Kitchen sink advice/insight?

NeitzOctober 18, 2012

I'm new to Gardenweb and have broken ground on a huge remodeling project - taking our tiny home from 800 sq ft to 1800 sq ft and including new kitchen and master bathroom.

I'm currently looking for the perfect large, white, single-bowl, undermount kitchen sink. I never paid attention to sinks, always put up with whatever I inherited, and now I see that they are one of the most important decisions in the kitchen remodel. I have to install mine in the island because of the floor plan - no choice.

Stainless and silgranite do not fit the feel of my "white" cottage kitchen. I prefer an off-set drain, but I think I would not mind the center drain with a large sink. I really like the Kohler "Riverby" but had to rule that one out because it requires a 36" minimum cabinet base, per Kohler website. The prices of these are all around $600. I have narrowed it down to three options and listed the interior bowl sizes:

1) Rohl "Allia" -- 28.5x17.5x10 (off-set drain)

Fireclay sink

Requires 33" minimum cabinet base per Rohl customer service rep

2) Kohler "Bakersfield" -- 27x15x8.5 (center drain)

Cast iron w/enamel

Requires 33" minimum cabinet base per Kohler website

3) Kohler "Cape Dory" -- 29x15x8.5 (center drain)

Cast iron w/enamel

Requires 33" minimum cabinet base per Kohler website

There were some threads about the fireclay sink that concerned me (crazing or cracking), so I contacted Rohl and was very pleased by their quick response and their assurances about the product. Seems it was a very minor percentage of their product with defects and they resolved the problems for the customers (it was also the Shaws sink and not the Allia). I was also told that if a cast-iron sink chips, it is bound to rust, but if a fireclay sink chips, there is a repair kit. Fireclay is also almost impossible to stain.

Since it looks like fireclay and cast iron are both very good products, I would like to know if people with any of these 3 sinks can post pics of the sinks in their kitchens and/or speak about how satisfied (or not) they are with their selection? Specifically, are the Kohler sinks wide enough at 15" deep to not splash and deep enough to hold lots of dishes? Are the center drains in the Kohler in the way? Is the Allia sink too deep or fragile? Any help or advice would be appreciated, especially if there are any GWbers who have owned both brands/materials. Thank you!

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