Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen Sinks

As my Realtor friends tell me the kitchen is one of the most important areas of the house that a new buyer will be looking at.  I am guessing this is the case for all homeowners regardless of whether they are looking to buy or sell their home.

The majority of kitchen sinks in people’s homes are stainless steel.  In fact, Franke claim that 70% of all sinks are stainless steel.  Their reasons are easy clean up, and well as very hygienic to name a few.

Here is a list of the types of materials sinks can be made from:

Stainless Steel
Composite
Cast Iron
Fireclay
Concrete
Solid Surface
Copper

Then on top of the type of material in a sink you can pick up different styles of sinks, such as:

Undermount
Top Mount
Single compartment
Double Compartment
Compartment and a half
Farm House

The style of sink that you choose will be one that works for your kitchen both aesthetically and functionality wise.  If you are installing stone counter tops then going with an undermount makes the most sense.  Then you need to decide on going with a regular double or with a compartment and a half.  The nice feature about a compartment and a half is that you will get a much larger sink on one side and a smaller sink on the other.  These sinks still take up the room of a double but by changing the percentages you can enjoy the use of a much larger sink.

If you are installing a laminate counter top then you will need to go with a top mounted sink, and if you are installing a solid surface counter top you can decide on either a top mount or a sink that is formed within the counter.

Also, if you go with concrete counters then most people will get a sink that is part of the counter, not always, you could go with a top or under mount if you so choose.

Pros and Cons of Materials in Sinks

Stainless Steel

As I said earlier this is the most common material for a kitchen sink on the market today.  Not all stainless steel sinks are created equally and buying a good name brand like Kindred makes a lot of sense.

The material strength is measured by the gauge of the material.   The lower the gauge the stronger the material.  Providing both sinks are made from the same ratio of material.  These ratios of material will give you the grade of the stainless steel within the sink.  So if a low gauge but bad ratio sink is in your house you might find the sink scratches easy and actually stains.

I never buy cheap products for my house and neither should you.  Stick to name brands and you can rest assured the products with be good.  Another thought is price.  The cheaper a product of service the less reliable that product or service is over the long run.

Composite Granite

I do a lot of installs for some of the large counter top companies here in Edmonton and throughout the surrounding areas.  I find that a lot of those clients are moving toward the composite granite sinks when installing granite or quartz in their kitchen.

Most people love these sinks, but after doing some research I find there can be a few problems.  First of all these sinks are partly granite which means that these can stain just like granite can stain if not cared for correctly.  Also, when these are installed the plumber must be careful as these can break easily during installation.  And the plumber must use a stain free putty or other means of sealing the basket strainers to the sink.  Regular plumbers putty will stain the sink.

Care for your sink as you would care for anything that you want to last for a long time.  Otherwise you will be replacing your sink in a few years.

Another problem is if someone uses the knock outs they need to completely support the sink of the sink will crack.

There are not many colors to choose from, personally I have installed a black, brown, and light brown or beige colored sink.

Cast Iron

These sinks are the heaviest of the materials you can find in a kitchen sink.  Fused to the cast iron is an enamel that makes cleaning very easy.  A heavy cast iron sink will last for years with regular care.  You will not want to drop anything heavy in the sink as this can chip the enamel and cause rusting later on.

I hooked up one cast iron sink in an undermount counter top that required much more support than a regular sink.  These can be very heavy and without that extra support the sink will most likely drop out at some time in the future.

Fireclay

These types of sinks are exactly the way they sound.  The ceramic and enamel are fired at a high temperature that cooks and fuses the two materials together.  Similar to enamel on cast iron without the need to baking the cast iron, and at a lower temperature.

These are vary durable and can last a very long time.  Often these are along with the cast iron used for farmhouse or apron styles sinks.

These are lighter than cast iron, but still very heavy and will require extra supports.  Also, as far as I know there is only white available for colors.

Concrete

The only concrete sinks I have ever hooked up were molded along with the concrete counter tops.  These look great, but are much more expensive as these are always done to a custom size and order.

The problems with concrete is this material is very porous and if the sealant wears off you will stain your sink.  One of the sinks I hooked up gave me a lot of grief as the drain has a small piece of concrete that was part of the mold on the underside of the sink.  When I hooked up the drain the rubber on the basket strainer was not able to create a proper seal.  I gently knocked off the extra concrete with a screwdriver and my hand, not wanting to use a hammer as if I cracked the sink the whole counter would be garbage.  Thankfully I was able to make it work, just to find out a similar problem under the hole of the faucet.  In this case there would be no leaking but I still need the faucet to lay level and look good when I was done.  the whole process took an extra hour between these two problems.

Solid Surface

The most common solid surface material is Corian from Dupont.  These are not the same as years ago when these were first invented.  Today solid surface materials are a great product that wear really well and come in a variety of colors.  For the most part the only time I have hooked up sinks made of solid surface materials is when I was doing work for dental or doctor offices.  The material is much more hygienic than stone and can be very durable.  Not nearly as popular as stone in residential applications for counter tops, and I do not believe you can find a sink made from solid surface material without the counter.

Copper

As a plumber I think that anything that is made from copper looks absolutely fantastic!  But you need to think back to the days when we had pennies (not that long ago lol), remember how a new penny looks then how an older penny looks?  This same thing will happen to your copper sink.  And this can happen at faster and slower times for different areas of your copper sink.  If this is something that is going to bug you over time then stay away from this type of sink.

As always…you get what you pay for when you buy any product or any service.  So, do not go cheap on products or services that you want to last for a long time.

For these and any other services feel free to give us a call at:

Kramer Plumbing and Radiant Heat


249 Grand Meadow Crescent NW
Edmonton,
AB
T6L 1W9

(780) 780-264-0878

Thanks,

Hope to hear from you soon,

Kelly

 

 

 

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