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Category Archive for: ‘Kitchen Sinks’

How To Care For Your Stainless Steel Sink

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Although stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosion, it still needs regular cleaning to keep it in great condition! Here are a few tips on how to care for your stainless steel sink and keep it looking brand new.

First of all, do NOT use rubber coated mats to “protect” the bottom of the sink, as discoloration of the sink may occur after prolonged use. Similarly, any wet sponges or cleaning materials left on the sink for long periods of time could stain the sink surface. Instead, if you must have a protective barrier, purchase a metal grid that can be cleaned and removed from your sink regularly.

Always dry your sink after use. Dissolved minerals and salts in your water leave deposits on your sink when the water evaporates. You will have water-spots on your sink just like your car has after rain. If you have spots that have been on your sink for a long time, use a little vinegar to wipe them clean. Then try to get in the habit of wiping your sink down when you are done using it.

When using chemicals for cleaning, avoid bleach or products containing bleach. It can corrode stainless steel sinks. Also avoid Muriatic acid (used to clean grout) or plumbing PVC solvents. If any of these chemicals get on your stainless steel sink, rinse it thoroughly, then dry.

If there are any stains that you cannot remove with water and vinegar, Bar Keepers Friend is a great cleaner to have on hand. Be sure to clean in the same direction as the grain lines of the finish so the sink doesn’t appear to have scratches. Rinse well and dry for a happy sink!

If you are in need of an upgraded sink – whether it is stainless or another material – come to Handy Man and our helpful staff will point out things that make a sink great!

Bathroom Hacks for Germaphobes

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Germaphobes unite! The bathroom tends to be a breeding place for germs – but it doesn’t have to be. We have compiled a handful of helpful bathroom hacks to keep you and your bathroom clean and bacteria-free.

 

First, let’s focus on the dirtiest place – the toilet. In recent years there have been a ton of advances in technology, and the toilet was not left out. These changes have made toilets cleaner.  Consider purchasing a one-piece skirted toilet which has a smooth base instead of the visible curvy trapway seen on traditional toilets. They are much easier to clean and do not gather as much grime. If you prefer a two-piece toilet, make sure the toilet you buy has a sanitary bar which prevents liquids from accumulating under the tank. Take the toilet one step further and get a wall-mounted toilet. Cleaning the floor is a breeze since you don’t need to worry about cleaning around and behind the porcelain throne. If the flusher grosses you out, install a touchless flush. These easy-to-install mechanisms are fairly universal and work on most toilets. Once installed, all you need to do is wave your hand over a spot above the tank to flush. Bidets (personal cleansing systems) are slowly making their way to the United States – and for a good reason. They are incredibly hygienic and although full systems can cost up to $1,000, simple washlet seats can be found for under $100.

 

 

The most visible grime can be found on the vanity and sink. Like the toilet, consider installing a wall-mounted vanity. The floor is much easier to clean when there aren’t corners to sweep around. You can also purchase a wall-mounted faucet as well. The perfect combination is a wall-mounted vanity, wall-mounted faucet, and a single-piece Onyx vanity top. Instead of a countertop with a separate sink, it is one seamless piece. This makes cleaning a breeze. When the faucet is mounted, you can simply wipe down the whole countertop and sink in one smooth move. If you don’t like the look of a wall-mounted faucet, another germ-free option is to install a Delta Touch faucet. You can simply tap the faucet with your forearm to turn on the water and not have to touch the handles.

 

 

The most difficult-to-clean object in the bathroom is the shower. Grout lines between tiles are quick to collect mold and mildew. Remove them completely with a grout-free Onyx shower. The single piece base and walls are easy to wipe down without scrubbing. If you still are using a shower curtain, consider replacing it with glass doors. Curtains collect mildew and shower scum while doors are easy to wipe down after each shower. Even better, design a doorless shower. These are cleverly located showers with the showerhead facing away from the entrance so you don’t even need a door.

 

 

Imagine the time you will save with an easy-to-clean bathroom! Consider making a few of these changes to your home. At Handy Man, we’ll walk you through it!

 

Farm Sinks: More Than Just Style

If you are updating your kitchen and looking for a statement piece, consider adding an farmhouse sink (also known as an apron sink). In the last few years, farm sinks have become popular in kitchen remodels. Not only are they extremely functional, but they also serve as a focus piece. Coming in multiple colors, there’s an option for every kitchen.

