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Differences in Stainless Steel Sinks

Gene Goforth - Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Differences in Stainless Steel Sinks

Purchasing a Stainless Steel Sink? Know the differences before you buy.


Types of Sinks: Sinks have come a long way in style and design. Today's consumer and builder have a variety of choices available. We are going to concentrate on Stainless Steel in this blog. Stainless Steel has been a staple in kitchen design for decades. There are three major categories of sinks:


  • 1. Drop-in/overmount: The name says it all. These are sinks that are mounted above the counter top and provide a decorative lip around the bowl. Advantages of this style are that they are usually less expensive and easier to install. The disadvantages are that it’s harder to clean around the lip of the sink and they are typically made of thinner material.
  • 2. Undermount: This is the most common sink today. Mounting under the cabinet gives a cleaner look to the kitchen and makes clean-up of messes a breeze. The pricing ranges from low to high with higher quality materials available in this design.
  • 3. Apron Front: The farmhouse look of the fireclay porcelain sink now has a new look. Many companies are offering a stainless steel version of the farmhouse sink. It has all the features of an undermount sink with a beautiful decorative front. These sinks do require a different cabinet design and need to be discussed with your builder or contractor ahead of time.


Types of Material: You can find Stainless Steel sinks priced from less than $100 to more than $3000. Many say "what's the difference, a sink is a sink?" but just like in cars there are reasons for the differences and you should know what they are before making a decision that you will be living with for years to come.


Stainless Steel sinks come in many thicknesses ranging from 16 gauge to 28 gauge. Many think the higher the number the better but actually with metal the lower the number the thicker and better.


Less expensive sinks will typically be in the 22 to 28 gauge range. These are thinner, more easily damaged and can experience surface rust. They also tend to sound tinny and vibrate when a disposal is attached and are also harder to keep clean.


Your highest quality sink is a 16 gauge. These sinks are the most durable of all of the Stainless Steel sinks. They have a finish that is easier to keep clean and they are less likely to be damaged or develop surface rust. The durability of 16 gauge keeps them from vibrating and provides a more solid sound.


Where it's made: This is probably the most important question. Most Stainless Steel sinks that are sold in the United States today are either North American or Asian made. Sinks made in the US or Canada are made with the highest quality North American steel available. The materials used to make US Stainless Steel is simply better because we know what is in it and that the materials are safe. Asian made stainless steel (even if it says it is 16 gauge) can be lighter in weight and has been known to lose its luster and develop surface rust. When a counter top supplier offers to give you a free sink just know that it's more than likely an Asian made sink.


We offer Canadian made Julien and Home Refinements, US made The Galley Collection and DXV by American Standard. We also offer Artisan Sinks which are an import for the more budget conscious consumer. Check out our web site at www.ahdok.com or contact our showroom at (888) 573-5231.


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