Do I chose the beautiful or the practical?

musicteacherJuly 8, 2014

Some of you here made me aware of the Kolher Whitehaven sink. I confess that I am longing for it even though it is out of my budget and I already bought a practical stainless steel sink. I really like, among other things, that the drain is set on the side, meaning I could maybe put a trash can under my sink, that it puts the sink closer to me standing at the counter, and last but not least - so pretty!.
The white is beautiful, but I would like to hear from people who really use their sink. Is it hard to keep up? Pot marks an such? I remember as a kid scrubbing our white sink with comet until the bottom of the sink felt like sandpaper. I know there is a warranty, but I'm sure it would not pay for the expense of having it removed and re-installed. I'm hoping you will either convince me that it is so wonderful that it is worth the extra expense, will last for ever, and $900 spread over 10 years is nothing compared to the joy it will bring ......... or tell me that it is a real pain and I will be glad I chose something more practical. What say ye? (thank you)

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you were shopping for a wife or husband.. what would your answer be????

myself.. i dumped the high maintenance.. read that: expensive girlfriends.. long before i got married ... lol

since its apparently budget is an issue... as it would be for me... tell me.. or yourself... what handy things you can buy for your dream kitchen with the 800 dollars saved ... like a pretty nice .. new stove ... etc ....

i have used the depreciation logic many a time ...

in the alternative.. live your dream.. you only live once ....

good luck


ps: let me put it this way.. from a stay at home dad ... for the 8 minutes a day i spend washing dishes to put in the dishwasher.. i could get a heck of a lot of other things i spend more than 8 minutes in front of .... unless you are willing to move the couch into the kitchen.. so you can spend hours gazing at it longingly ...yeah... yeah... i spend time prepping food next to it.. but i am focused on not chopping off my finger tips with the butcher knife.. not fondling the sink ....

pps: thought you might appreciate a whimsical attitude.. and a guy version of the decision process ...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:02PM
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You are too funny Ken, and I appreciate your insight.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:20PM
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And where does it stop? There will always be really pretty and expensive things that you admire if you look for them. The part that struck me is that you already purchased your new sink and you must like it or you would not have bought it. Since you asked, I would recommend you close that door and move on. There are plenty of places you can put $800 in a new kitchen to make your life easier- or if you're lucky enough to just be able to save it, do so and pat yourself on the back and smile. When your kitchen is complete, so many aspects will make you happy that you will never miss what you never had.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:30PM
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I married a guy like Ken - we still do 'pretty things' for the sake of pretty but when it comes down to something like a kitchen sink, I want a workhorse that I never have to baby. Stainless for me. And we use a similar depreciation logic. In fact, my husband is still spending the $$ he saved by tuck pointing the chimney himself....... close to 15 years ago! ;-)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I am more confused that Ken is over here...might be the recent posts over to the right. They have taken me to some strange new lands lately.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:58PM
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Holly- Kay

I have the Whitehaven farm sink in white and I love it! My sink gets used a lot. More than my dishwasher, more than my cooktop. It is extremely easy to clean. I do have the stainless steel grid which keeps my sink from getting scratched and it serves the dual purpose of allowing my hand washed dishes to air dry in the sink without being seen. I don't know your budget but I can tell you that the Whitehaven is even more practical than it is beautiful. It is absolutely the most favorite element in my kitchen and I almost didn't do it. I am so very glad that I did.

FWIW, I have a stainless steel sink in my other home and I hate it, It scratches easily, it is always water spotted, and it never sparkles.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:52PM
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Wise people here. My husband would love you guys! : )

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:56PM
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I'm about a 180 from Ken I guess. When we redid our kitchen, we put in an IKEA domsjo sink, which fortunately wasn't expensive. It's a big, beefy white ceramic sink. We got the two bowl version, because each side is so big, but they have a single as well. After it was in, I remember very distinctly thinking, "Gosh,WHY don't we spend more time thinking about sink purchases?!?" I spend a LOT of time at my sink! This sink is such a pleasure to use, and so easy to keep clean that's it's one of my favorite parts of the kitchen. I'm not trying to talk you into the IKEA sink, just sharing that in fact, I think sink love is pretty important.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:11PM
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I'd stay with the stainless steel sink and spend the money elsewhere. It's a sink, a workplace. Stainless can take a beating and is so easy to maintain.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:16PM
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I love the side drain too!

