A central fixture in most American homes, the kitchen sink is used dozens of times a day. Whether bathing a newborn child, or scrubbing lasagna pans the kitchen sink is often one of the busiest areas in a home. Available in thousands of designs and made of every different material imaginable, the choice of a new kitchen sink should be based on the specific needs of the owner. When purchasing a new sink, there are a great many things to consider.
The average American family will probably need a sink that is durable, easy to clean, attractive and economical. The introduction of new stainless steel appliances has made the stainless steel kitchen sink popular again. As with any material, "you get what you pay for." Although slightly more expensive, a thicker quality stainless steel sink that is firm and durable will pay for itself over time, simply by lasting for many years.
Stainless-steel is measured by gauge; the thicker the material, the lower the gauge. An18-gauge or thicker is best and will last longer than a thinner choice. If a measuring device is not available, simply pressing on the material can usually judge the thickness. If it flexes, a thicker choice is wise. Not only will the sink not last as long, a garbage disposal will appear louder and rattle while in use if used on a thinner gauge of steel. It is also a good idea to stay away from the "mirror" type of stainless steel. It looks good at first, but eventually water stains become harder and harder to remove. It will scratch and lose its luster quickly, making it more of an eyesore than a showpiece.
Enameled cast iron is another durable choice for a new kitchen sink. Incredibly durable, enameled cast iron will last a lifetime, retaining its glossy finish for years. Coated with porcelain enamel and available in all colors, it is easy to clean and maintain. Although they are extremely heavy, the drop-in style is fairly easy to install. Abrasive cleaners should not be used on this type of finish, as they can cause the glossy finish to dull.
Acrylic kitchen sinks are easily maintained and resistant to stains. A plastic molded to form the shape of a sink, acrylic is smooth and easy to clean. Acrylic surfaces are renewable and it is one of the more economical choices of kitchen sink materials available.
Bronze and Copper sinks add a unique decorative touch to many kitchens, yet caution should be taken to assure there is no lead or mercury elements remaining in the copper. After some time, copper sinks may change colors, giving it a unique appearance. Stone and granite are heavy and durable and another unique style for the popular, rustic décor design.
When purchasing a new kitchen sink, it is a good idea to spend some time looking over the pros and cons of each choice carefully. Take the time to investigate and choose carefully so that the sink is sure to last a lifetime.