With such colors as Piccadilly yellow, Greenwich green, Palermo blue and Annapolis navy, Kohler has teamed up with Jonathan Adler, lead judge on Bravo's Top Design, for a line of bathroom and kitchen sinks in "colors that pop." Available for six models, the sinks are made of enameled cast iron. Unfortunately, that material did not hold up as well as others in Consumer Reports' recent sink tests.
Brightly colored enamel can perk up a room, and as Adler says, "it's the surprise factor that makes color work." But it's what's underneath the enamel that's crucial. In our tests of sink materials—not brands—enameled steel withstood scratches, heat, sharp impacts and most stains, but enameled cast iron wasn't as good at resisting stains, and chipped when small objects were dropped on it as might happen in a bathroom. It did fare better than enameled steel under heavier dropped objects resembling a kitchen pot. Chipped enamel can cause the metal underneath to rust over time.
Stainless steel was the clear winner in our tests for both kitchen and bathroom sinks. It fended off stains from common cleaning products and drain cleaner, and also resisted heat, dents and dings. Solid surfacing is also a good choice, although it did not resist heat as well in our tests.
Wisconsin-based Kohler first introduced different colors for sinks in the 1920s and some of its enameled cast iron models are now available in 20 colors. Designers we spoke to for our recent bathroom remodeling guide said a splash of color can do a lot to brighten this utilitarian room.
In addition to his Bravo gig, Adler has 20 retail stores across the country and once designed a real life Malibu Dream House to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday.
—Mary H.J. Farrell