Topmount stainless steel sinks are the ideal pieces for many kitchens and bathrooms. A top mounted or drop-in style can be used with any type of counter top, and its metal lip sits over the edge of the cabinet, so it can be used to hide wear and defects in the edges of older counters. The stainless steel used to craft the sink is easy to keep clean and food-safe, meaning you can place vegetables and fruits in the bowl for rinsing. In addition, the metal is non-porous, allowing it to resist colonization of bacteria and mold, preserving the sanitary conditions in your kitchen or bathroom.
The versatility of topmount sinks and the durability, beauty and other benefits of the metal make stainless steel styles one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures. As a result, manufacturers produce many different styles and models of stainless steel topmount sinks. The large number of choices means you'll be able to find exactly the right fixture for your purposes and tastes; however, having so many sinks to pick from can make shopping difficult.
If you're unsure of where to begin with your shopping for a new sink, this guide is for you. Our Buyers' Guide to Shopping for Stainless Steel Topmount Sinks by Size
will allow you to determine the perfect dimensions for your topmount-style sink. By knowing what size will work the best in your home, you'll be able to eliminate from your consideration all the sinks that will not work well in your space. This greatly simplifies shopping and will allow you to find the right sink for you much faster.Bowl Number
If you're shopping for a new sink for your kitchen, deciding about the number of bowls that will work best for your needs is the best way to begin shopping by size. Many home chefs prefer to have two bowls in their kitchens, as this allows for two stations when washing, rinsing and drying dishes. Having two bowls can also allow you to keep the sink filled with water to clean up utensils, bowls and cookware as you prepare food, while still having a bowl available for handling messes and using the garbage disposal. A small number of styles have three bowls, with a smaller center compartment for rinsing and getting water. Length
of your rectangular or square sink is the measurement of the distance from corner to corner across its front and back. With a round sink, the length is actually the diameter, the distance from any one spot on the sink to the spot opposite it. For oval sinks, the length will be the distance from the widest spot on the fixture on one side to the widest spot on the other.
If you currently have a drop-in sink, you'll want to measure the length with a tape measure and shop for a sink in that exact size, unless you plan to modify your counters. For new constructions or remodeling projects where you have some flexibility in determining what size sink will be used in your kitchen or bathroom, you'll have four size categories to consider.
- Under 25 inches long This size category is the smallest available for sinks and is typically reserved for bathrooms and bar tops.
- 25 to 30 inches long This size of sink includes small one bowl kitchen sinks and larger rectangular sinks that can be used in some bathrooms.
- 30 to 37 inches long In this size category, you'll find double bowl kitchen sinks and large single bowl sinks.
- Over 37 inches long The biggest drop-in sinks will fall into this size category. Sinks that are more than 37 inches in length are rare and usually feature three bowls.
of a rectangular sink is the distance from each of its front corners to each of its back corners along the sides. In square and round sinks, the width will be equivalent to the length. For an oval sink, the width is the distance from the center of the front of the fixture to the center of the back of the fixture.
As with the length, you'll need to measure the size of your current sink if you're shopping for a replacement model. If you have the option of choosing the size for your new drop-in sink, you'll have three width categories from which to choose.
- Under 16 inches in width This is the smallest width for sinks and usually featured only in bathrooms and for bars with sink fixtures.
- 16 to 20 inches in width This size category includes sinks for bathrooms, small one-bowl sinks for kitchenss and a small number of small two-bowl styles.
- 20.5 to 22 inches in width Most kitchen sinks will fall into this width category, including one and two bowl styles.
The final major size determination for your stainless steel sink sink is the depth
of its bowl. The bowl depth tells you how high the space is from the bottom of the sink to the top and greatly affects how much water the bowl can hold. Unlike length and width, the bowl depth can often be adjusted even if you're replacing your current sink with a new model. If you're not satisfied with how much water your current sink can hold, getting one with a greater bowl depth will allow you to increase the capacity without having to adjust your cabinets to allow for a bigger sink.
To find out the bowl depth of your current fixture, it's often easier to use a ruler or yardstick along with your tape measure. Place the end of the ruler in the bottom of the sink, just beside the drain but not in it. Place your tape measure (or any flat object) across the top of your sink and position it so that it touches the ruler or yardstick. The measurement at the point where the ruler and the tape measure touch will be the depth of the bowl.
There are five main categories for bowl depth measurements.
Other Bowl Dimensions
- Under 6 inches in depth This depth category is very shallow and most common in bar sinks and sinks reserved for hand-washing
- 6 to 7 inches in depth Fixtures of this depth will include smaller kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks.
- 7 to 8.5 inches in depth This category features the deepest bathroom sinks and many kitchen sink styles.
- 8.5 to 9.5 inches This size category is typically used only in kitchens and includes a wide number of styles.
- Over 9.5 inches in depth The largest sinks will be found in this category. Sinks of this depth are relatively uncommon.
In addition to the depth, there are two other dimensions that contribute to the overall size of the bowl and how much water a sink can hold. The first is the taper. You can think of the taper of the bowl as its slope, as the dimension refers to the grade of the side of the sink as it travels from the top to the bottom of the bowl. A sink with a higher taper has sides that drop off quickly, while one with a lower taper has gently sloping sides. The faster the sides of a sink straighten and reach the bottom, the more water it will hold. Because of this, the greater the taper, the greater the capacity of the sink in pieces where the other bowl dimensions are identical.
The final bowl dimension is its radius. To understand the radius, you'll need to think about how the sides of a sink come together at the bottoms. Even in rectangular and square shaped sinks, the rounded bottom of the bowl usually results in corners that are not completely squared off. The curved portion where the pieces meet is lost space that cannot hold water.
The radius of the bowl is the measurement of how much lost space there is at the corners, or how much distance there is before the sides straighten out and are no longer curved. The larger the radius, the more lost space there is at the corners and the less water the bowl of the sink can hold. A special style of sink, known as the zero radius, eliminates lost space with designs that have perfectly squared off corners. Bowl Shapes
The shape of the bowl in your sink will also determine its size in terms of how much water the piece can hold when you compare sinks with equal length, width and bowl measurements. A rectangular or square sink will usually hold the most water due to their angled corners, while round sinks generally hold the least amount of water. As a cross between the lengthened shape of a rectangle and the curved look of a circle, an oval sink falls in the middle.Other Considerations
After you have determined the perfect size for your sink, you'll be ready to think about the other major differences between models. These include the finish (the reflectivity of the sink's surface), the gauge (the thickness of the steel used to make the piece) and the type (the combination of alloys used to make the metal). You’ll also want to consider the drain placement and whether or not your kitchen or commercial space would benefit from a drainboard, a slanted area used for air-drying items.