19/10/2021  • 

A Comparison of Kitchen Sink Materials

Are you planning to install a new kitchen sink? Finding the right material for your needs is crucial in your decision making process.

 

Today, you can find durable and stain-resistant sinks in a variety of options that are best suited for light or medium-duty use.  

 

 

In order to ensure you get the best kitchen sinks for you and your family's needs, it is vital to explore and contrast the numerous materials available throughout the industry. This article will help you do just that! 

 

All pricing is provided to give a rough estimate of material cost - actual cost may vary depending on sink style/features/retailer.

  

 

 

What to Consider When Finding the Right Kitchen Sink 

 

 

There are several steps to take before purchasing a new kitchen sink. While the material is a crucial component, there are also a few other important factors to consider. These include: 

 

 

1. Sink Bowls 

Are you in the kitchen all the time? Do you spend time cooking and cleaning and want to do all this using one sink? If so, a dual bowl sink is a perfect option.  

 

 

You can make one side of the sink for food prep and the other for washing.  

 

 

2. Cabinet Size  

You need to consider how much space you have for the sink. If you want a farmhouse or undermount sink, you also need to consider the size of your cabinets. Use a measuring tape to find out the size from left to right.  

 

 

That number is the size of your cabinet, and you need to ensure the sink you purchase will properly fit those dimensions. If you want a larger sink, it may be necessary to have a custom cabinet built to support it.  

 

 

3. Countertop Depth 

Another important consideration is how deep your counters are. This is going to determine how deep of a sink you can get.  

 

 

In many cases, if your countertop has a backsplash, it will limit the amount of space for the sink, so you need to keep this in mind when you begin your selection process.    

 

 

Stainless Steel Sinks (Price:$200-$1500+) 

 

 

Now that you know what to consider, it's time to dive into the top materials for a new kitchen sink.

 

 

When choosing a stainless steel sink, the first thing to determine is thickness of the sink. While that can be confusing at first, all you need to understand is that the smaller number the gauge is, the thicker the steel will be. 

 

 

Pros of Stainless Steel Sinks 

A common kitchen staple for decades, some people view stainless steel kitchen sinks as boring or plain; but that is simply not the case. You can find several manufacturers today that offer an array of layouts, finishes, textures, and colours to choose from.  

 

 

A defining feature that makes stainless steel such a popular choice for kitchen sinks is the material's resistance to corrosion, rust, heat, and high impact. 

 

 

Regardless of the daily use or punishment you put the sink through, it won't lose its integrity or result in any material chipping off. Since bacteria and germs can't easily grow or thrive on stainless steel, the sink's smooth surface and quality finish will rarely develop odors or stains if regularly cleaned.   

 

 

Cons of Stainless Steel Sinks  

If you choose thinner steel, you may notice small hairline scratches after some use, but these are usually easy to get rid of using a sponge and mild cleaner. Stainless steel sinks also show fingerprints, smudges, and streaks more than other materials, but those are also easily wiped away with proper maintenance.  

 

 

Granite Sinks (Price:$350-1250+) 

 

 

Granite sinks are also referred to as solid stones. If you are interested in a granite kitchen sink, you should realize they generally come at the top of the pricing range.

 

 

While the price may be steep, the quality of the product is worth it; granite is a beautiful material and can make a big statement in your kitchen.  

 

 

Pros of Granite Sinks 

It's important to know how your new sink will mesh with your countertops. If you have granite countertops, for instance, choosing a granite sink can help create a seamless look in your kitchen.  

 

 

Stone is extremely durable and stands up to stains, scratches, and similar types of damage. With that in mind, the stone is a porous material. That means it requires regular sealing to remain in good condition.  

 

 

Cons of Granite Sinks 

It's worth mentioning that granite sinks (and all solid stone sinks – marble, slate, quartz) are heavy. Because of this, it may be necessary to reinforce the cabinets to ensure safe and secure installation.  

 

 

If you choose a darker granite colour, you may notice scratches and other signs of damage faster than with lighter colours.  

 

 

A kitchen and bathroom design by Deslaurier side by side.

Fireclay Sinks (Price:$500-$2500+) 

 

 

Do you want a kitchen sink that can withstand extremely high temperatures? If so, fireclay sinks are a practical option. Fireclay is one of the newest options available in the market today, and will stick around due to its superior heat resistance; it has the ability to withstand 1800-to-2200-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.  

