Today’s kitchen sinks are designed for aesthetics. Never before has there been such a range of choices with products that give you the quality and performance you expect. When remodeling or updating a kitchen, we always recommend starting your search for a sink after you determine the look you want for your kitchen and after selecting countertop and backsplash materials. This will make it much easier as you consider options for sink materials, style, mounting and trims.
The most popular kitchen sinks are attractive, durable and easy to maintain. While there are copper, solid surface, glass and stone sinks on the market, the sinks most homeowners choose fall into one of six categories.
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel sinks remain the most popular kitchen sink. While stainless steel sinks come in an almost unlimited number of shapes and sizes, you’ll also want to pay close attention to gauge of the stainless steel material. Gauge refers to the thickness of the stainless steel. The lower the gauge of the steel, the thicker the sink. You will find that stainless steel kitchen sinks can range from 14-gauge (thicker) to 22-gauge (less thick). Thick gauge sinks are more resistant to dents.
Stainless steel has a sleek look that complements appliances and many decorating styles. Stainless steel sinks can be either self-rimming or undermounted. Manufacturers now offer brushed satin surfaces that hide water spots and scratches.
2. Composite Sinks
Composite sinks are made of ground granite or quartz combined with resin. Composite sinks complement almost any countertop surface, particularly quartz and granite, and they complement almost any backsplash material. They can be top-mounted or undermounted. They are strong, durable and come in a range of colors and shapes.
Composite sinks are gaining in popularity because of their natural, stone-like look that makes them attractive in any kitchen. Granite composite sinks are the most durable. Composite sinks have a matte finish and color is uniform throughout and does not fade. Composite sinks will withstand the heat of a hot pot or pan, and they are easy to maintain and will keep water warmer longer when you are hand washing dishes because of their conductivity.
3. Cast Iron Sinks
Cast iron sinks come in many colors and pricing may vary based on your color choice. Cast iron sinks are heavy, usually weighing over 100 pounds. They are often designed as top-mounted sinks although several manufacturers also make undermount models. Cast iron sinks are coated with either porcelain or enamel. Modern enamel is very durable yet may still be susceptible to chipping if something heavy is dropped. Cast iron sinks have been around for a long time and are popular especially in traditional kitchens and in restorations of older homes.
4. Apron-Front Sinks
Apron-front sinks bring the idea of farmhouse-style sinks into today’s kitchen. The come in a variety of materials including stainless steel, cast iron, fireclay, granite, soapstone and copper. The sleek shape of these sinks can complement almost any traditional or contemporary kitchen. Apron-front sinks also ergonomic because they can be adjusted for height and you work closer, without having to reach. The bowl is deep and the front of the sink replaces part of the counter. Manufacturers offer a range of design options in styling the “apron” including a flat front, framed front, fluting and relief patterns.
5. Fireclay Sinks
Fireclay sinks are made of shaped clay, fired at high temperature for hours. The surface is hard, glossy, non-porous, resists bacteria growth and is scratch resistant. Fire clay sinks come in a range of colors, sizes and shapes. People who enjoy cooking love them because they are durable, easy to maintain and hygienic.
6. Acrylic Sinks
Acrylic sinks can look like enamel and come in a range of colors. Acrylic sinks are molded plastic reinforced with fiberglass. They are lighter in weight and easier to install. They are generally easy to maintain but acrylic is not as durable as other materials. Because they are plastic, a hot pot can cause damage and these sinks are more susceptible to scratches and nicks. The main advantages are the cost and the look.