• Understanding Sinks

    Understanding Sinks

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    June 7, 2017

    You may not know, but it most sinks are available in a wide range of materials.

    Many styles, including under-mounted sinks, can only be made from certain materials.

    Some more commonly known sink materials are cast polymer, copper, enameled cast iron, enameled steel, glass, and stone.

    And a quick note – Builder Supply Outlet and the Edge Showroom carry the top sink brands of all types including Bala, Elkay, Lenova and others.  We also carry the best faucet brands including Eden, Lenova, Huntington Brass, and others.  Stop in anytime to learn more about sinks, faucets, or make an appointment and meet with an Edge Kitchen and Bath Designer absolutely FREE by clicking here.

    Let’s take a moment and go over some of the more popular choices, as well as some not-as-popular choices, just so we cover all bases.

    I’m going to give you the name of the material and some brief information about each.

    COPPER/BRONZE

    Copper and bronze are great choices for excellent durability.  You can also easily clean them with a non-abrasive cleaner.

    Just keep in mind they have a high upfront cost and tend to acquire a warm retina with age.

    STONE

    The most common stone sinks include marble, soapstone, granite, and onyx.

    You may also find sinks in “cultured stone.”  These sinks feature crushed stone and plastic resins.

    Stone sinks as you would imagine are very durable.

    A couple of things to keep in mind are that stone sinks are very heavy.  If you get a stone sink that is either wall-mounted or under-mounted, you may need extra support.

    Stone sinks also require resealing from time to time.

    VITREOUS CHINA

    Vitreous china sinks are made of clay, similar to pottery.

    They’re manufactured at extremely high temperatures.

    Each sink typically features a very ornate or otherwise decorative pattern.

    They’re also easy to clean and barely absorb moisture, which cuts down on mildew.  Another plus is that they resist discoloration and corrosion.

    One thing to note is that they easily chip if struck by a heavy object.

    ENAMELED CAST IRON

    Enameled cast iron is very thick, giving it a substantive look.

    This thickness makes them heavy weight and chip-resistant.

    These sinks are available in many beautiful colors and extremely clean, making them a popular choice.

    ENAMELED STEEL

    Enameled steel resembles cast iron.

    These sinks are manufactured by spraying enamel on die-cast sheet metal and firing at high temperatures.

    They are very lightweight and feature slim edges.

    Just keep in mind that they’re susceptible to flexing. This can result in cracks or chips in the finish.

    GLASS

    Glass sinks are comprised of thick, tempered glass, that will not shatter.

    They are perfect for countertop sinks.

    Just keep in mind that they typically show every water spot and you can only clean them with non-abrasive cleaners.

    SOLID SURFACE

    Solid surface sinks are manufactured with acrylic and/or polyester resins baked into sheets.

    Resin provides flexibility.  Polyester provides dramatic coloring.

    Both are stain-resistant and highly durable.

    One thing to note is that they typically require installation by an authorized dealer to keep from voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.

    WOOD

    Wood sinks are made out of birch, oak, mahogany, teak, or maple.

    The natural resins are extracted and then they’re immediately replaced with artificial ones.  Finally, the wood is sealed with multiple layers of epoxy.

    They feature intricate construction and are very expensive compared to other sink types.

    Just note that they should be cleaned and wiped down after every use.  You also need to wax them periodically to ensure durability.

    STAINLESS STEEL

    Stainless steel is very popular.

    The quality varies according to thickness, gauge, and nickel content.  Typically, the thicker the gauge and greater the concentration of nickel, the better the quality and higher the expense.

    Thicker steel, such as 18-gauge, resists dents and water spots.  Thinner steel is cheaper and will dent or show most scratches.

    Stainless is also fairly easy to clean.

    CAST POLYMER

    Cast polymer features resin mixed with ground marble, which is then finished with a gel coating.

    These include cultured marble, cultured granite, and cultured onyx.

    While the sink itself is very durable, the gel coating may eventually crack or the shine may fade away.

    COMPOSITE

    Composite sinks are made from acrylic resins and ground minerals.

    One key feature is that the color is solid throughout sink.

    They are very durable sinks.

    Composite sinks do tend to be a bit pricey, though worth it.

    They also require you to use a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent it from scratching.

    Hopefully you now understand even more about the different materials sinks are made out of and found one that suits your needs!

    And of course, don’t forget that Builder Supply Outlet and the Edge Showroom carry the top sink brands of all types including Bala, Elkay, Lenova and others.  We also carry the best faucet brands including Eden, Lenova, Huntington Brass, and others.  Stop in anytime to learn more about sinks, faucets, or make an appointment and meet with an Edge Kitchen and Bath Designer absolutely FREE by clicking here.

    Feel free to stop into Builder Supply Outlet or the Edge Showroom with any home improvement questions you may have regarding sink types, kitchen layouts, cabinet hardware, bathroom vanity sinks, tops, remodeling, tile, backsplash, cleaning, sealing, grout, windows, kitchen cabinets, construction, contractors, designing/installing a new kitchen or bathroom — or anything else.  We can help you through the entire design and installation process from A-Z.  Or call us anytime in Broadview, IL at 1-708-343-3900 or in Orland Park, IL at 1-844-876-3343.  You can also make an appointment to meet with one of our Edge Kitchen and Bathroom designers at no charge by clicking here.