For $408, i ordered from Lowes a white Blanco 440195, based on the loyal fans of it here. Can be drop in or undermount, and its made in several colors . Says its 80% graniteätURL=%3FNtt%3D440195%2Bblanco&facetInfo=

Maybe that would be a $$ compromise, you can search for reviews of it in the forum.

Mainly consider regret. Ive an additional stainless prep sink Im returning - too small and not happy with the stainless afterall

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:24PM
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I love the dissention here. Other facts: we are keeping our old oak cabinets but painting them white (cathedral arches and all) because they are good quality, sturdy and fit our needs. AND my hubby helped me decide on the countertops. He never wants to be a part of the shopping until he sees me totally unable to decide and frustrated. After looking at Corian, granite and quartz, which he thought were all equally nice, he saw the soapstone and LOVED it - and believe it or not it was our cheapest option. I am at peace now. So:
Victorian faucet, soapstone, white cabinets, stainless sink? I wish this were someone else's kitchen. I would have all the answers then! : )

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:53PM
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I had a white sink for 15 years,....never again. A pain to keep clean. I always was using bleach to get out stains. When we remodeled I got stainless and love stains, no bleach, no babying.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:20PM
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I have an Kohler enameled cast iron sink, the Cape Dory undercount. I love my sink! It's been in for 7 years, and still looks brand new. I had a Franke stainless sink in my last house and it always showed water spots. The cast iron always looks clean. I use Bon Ami to clean it and there isn't a scratch on it. I think cast iron sinks stain when they are scratched, but if you clean it with something that doesn't doesn't scratch, that's not a worry. And I don't baby my sink at all.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:42PM
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We painted our cathedral arch oak cabinets too!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Bestyears: I love it! Your counters look really pretty with the metals in your kitchen too.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:27PM
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That Whitehaven would look beautiful with your soapstone. I have a Kohler white cast iron sink (different model) & I love the cast iron.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:46PM
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That's a lot of money to me for a sink so I'd save it and go with stainless. Have to admit though I never realized scratching a ss sink or watermarks was a biggie until GW. I look at it as functional and somehow that just never bothered me. I like to make sure mine's clean and that's about it.

Beautiful kitchens! Bestyears - what color are your walls?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:35AM
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shee -the walls are Coastal Fog, a Ben Moore color.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 2:23AM
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I love my white Kohler sink! One side is so deep and wide it can hold a dishwasher full.

Stains are easy. Use Soft Scrub with chlorox...the chlorox is very important, and for a quick clean, use a Magic Eraser.

The right kitchen sink makes a kitchen. I'll never go back to stainless.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 6:40AM
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if $900 was really a stretch for me, i would go with the stainless...
i have found that ZUD is the absolute best cleanser for getting things like metal marks off cast iron sinks- someone gave me that tip 15 yrs ago and i still haven't found a better cleanser!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:32AM
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I've had a white single bowl Kohler cast iron sink for 20+ years and still love it. I wash pretty much all my pans and pots in it (never had a sink grid). It still looks great. Every now and scrub the pot marks off and let water and bleach sit in it for a few minutes.

BTW, I think it was pretty cheap at the time (builder upgrade instead of a double bowl SS). I'll never have a SS sink because the water spots bug me.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:49AM
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Only you know what a stretch that $900 is. If you can manage it, I would spend the money. But, I'm the kind of person who won't be ripping out my kitchen in 10 years, either. I will live with my renovations until the space looks really beat up before I spend the time and money to start over.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:30AM
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Holly- Kay

Musicteacher, I think Victorian faucet, soapstone, white painted cabinets, and an enameled sink. It doesn't have to be the Whitehaven though the side drain really does make under sink access easier. An enameled sink, IMO, goes better with the other elements you chose. WTBS, if you decide to stay with your ss sink you will quickly forget about the enameled sink and if your budget truly doesn't allow for it I wouldn't do it.

I always had a double sink and thought that I wanted a double again so I almost passed on the Whitehaven. DD has a single sink and loves it so she encouraged me to go with the Whitehaven because of the function. She was right, a beautiful sink but totally functional.

One concern though is that the enameled sinks are really heavy so you need to make sure that your cabinets will support it. The fact that they are oak makes me think they are very sturdy.

The Whitehaven on this site is less than $800.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whitehaven

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:39AM
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I am not sure why there are only 2 choices here.

