Slightly OT - Kitchen Sinks / 'Fragranite'

Sorry if this is slightly OT, but it's sort of d-i-y! We're having a kitchen extension built at the moment and trying to research kitchen appliances etc.. Not having had a new kitchen in 20 years I know nothing about it, other than from the brochures we have collected. Our kitchen designer is steering us to Neff and AEG appliances and I think we are done on this - I know they're not the cheapest brands but they seem to have a good reputation.
However, I'd greatly appreciate your advice / experiences with sinks. As we will be having black granite worktops we are considering having a composite granite type sink - Franke call it 'Fragranite', probably in as close to black as they make. An example would be http://www.franke.co.uk/photo.asp?imageb .
I'm interested (well, I'm being directed by Mrs. B) in people's experiences of this type of material versus stainless steel. Is black very hard to keep clean and does it keep getting drying marks etc.? Are there any other considerations, apart from personal taste and number of bowls etc. in choosing sinks? Durability and ease of maintenance (keeping clean / new looking) are important considerations.
Thanks!
Pete
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Hmm... - not big enough... go for one of these...
http://tinyurl.com/293l53
http://tinyurl.com/2fofor
Roy
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On Sat, 9 Feb 2008 17:10:13 -0000, Peter Boulton wrote:

We have a fraganite sink in out kitchen, now 6/7 months old. Too soon I guess to comment about durability, but we've had no problems at all. Just needs a wipe with a damp cloth. The half bowl has the waste disposal, and if any part was going to stain, I guess that would be it. We don't have the silk sheen finish, and I couldn't be arsed to look for the picture, but ours has a drain hole at the back edge of the draining board, connects into the waste system.
Ours is light silver grey, set in a grey marlbe worktop. Black though? Water rings everywhere, especially if you have hard water! :-(
--
the dot wanderer at tesco dot net


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Thanks for the helpful info. Looks like Fragranite is out then, as my style guru (aka Mrs. B) won't go for black granite worktops combined with anything other than black sink, or her 'safe' preference, which is stainless steel. Shame!
Pete
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On 2008-02-10 09:32:48 +0000, "Peter Boulton"

We have black granite worktops and in the kitchen, underhung stainless steel sinks. Franke were used for these and also for a butler sink for the utility room. All have been very good and have remained durable and of good appearance with a little care. We had drainage grooves machined into an area of the worktop next to each sink. This looks a lot better than having a stainless steel draining area. It also has the advantage of being less obtrusive, easy to clean and doubling up as additional work area.
I did look at a number of different sink manufacturers and this is certainly not an area to compromise on quality.
Another related area to look at is the taps. I have an aversion to chrome taps and brassware. Apart from difficulty in maintaining in pristine condition, they always look cheap and nasty to me, even if they are not cheap. For this application I chose some in a pewter finish, also from Franke. This works well with a stainless steel sink and the worktop. There are similar finishes available from other quality manufacturers such as Grohe and Hansgrohe such as satinox (stainless steel appearance). Either way, don't be tempted to compromise on the quality of the taps. They are a focal point.
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: uk.d-i-y Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 11:00 AM Subject: Re: Slightly OT - Kitchen Sinks / 'Fragranite'

Andy, do you live in a hard or soft water area? My style guru is adamant that, as we live in a hard water area, drainage grooves machined into the granite will leave residues without continuous wiping down and drying. Apparently her hairdresser had grooves and said "never again".
I can see what you're saying about the benefits though! Although taste is a funny thing, and mine is probably hugely funny, any kind of stainless steel just looks naff to me, so the less of it we have, the better!
Pete
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On 2008-02-10 17:14:21 +0000, "Peter Boulton"

Yes and no.
I live in a hard water area but I have a softener. However, the cold taps in the kitchen are on hard water, while the utility room has soft for hot and cold.

I haven't had this problem. However, if I think about it, it is rare for cold water to find its way onto the kitchen worktop. On the rare occasion that things are washed and drained in the kitchen, the sink is filled from the hot tap. With the run from the hot water cylinder, there is generally enough cold first, followed by hot to achieve the required quantity in the sink without using the (hard) cold tap. The cold is used for filling the kettle and washing vegetables. Then the drainage area is used for vegetable preparation. It will then be wiped down anyway.
Generally, wiping the grooves a couple of times a week is adequate, I find.