 

 

 

Pros of Fireclay Sinks  

If you purchase a fireclay kitchen sink, you will quickly realize it has a robust build quality, and it is made with ceramic glazing, which makes the surface: 

 

 

  • Stain-resistant 
  • Scratch-resistant 
  • Chip resistant 
  • Glossy 

 

 

Fireclay is in high demand today for apron or farmhouse kitchens due to the high malleability and appealing finish.  

 

 

Cons of Fireclay Sinks 

While this is true, there is a caveat you should remember if you choose a fireclay sink – it is heavy. Like granite, you may need to reinforce your cabinet to ensure it can support the sink's weight. Also, installation is not a DIY process; you will require skilled professionals. 

 

 

Copper (Price:$750-$3000+)

 

 

With a variety of styles and finishes, a copper sink will quickly become the focal point of your kitchen.  

 

 

 

Pros of Copper Sinks 

You can find copper sink options in several styles, such as drop-in, standard undermount, and farmhouse. It's also possible to choose the finish and look of the copper sink with some popular options, including: 

 

 

  • Hammered finish 
  • Smooth finish 
  • Patina options 

 

 

One of the most appealing factors of a copper sink is that it naturally eliminates 99.9% of bacteria. Studies have shown that copper molecules will "punch holes" in bacteria membranes, preventing their metabolisms and stopping growth. This is one asset that has led to copper being one of the most practical kitchen sink materials available. After all, most cook areas are full of germs and bacteria, and having something that naturally kills them is invaluable.  

 

 

 

Cons of Copper Sinks 

It's important to note that copper sinks are also expensive. A quality option of 99% copper and just one percent zinc, between 14 and 18 gauge, will start around $600 and only go up from there. In fact, don't be surprised to find options that are $1,200 or higher.  

 

 

Use caution if you find a lower-priced copper sink. They may be made with a thinner gauge metal, which will show signs of damage much faster.  

 

 

 

Enameled Cast Iron (Price:$650-$2000+) 

 

 

Cast iron is one of the strongest and most durable materials of any kitchen sink. While this is beneficial, it will rust when exposed to moisture (which is inevitable in the kitchen). If you want an enamel cast iron kitchen sink, it is crucial that you ensure it has been coated using porcelain enamel.  

 

 

 

Pros of Enameled Cast Iron Sinks 

This coating will give the sink a smooth, glossy finish, and has options available in several different colours. An enamel cast iron sink is also going to resist stains and be easy to clean.  

 

 

 

Cons of Enameled Cast Iron Sinks 

While the benefits are appealing, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of before purchasing this type of sink.

 

For example, like fireclay and granite, enamel cast iron sinks are heavy (just think how heavy one cast iron pan is). Because of this, it may be necessary to reinforce your cabinets and countertops to ensure they can support the weight of such a dense material.  

 

 

Even though the sink material is extremely durable, you may notice scratching or chipping if you drop something sharp or heavy. It is also important that you are cautious and diligent when you clean the sink. If you use something acidic or abrasive, and there is a chip or scratch deep enough that the cast iron is exposed, your sink may begin to rust.  

 

 

While this may happen, there is some good news: It is simple to refinish your sink’s enamel if there is an issue.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Do you still have some questions about kitchen sinks and top materials? If so, here are some answers to the common questions that are asked.  

 

 

What is the best material for your kitchen sink? 

Stainless steel comes out on top when it comes to factors like ease of cleaning, durability, and affordability. While granite is another highly durable option, it is much more expensive, so be sure to determine your budget so you know how much you can spend.  

 

 

Are stainless steel sinks still in style? 

While there may be more variety with other materials, stainless steel isn't going to go out of style any time soon. The main reason for this is because of the low cost, easy installation, hassle-free maintenance, and practicality.  

 

 

What is the most durable kitchen sink? 

Again, stainless steel is at the top of the list. That being said, the material also comes with limitations, such as the inability to withstand more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit heat and a lack of versatility in the design.  

 

 

These concerns can be overcome by choosing heavier materials such as fireclay or granite, which offer extreme heat resistance and come in several colours, patterns, and tones to meet your aesthetic desires.  

 

Design With Deslaurier 

 

 

With the information here, you should be more than ready to purchase your new kitchen sink. Knowing what is available and what each option offers will help ensure that you select a quality product designed to meet all of your wants and needs.   

 

 

Being informed is the best way to make the right decision regarding what sink material you purchase. Deslaurier leverages 40+ years of industry experience to help homeowners craft functional, quality designs for a beautiful home. 

 

 

Looking to complete your dream home? Book a free consultation today in our Ottawa showroom. 

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