Friday, March 26, 2010

Which Kitchen Sink Type is Right for You?

There are so many choices out there that it's often difficult to narrow down what type of kitchen sink might be right for you and your renovation project.

Common sink types include: Cast Iron, Composite, Copper, Enameled Steel, Fireclay, Natural Stone, and Stainless Steel, with the 4 most popular choices being Cast Iron, Composite, Fireclay, and Stainless Steel.

Here are some thoughts on each type of sink and hopefully, this will help you in deciding which one is right for you.

Cast Iron Sink

Has a non-porous surface, is acid and stain resistant, stable and durable, and offers many color options.

Cons: The porcelain enamel can scratch and chip, and rust.  Cast iron is very heavy, making installation tougher.  It also does not hold heat so water tends to cool down quickly.

Maintenance: Easy.  Use non-abrasive cleaners with soft nylon scrubbers.

Composite (Granite, Quartz or Acrylic Composite) Sink

Pros: Composite sinks have a uniform look and color throughout (generally), retains water temperature, and is non-porous.  It is also lightweight making it easier to install.

Cons: They can be difficult to keep clean, colors can be limited, and it is a softer material so is more prone to chipping

Maintenance:  Easy.  Use mild dishwashing soap for regular cleaning and a soft nylon brush for more aggressive cleaning.

Copper Sink

Pro: Copper sinks have more customizable options, has a special old world look, and creates a natural patina over time to create that antiqued look.

Cons: Copper requires more maintenance, is soft and likely to dent, is heat sensitive, not readily stocked and available.  The color change will also occur randomly.

Maintenance: Hard.  Do not use any abrasives.

Tips: Look for 100% pure copper, which is the best quality.  Also look for a manufacturer that welds instead of solders the sink.  Solder turns black with age and isn't as strong as welded seams.

Enameled Steel Sink

Pros: Enameled steel sinks are inexpensive and widely available.

Cons: Enameled steel sinks are soft, not as durable and will likely dent or chip, and rust

Maintenance:  Easy.  Same as for cast iron sinks.

Fireclay Sink

Pros: Scratch and dent resistant, easy to clean, acid and alkaline resistant, will last for generations, available in a variety of styles, and recyclable.

Cons: Limited color range, possible breakage in transport if not packed properly.

Maintenance: Easy - no special needs

Natural Stone (Granite, Limestone, Marble, Slate, Soapstone) Sink

Pros: Can coordinate with countertops to appear integrated, and is durable and scratch resistant.

Cons: Can be porous depending on stone.  Generally stains easily and needs routine topical treatment to maintain luster.  Also can be expensive and is very heavy making installations tough.

Maintenance: Medium to Hard.  Use non-abrasives, may require frequent sealing.

Stainless Steel Sink

Pros: Hygienic and nonporous.  Stainless steel sinks offer multiple mounting options, is corrosion resistant, may be customized, and has many price points.

Cons: Can lose its luster, is likely to dent or scratch.

Maintenance: Medium - avoid abrasives and steel wool, chlorine or chlorine bleach.  Use mild soap and soft cloth to clean.

Good Home Construction, CA Lic. #852240
333 El Camino Real, #101, Tustin, CA 92780

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