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Home Improvement & Renovating

A Guide to Kitchen Sink Styles & Materials

A Guide to Kitchen Sink Styles & Materials

A kitchen renovation is one of those home improvements that is destined to increase the value of your home. The sink may not be a prominent focal point but deserves some attention! If you’re renovating your kitchen or designing for a new build, you can choose from a wide selection of sink materials including stainless steel, fire clay, cast iron, quartz, composites, solid surfaces and more. Read on to learn about the advantages and important things to keep in mind for the many different types of kitchen sink materials available.


Stainless Steel Sink

The most popular choice for sinks.

Advantages:

  • Trusted by commercial kitchen chefs and household chefs alike for decades
  • Can withstand extreme temperatures
  • Very hygienic and easy to clean

Important to know:

  • The lower the steel gauge, the better the sink. You’ll have the best experience with a sink that has at least 21-gauge stainless steel, or even better, 18-gauge.
  • Pricing increases as the steel gauge decreases, costing up to twice as much for a thicker 16-gauge stainless steel sink
  • Choose a sink with premium quality 300 series 18/10 chrome-nickel content steel

Granite, Marble or Quartz

A beautiful, luxurious, one-of-a-kind natural stone.

Advantages:

  • Durable
  • Beautiful with any countertop

Important to know:

  • Can easily chip, crack or scratch if proper care is not taken
  • Must be properly sealed to avoid damage
  • Advisable to reseal granite and marble surfaces annually
  • Very heavy, reinforcement required
  • Expensive, plus cost of installation

Granite Composite

Natural stone combined with resin, usually 95% stone and 5% resin, resulting in a more uniform look than pure granite.

Advantages:

  • Stronger than natural stone so less chance of chipping or scratches

Important to know:

  • Very heavy, reinforcement required

Composite Sink

Made with polyester and/or acrylic.

Advantages:

  • A good economical option
  • Wide variety of colours

Important to know:

  • Not as durable as some other sinks

Solid Surface

An attractive option for kitchen sinks and countertops. Each manufacturer has its own brand name for this man-made acrylic resin. 

Advantages:

  • Looks like enamel but lower price and weighs less
  • Higher priced models are made with better quality acrylic resins
  • Keeps their finish and colour

Important to know:

  • Small scratches can be buffed out
  • Solid surface tends to chip
  • Avoid placing hot pots
  • Less expensive solid surface sinks can turn yellow after a year

Fireclay

Made with white clay, fused with glaze, and heated at high temperatures resulting in a durable one-of-a-kind sink.

Advantages:

  • Easy to keep clean, use a soft damp cloth and mild soap
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Perfect for a large space and farmhouse style kitchens
  • Long life

Important to know:

  • Very heavy
  • Professional installation and strong supports required
  • Higher priced
  • Small colour selection: white, off-white, dark blue, black
  • May require reglazing

Enamel Sinks

Timeless enamel sinks made of cast iron and a glass-based glaze.

Advantages:

  • an attractive upgrade, adds value to your home

Important to know:

  • Extra care needed as it scratches, chips and stains easily
  • Clean gently with a soft sponge
  • Heavy
  • Reinforce countertops and cabinetry

Copper

A focal point of the kitchen due to its warm natural glow and large size.

Advantages:

  • Naturally kills 99% of bacteria
  • Choice of beautiful finish and patinas – smooth or hammered

Important to know:

  • Higher priced
  • Avoid lower quality thinner gauge copper

Concrete

Minimalist, industrial and gaining in popularity.

Advantages:

  • Less expensive than granite
  • Custom size and shape
  • Durable

Important to know:

  • Can be poured on site
  • Or purchase a precast sink
  • Extremely heavy sink, requires support
  • Stains easily

Soapstone

Natural beauty. 

Advantages:

  • Durable, does not stain
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to customize size and edges
  • Stock sizes
  • Sealing not required
  • Does not hold bacteria
  • Ages well
  • Environmentally friendly, recyclable

Important to know:

  • Very heavy
  • Oil the exterior with mineral oil

With a little bit of research, you can make sure your kitchen sink will be a good fit for you and your family for years to come.


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