 

In the 1800s and 1900s, farmhouse sinks were found in many rural homes where women spent their days cooking and cleaning for their large families. These sinks were incredibly fitting for their needs. The design of the deep basin made it easy to wash large pots and pans and perform other duties on the farm. In the mid-1900s people moved to the smaller and divided kitchen sinks. Now, the apron front sink is making a come-back in modern kitchens.
Ergonomically, the farmhouse sink is superior to traditional drop-in sinks. By bringing your body closer to the basin, you don’t have to bend over as much to reach the dishes. This design prevents aching backs and is noticeably more comfortable for all who use it.

 

One of the greatest benefits to an apron front sink is the ease of washing large pans. Most people have a dishwasher in their kitchen, so they do not have many dishes to do on a daily basis. The single large basin works well for them because the only things they hand-wash are large pots and pans. These pans fit extremely well in the large sink and will be clean in no time!

 

Along with the benefits of easy cleaning, back relief and style, the apron sink will last you a lifetime! Consider the elements of a timeless design in your kitchen remodel and pick up the perfect piece for your home at Handy Man!

Blanco Kitchen Set Giveaway!

Congratulations to Ron and Marcella on winning our Blanco Kitchen set! They met with Handy Man President, Joe Swenson, and took home a matching sink and faucet worth over $900! Congratulations again and thanks for entering our giveaway!

 

6 Reasons To Love Your Laundry Sink

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As you are finishing the floors and adding cabinetry to give your laundry room a makeover, you may be wondering if you should install a laundry sink. Gone are the days of the flimsy plastic tub with wobbly legs – now you can have a clean, bright laundry sink to put the finishing touch on your laundry room. Here are our top 6 reasons we love our laundry sinks.

Mud. Some people choose to put a utility sink in the mudroom, so when someone walks in the house with muddy boots or flip flops covered in sand, they can be rinsed right as they walk in the door. Houseplants also need a place to be showered with a good watering and have the dust brushed off the leaves. The laundry sink is the perfect place to wash and drain the mess away.

Pet Bathing. Pets do messy things, and when they need a bath, do you want to bring that mess into your bathroom tub? The large basin of a laundry sink makes it the perfect place to get your pets cleaned up before they track a mess around the house.

Holidays. The extra large was basin provides a place to wash large pots and pans during the holidays. Even if your kitchen sink is large enough to wash your large roasting pan, share the workload with someone and get the chores done in half the time! Enjoy the time spent with family instead of spending your holiday doing the dishes.

Cleaning. Dumping your messy mop water anywhere but the laundry sink turns into a huge mess. The large basin of a laundry sink helps contain any splashes, and you don’t need to worry about contaminating the bathtub, the toilet, the kitchen sink, or anywhere else.

Paints and Dyes. Designating a place to wash paint brushes, dye hair, and do other messy crafts can spare you a lot of frustration in the future. Avoid the paint splattering around the kitchen by using your laundry sink instead! Laundry sinks are made for messy projects like these. Look for a sink where the front panel has a scrubbing section on the inside which helps ring out the last bit of paint in your brushes.

Laundry. Laundry sinks are incredibly useful when it comes to taking care of delicate clothes or pre-soaking tough stains. Instead of hauling dirty laundry around the house, from the hamper in the bedroom – to the kitchen sink – to the laundry room, you can simply treat everything right next to the washing machine and toss it in.

For those with space concerns, custom lids can be made for when it’s not in use, or simply place a small piece of particle board over the basin and use the extra space for folding laundry. If you don’t have a laundry sink, consider installing one – they could change your life!

Independent Living Options at Handy Man

 

As you grow older, you may notice that your bathroom does not grow with you. Simple tasks such as showering can become daunting. At Handy Man, we have the tools you need to update your bathroom to a functional space again. These changes can make a genuine difference.

Start by installing grab bars throughout the bathroom for added stability. Each year 3,500 people suffer from a fall in the bathroom. Grab bars are an inexpensive way to prevent falls. Place grab bars throughout the bathroom – vertically near the shower or tub; horizontally on shower walls, near the toilet, and even consider replacing your towel bar with a grab bar.

 

Consider installing a taller toilet seat. Your current toilet is probably between 14 and 16 inches tall. ADA compliance sets standards for toilet seats to be raised between 17 and 19 inches. These “comfort height” seats make it much easier and safer to transition between sitting and standing.