IMHO, if you put in the stainless, it will forever be the "sink you didn't love". OTOH it seems as though the cost is a real concern, which would make the Whitehaven less enjoyable if you feel foolish about the cost.

The best solution is a sink that has some of what you love about the Whitehaven but costs far less. Then, the slef dialogue won't be "darn i wish i had the white sink" or "boy I shouldnt have spent that much", but instead "gosh I was so smart to compromise a little on this lovely sink".

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:50AM
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I just replaced my double-basin SS sink with a HUGE single basin SS. What I noticed when I was shopping for the single-basin sink (I bought a cheapo - LOVE it! Room to work!) is that sinks now are all squared off. I was able to find a sink in the size of the opening (33" x 22") with corners at the bottom that were curved rather than 90-degree angles, but it was not easy. The curved corners make cleaning the sink much easier, and that was a requirement of mine. Now that it is in, when I'm cleaning it, I am so glad I got the curved corners.

The other thing is, I would suggest not getting anything deeper than 8 -9 inches. Otherwise, it becomes back-breaking to wash dishes as you have to lean so far in to get stuff. I increased the depth from 7.5 - 9 and love it. IT's perfect.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:56AM
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If I could afford it I would get the Whitehaven. I think the stainless will look a bit more contemporary and the white sink against the counters would be beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:09AM
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I love the Whitehaven, but I just couldn't swing it. It was "easier" in the sense that I wasn't sure the white would work with my pale grey quartz and was contemplating one of the specialized colors -- which are well north of $1k. I have no regrets - there are so many places to splurge in the kitchen, especially as you get closer to done. I was spending so much money on hardware and tile etc etc that it was a relief to pick a sink that didn't fill me with panic over the price. My single bowl stainless Krauss is just awesome and cost me 1/3 of the Whitehaven in sea salt.

BTW if I had soapstone counters and really wanted to splurge, I might be tempted to get a farmhouse sink in soapstone! Or, if I wanted to be frugal, I'd probably opt for a Silgranit sink in anthracite to blend in with the counters. Either of those seem like great alternatives to consider if you're stuck between the Whitehaven and stainless.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:45PM
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its so funny to hear the varying opinions. Perhaps the quality has gotten better? I don't know what it is but my Whitehaven is a thousand times easier to maintain than any stainless sink I have had.

I also have the grates on the bottom, but I still abuse the sink and do not have any markings on it. It's such a breeze to clean and for me was well worth the $$$

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Unfortunately I'm all about beauty over practical, but in reality, will choose practical if there's a LOT of money involved. When I built 6 years ago, I longed for a hammered coper range hood! Did I get it? NO! I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on one item when I knew there were so many other things I could have for the price of one. It's tough!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:21PM
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I also have a Cape Dory undermount sink, white and as has been noted--it's absolutely no problem to keep clean. I think technology has evolved a LONG way from back in the day.

My advice is to go with the beautiful option, as long as it is as functional as the cheaper alternative. After all, a kitchen is one area of your home that you are actively using literally every single day, more than once, over a long long long time span.

Assuming you can afford it, I can't imagine why you would even question the wisdom of creating a space that's as pleasing, as useful and as well designed as you can possibly make it! I absolutely would not put in a cheap sink if there is something nicer that you love and can afford. Actually, delete the 'would not' and change that to 'did not' :).

Good luck with your decision,

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 4:15PM
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I just ordered the Whitehaven sink...a total splurge! But going with rather "economical" figured I saved the money on the cabinets to go purchase the sink. I ordered the black and tan color. Love the fact that it gives the look I want without reconfiguring a cabinet because it can fit in a regular sink base. Would love to hear if you went for it and bought the Whitehaven...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 12:27PM
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I'll spend just about anything on something if I love it :-)

I'm in the minority, I guess, as I absolutely hate ceramic or porcelain sinks, especially in the kitchen. I love stainless steel sinks! That big fronted farm style sink is a definite era marker for a kitchen, too.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 12:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

do whatever makes you happy.. based on your budget ... and be happy ...

if you got more.. spend more ...

if its part of your personality to have a decor that i might see on TV ... so be it.. live your dream ... i wouldnt show you a pic of my place.. if my life depended on it.. lol ...

but ... in my world.. warped as it is...

dont do it.. because you feel other will think less of you ...

as that beer commercial says.. sorta... spend wisely my friend ...


