Kohler Stages Sink: review after 6 weeks of use
There have been some threads here regarding the Kohler Stages sink -- I saw it while planning my kitchen and knew that it was the sink I wanted -- and in a way, planned part of my kitchen around it. I've been using it now for about 6 weeks, and thought I would post my experience thus far with it. I chose the 45 inch version, and installed the Grohe K4 in the middle of the basin part of the sink.
The sink comes with a wood cutting board, a large plastic tray/cutting board, a smaller tray/cutting board, 6 porcelain prep bowls, and an accessory rack that hooks on the shallow end of the sink. The accessory rack is meant to hold the plastic cutting boards/trays and the prep bowls. It will not hold the wood cutting board. I chose not to install the rack, but instead put a drawer beneath the shallow end of the sink to hold knives (it's the "anything that cuts" drawer); and a pull-out garbage below that drawer. I store the cutting boards upright below the sink, in a small divider that I got from BB&B.
In order to get the drawer under the shallow end of the shelf, the left side of the drawer had to be shaved down a bit, and a notch put in the back of the drawer to allow for the hook that was meant to hold the accessory shelf.
As I said above, the wood cutting board is large and heavy. If you get this sink -- whether or not you choose to use the accessory tray, you need to plan on where to store this. Under the sink is working fine for me. But, be aware, it weighs 12.5 pounds! It is a lovely board, though, and I put the beeswax/mineral oil on it that I use on my soapstone.
The Grohe K4 is perfect for the sink. The hose reaches to the far corner of the shallow end, and the water goes right into the drain. It does splash, but that has something to do with the insinkerator cover, not the sink or the faucet. I love the K4!
As others have mentioned, the deep sink is marvelous. I am short, and worried about having to bend over and reach in, but that hasn't been a problem. The sink is deep enough to hide dirty dishes in when the DW isn't available.
I also like the size of the deep basin, along with the shallower "prep" end. I hand wash pots and pans in a dishpan, put them on the in-sink rack, rinse, and then put them up on the shallow end of the sink until the kids FINALLY come to dry them.
I also like the shallow end to help separate the "clean dirty" and contaminated dirty items. For example, if I cut up meat, I put the knife in the deep end of the sink. If I have something that I've used, but may want to use it again, but it isn't contaminated, I'll put it on the shallow side of the sink. Kind of like what you do when you have 2 basins.
I don't have 2 sinks, so this sink is my prep and clean up sink. It is large enough so that I can be prepping at one end, and my kids/husband washing at the other. The cutting boards fitting neatly into the sink and extending the counter is really handy. I am short, so what I really like is that a cutting board is no higher than the counter. I'm not so crazy about the porcelain prep bowls that come with the sink -- I wish they were plastic and not as heavy, and a bit shorter. In the video they show fitting the prep bowls into the large tray --what I do is use the wood cutting board and slide it partially over the sink. I put the prep bowls on the shallow prep end of the sink, and then scoop the items into the bowls. Like this, except in this example I'm making salad and just put the salad bowls on the sink:
I also just cut and slide cut items directly into the pan I'm using -- here I'm making a roasted tomato soup and just shoved the onions into the roast pan
In the background of the above picture you can see a white prep dish with cherry tomatoes. Those prep dishes are a perfect size to put on the shelf while I'm prepping and sliding the items.
The sink itself has zero radius corners on the ends of the sink, but the bottom front and back are rounded, more like a traditional sink. It's been easy to clean, I just spray the sink and the rack down at night with a cleaner, and then take the rack out, wipe down the sink, and then put the rack in, wipe it down and rinse it all. The corners don't gather any junk.
So, is the sink worth the hype? I like the design, I am using it like the designers intended -- I've just personalized it a bit. I reach for my prep bowls and salad bowls before their prep bowls. I think the accessory tray isn't worth the space it requires -- the drawer and garbage space was better use to me. But, I am very happy with the sink, and would definately get it again.
Hope this is helpful to anyone thinking of getting the Stages.