Sinks can be a forgotten aspect of kitchen specification. PHPD speaks with Dave Mayer, Sales and Marketing Director of Reginox, to find out the latest innovations in sink design.
Q: What are the current trends for sinks?
From a design perspective, sinks are continuing to mirror the overall trend for minimalism in the kitchen. Slab-sided sinks with clean modern lines or even acute angles, softened by gentle curves, remain very much in vogue, and complement the trend for linear kitchens featuring curved end units. The emphasis is on striking designs that are easy on the eye, but are still ultimately usable and practical.
Undermount sinks have grown in popularity over the past few years due to the increased availability of solid surfacing at more accessible prices. Under-mounting enables the worksurface to be shown off to its best advantage, offering an enhanced and stylish alternative to the more traditional inset method.
Q: What are the trade-offs between the different materials from which a sink can be manufactured?
Steel remains by far the best seller, probably due to its, longevity, ease of maintenance and ability to look good in any style of kitchen. Due to advancements in manufacturing techniques, there are now some stunning contemporary stainless steel sinks available, often with eye-catching features such as a minimalist radius or square or seamlessly-welded waste.
Granites are now more interesting than ever, with a plethora of creative designs and colours that lend themselves well to the multitude of today’s ‘mainstream’ coloured kitchens. There are some extremely striking contemporary granite designs available, many of which offer high-end benefits such as automatic wastes and antibacterial surfaces, and these additional features can really draw customers in. The sleek appearance of a granite sink lends itself beautifully to the minimalistic kitchen, as the material’s smooth lines can blend almost seamlessly with granite worksurfaces to create a simple but stunning result.
Ceramics are now almost as likely to be found in contemporary settings as they are in ‘farmhouse kitchens’, with modern designs and colours lending themselves well to the developer looking to add ‘something different’. Even at the budget end of the market the choice and quality is better than it has ever been, with creative shapes such as curves or acute angles.
Q: The sink is often fairly low down the list of specification items. Should it be higher up and should specifiers take more risks and be more adventurous?
The emphasis on the kitchen as a major selling feature of a new home cannot be underestimated. It offers an abundance of opportunities to up-spec and present buyers with those small but important ‘wow’ factors that can potentially clinch a sale. Sadly, the sink remains low on the list of priorities for many specifiers and is usually one of the last items to be chosen, which always strikes me as ironic given that it is often found under a window, an area to which the eye is naturally drawn.
So if granite or solid surface worktops have been specified – which is becoming more the norm than ever before – surely the addition of a stunning undermount or flush mounted sink would only enhance the package further? Yet, so often, beautiful work surfaces are cheapened by the specification of a bog standard inset sink which, to my mind, is both a tad boring and an opportunity missed.
There are so many opportunities to up-spec the wet zone. Sink accessories, waste disposal units and boiling hot water taps are fast becoming affordable and already starting to be considered the norm not an extravagance. The developer who is one or two steps ahead could be the developer who takes those extra wavering customers.
Q: Is a boiling hot water tap now an essential for every new-build home?
Boiling hot water taps have most certainly moved into the mainstream market, so they present developers with a ready-made opportunity to enhance their offer to homeowners.
Hot taps offer a number of benefits. They can replace the need for a kettle and also filter out impurities, which is a big attraction. 3 in 1 taps offering boiling, ordinary hot and ordinary cold water will eventually overtake those just offering boiling water, particularly as designs develop and more aesthetically pleasing models become available.