It seems that choosing a kitchen sink is not a challenging task. However, if you visit a local department store or online shop, you’ll be stunned by the variety of materials kitchen sinks are made of. Newbies often feel frustrated when trying to choose the right item. In the past, people had just a few options – enameled iron or stainless steel sinks, the colors were typical too – white or shiny grey. Nowadays, the market offers a huge range of materials, colors, sizes, and styles. Here are the most well-known kitchen sink materials: cast iron, copper, fireclay, granite and, of course, stainless steel sink. But you can’t just buy any sink which appeals to you because every material serves its purpose.
Before making a purchase, step back and think about how you’ll use the sink. Will you just rinse cookware and then put it into a dishwasher? Or will you give pots and pans a thorough clean in the sink? Do you use heavy utensils? Your choice depends on your answers. That’s why you must know the kitchen sink materials’ pros and cons.
Our team of experts compared the most popular and high-quality kitchen sink materials and wrapped up all their pros and cons. By the end of reading this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on the right model for you.
Stainless Steel Sinks Pros And Cons
Householders often choose stainless steel sinks as the best ones and for good reason: they are affordable, durable, and easy-to-clean. Stainless steel sinks withstand the test of time and they’ll never go out of style. Here are the pros and cons of stainless steel sinks.
- Affordable – the best stainless steel sinks are an excellent mid-priced option. The price depends on the thickness of the material. Anyway, stainless steel sinks are not the most expensive items on the market.
- Universal – this material looks neutral with any style and colors, making it really versatile. You can choose a drop in stainless steel kitchen sinks or under-mount stainless steel kitchen sink – it doesn’t matter, they will look great with any kitchen style.
- Durable – steel surface can withstand scrubs and heavy cookware, it won’t discolor, tarnish, or rust. Besides, the material is not porous, so it won’t accumulate bacteria; steel is straightforward to keep it clean.
- Look ordinary – such a model won’t become an accent that complements your kitchen decor, like let’s say granite sink. Stainless steel sinks look pretty plain.
- Prone to scratching – despite this material is durable, abrasive cleaners can scratch such sinks. Water droplets, that are left to dry, can leave visible calcium deposits, so you have to wipe the item dry.
- Noisy – cookware dropped in a sink may be loud; however, dampening pads will prevent excessive sounds.
- Stainless steel sinks are good for all types of use and look nice with any kind of kitchen decor.
Cast Iron Sinks Pros And Cons
Cast iron kitchen sinks have been around for a long time. Householders like using them because the material is durable, heavy, is easy to clean and take care of. The core of sinks are made of iron alloy; some manufacturers use recycled or reclaimed iron, making it an eco-friendly option. The surface is covered by porcelain enamel – it’s what you see when you are looking at the cast iron sink. So, what are the pros and cons of the cast iron wash-basin?
- Durable – cast iron won’t dent or crack; such wash-basins are massive and heavy, they will last for many years.
- Easy to install – no matter it is a drop-in or top-mount model, you’ll install it without any extra devices.
- Looks nice – porcelain enamel coating is shiny, glossy and available in different colors. Choose the right color and such a washbasin will complement your kitchen style.
- Easy to clean – the surface is nonporous and smooth, making it resistant to water spots and other stains.
- Porcelain enamel can chip – if you accidentally knock your sink, it can chip. Also, it can get scratched if abrasive cleaners or aggressive cleaning methods are used.
- In the case of chipping, underlying cast iron can rust – there are methods to repair it, but the sink won’t have an appealing look anymore.
- Long-term staining and scuffing – heavy cookware can leave scuffs; also, strong staining stuff mustn’t be left on such a model for a long time because they’ll stain the surface.
Cast iron sink is appealing and will last for decades.
Copper Sink Pros And Cons
A high-quality copper sink consists of 99% copper and 1% zinc. It looks just gorgeous and will become a bright, warm focal point in your kitchen, no matter the model is under-mount or drop-in. You can also choose between a hammered or smooth finish and a range of patinas. Like any other model, a sink made of copper has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Beautiful and elegant – copper sink will make your kitchen more relaxing and warmer. It looks fine with different kitchen styles from a traditional to modern & high-end style.
- Customizable – lots of sinks are made by hand, that’s why companies custom designs and sizes. So, you can choose something unique.
