I was browsing around the Houzz site the other day, when I saw a discussion about sinks. I haven’t decided yet on what type of sink I want to install in the kitchen of our new house, (although I know I want just the one bowl, very large and deep) and I’d love to hear your opinions on what you have, and why you love it or hate it.
In the Crab Shack I have a stainless steel sink, and here at my present home I have a Corian sink, since we have Corian counters and I wanted a totally seamless design. (This kitchen was put in over 20 years ago, and Corian was a big upgrade. I didn’t realize how much I would have loved granite!) In other places we’ve lived I’ve also had stainless and clay, now updated to be called “fireclay.” I suspect all of them have their good points and bad points. There are some new materials I didn’t know about though, or didn’t realize were being used as sinks. Here’s a rundown:
Stainless Steel: this is the most popular material for a sink by far. Many people have it and love it. I have it in the Crab Shack because Lowe’s gave it to me free with the Granite counter top. (Yes, we bought the counter top at Lowe’s. It was the same one as in the kitchen store we were looking in, for about half the price.) I’m going to admit something here because we’re buds and I know you won’t judge me too harshly…. I hate stainless steel. There I said it. And the ceiling didn’t fall in. I just cannot stand the fingerprints. It never looks clean, even after it’s just been cleaned. The sink has marks that look like scratches and constantly shows water spots. I want to love it, it looks so professional. But I just don’t want to spend that much time trying, without too much luck, to keep it shiny and finger-print free. And no, my mind hasn’t really changed. This will be an issue in my new kitchen. I’ve already planned on getting the refrigerator with the panels that look like the cabinets (I have that now and love it!!) but I’ll probably be getting a stainless dishwasher, double oven and microwave. But not a stainless sink, that’s for sure.
Composite Granite: These sinks are 80% granite and 20% acrylic resin. They are supposed to be very durable and come in a variety of hues. They have been known to crack during shipment, so it must be inspected carefully when it arrives. It’s only available in matte and the finish can dull over time, but people have noted that this adds to the personality of it, and it’s not a “bad” thing. The dark colors seem to be the overwhelming favorite because they don’t show the spots. It’s been recommended to clean and dry it with a dishcloth every night, which seems like too much work, (the drying, not the cleaning) but again, people have noted that it’s not that big a deal, and with the darker colors, this isn’t even necessary. These sinks are very pretty, I’m adding it to my list of possibilities.
Fireclay: These clay sinks are highly resistant to scratches but can stain and chip! Cleanup, however, is easy. If you want a white sink, this material comes highly recommended. It is mostly seen in the “Farmhouse” or apron style sinks. It doesn’t come in a large variety of sizes, although I wouldn’t think this would be an issue. It is very heavy, and would need adequate support and it’s not “friendly” to dropped dishes. I’m probably not going with this one.
Enameled Cast Iron: This sink is smooth, glossy and shiny, which gives it some appeal. It won’t crack or dent, but I don’t think most sinks would dent. (Maybe stainless) It would be a consideration if you know you want a white sparkly sink. (Although other colors are available.) It is also very durable, but can chip, and show stains and nicks. Some people have said it shows pot “scrapes” and it is very, very heavy! This (like the clay sink) will not be one of my choices.
Natural Stone: There are a couple of different “stone” sinks on the market, I hadn’t heard about them before but they are beautiful. Like all the other options however, they have pros and cons.
Soapstone - This sink is non-porous and unaffected by heat, bacteria and stains. It’s a little “softer” than other materials so some care has to be taken with it because it could get scratched or nicked. I’ve read it’s not easy to install, but compared to the heavy cast iron or clay sinks, how hard could it be? Also, I’ve read it’s not cheap. But who wants a cheap sink? If you buy cheap, you get cheap, that’s my motto. (Well, it is now.) The one thing in its favor is it’s absolutely beautiful! I’m going to have white cabinets and this sink would be just gorgeous! I wasn’t thinking about getting soapstone counters though, I was thinking granite. And with the veining in the granite, do I need a sink with veining also? I’ll put it on my list as a possibility for now.
Slate - I did not even realize this was a sink material. However, it is resistant to fading, burning and scratching. And custom designs can be sand blasted into it to make a truly custom look. This feature would only be helpful if you have having the apron type sink, which I am not leaning towards, but am still undecided about. It is a material that will last forever, and people have written it keeps its beauty, and even if it got a nick or two, it’s hardly visible. The etching on this one is adorable, especially since our house is on the water, and we love the “water” theme.
Quartz - This sink is made from 70% quartz and 30% resin filler. It is a step below the granite composite in terms of wear and durability, but still a good choice. It is resistant to dings, dents and stains, but the darker ones tend to show scratches more than the lighter colors, on ones with more of a pattern. It would be a good choice if you’re using quartz countertops and want a seemless look.
Copper: Copper comes in various thicknesses like stainless, and that will be reflected in the price.It’s easy to shape so can come in a wide variety of sizes. It is anti microbial, which is good, but people have written they would be worried about the copper leaching into food, such as vegetables soaking in the sink. The finish will almost certainly change over time, this could be either a pro or a con, depending on how you feel about that. For me it’s a con, the copper is pretty when it’s brand new, but I don’t like the change. The thinner variety can dent and scratch. The hammered sink is very pretty, in my opinion, but I don’t think this is one product that I will consider.
The last two sinks I looked into and have pictures of are tile and hand painted. But these, along with glass sinks, are better left as a “show” sink in the powder room. Yes, they are beautiful and different, but keeping them clean and free of dings would be difficult in the hard-working kitchen area.
Hand painted -
Well, suffice it to say today we have many, many choices when it comes to kitchen sinks. It’s overwhelming at times. But by narrowing it down, and doing a little research, and by being honest about how much you are willing to clean, or live with in terms of water spots or nicks, you and I will finally figure out which one is the best choice. I hope.