How to Choose Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks How to Choose Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks
Stainless steel kitchen sinks have excellent properties, that attract homeowners to choose them for their kitchen. They are not easily dented or scratched, and not easily contaminated, stained or rusted. Since the quality, design and style of the stainless steel sinks are not the same from one model to another, it is but proper to choose the best one before purchase. Here are some things to consider.
Thickness or Gauge
The gauge describes the thickness of the metal, an important characteristic that should not be ignored. Just be careful, because the gauge is reversely proportional to the thickness of the metal. Thus, a sink with a lower gauge is thicker that that with a higher gauge. The gauges of a sink range from 16 to 22 from thicker to thinner. Keep in mind that thinner sinks are noisy and more susceptible to dents and scratches. Since a kitchen sink is usually used for constant cooking and dish washing activities, it is important to choose that with a lower gauge, thus a thicker metal. Those of good quality have a gauge ranging from 16 to 18.
Material or Composition
Stainless steel has nickel and chrome in it, to make it less susceptible to corrosion. The strength of the material has to do with the addition of these 2 components. These components also add shine and luster to the steel. Ideally, 18 percent of chrome and 10 percent of nickel is added to the main steel component, to create an excellent quality sink. Because some sinks are glossed to give the impression that they are of good quality, it is best to inquire on the composition of the sink, or at least check the product description and the manufacturer, before purchasing.
Design and Style
Style is a personal choice and should be left to the buyer. Just remember that these sinks can be round, square, rectangular or oval in shape. When choosing a shape, consider the location for the installation. Take note of the dimensions and use them as a guide when choosing a sink that will fit into the sink hole. This is very important when choosing a replacement sink. Consider the number of bowls in the sink as well. A double bowl configuration is commonly used, but some people prefer to have a full-sized single bowl sink, for more space.
The installation style is of utmost importance as well. The 2 main installation types are the undermount and the drop-in types. The countertop material, as well as your own preference should be considered when deciding between the 2.
The undermount sink is best for tile, marble, granite or any other solid surface countertops. Since the sink will be installed underneath the countertop, it will look as if it is part of the whole design and not separate.
The drop-in type can rest on top of any countertop material, and can be replaced without having to disturb the countertop or the plumbing materials. The sink is installed by simply dropping it into a cut-out on the countertop.