Getting in the Groove
Ever since granite worktops started to become a must-have item in the modern kitchen, drainer grooves with an undermounted sink have been part of the package. In our early days, very, very few customers installed worktops without the classic undermount, and very few undermounts were without grooves.
There has been a bit of a change since. A larger number of granite worktop customers are installing topmounted sinks. And of those who install undermounted sinks, slightly fewer are asking for drainer grooves.
Why is this? What are the pros and cons of drainer grooves? Do they drain? Do they get messed up with limescale? Would I do better to avoid them?
We believe in giving straightfoward and honest answers to your granite worktop questions. So let’s get in the groove…
A set of parallel drainage grooves running into a ceramic undermount sink,
Paisley Gold Granite worktops, Betchworth, Surrey
Drainer Grooves look right
Drainage grooves demarcate the drainer area in the kitchen, and as such, they kind of look right, next to your sink. They are pleasing to the eye. Deep down, that is probably the main reason why a majority of granite worktop customers still buy them.
Draining grooves in Arctic Cream Granite
Splayed draining grooves on Black Galaxy Granite worktops
But do drainer grooves work?
Drainer grooves do not drain particularly well. The water doesn’t know it is supposed to go cascading down them, and surface tension really stops them from flowing. We found in the early days that even putting as much slope on them as we could didn’t really help. You will need a squeegee or something.
Sloping grooves I saw on a Black Galaxy top in a holiday home. Not an AG installation, but a chance to test the drainage on sloping grooves. The slope doesn’t help.
Drainer grooves may not drain well – but they do let a cup ‘breathe’ and dry inside. Which certainly stops one of your best pieces of bone china from hovercrafting off the edge of the worktop!
Does a recessed drainer help?
A recessed drainer can be helpful for containing the water, but once again, surface tension and lack of slope will still leave you needing to use a sponge, cloth or squeegee to actually get the water into the sink. Pretty though!
Deeply recessed drainer without draining grooves in marble-look quartz
Franke Hubus sink with simple recessed drainer and drainage grooves
Do drainer grooves get furred up with limescale?
If you live in a really hard water area, limescale can be an issue. Standard limescale cleaning products tend to use acids to attack the Calcium Carbonate which is the basis mineral in limescale, and they should not be used on stone worktops. However, we have some good news. All of our materials are so hard that it is possible to use physical means to remove limescale. You can simply polish the grooves out again using the hard plastic side of a kitchen sponge, possibly using a lightly abrasive cleaner like Cif, although Silestine do not recommend this on their quartz. On granite worktops you can use a light grade wire wool.
Draining grooves in Silestone Negro Stellar quartz worktops, Smallfield, Surrey
What's the verdict on drainer grooves?
We try to be open about the strengths and weaknesses of drainer grooves – and still find that a majority of our customers want them! It’s that aesthetic thing. But if sheer water-handling is very important for you – and if you do most of your washing up at the sink, then it might be worth thinking about an interesting top-mounted sink that gives you the benefits of built-in sloping drainer. In a small kitchen the “tray” of the sink will cover a lot of your worktop, but in a large kitchen, a topmount can be a feature, rather than a spoiler.
A contemporary topmounted sink on Salt and Pepper granite in a Kingswood, Surrey kitchen Case study here
We are Affordable Granite, the leading installer of granite and quartz worktops in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. We aim to meet all your white worktops needs – and other colours are available! For questions, queries and quotes connected with any aspect of worktop installation or kitchen design, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01293 863992 or by email on email@example.com/ .
All images © Andrew King Photography except the Franke Hubus image – not a clue where it is from, please tell me if it’s yours!