    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

My fireclay single bowl sink WAS my splurge. It was about $400 in 2009. Love it. Will never go back to double bowl. Clean it with baking soda. I have gotten a smaller grid, half the size of the sink, because I really didn't want a grid but the "drainage" with the grid was useful. I did start out with the full size grid. Just changed it this year. Bought a cheap one on amazon. I can fit every pan I own in it, even the electric roaster pan.

I live in hard water Iowa. Stainless just doesn't ever look nice here.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 8:21PM
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I've had a white Kohler single bowl sink for 22+ years. No grid, and I wash my pots and pans by hand. It still looks great. Every now and then I put some bleach in it. Done! A ss sink would drive me nuts with those water spots. Go figure.

Now, I'm assuming that our Kohler sink was pretty cheap as it was a builder upgrade at the time.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Go with the Kohler. I regret every day that I didn't go with a farmhouse sink! It is worth it and will bring you pleasure everytime you use it.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 4:14PM
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i had a white kohler double bowl sink (one large, other smaller where the garbage disposal was)

i really loved it at first, but within just a few years, the sink started to stain, i was always soaking with a light bleach solution to remove stains.. (coffee was the main culprit, i believe)

..additionally the glaze began to wear off such that the bottom of the sink became dull...

never again

it truly is funny the differing opinions based upon experience here....after my remodel, i installed a SS sink and love it....i don't worry about water spots at all...i just take my cotton dish towel and wipe the sink dry (really just the sides) when i clean, and have never had any issues with 'spots'

edit to new SS sink is a 'farmhouse' type single bowl sink and it is feeling is form(materials) should follow function when it comes to sink, fortunately, you can find beautiful AND functional sinks today....but my experience with cast iron just doesn't allow me to go that route sink will never be a design 'focal point' because it is more important to me to have a functional and lasting product....but yes, i still want it to look nice! SS can be beautiful as well as functional

This post was edited by desert_solitaire on Thu, Oct 23, 14 at 18:52

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 6:27PM
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I had a white cast-iron Kohler double bowl for 20+ years with no grids, and was not especially careful. I used cleanser on it every week or so - no stains, no chips, no problems. (Well, the Kohler tag fell off the week before we were ripping it out.) It went through two new countertops with no problems. We are remodeling our kitchen now, and I'm replacing it with a white cast-iron Kohler single bowl sink. I wouldn't have a double sink again. I don't expect any problems. I'm with kswl though- I'll spend $ on anything that I really want, so not a good judge.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Are the new Kohlers as good as the old ones? I'm worried if I ever replace my old Kohler sink that I may be in for a rude awakening. (Sounds like Maryanne and I had a similar sink. I'm not careful with mine, and it has no scratches, chips,or stains. Other than bleach every now and then, I scrub the pot marks with a scrubby and some 409.)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 10:45PM
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I think you should go for it.

When I first read your post, I $900 is a lot for a sink. But then I remembered my sink cost that much. I have a 42" stainless kohler sink. I spend so much damn time at that sink and I dont even cook. I will say that the hard water stains on ss bother me. Like you, I had bought a different sink originally. I had a blanco I bought off ebay and then I saw my kohler, I think on gw. I still have the other sink, which I will use for the laundry when I'm ready.

I would go ahead and get it (or buy a cheaper similar one), but if you buy the kohler , get the $800 one posted above.

-you spend a lot of time at the sink so it's good to have something that makes you happy
-it will change the look of the kitchen
-it will look good with your counters


    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 11:06PM
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Funny to see this post resurrected. I actually did not go with the Whitehaven - just decided we had spent enough. I really regretted it at first, but no longer even think about it. I love my kitchen, and my big stainless steel sink, while not a thing of beauty and def. not the focal point, well it is just there and it works I do love having the grid in the bottom, and the fact that it is not divided. I don't have a problem with water spots. I finally taught my hubby how to be careful and not scratch the soapstone so it's all good. Funny how some decisions loom so large, then later I wonder why I worried so much..

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 12:16AM
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" Funny how some decisions loom so large, then later I wonder why I worried so much.."

I need to have that tattooed backwards on my forehead so I can read it every time I look in the mirror.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 9:14AM
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I was one of the few (the only one?) who sided with going with the SS sink, so I think you made a faaaabulous decision! Lol.

When it comes to husbands, shoes, cars and sinks, choose the practical over the beautiful! My motto.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 9:27AM
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I dislike my SS sink. So if you really have your heart set on something else, then go with your gut. It's not something you're likely to change in any hurry.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 1:39PM
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