdoor eating space, a bar and prep sink will allow you to prepare and serve drinks or appetizers without leaving the company of your guests. Our sinks come as both topmount and undermount bar sinks. With the topmount variety, you have the option of purchasing a sink with a built in drainboard. This space works well for raw food prep, as well as to leave rinsed glasses and dishes to dry. An undermount sink makes cleanup a breeze, allowing crumbs to be wiped directly into the basin. We offer stainless steel prep sinks in brushed stainless steel as well as some copper or brass models. No matter which metal tone you choose, a new bar sink will brighten your home and provide a convenient, cool way to entertain family and friends outside the kitchen.

Over the past decade, a growing interest in increasing utility without sacrificing aesthetic beauty in the interior and furniture design industries has led to new concepts for home and commercial kitchens and bars. Many of the latest bar tops and kitchen countertop designs feature space to accommodate small single bowl sinks, referred to as bar or prep skinks. These fixtures make it convenient to wash utensils on the fly or to fill up a measuring cup or shaker with fresh water for your favorite food or drink recipe.

Among the wide variety of fixtures available on the market today, stainless steel bar and prep sinks enjoy great popularity. Manufacturers have responded to the demand for these fixtures by providing many options in sinks to suit every decor, taste and purpose. Since this can make selecting that perfect fixture difficult, we have developed our Buyers' Guide to Stainless Steel Bar and Prep Sinks. Its format is designed as the perfect start to researching your options before browsing sink models as well as for quick reference on your computer or handheld electronic device while you shop.

Why Choose Stainless Steel?
As a material for sinks, the metal offers a number of benefits. Among these are its:

  • Hygienic surface that does not promote the growth of mold or bacteria and is considered the safest for food that is accidentally dropped into the sink bowl or set inside of it for rinsing
  • Easy-to-clean finish that makes cleanup after preparing food and drinks simple
  • Attractive appearance that enhances the look of the kitchen or bar area
  • Durability and resistance to scratching from kitchen and bar utensils and tools

Types of Mounts
One of the major ways of classifying stainless sinks is by the way in which they are mounted or attached to your kitchen countertop or bar top. Each type of mount has its own distinctive style , benefits and drawbacks.

  • As their name suggests, drop-in sinks are placed into the existing surface of your counter or bar. Also called topmount sinks, these fixtures cover the area of the cabinetry that borders the sink, giving you a clean, finished appearance. If your kitchen or bar is older, a drop-in sink may be preferable as it can hide imperfections in the counter area that become exposed when you remove your old sink. Topmount stainless steel sinks are also usable with any type of countertop material. Some people find drop-in sinks less attractive than other types of mounts. The type is also more difficult to clean than some other models because it has a lip or rim atop the counter that often collects fingerprints.
  • Undermount sinks are the opposite of drop-in mounts. The undermount sink is lifted through the base of your bar or cabinet into the space designated for the sink. Many find this under-the-counter installation more attractive and modern looking than traditional topmount designs. With undermount stainless steel sinks, there are no rims or lips to rest on the countertop, making it simple to sweep crumbs and debris inside of the bowl when tidying the kitchen or bar; however, the lack of a rim makes any imperfection in the countertop completely visible. Also, the design of an undermount style requires that the countertop be one solid piece, making it suitable only for granite and similar materials. If you have a laminate bar top or kitchen countertop, you will be unable to select an undermount.
  • Designed to resemble earthenware or pottery, vessel sinks feature a bowl that simply sits atop your bar or kitchen counter. Steel vessel sinks are eye-catching and unique, making them especially appealing for use on elaborate, decorative bars that serve as the focal points of their spaces. Vessel sinks are often more expensive than topmount and undermount styles and may be impractical for areas where you do not frequently host guests. The style also requires regular dusting and cleaning as its entire surface is visible above the countertop.

Special Styles
For certain purposes and preferences, manufacturers make a handful of specialty bar and prep sinks. Two of the most common of these special styles are:

  • Corner sinks are created for those who have a small amount of counter space and need to make the most out of every square inch. Corner prep sinks are placed at the point where two sections of your countertop intersect, an area that is wasted space in many kitchen designs. The sink is oriented diagonally to make it easy for you to stand at the corner of the counter.
  • Drainboard sinks have increased utility by featuring a slightly sloped metal surface beside the sink area. After you've finished rinsing your kitchen or bar utensils, you simply place the items on the drainboard and continue preparing your meal or serving as bartender. As water runs off the drying items, it drips down into the sink bowl, saving you the trouble of thoroughly drying all of your equipment.

Shape
Another feature that separates designs for sinks is the shape of the entire sink unit. The primary shapes for kitchen and bar sinks and some tips for measuring them include:

  • Square prep sinks feature perfect symmetry, making them visually appealing in highly visible areas. To measure a square sink for a replacement, simply extend a measuring tape from any one corner to an adjacent corner. The resulting size will be both the length and width of the fixture.
  • Rectangular bar sinks typically offer a wider mouth than square sinks, giving you more room for rinsing and scrubbing. The length of a rectangular sink is measured from one front corner to the opposite front corner, while the width is obtained from one front corner to the back corner on the same side.
  • Circular prep sinks have a similar aesthetic appeal to square sinks thanks to their perfect symmetry and balanced form. Measuring a circular sink simply involves extending a measuring tape from any point on the sink to the point directly across from it. The measurement obtained is the sink's diameter.
  • Oval bar sinks offer more room for cleaning than circular sinks, while still having a somewhat round appearance. Begin measuring an oval sink by finding the widest point on the left side of the sink. Measuring from that spot across will give you the length. The width is then obtained by measuring from the midway point of the front edge of the sink to the opposite midway point on the back edge.

Finishes
The finish of stainless steel refers to the way in which it reflects light. Natural steel sinks typically have one of four primary finishes:

  • Number 4 steel is the standard finish for most sinks and has a brushed appearance that prohibits the reflection of light. It is the easiest natural steel finish to keep looking clean
  • Number 6 steel has a satin finish that reflects light to a small degree in some areas, but does not have any type of uniform reflectivity across its surface. The increased shine makes the finish slightly more difficult to keep looking spotless than Number 4.
  • Number 7 steel goes through additional buffing after being produced, giving it a shine that is near to a mirrored finish. Although more difficult to clean than other types, Number 7 steel is more easier to maintain than a sink that truly reflects light equally all over.
  • Number 8 steel undergoes the most buffing after production and has a true mirror finish. The finish is the most difficult to keep maintained, but looks the most gleaming in a kitchen or on a bar.

    If you like the appeal of metal sinks but prefer a warmer look than the cool, sleek finish of steel, you may opt for one of the copper or bronze sinks that are available from StainlessSteelStore.com.

    Bowl Depth
    Styles are not typically designed for washing a full set of dishes or even large pieces of equipment. As such, most bar and prep sinks have shallower bowls than traditional kitchen sinks. The average depth for bar and prep steel fixtures is 5 inches to 7.5 inches, though some vessel sink models may have deeper bowls.

    If you are purchasing a stainless steel sink to replace an existing fixture, you can ascertain the depth of your current sink by placing a ruler or yardstick in the sink bowl. Position the end so that it is as near to the drain as possible without actually resting in it. Then, lay a tape measure across the top of your sink and find the point where the tape and the ruler intersect. This is the exact depth of your sink bowl.

    Keep in mind that the deeper your sink bowl, the more water it can hold for soaking loads of utensils; however, it is easier to quickly retrieve utensils from shallower bowls. Thinking carefully about how you intend to use your prep or bar sink and your work style in the bar or kitchen area will help you to determine what bowl depth is best for you.

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