Monday, September 5, 2011

Kitchen Sinks: Materials 4-6

 This is a continuation of the previous blog reviewing kitchen sink materials. 

A wide range of choices are available for the kitchen sink.  We have come a long way from stainless steel or cast iron being the only options commonly available.  Below is a brief review of some possible material options and pros and cons of each material.

§         Engineered Materials including Solid Surface & Composite:  This category covers a wide range of options including solid surface materials like Corian or Swanstone, quartz, slate, or granite –acrylic composites, and cast acrylic.  The major advantage of solid surface kitchen sinks is their ability to be an integrated unit with the countertop.  Composite sinks fall into three main categories; polyester/acrylic, quartz composite, and granite based.
o        Pros – Solid Surface
§         Seamless joint with solid surface counter
§         Durable surface, deeps cuts or scratches are repairable
§         More forgiving to dropped objects than cast iron or stone sinks
o        Cons – Solid Surface
§         Not resistant to high heat or very hot pots and pans, can scratch or nick
§         Can be expensive, especially since they typically involve totaling replacing the counters as well as the sink
§         Installation and repairs require professional fabrication

o        Pros – Composite
§         Reasonable durability and resistance to scratching and chipping in stone composites
§         Available in a variety of colors
§         Stands up to heat better than solid surface
§         Acrylic composites are typically inexpensive
o        Cons – Composite
§         Acrylic composites are the lowest performing in terms of scratch and stain resistance
§         Granite based composite can command a premium price
§         Stone based composites are limited in color to a neutral palette.

§         Natural Stone:  The most common stone sinks are made from granite or soapstone, but there are also sinks made from travertine, marble, and onyx.  These are heavy, dense sinks and the soapstone is impervious to stains. 
o        Pros:
§         Strong, robust, durable surface
§         Good sound-deadening qualities
§         A unique and interesting style option
o        Cons:
§         Heavy and typically require custom built cabinetry for support
§         Some stones are porous and require sealing
§         Often expensive to purchase and install

§         Other:  Kitchen sinks are available in other materials including concrete and various metals besides stainless steel such as nickel, copper & bronze.  Other metals are often used for specialty sinks such as a bar sink. 
o        Pros Concrete:
§         Unlimited customization
§         Distinctive and unique style option
§         Can be incorporated with a concrete counter for seamless design
o        Cons Concrete:
§         Requires periodic sealing to avoid stains and to repel moisture
§         May show cracks and fissures over time.
§         Costly as they are typically custom made and include counter replacement

o        Pros Nickel, Copper & Bronze:
§         Non-rusting, visually unique
§         Copper will take on an aged patina depending on the type of care given
§         Nickel is harder and stronger than copper
o        Cons Nickel, Copper & Bronze:
§         Expensive to very expensive depending on size and design
§         May need polishing to retain bright appearance

1 comment:

  1. The most beneficial for kitchen countertops because no food particles can gather inside the seams, posing a serious health concern.