When my husband Bart and I got married, I was buying a few items for our ceremony and reception at a craft store. Near the checkout, I spotted a magnet that said, “Get kisses from the Mrs. when you do the dishes”. Handwashing dishes has been the bane of my existence since I was a kid—because it was the chore I could never seem to shirk in my parents’ house (and I have an issue with pruney fingers), which formed a deep-seated and long-lasting hatred—so that magnet came home with me and has graced the side of our stainless-steel refrigerator ever since.
Fortunately, other than a special handwash-only dish here and there, I largely have avoided handwashing sinks full of dishes my entire adult life—until Nov. 19, 2020, the day our existing kitchen was demolished. I was left handwashing dishes in a basin in our bathtub for five whole months and two days. (Yes, I was counting.) At first, Bart was willing to take his turn at the bathtub but, as the months drug on, he became less interested in getting “kisses from the Mrs.”, shall we say. Washing dishes by hand literally became the WORST part of our kitchen remodel.
I could not wait to have my dishwasher reinstalled and, after feeling my age while kneeling at a bathtub, I was convinced I needed a sink that would be more ergonomic. Even if I’m not washing dishes by hand, I’m typically prepping food at the sink and washing my hands multiple times while cooking meals. I decided my new sink was going to be exceptional—not only beautiful (of course) but I needed it to act as my assistant in the kitchen.
In this business, I’m fortunate to see the latest building materials and products sometimes even before they’re widely available to the public, so when a press release for the new BLANCO IKON 33-inch Farmhouse Sink with Low Divide crossed my inbox, I filed it for retrofit’s readers and for myself.
First, I love the look of this apron-front sink, maybe because farmhouse sinks are a hot trend but also because this sink actually would become part of my kitchen design and not simply fade into the background. I also love the idea of the BLANCO IKON sink’s low divide, just 5 1/2 inches from the bottom of the sink so I don’t accidentally knock heavy pots full of water into the divide, which I’ve been known to do.
I completed my due diligence before deciding the BLANCO IKON was the sink for me. I contacted several remodelers I know across the country whom I had met through NAHB Remodelers Council and NARI meetings when I edited a residential remodeling magazine. I received a number of glowing reviews about BLANCO’s products’ durability; one remodeler said he has a BLANCO sink in his workshop and it has held up well to those tough conditions, so I decided to move forward with a BLANCO of my very own.
Once I received my sink, my cabinetmaker took it back to his workshop and built my island around it, so I wasn’t able to admire it again until it was installed with my island in February 2021. Before I could use the sink, I had to continue patiently waiting on countertops, which were scheduled for installation March 19, and then plumbing had to be hooked up.
As of today, my BLANCO sink has been my kitchen assistant for four weeks. I love everything about this sink. It’s made of Silgranit, which is a granite composite material, composed of 80 percent natural granite, so not only will it withstand heat up to 536 degrees, but it also is scratch-resistant and easy to keep clean because it is non-porous. I was a little concerned about a white sink, especially because Silgranit is more of a matte surface; I wanted to be sure it would hold up against spaghetti sauce and Easter egg dye (one of its first tests) but I’ve had no trouble rinsing the Silgranit clean. I’ve simply been wiping it down with a damp cloth or rinsing it to keep it clean. During this time of COVID and trying to keep everyone healthy in my home, I am grateful for the sink’s patented Hygienic+Plus surface, which helps keep grime at bay and reduces bacteria growth by up to 98 percent. Now that is cool!
I ordered a few accessories for my BLANCO IKON, including the floating sink grid in stainless steel and 3-in-1 basket strainer. The floating grid fits in the sink to create another level. I’ve mostly been using it to wash fruits and veggies before cutting them up for my daughter or for a meal. I have also placed heavy pots on it within the sink and used it as a trivet on the counter. The 3-in-1 basket strainer keeps food items from running down the drain, as well as keeps water in the sink when I handwash dishes. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry: Our dishwasher is back in action so I’m only handwashing the occasional non-dishwasher-safe dish again. But, dare I say, handwashing dishes at a sink as pretty and comfortable as this BLANCO IKON would be a much better experience.