Natural granite and marble are most commonly used today as kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops. However, there are many other useful ways to use granite and marble in and around the home. One excellent example that is underutilized is kitchen and bathroom sinks. There are three main types. One type is custom fabricated from granite slabs similar to the process of fabricating countertops or backsplashes. The second type is prefabricated created through a manufacturing process. The third type is solid carved from blocks of granite.
Custom sinks made from granite or marble slabs are unique and beautiful with the large variety of color and texture options. The sky’s the limit when designing them. Some are designed to match the countertop perfectly creating a seamless look. Other custom sinks are designed to coordinate with the countertop using an accent color of stone that brings out the natural colors or veining. Another benefit is the ability to fabricate them in almost any shape or size desired. A popular shape is known as a “trough sink”. These are typically long and slender with a slight slope in the basin towards the drain. Other popular ones are large single-bowl rectangular ones with an exposed front apron, commonly known as a “farmhouse sink”.
An increasingly popular option is prefabricated or manufactured granite sinks. Brand name manufacturers such as Blanco sell sinks that have been manufactured with 80% granite rock. This process combines the best attributes of granite with a manmade binding agent that reduces staining and water penetration. These are easy to maintain and clean and are a perfect alternative to metal or porcelain sinks.
Solid granite sinks are an art form all by themselves. They are carved from a solid block of granite and can be created into almost any form. The wide range of style with carved sinks varies a great deal. Most commonly carved granite is used as vanity or above-mounted sinks and is carved relatively thin to create a bowl shape. Carved sinks used in the kitchen are much larger, heavier, and therefore more expensive. Many kitchen sinks that have been carved from a block are used as farmhouse sinks where the front apron edge can be exposed to display the beautiful quality of the stone. One recent trend is to keep either the front apron or top edges rough, also known as chiseled, to make the sink look as if it came from nature that way. This is a striking look and is certainly a conversation piece!