Zero Radius Sink – Pros, Cons & Advice
If you’re undergoing a kitchen renovation and have started looking at new sinks, you may have come across the term or style called a zero radius sink. But what exactly is a zero radius sink, or any radius on a sink for that matter!?
In this post, I’ll explain what a zero radius sink is, its pros and cons as well as answer some popular questions about the topic.
Let’s get into it!
What is a zero radius sink?
Zero radius sinks are precisely rectangular, with sharp 90-degree angled corners and perfectly straight edges rather than having conventional gentle curves. They are sometimes known as 90-degree corner sinks, or R0 sinks.
They are usually crafted out of stainless steel (although composite models are available) and are also a bit deeper than your old kitchen sink.
Typically, they have an undermount design, which eliminates the old-fashioned rim that sits on your worktop. They blend perfectly in a crisp urban or industrial design home, giving any kitchen a modern look.
The sharp corners and deep bowl enable you to fit those oversized pots and pans into the sink for a good scrub. Their flat bottoms mean you can set your tea mug down without having it tip over as you add more dirty dishes to the pile.
Stainless steel zero radius sinks certainly look beautiful but are sometimes considered a product of style over function.
Historically, sinks have always had rounded sides whether the sink was crafted out of wood, stone, or ceramic. The traditional shape encourages water to flow down into the drain, which makes it easy to dry out the sink between uses. A dry sink prevents the growth of bacteria and mould.
The square corners and near-flat bottom of a zero radius sink make it difficult to completely keep it clean and sanitary, an important consideration in your kitchen. While the flat bottom is convenient for putting items down safely, it also prevents proper drainage. However, the more upscale zero radius sinks usually have fine details such as grooves or a slight slope that fix this design flaw.
Top Tip: Like the look of a zero radius sink but worry about the cleaning? Your best option may be choosing a micro radius sink that includes slightly softened corners that maintain the trending style while allowing you to properly clean your sink.
You won’t pay significantly more for a zero radius sink over any standard stainless steel sink. You can find a wide selection that starts at around £200 and can run up to near £1,000.
Installation is no more complicated than a standard sink. Expect to pay a plumber about £100 for a quick hookup or £250 if they need to make adjustments to your pipes.
- Sharp contemporary design: The crisp, square edges and smart design complete your modern kitchen decor.
- Competitive price with more traditional versions: A zero radius sink fits into the same price range as other sink designs.
- No special installation is required: Your zero radius sink is just as easy to install as your traditional version.
- Difficult to clean and sanitise: The square edges are a poor design choice for whisking away moisture. You may experience black mould and slimy mildew in the corners.
- Flat bottoms do not drain: A perfectly flat sink bottom will rarely have the chance to dry out as water will sit instead of flowing down the waste pipe.
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What does radius mean for kitchen sinks?
When shopping for a new kitchen sink, the radius does not refer to the size of the sink. It refers to the sharpness of the angle in the corners. A zero radius sink (R0) features a 90-degree square corner ( a zero radius corner).
A 25 radius sink (R25) has replaced the square corner with a soft curve that is 25mm shorter than the point of the square corner.
The smaller the radius number in the product description means there is less of a curve, giving it tighter corners. Square zero radius sinks are currently trending as they complement contemporary minimalist designs.
Are zero radius sinks hard to clean?
Traditional sink designs (such as apron sinks) always used a bowl shape, as it encourages water to run down the sides and into a drain. The square corners in a zero radius style sink will always have a few drops of water left behind, which will lead to mould and mildew.
Also, the earlier zero radius sinks included a flat bottom that did not completely drain. Even a tight radius of 10 or 15 will help you to maintain a clean and sanitary sink.
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What is a standard radius sink?
The home you grew up in likely had a standard radius kitchen sink. While its overall shape may be rectangular, the corners and bottom of the sink have soft, sweeping curves which encourage water to completely drain after use.
The standard radius has been used in traditional kitchen designs for hundreds of years because of its near-perfect functionality.
What is a micro radius sink?
The micro radius sink is the natural follow-up to the trendy but (sometimes) flawed zero radius sink design. The micro radius has slightly softened corners that allow you to completely clean the sink while maintaining much of the crisp, square style of a zero radius sink.
Sometimes the micro radius will be described as a finger radius or R10 radius sink. Also, look for micro radius sinks that have a slanted grooved bottom that helps to direct water down the drain.
What is the opposite of a zero radius sink?
If you do not like the sharp square style of a zero radius sink, the standard or rounded edge radius stands as its opposite in kitchen design. The radius does not refer to the depth of the bowl or if it is a drop-in, apron, or undermount sink.
Due to current trends, a zero radius sink is often also an undermount design. Avoid a modern kitchen design by searching for traditional or standard drop-in sinks.
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There you have it! Everything you need to know about zero radius kitchen sinks.
Typically paired with contemporary and modern kitchen designs. A sharp and tight zero radius sink can be a great finishing touch to any designer kitchen.
However, it can be tricky to properly clean the corners of the sink and many models may have a flat bottom (or flatter than standard) preventing water from draining as quickly.
In this end it really comes down to style and what look you like and want for your new kitchen!
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.