Sink Options For Your New Countertop

New countertops are a quick and affordable update for your kitchen.  You will almost certainly purchase a new sink at the same time.  The sink is something you will use every day, and there are quite a few choices you have when it comes to materials.  Cost, functionality and aesthetics should all weigh in when you select your sink material. For instance, you can get a well-priced stainless steel sink, but be aware of how easily it can scratch and show water marks. White fireclay or cast iron sinks are beautiful, but may require some elbow grease to stay bright and white. Integral quartz sinks are becoming increasingly popular, but they can be expensive and aren't necessarily bulletproof.  Not sure what's right for your kitchen? Read on to learn more about these popular material options for today's kitchen sinks.

--Stainless Steel
By far the most popular material for kitchen sinks, stainless steel sinks are heat and stain resistant and are available in a variety of types, styles and sizes. Experts recommend going for a brushed or satin finish rather than a mirror finish - water marks and scratches will be less noticeable. Also, look for sinks that have sound-absorbing pads on the bottom.  Prices for stainless steel sinks run the gamut, but you can get a decent quality stainless steel sink for not a lot of money, making it a favorite pick for those on a tight budget. Cost: $100 to $800 is typical, but prices can go higher depending on gauge, size and mounting type.

--Composite Granite
Composite granite sinks are a good option for any kitchen. They are good-looking, durable and don't show water marks or scratches the way stainless steel sinks do. They come in a variety of neutral hues, but the darker grays, browns and black camouflage food filth the best.  Although these sinks are durable, they can crack if mishandled.  Always inspect your composite sink thoroughly before installation to make sure it suffered no trauma during transit.  Cost: $300 to $600

Manufactured from clay fired at an extremely high temperature, fireclay sinks are highly resistant to scratches, staining and chipping. Cleanup is easy - just dish soap on a sponge, or use a mild abrasive cleanser for tougher marks. These are a good option for anyone wanting a white sink.  Cost: $400 to $1,000

--Cast iron
Clad in a tough enamel finish, this is another highly durable sink that is recommended for white sink fans. It comes in other colors, too, but it is suggested to avoid faddish colors for items that you want to keep around for a long time, such as your kitchen sink. Keep in mind that cast iron sinks are heavy, so make sure your cabinets are structurally sound and you provide adequate support for the sink. Cost: $300 to $900

--Natural Stone
If you are putting in natural stone countertops, you may want a sink to match. Some stones are susceptible to stains, though, so get a sample of the stone you are considering and test it out to make sure you are happy with how it stands up to staining. Cost: Varies depending on the stone but typically starts around $1,000

If you're going with a quartz countertop, you have the option of installing a matching quartz sink. One thing to keep in mind with quartz, however, is that the darker, more solid-colored quartzes tend to show scratches and dings much more than lighter colors that have more aggregate or patterning to them. Cost: $800 to $1,200

--Solid Surface
Like natural stone and quartz, solid surface sinks can be integrated into the countertop for a smooth, streamlined appearance that's super easy to clean. Again, it's best to get a sample of the material you are considering and put it to the test to make sure you are OK with its durability, as some solid surfacing shows scratches. Cost: Solid surface countertops start at around $50 a square foot; there is typically an additional fabrication and installation charge for an integral sink.

In the market for something different? Copper sinks are big on charm and also happen to be rust-resistant and antimicrobial, making them a great choice for the kitchen. Just be sure to select a high-quality copper sink that is at least 99 percent pure copper - a small amount of zinc may be added for strength. Avoid harsh chemicals with these beauties and instead clean up with a mild soap and water, according to the manufacturer's recommendations.Cost: $500 to $1,200 but can go up depending on gauge and any hand-crafted detailing.

What Is An Undermount Sink?
Undermount sinks are defined by the way the sink is installed in relation to the kitchen countertop. Rather than being dropped into a pre-cut hole in the countertop, undermount sinks are installed under the counter. Because of the way they are installed, there is no rim between the countertop and sink.The edge lip of the sink is mounted below a solid surface countertop, so the sink effectively hangs underneath the counter, as opposed to sitting on top of it; creating a continuous flow from countertop into sink.  Undermount sinks are best suited for solid surface countertop materials like granite, marble, or concrete. Undermount sinks are NOT well suited for laminate or tile counters, which have too many weak points along seams and grout lines to support the weight of the sink.

What's New At Enhance
Just in time for "getting ready for the holidays" shopping, we have received a few new product collections.  Dixie Home is a new carpet line that we are proud to represent.  Dixie Home offers an array of high fashion, trend setting residential broadloom carpets, which include traditional velvets, contemporary patterns and a wide range of interesting textures, all in exciting, fashion forward colors.  Dixie Home carpets use premium materials throughout the manufacturing process, featuring an extensive array of Pet Protect products.  Bring beauty, warmth and style into your home with Dixie Home carpets.

Shaw's Life Happens carpets have also just arrived.  What's different about these beautiful carpets?  This new collection from Shaw is made to perform through life's messy moments. Life Happens carpet is treated with R2X Stain & Soil Resistance that keeps spills from setting in, and the fully waterproof LifeGuard backing keeps spills from seeping down to the floor below, so cleanup is easy and your floors stay beautiful.  This carpet is tough enough to stand up to anything you can give it, but beautiful enough to show off. See the range of colors and textures in our new Life Happens collection.

Two new Palmetto Road laminate collections are also proving to be very popular.  The Chesapeake Collection combines the beautiful realism of hickory hardwood with the rustic hand scraped texture of artisan floors. The collection so closely mirrors the look and feel of Hickory hardwood that it is hard to tell the difference! Available in four distinct colors with 12mm, 5" wide planks, Chesapeake provides warmth, character and charm to any room.

The Charlestowne line mimics the hand sculpted, elegant characteristics of vintage hardwood floors.  The random 3 ½", 5" and 6 ½" width planks offers the same unique visual and natural pattern found in real wood floors.   Available in four color choices, Charlestowne offers elegance and high end style without the high end price.

It's Been A Year
Can you believe it has been a year since we moved into our beautiful new Design Center?  September 27, 2014, was the first day we were open in the Roswell Road showroom.  It has been a great year!  Thank you for following our progress and coming to see us in our new location.