One of the biggest decisions you will find yourself making when remodeling your kitchen will be found in selecting the best kitchen sink. You will likely look to combine an aesthetically appealing design style with convenience and usefulness. Should you go for a double sink or single sink? Solid surface or copper and bronze? The possibilities and combinations are endless, but there are some distinct pros and cons associated with each style.
Stainless Steel: Stainless steel does not absorb food and bacteria and it also does not rust which makes stainless steel sinks very durable and pretty easy to clean. These obvious “pros” are the reason why this style of sink is the most common found in American households. Although they may not add the design flare that you’re looking for, they are practical and durable.
Now on the downside, the cheaper stainless steel sinks can be very troublesome. Economy sinks are made from a thin steel, usually a 20 to 22 gauge that is prone to flex and dent under pressure. They are also very noisy as well. By spending a little more money you can purchase a moderately priced unit that will hold up better. To really get the most value for your money, expect to spend anywhere between $500 to $3000 for a quality piece. Stainless steel sinks are available in both brushed finishes and polished.
Solid Surface: Solid surface sinks are stain resistant, durable, nonporous and easily repairable. You can purchase them in a wide variety of colors, and because the pattern or color penetrates all the way through the material, nicks and dents won’t reveal different substrate. They are also easily repaired and can be glued into counters for a seamless connection.
Solid surface sinks tend to run anywhere from $200 to $800, so while it isn’t as expensive as a high quality stainless steel sink, some may consider it expensive relatively speaking. You will also want to keep this in mind; these types of sinks don’t go well with all counter top materials. In other words, a solid surface sink may not look good with granite.
Enameled Surface Sinks: With a mid-range price of $200-500, enameled covered cast-iron sinks are a throwback to grandma’s kitchen. The long-wearing surface resists stains and they tend to hold heat very well. However, cleaning them can be a challenge and improper cleaning will chip and dull the surface. They are also heavy and you may experience problems if they are not mounted or installed correctly. The cast iron material provides for a very hard surface, unforgiving to delicate china and dishware. The enamel coating is tough, but if it chips the metal will rust.
When choosing a sink you will also want to consider the re-sell value and attractiveness to potential future home buyers. By and large, most home owners still prefer stainless steel, but this doesn’t mean that you should pigeon whole yourself into choosing something that doesn’t appeal to you at this very moment. Be sure to check out the next installment in our series on kitchen sinks where I will discuss the pros and cons of Copper, Bronze, Acrylic or Natural Stone sinks!