An Onyx shower can be totally customizable to your needs. Low clearance shower bases are only a fraction of an inch tall, which means you can walk in, or roll a wheelchair in with ease. Installing a bench in the shower means you can sit while showering, decreasing the chances of slipping and falling, while handheld shower sprayers allow you to control the water.

Walk-in tubs offer a great alternative for those who prefer baths to showers. Their sealed doors ensure that water does not leak, and they can come with quick-fill and quick-drain capabilities to get you in and out quickly.

Walk-In Tub

Walk-In Tub

No matter what your needs are, we have the tools to help you find exactly what fits your lifestyle. Our showroom has a variety of ADA compliant tubs, showers, and toilets on display so you can visualize them in your home. We look forward to bringing you the freedom to live in your home for years to come!

Kitchen Sinks 101: Everything You Need to Know

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We recently sat down with Siouxland Woman Magazine and answered a few of the commonly asked questions about kitchen sinks. Read below for answers to these questions and more!

I had never thought much about kitchen sinks before. I never had a reason to. Things change when you begin a kitchen remodel, however. I had a lot to learn about sinks and thankfully Handy Man had the right information for me.

So Handy Man, are there some things to consider when buying a kitchen sink or are they pretty much the same?

There are some very important things to consider when replacing your kitchen sink. Believe it or not, there is a sink for every person depending on your lifestyle.

Ok, so what should I consider when looking for the perfect sink for my kitchen?

One of the first things you should do when looking for a sink is to check the bottom of the sink. Is there a flat surface area on the sink bottom? Sinks with more flat space can be more expensive, but they are a better product because of design. You’ll be able to place more dishes in the sink on a flat surface without them tipping over, making it much safer for your glassware.

I hadn’t thought of that and of course that makes sense. What about drain location?

Drain location should be near the back of the sink. When the drain is located near the back, the disposal and trap are also towards the back providing you with more space under your sink for storage and for your garbage receptacle.

What about noise? Is this something I should consider?

Yes. Less expensive sinks have less sound proofing. When you run your disposal it will be very loud. Pay attention to the thickness of the steel. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Heavier steel won’t dent as easily and will be much quieter.

What about undermount vs. drop in sinks?

It’s much easier to sweep crumbs into your sink from your countertop with an undermount sink and they give you more depth.

I really like the look of stainless steel. Is there a difference? Of course. Better quality steel sinks are given hand polished highlights at the factory using a buffing wheel, so you’ll want to look for a sink with a nice shine. It will be more visually appealing and it will be easier to clean.

Are there other materials I should consider?

Yes, there are other sink materials. Some sinks are made of a stone-like material often called ‘quartz’ and are very durable. They’re made to be the most sanitary, hard to scratch and come in several color options.

I’m trying to decide between one bowl or two. What do you suggest?

One bowl sinks are becoming more popular but two bowls are standard. It depends on which you prefer and the types of things you are washing. Along with that you consider the divides. A lower divide works best for soaking frying pans, but you can still fill the entire sink up with water if needed.

Is there a standard size for sinks?

Standard kitchen sinks are 33×22. Most of the sinks in your home could be replaced by another standard size that will fill the same space while providing a new look.

What is trending currently in kitchen sinks?

Apron front farm sinks are becoming more and more popular. You don’t have to lean over and reach as much, putting less stress on your back and they are beautiful!

The most important thing is to make sure you decide what works for you and your family. What works well for one person may not work for another. And, by all means, make sure to look at the sinks in person, stand in front of them, and reach your hands inside as if you were doing dishes. That is the best way to make sure it will work for you.

10 Things to Know About Your Kitchen Sink

what to know about your kitchen sink

Have you ever looked closely at your kitchen sink and wondered if it was the right sink for you? Is it too deep? Is it not deep enough? Does it function the way you’d like? Believe it, or not, there is no perfect kitchen sink, but there is a sink for every person depending on your lifestyle.

Here are some things to consider before making an upgrade.

