Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Sink

Even if you’re not needing to use your range or refrigerator tonight because you’re sending out for pizza, chances are you’ll be using your kitchen sink for clean up. The sink is one of the most heavily used fixtures in the kitchen. Doesn’t it make sense to purchase a sink that performs well for your needs? Be sure to review all the options below, before you choose your new sink.

Homeowners tend to give their kitchen sink little consideration when making selections for their new kitchens. They may spend weeks deciding on the perfect chef-style range and then only rarely use it, while the sink is put into service continually. Why shouldn’t your sink be highly functional and lovely to look at — in others words, a joy to use?

1. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel sinks complement the look of commercial-style appliances. Steel is more protective of dropped glassware than harder materials like cast iron. It does scratch and can dent if a heavy pot falls into the sink. A thicker gauge of steel will be less apt to dent. Sound-absorbing pads underneath the bowl will result in a quieter sink.

2. Porcelain Enameled Cast Iron
Enameled cast iron sinks boast a glossy porcelain finish that is available in a wide variety of colors. This sink can withstand a hot pot, but if a pot is dropped into the sink, the enamel can chip, after which the underlying iron may corrode. Always use a nonabrasive cleaner to protect the finish.

Granite composite sink

Granite composite sink

3. Fireclay (Vitreous China)
Fireclay is hard and quite heavy — made from a ceramic-like material that is fired under intense heat. The glossy color goes all the way through, so there is nothing under the surface to corrode. Using a nonabrasive cleaner, the sinks are easy to maintain, but they can chip.

4. Granite Composite (such as Silgranit)
Granite composite sinks are made of a mixture of 80% natural granite and acrylic resin — the material extends throughout. These sinks resist scratching and chipping, plus they are non-porous and resist most household stains. They can easily handle a hot pot up to 500 degrees.

5. Solid Surface (such as Corian)
Solid surface sinks may be joined to a countertop of the same material for a seamless look. The non-porous material offers easy maintenance, since there are no recesses to collect bacteria. A downside is that the sink can be damaged by heat and sharp objects.

6. Natural Stone
Natural stone sinks are valued for their unique beauty and ability to integrate with a stone countertop. Most stone is porous and should be sealed with a penetrating sealer. Even after sealing, certain acidic liquids may stain and etch the surface. Always use a nonabrasive cleaner.

Recycled copper sink

Recycled copper sink

7. Copper
Copper sinks develop a patina over time, which is one of the characteristics most people love about the material. The relatively soft metal can scratch, but most scratches may be removed by polishing. Avoid long exposure to hot pots, which can distort the shape of the sink.

8. Concrete
Concrete offers great versatility in the shape, color and texture of a sink. Objects may be embedded into the concrete for decorative, as well as functional purposes. Newer products are highly resistant to cracking, chipping and staining — problems that plagued concrete sinks in the past.

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