Early indoor sinks were designed purely for function, with little regard to aesthetics. Modern sinks, however, are often as visually striking as they are practical, and many come with a few bells and whistles (filtered water dispensers, garbage disposal units, etc.) that make them even more versatile. Whether it resides in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or garage, a sink is a handy little contraption that most homeowners will use multiple times a day. There comes a time in every sink’s life, however, when function becomes compromised enough that homeowners must consider replacement. If you know what to look for in a replacement sink and have a good idea what kind of contractor to contact for the job, the new fixture you choose will enhance the space it’s installed in both practically and aesthetically, too.
Creating an Environmentally (and Economically) Friendly Sink. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Faucets account for more than 15 percent of indoor household water use—more than 1 trillion gallons of water across the United States each year.” That’s not only a lot of water, it’s a lot of utility costs, too! Fortunately for today’s homeowner, using less water is a snap. In the same way that the EPA’s EnergyStar label means that an appliance meets a certain level of energy-efficiency, a faucet that carries an EPA-approved WaterSense label (or a WaterSense accessory that can be installed on an existing faucet) means that the fixture meets a certain level of water efficiency. This means lower utility bills for you and less water needlessly wasted in general.
Choose a Contractor Before You Choose a Sink. Many people pick the sink they want to purchase before they pick the contractor that will install it. Though this can certainly work out well in some cases, there’s good reason to choose your contractor before settling on a particular model of sink. Contractors have experience that the average homeowner doesn’t. Not only will a good contractor leave you with a flawless installation, he or she will also be able to give you advice on the models of sinks that perform well over the long haul. You don’t always have to go with your contractor’s choice, but a person who has seen these fixtures in action (and has likely heard a number of complaints about specific popular models) is always worth listening to. There are certainly plenty of instances of uninitiated homeowners performing this job successfully, but make sure you don’t go into it without all the knowledge you need. Many resources (both online and off) exist to tell you just what to do, and any professional you have a working relationship with will likely be happy to give you advice on how to do the job right. Remember: A professional on a video or in a book can make just about any home improvement project look easy! Make sure you have an excellent understanding of any task you plan on doing yourself, or the results may end up costing you a lot more than hiring a pro in the first place!
Sink Installation as Part of a Larger Remodel. Sometimes a sink that functions very poorly requires immediate replacement; often, however, sink replacement is a part of a larger remodeling project. Bundling this task together with a number of others has many benefits including but not limited to: Lower cost, more versatility, and a more coherent aesthetic. If your sink needs to be replaced immediately, there’s no reason to put it off. However, if there is no urgent need to replace it, waiting until you have the money for a larger remodel may be a good idea.
Installing a Utility Sink. Beware: There’s a lot more to installing a utility sinks than many homeowners first imagine. Along with running pipe and hoses, you’ll need to make sure that your drains properly and is properly vented. In colder climates, you need to take freezing temperatures into account, as frozen pipes can cause a big mess even if they’re located in a garage.