  1. Check the flat surface area on the bottom of the sink. Sinks with more flat space can be more expensive, but they are a much better product because of the design. You’ll be able to set more dishes on a level surface without them tipping over, such as glassware.
  2. Drain location. The drain should be near the back of the sink. When it’s near the back, the disposal and trap are also positioned back in the cabinet below, leaving you much more room under the sink for a garbage receptacle or storage space.
  3. Is your sink noisy? Less expensive sinks have less soundproofing. When you run your garbage disposal, it will be very loud. Note the thickness of the steel. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Heavier steel won’t dent as easily and will be much quieter.
  4. Under mount vs. drop-in sinks. Under-mount sinks are easier to sweep crumbs from your countertop into the sink and will give you more depth.
  5. Stainless steel sink finishes. Better quality steel sinks are given hand polished highlights at the factory using a buffing wheel. Look for a sink with a nice shine. It will have more eye appeal and it’s easier to clean.
  6. Sink material. Some sinks are made of a stone-like material often called ‘quartz’ and are very durable. They’re made to be the most sanitary, hard to scratch and come in several color options.
  7. One bowl vs. two bowls. One bowl sinks are becoming more popular, however, two bowls are standard. It depends on which you prefer and the types of things you’re washing.
  8. Low divide vs. high divide. A lower divide works best for soaking frying pans, but you can still fill the entire sink up with water if you need to.
  9. Sink size. 33×22 inch sinks are the standard size. Most of the sinks in your home could be replaced by another standard size that will fill the same space but will give you a new look.
  10. Apron front farm sinks. These sinks are becoming more and more popular. You don’t have to lean over and reach as much, putting much less stress on your back.

No matter what you decide for your kitchen sink, make sure it’s a sink that works for you and your family. What works well for one person might not work for another. Be sure to look at sinks in person if possible, stand in front of them, reach your hands inside as if you were doing the dishes and see how it feels. At Handy Man, we display our kitchen sinks at floor level so you can experience a variety of kitchen sinks and find the perfect one for you!

 

Updated December 2018

10 Things to Know About Your Kitchen Sink

Black Kitchen Sink

Have you ever looked closely at your kitchen sink and wondered if it was the right sink for you? Is it too deep? Is it not deep enough? Does it function the way you’d like? Believe it, or not, there is no perfect kitchen sink, but there is a sink for every person depending on your lifestyle.

Here are some things to consider before making an upgrade.

  1. Check the flat surface area on the bottom of the sink. Sinks with more flat space can be more expensive, but they are a much better product because of the design. You’ll be able to set more dishes on a level surface without them tipping over, such as glass ware.
  2. Drain location. The drain should be near the back of the sink. When it’s near the back, the disposal and trap are also positioned back in the cabinet below, leaving you much more room under the sink for a garbage receptacle or storage space.
  3. Is your sink noisy? Less expensive sinks have less sound proofing. When you run your garbage disposal, it will be very loud. Note the thickness of the steel. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Heavier steel won’t dent as easily and will be much quieter.
  4. Under mount vs. drop in sinks. Under mount sinks are easier to sweep crumbs from your countertop into the sink and will give you more depth.
  5. Stainless steel sink finishes. Better quality steel sinks are given hand polished highlights at the factory using a buffing wheel. Look for a sink with a nice shine. It will have more eye appeal and it’s easier to clean.
  6. Sink material. Some sinks are made of a stone-like material often called ‘quartz’ and are very durable. They’re made to be the most sanitary, hard to scratch and come in several color options.
  7. One bowl vs. two bowls. One bowl sinks are becoming more popular, however, two bowls are standard. It depends on which you prefer and the types of things you’re washing.
  8. Low divide vs. high divide. A lower divide works best for soaking frying pans, but you can still fill the entire sink up with water if you need to.
  9. Sink size. 33×22 inch sinks are the standard size. Most of the sinks in your home could be replaced by another standard size that will fill the same space, but will give you a new look.
  10. Apron front farm sinks. These sinks are becoming more and more popular. You don’t have to lean over and reach as much, putting much less stress on your back.

No matter what you decide for your kitchen sink, make sure it’s a sink that works for you and your family. What works well for one person might not work for another. Be sure to look at sinks in person if possible, stand in front of them, reach your hands inside as if you were doing the dishes and see how it feels.

Handy Man is the Kitchen and Bath Expert for Sioux Falls’s Hood Magazine. Check out our article in the “Home” section of every issue of Hood Magazine.

How to shop for your kitchen sink.

Showroom Apron Front Sinks

If you’re installing new cabinets, countertops, and everything that goes along with a kitchen remodel, don’t make your kitchen sink an afterthought. A kitchen sink can be the focal point of this room—the bowtie, really. It can have both functional and style qualities that will make your time rinsing food, washing dishes, or doing any number of tasks that much more enjoyable.

If you’re shopping for a new kitchen sink, we have some considerations you should keep top-of-mind during your search.

