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Originally published Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 8:00 PM

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Bar sinks serve up new features

Ed the Plumber: Prep sinks become more stylish and functional for entertaining.

Scripps Howard News Service

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Q: We're installing a kitchen island complete with a cook top, serving area, seating area and, of course, a bar sink. We plan on using the island as our main serving area for dinner guests, and really want to make it special. Do you have any suggestions for a bar sink that can add beauty along with practical features for our new kitchen island?

— Billy, Florida

A: For years, bar sinks were basically small stainless-steel sinks tucked away in a corner of the kitchen, or even installed out of sight in many basement bar areas. However, with the new trend of kitchen entertainment areas complete with high-end kitchen islands, bar sinks have now transformed into showcase plumbing fixtures. And many people are calling these fancy bar sinks "prep sinks" or "entertainment sinks."

Also, because of its versatility, durability and vibrant color options, enameled cast iron is fast becoming the material of choice for many of today's high-end bar sinks. Shapes can be round, square or anything in between, and the sinks can be under-mounted or top-mounted.

Cast-iron bar sinks can also be filled with ice cubes to make a long-lasting "insulating" ice bucket for chilling wine bottles or staging beverages.

So, if you have the budget, a beautiful heavy-duty cast-iron bar sink gets a strong recommendation.

Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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