If you’re undergoing a kitchen renovation or remodelling, then you know the kitchen sink is an item of much discussion. Along with shape, design, and function, construction material is one of the most important aspects to consider. Kitchen sinks come in different materials, which can give homeowners a difficult time trying to choose from available options. Understanding your options can help you make the best choice to fit your lifestyle and aesthetic needs. The following are some of the best kitchen sink materials available.
The best kitchen sink materials
Copper is one of the most unique sink materials available. It offers a striking colour, and an ever-changing patina offers homeowners a look and style that stands out. Copper is not difficult to clean and care for. In fact, copper only needs a daily rinse with mild soap. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial, which is excellent for food preparation and dishwashing. Like stainless steel, copper comes in different gauges or thicknesses. On the downside, copper can react to acids and cleaners. Those chemicals can damage the patina. Copper is also on the high end of the price range.
Stainless steel sinks are the most popular choice for many homeowners. Compared to other materials, stainless steel is inexpensive, although designer brands can be pricey. Stainless steel only has a few cons. Stainless steel tends to be noisier than other materials. Although many have a spray coating to reduce noise. Overall stainless steel is a durable material. However, it can scratch easier than many materials. Stainless steel sinks also tend to show water spots, and it can be challenging to keep them immaculately clean.
Enameled cast iron
Cast iron is a durable and strong material, but it tends to rust when exposed to moisture. When using cast iron as a sink, it is coated with porcelain enamel. This gives the sink a smooth glossy finish and comes in a wide range of colours. Enamel resists staining and is easy to clean. Enameled cast iron has a few drawbacks. It is heavy, and you may need to reinforce your countertops and cabinets to safely support the weight. While it’s also very durable, it is also susceptible to chipping or scratching if you drop something heavy into the sink. You need to also be careful when cleaning. If you use abrasive or acidic cleaners, if the chip is deep and exposes cast iron, your sink will rust. The good news is it’s easy to refinish the sink if you do have a problem.
Fireclay is relatively new to the sink market. This ultra-durable material is made of a mix of clay and minerals, then fired at high temperatures and coated in a unique glaze giving it a look similar to enamelled cast iron. Fireclay kitchen sinks are often seen in farmhouse style with an exposed apron. While they are available in other colours, you most often see them in white or off-white. Fireclay resists stains, scratches, and acids. It won’t rust, but one drawback is that it can crack due to vibrations, so it’s not ideal if you have a garbage disposal. It’s also very heavy and may need reinforcement to support its weight.
Granite or quartz
Solid stone sinks come in at the high end of the price range, but they are absolutely beautiful and make a real statement in the kitchen. Choosing the same species of stone as your countertops can give you a seamless look. Stone is durable and holds up well against scratches, stains, and similar damage. That being said, the stone is porous and will require regular sealing. Granite, marble, quartz, or slate sinks are also heavy and may need you to reinforce cabinetry for safe installation. Darker colours may also show scratches or other damage more than lighter colours.
If a solid stone sink is out of your price range, a composite option might be a better choice. These sinks are made with stone dust and resin to give you the look of stone at a much more affordable price point. Common materials include crushed granite, quartz, or marble mixed with resin. Unlike natural stone, which often has a variegated look due to natural patterns in the stone, composite sinks have a consistent look and come in various colour and style options. Composite sinks hold up well under heavy use. They resist staining and scratching, withstand acids, and don’t show water spots. They are also non-porous, which means they never need sealing. One drawback is that composite can crack or get damaged when exposed to extreme heat, like a hot pan placed in the sink.