Finding the right material for your kitchen can never get easy now that there are so many options in the market today. From natural stone to fire clay and hammered copper and enameled cast iron, you’ll be lost of choices.
The material of your kitchen sink will significantly impact the way you interact with it. Remember, kitchen sinks take a lot of abuse, from hot pans to dropped pots and stains. And since you want your kitchen sink to look beautiful, you’ll have to get a material that is not only durable but also fits your aesthetic needs.
In this guide, we’ve listed all types of kitchen materials you can find today. Therefore, read on for the strengths and possible drawbacks of the best kitchen sink materials so you can make an informed buying decision.
What's in this Guide?
- Top 10 Kitchen Sink Materials
- So, what is the Best Kitchen Sink Material?
- Q. What is the most popular kitchen sink material?
- Q. Is stainless steel or composite sink better?
- Q. What are fireclay sinks?
- Q. What type of sink is most durable?
- Q. Can you use bleach on a composite sink?
- Q. What is the difference between a granite sink and a composite sink?
- Q. Is ceramic and fireclay the same?
- Q. Are fireclay sinks expensive?
- Q. Are granite sinks better than stainless?
- Q. Can you use soft scrub on the granite composite sink?
- Q. What is the best material to use for a bathroom sink?
- Q. Is composite better than granite?
- Q. What is the difference between quartz and granite sinks?
- Q. Can I use Zoflora on a composite sink?
- Q. Can you use the pink stuff on composite sinks?
Top 10 Kitchen Sink Materials
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used materials for kitchen sinks. It provides a stylish, sleek look, especially when paired with wood or granite countertops.
And if you want an elegant look for your stainless steel kitchen sink, go for the undermount model instead of a drop-in.
One thing to note about stainless steel sinks is that the smaller the gauge, the thicker the steel. Therefore, if you’ve made up your mind about getting this type of sink, aim for 16 to 18 gauge steel.
You also need to check the series number (pertains to how the steel was made and whether it’s magnetic or not)). For instance, a 300 stainless steel is not magnetic thus favored for most structural products like sinks. It also doesn’t damage in high temperatures, survives high impact, and is shock, rust, and corrosion-resistant.
Stainless steel kitchen sinks come at affordable prices and are also easy to clean and maintain. However, they can be noisy.
Cooper sinks are attractive, and should you decide to settle for one, it’ll be your kitchen’s focal point. You’ll always find new trends of these timeless beauties from time to time.
These sinks come in striking colors and different patinas with a unique style to ensure that the sink stands out.
Another selling point for copper is that it has the natural ability to kill 99.99% of bacteria. In fact, scientists argue that copper molecules make holes in bacteria membranes to inhibit their growth. With such a kitchen sink, you’ll never have to worry about your cooking space becoming a breeding ground for germs.
Like stainless steel, copper is available in different gauges. Go for a 14-18 gauge sink as it offers the best durability and a thicker sink if interested in a more dent-resistant model.
Copper is easily pliable; hence easy to custom-design your sink to fit your kitchen countertop. It is also easy to clean since you only need to rinse it daily with clean water and mild soap.
On the downside, copper reacts to acids and some cleaners, and these chemicals can damage the patina. It also comes with a high price tag.
3. Pure Granite
If beauty is your number one priority and you’re ready to part with a handsome amount for a stylish and glossy kitchen sink, go for a pure granite kitchen sink. They are available in a wide array of colors, finish, texture, and mounting varieties to suit your needs.
Granite is an igneous rock that is both strong and heat-resistant. It also boasts a rugged surface that is less forgiving to glassware hence highly efficient.
However, due to its porous nature, granite can catch grime and stains if not well-scrubbed after every cleaning session. Granite sinks are also quite heavy and require you to reinforce your existing countertop and cabinet to support them, which obviously drives up the installation cost.
4. Cast Iron
Cast iron kitchen sinks are made from pure iron hence the name. They are forged at high heat, a feature that makes them highly durable and heat-resistant.
These sinks boast an enamel coating baked into the iron substrate to give it a sparkling, polished look. The coating also helps to keep your sink squeaky clean and easy to maintain.
Cast iron sinks come in different colors and styles, giving you a chance to select your favorite. Expect to pay more if you go for other colors (cashmere, black, etc.) other than the standard white.
However, one thing to note is that you should never use a harsh abrasive cleaner to clean cast iron sinks as it can erode the enamel coating.
Composite kitchen sinks are incredibly durable and come as either quartz or granite materials. Actually, there are claims that kitchen sinks made from composite granite are the most durable sinks you can find around.
These products can withstand abrasion, extreme heat, and chemical weathering hence highly effective. To keep them grime and bacteria-free, you have to scrub off the surface with a mild detergent and soft sponge after every cleaning session.
Composite sinks are, however, quite heavy and more expensive than stainless steel sinks.
Fireclay is one of the best kitchen sink materials in the market today. It is a type of enamel made from white clay and heated to high temperatures.
Fireclay kitchen sinks look like traditional cast-iron enamel sinks but are more resistant to scratching and staining. They also feature exceptional heat resistance and can withstand 1800 to 2200 degrees F.