- Durable – copper is one of the most durable materials, plus, it’ll become even more attractive over the time
- Healthy – copper has antibacterial properties that kill most bacteria on the surface. However, if the model is covered by sealant, it weakens copper antibacterial nature.
- Develops a patina – even though the patina is not a drawback, it’s a protective layer to copper, some people don’t like its look. There are copper sink maintenance methods which can help to prevent the patina appearance.
- Challenging to install – it’s almost impossible to do it yourself and you’ll need a skilled installer.
- Uneven color – the color can be unbalanced for some time while the copper will be developing a patina. When it’s finished, the sink will look great.
- Expensive – high-quality copper sinks are very pricey, don’t get tempted to buy cheaper models – they won’t last.
Despite some problems with copper sinks, they look luxurious and last for decades or even more.
Fireclay Sink Pros And Cons
Fireclay is a material that if fired in the kiln with glaze; this material resembles ceramic but provides more benefits. Let’s get a closer look at fireclay sink pros and cons:
- Look nice – such a sink will add an attractive look to your kitchen. Besides, you can choose a model with rounded or squared corners.
- Don’t take up too much space inside of the base cabinet so that you’ll be able to install your best under sink water filter. However, it’s better to take measurements before making a purchase because sinks come in different sizes and designs.
- Heat-resistant – you can put hot cookware in your sink, it won’t get damaged.
- Easy to maintain – the surface is nonporous, so it’s easy to clean. However, do not use abrasive cleaners, otherwise, the coating may get scratched.
- Lasts long – we often get asked, “Is fireclay sink durable?”. Well, if you take proper care of it, it’ll surprise you with the durability. This model can withstand everyday use over time.
- Hard to install – it’s one of the fireclay sink problems, you won’t be able to mount it yourself, plus, installation is expensive.
- Heavy – cabinets might need to be reinforced before installation to support the weight of the sink.
- Limited colors, sizes, and designs – fireclay models are handcrafted, and they are made in farmhouse style, the color is white or off-white.
- It’s prone to chipping – if you knock too hard or use abrasive cleaners, you may harm your sink.
- Expensive – the price can put such a sink out of reach for some householders.
Fireclay sinks are attractive, stylish, easy to maintain and will last over an extended period.
Granite Composite Sinks Pros Cons
Granite composite sinks are the way to go if you are looking for a durable and strong model. This material is a mix of 20% acryl resin and 80% granite stone. If you want a natural and good-looking model, you should consider a granite kitchen sink. But what are composite sinks pros and cons?
- Long-lasting – these models are resistant to scratches, chipping and heat; all this provides flawless functionality.
- Cleaning granite composite sinks are easy to clean thanks too smooth surface. For thorough cleaning, use vinegar or stone soap.
- Reasonable price – the composite material is cheaper than natural stone.
- Available in a matte finish and dark colors.
- Heavy – sinks consist of the stone, that’s why it’s bulky. You’ll need a professional installation.
- Granite composite sinks might require annual sealing.
- These models are stylish, modern, and durable options
Solid Surface Sink Pros And Cons
Solid surface sinks are becoming popular in recent years. They are made of synthetic sheets – a mix of polyester and/or acrylic resins + mineral compounds. Such sinks look like enamel, but they are more practical and less expensive. However, solid surface sinks have their own pros and cons which you should consider before buying.
- Renewable and durable – the surface is not brittle and fragile, but it can get scratched. However, you’ll be able to renew your sink every few years.
- Different styles and colors are available on the market – it’s a great benefit if you want to make your kitchen unique.
- Affordable – solid surface sinks don’t cost a fortune, however, don’t buy too cheap models because they’ll have very poor quality.
- Prone to scratching – the surface is not as hard as ceramic or other materials, meaning that it gets scratched more easily.
- Poor-quality models might use cheaper fillers like calcium powder. It’s unhealthy – water and dirt will penetrate through the surface, creating bacteria contamination. Besides, the coating will be more fragile and look yellowish.
Solid surface sinks are a great, budget-friendly option if you want more flexibility with colors, designs, and shapes.
We, at mykitchenadvisor.com, hope that you have found the right sink material while you were reading this post. If you have any questions related to the kitchen and cooking, our experts are always here to help you.