Mounting

The majority of kitchen sinks are drop-in, meaning you put them into the countertop opening with an exposed rim that goes around it. However, a recent trend is to install an undermount sink. This type of sink is typically seen with solid surface or granite countertops as the counter edge is exposed with the sink sitting just beneath the surface—making for easy clean-up. Simply wipe crumbs straight into the sink. If your countertop won’t allow you to install an undermount sink, some manufacturers are also making drop-in sinks with a lower rim.

Kohler Drop In Sink

Drop In

Undermount Sink

Undermount

Material

Depending on how much you use the kitchen sink and your decor theme, you’ll want to consider a range of materials.

Stainless Steel Sink

Stainless steel is widely used and can range from inexpensive to moderately expensive. The thicker the steel, the better the quality (and noise reduction!). You don’t want to turn on your garbage disposal and have the entire house shake.

Composite Sink

Composite sinks by brands like Franke, Swanstone, or Blanco provide many choices as far as shape, color, and pattern. Composite sinks are made out of a blend of materials such as resin, acrylic, and natural stone, but are extremely durable, easy to clean, and scratch resistant. They also hide water spots well.

Enameled Iron Sink

Enameled iron is a great option for homeowners looking for an old farmhouse sink style. These types of sinks can last a lifetime and are heavy-duty. This glossy finish is non-porous and easy to wipe down. Just don’t use abrasive cleaners.

Fireclay sink

Fireclay sinks, like the Shaws Original by Rohl (pictured above) also have the same smooth-as-glass finish. This is another durable option for a contemporary or country style home. Like enameled iron sinks, it’s non-porous and cleans with ease. You can keep it looking its best by adding a protective sink grid (like the one in this photo) to prevent scratches from abrasive surfaces, such as cast iron pots and pans.

Stone Sink

Stone (yes, solid rock) is also an option for your kitchen sink. Stone sinks are typically carved out of a single piece of rock, giving your kitchen a unique look. Because it is stone, it’s very heavy—weighing around 300 pounds. Because of this, you’ll need to build extra support to hold it in place. The “sculpture like” qualities of this sink will make it the centerpiece of your kitchen.

Shape/Design

Apron-front sinks, also called farmhouse sinks, slide right into your counter leaving an exposed front panel. The sink apron is mounted flush to the cabinet allowing you to stand close to the sink. This makes it much easier on your back when you work at the sink for an extended period of time.

Kohler manufactures apron-front sinks with a unique feature added—a lip on the front sides of the apron that will cover the gap between the cabinet and the sink. This can come in handy as the cut made into the cabinet doesn’t have to be as perfect.

Apron-front sink with lip

Apron-front sink with lip

Traditional apron-front sink

Traditional apron-front sink

Flat bottom sinks, opposed to sinks with curved bottoms, can hold more dishes with ease. Also, dishes, such as wine glasses, can rest flat on the bottom of the sink, allowing more room to stack without fear of glasses tipping over and breaking.

Drain placement is also something to consider. New kitchen sinks will oftentimes put the drain near the back of the bowl. If your sink is piled with dishes, this will allow you to access the drain more easily as well as give you more usable space in the cabinet below for a waste basket.

Depth is all about personal preference. If you don’t want to lean over the sink too far, a shallower kitchen sink may be your best option. If you plan on putting a lot of stuff in your sink, opt for a deeper one. (You can always stop in one of our showrooms to test this out. Our floor models are displayed as if they were in a home.)

Think about the number of bowls you’ll need. Some kitchen sinks have a low divider that sits below the top level of the sink so bulky items can remain in the sink, yet you can keep clean and dirty dishes separate. You can opt for a sink with a single bowl or a double bowl where each bowl is separate.

Handy Man Kitchen Faucet 4

You can also opt for unique bowl sizes and shapes to fit large items.

Finally, you need to know the placement and number of faucet holes you need before installation. You can have one or many, making one for the faucet, soap dispenser, filtered water, or sprayer. (At Handy Man, we can drill as many faucet holes as you wish—free of charge—if you purchase a kitchen sink from us). Also, because you’re reading this, we wanted to let you know we’ll be having a sale on faucets this July. More information to come!

Have questions about kitchen sinks?

At Handy Man, we can help you choose a sink for your unique needs and taste. You have more options than you may think.  Stop by our showroom any time to chat with an expert about kitchen sinks. After all, kitchen and bathroom remodeling is our specialty. It’s like we always say — we’ll walk you through it.

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