These kitchen sinks often come in the farmhouse style with an exposed apron. They are usually coated with ceramic to make the surface glossy and resistant to chipping. They also boast a striking finish and high malleability.
Fireclay sinks are extremely heavy hence require reinforced cabinetry and countertops for support. Also, if not well handled, fireclay can develop cracks during installation.
Enamel kitchen sinks are made using cast iron and glass-based glaze. They are smoother and softer than stainless steel sinks and come in a variety of colors.
If well maintained, an enamel kitchen sink can increase the overall value of your home.
These sinks are, however, heavy and require reinforced support of cabinetry and countertops. They are also prone to chipping and staining hence the need to handle them with care.
Use mild acids to treat stains and non-abrasive sponges to avoid scratches.
Soapstone is one of the hottest kitchen materials you can have for your home. It’s non-porous and robust hence long-lasting.
Soapstone is soft hence more pliable than other models. You can cut it to any size, small or large, to fit your cabinet and countertop.
One thing to note about soapstone kitchen sinks is that they don’t offer much texture or color variety like quartz or granite. It can also catch water stains with ease if you are not careful enough.
Should that happen, rub the surface with mineral oil and beeswax solution to remove the stains.
Stone sinks bring a wow factor to the kitchen. And thanks to natural pigmentations and variegations, each stone sink is different.
Stone sinks are also carved from a single block, a feature that makes it easy to preserve the texture of the product.
One major drawback of these kitchen sinks is that they are porous, and the slightest contact with cleaning agents can lead to severe damage. They are also very heavy.
10. Solid Surface
Solid surface kitchen sinks are easy to maintain, come with a friendly price tag, and have aesthetically pleasing designs. The core material for these sinks is usually a mineral compound mixed with acrylic resin and polyester.
This material is the best choice for undermount sinks as they offer a seamless continuity to the countertop and add to the sleek design elements of modern kitchens.
Solid surface kitchen sinks have a non-porous surface that doesn’t trap food particles, odor, or bacteria. The only downside of the sinks is that they get scratched with ease if handled roughly.
So, what is the Best Kitchen Sink Material?
To get the ideal material for your kitchen sink, you need to consider what each variant has to offer, your family needs, space, and budget.
Different purposes like cleaning pots and pans or dishwashing will determine the material to go for. For instance, if you have heavy washing periods, go for stainless steel, composite, or fireclay kitchen sink materials.
If all you need is a sink to show your friends how classy you can be, go for more expensive kitchen sink materials.
Q. What is the most popular kitchen sink material?
Stainless steel is the most popular kitchen sink material.
Q. Is stainless steel or composite sink better?
Stainless steel is better. It is lighter, easy to maintain, easier to install, and less expensive than composite sinks.
Q. What are fireclay sinks?
A fireclay sink is a type of ceramic sink, which isn’t carved but molded at extreme temperatures. It is heavy-duty and super durable.
Q. What type of sink is most durable?
Sinks made of granite composite are the most durable.
Q. Can you use bleach on a composite sink?
It’s not advisable to use bleach on a composite sink as it can adversely affect the color of the sink. It can also damage the surface of the sink.
Q. What is the difference between a granite sink and a composite sink?
Composite sinks are better than granite sinks. In fact, they are largely made from granite and are formed using enormous heat and pressure.
Composite sinks are also resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.
Q. Is ceramic and fireclay the same?
Although both have clay components, they are slightly different. Ceramic products are made by mixing clay, earthen elements, powders, and water. They are hard, porous, and brittle.
On the other hand, fireclay is made when clay and glaze fuse together after being heated/fired at very high temperatures. Fireclay products are non-porous, resistant to alkali, acid, and scratches.
Fireclay is actually a form of ceramic but with a tougher exterior.
Q. Are fireclay sinks expensive?
Yes, fireclay sinks come with a high price tag.
Q. Are granite sinks better than stainless?
Granite is more durable and makes less noise than stainless steel. Granite sinks are also available in a variety of color options.
Q. Can you use soft scrub on the granite composite sink?
Yes, a soft scrub is safe to use on a granite composite sink.
Q. What is the best material to use for a bathroom sink?
The best material for a bathroom sink is ceramic. It’s durable, easy to clean, and blends with most bathroom interiors.
Q. Is composite better than granite?
Composite is extremely durable and unlikely to dent, chip or scratch. It’s also heat-resistant and less expensive than granite.
Q. What is the difference between quartz and granite sinks?
Quartz sinks are harder and more durable than granite sinks. Granite sinks are easier to maintain.
Q. Can I use Zoflora on a composite sink?
Yes, you can clean a composite sink using zoflora.
Q. Can you use the pink stuff on composite sinks?
Yes, the pink stuff can help you remove stubborn dirt build-up and difficult water marks from a composite sink.
Your sink is one of the most critical elements in your kitchen. It contributes to the functionality and aesthetics of your cooking space hence very important.
The type of kitchen sink material you settle for will determine whether you’ll have your sink in the long run, whether it’ll be easy to maintain, and the much you’re going to spend on it.
We hope that our guide has equipped you with enough knowledge to help you get the best kitchen sink material for your home. Consider your family needs before making the decision and the much you are willing to spend on the material.