Yes I do understand. I certainly wouldn't have wanted acres of stainless steel draining board. Having the sink underhung makes a big difference because the surround is granite.
On that subject, I don't know which granite type you had in mind. I chose one with fairly subtle metallic silver flecks. This has the effect of distracting the eye if there is the odd small dried water drip mark. A plain black will show every mark, mercilessly.
Also, do realise that there is quite a natural variation with granite - i.e. the sample that you see in the shop may be fairly different to what is being supplied. Often the samples have been around for a bit and what is quarried later may have a different colour and pattern. Therefore, it's wise to try to go to the firm making the actual worktops for you and take a look at the actual piece or one from the same recent supply. Ask them if they have a polished piece, or if they don't, to wet it. If you've selected the tiles, take those along as well.
For reasons of the colour and fleck variation, I would be reluctant to mix an artificial material of almost the same colour like Fragranite. A close match is a horrendous thing and you would be better off with a contrast. If you really hate even a small amount of stainless steel, how about a contrast such as ceramic, again underhung?
Alternatively, it is possible to have a granite sink made from the solid. A few months ago, I was using some granite slabs in my cloakroom project and went to a firm near Basingstoke called Stone Circle for them. Unlike most kitchen or even tile places, they are manufacturing stonemasons and do architectural work as well. NC machines are used and they can make pretty much what is wanted.
http://www.stone-circle.com/solidsinks.html
I hadn't realised what was possible in terms of sinks made from the solid, but there were some kitchen sink examples.
I was looking at custom sized and manufactured shower trays as well, and these were in the 1500 range, so I suspect that a sink wouldn't be any less. They did look very good, though.
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 09:32:48 -0000, Peter Boulton wrote:

Think long and hard before making a final choice. You - she - may come to regret black, and it's an expensive mistake in granite.
When I was researching my new kitchen I went to half a dozen kitchen studios. They will obviously sell you what you, the customer tells them you want. I pushed each of them quite hard on colours once the subject of work tops came up. The consensus was black could be a troublesome colour, and one went so far as to say he'd recommend against it. Most also recommended against smooth finish surfaces, in favour of some sort of micro textured surface. Once you get a scratch there ain't a lot you can do about it.
We have a large kitchen, about 10m x 3m. The room is on the north east side of the house, and with a conservatory outside, tends to be dark except first thing in the morning. The old one was really 70s dark brown cabinets. Our criteria were very simple, a very light wood finish, smooth unit fronts - no ledges to catch dirt and dust, and an overall lightness.
I realise the household authority has her ideas about what she wants, and has probably seen glossy images in brochures and magazines, but they're carefully staged, and don't show what the kitchen will look like after two or three years......
--
the dot wanderer at tesco dot net


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We replaced our stainless steel sink with a Graphite Franke Mythos 651 12 months ago.
No problems, no water marks, but does look unsightly around the rim if you don't wipe away water splashes immediately. The s/s sink it replaced was 2 years old and the scratches visually screamed at you.
http://tinyurl.com/2sbkht
You can buy at online box shifters for half the prices shown on the Franke website
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Peter Boulton wrote: <snip>

<snip>
Issues I think of when choosing a sink include:
Noise (amazing how loud cheap stainless steel can be). Cleanability. Sharpness of edges - I like them not to be too sharp so things are less likely to break when knocked against them. Drainability - have seen quite a few where the slope on the draining section is inadequate so water pools rather than flows. Similarly the bottom of the sink. (On our current sink, the base is very flat so things dumped into it tend to hang around rather than flow away.)
A friend has a very dark brown sink. The most horrible colour I can think of. Second to black.
What I have always wanted is a separate basin for hand washing. It is crazy to have to use the main sink to wash hands.
--
Rod

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says...

I often wonder why people seem to like black worktops. They look ghastly. Still - everyone has gout, as the French say.
--
Skipweasel.
Never knowingly understood.
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Skipweasel wrote:

The ambience of the area in which you defrost your microwave meals is very important
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