Popular Kitchen Sink Materials
There are a couple of different kitchen sink materials which can complement your overall kitchen design, but it is important to also choose the correct one that would perform best in the conditions it will be used, in terms of durability, staining and maintenance So in this post we will be covering different sink materials and basic information regarding strengths, weaknesses, possible colour options and finishes to help you make an informed decision.
Stainless Steel Sinks
Stainless steel sinks make up for almost 70% of the worlds sinks installed and manufactured which gives testament to its durability and functionality.
Iron, Chromium and Nickel are combined to create the alloy known as stainless steel, each one of the metals used to make this alloy lends its own individual anti-corrosion properties to make it exactly what its name implies “stainless” however remember it is not “stain proof”.
Why should I consider stainless steel sinks?
- No Additional surface treatment is required due to the chromium present in stainless steel forming an impenetrable, hard and invisible protective layer of chromium oxide particles.
- Very low maintenance required.
- Corrasion resistant, with hygienic and anticeptic properties.
- 100% recyclable for the environmentally conscious.
- Easy to clean surface.
What should I look for in a quality stainless steel sink?
- The Gauge (thickness) of stainless steel used, It will range between 8-30 the lower the number the thicker it is, a quality stainless steel sink will be between 16-20 gauge.
- The percentage of each individual metal that makes up stainless steel, a good percentage (high quality) would be 18% chromium and 10% nickel by mass.
Ceramic Kitchen Sinks
Ceramic sinks are made by combining different clays, fillers as well as fluxes that are fused together during a firing process. During the firing process that takes place at a temperature of 1200 Degrees Celsius (high firing temperature equals high quality) a glaze is added which bonds to the clay sink body, chemically and physically leaving it with a glossy glassy smooth surface finish.
Ceramic sinks are resistant to fading, staining and scratching, but even though they are durable, with time scratching, chipping and wear can occur.
Granite Sinks (also referred to as engineered stone or composite granite sinks, fraginite etc..)
Many different manufacturers call granite sinks by different brand names such as fragranite and so on. Granite sinks consist generally of between 70-80% granite combined with polymer resin, other boding agents and colour pigments moulded and set into a sink shape. This is known as a composite granite sink, there are also granite sinks that are cut out of a single solid granite block ,but this is not so common in the UK due to high production cost that make them uneconomical.
What are the advantages of having composite granite sinks?
Granite sinks as mentioned consist out of 70-80% granite and granite as commonly known is extremely hard (one of the hardest materials on earth) and durable therefore will withstand the everyday use in a very busy kitchen extremely well.
Another great attribute is that it can withstand temperatures of up to 279 degrees Celsius without melting, deforming or discolouring so there is no problem placing a pan down on it that is hot off the stove. So in short composite granite sinks is a strong contender when considering a sink material.
What are the disadvantages of composite granite sinks?
This material is slightly limited in finish and styling possibilities as it only comes in a matt finish but makes up for that with a wide colour selection.
One of the only real draw backs is from its attribute of being extremely hard as this does tend to damage dishes.