There are many different types of kitchen sinks on the market. As design has evolved, several different materials can be used for sinks. Each material has its own list of benefits and setbacks. One of the most popular options is the stainless steel undermount sink. Stainless steel sinks can still be found in millions of homes. One of its selling features is its affordability. However, if you’re considering this type of sink, there are things you should know.
Stainless Steel Sink Guide
To help you with decision-making, we will provide you with a helpful guide. This will include pros and cons, equaling twelve things you should know. Before diving into that, we'll define some standard terms. Knowing these definitions will help you shop.
Terms to Know
Before getting into the pros and cons of stainless undermount sinks, we’ll define some common terminology used. This will simplify your shopping process:
Gauge. Gauge is the thickness of the steel. Lower numbers mean thicker steel as opposed to common sense. Gauge is measured in a decimal system. For example, a 16 gauge sink will state 0.625 inches. Most sinks fall between sixteen and twenty-two inches thick. A lower gauge (a thicker sink) is often a better option. This is because thicker sinks are more durable, meaning they will last longer. Thicker sinks will usually have more noise control. Thinner sinks will cause more echoing, which can be a nuisance.
Grade. Grade determines the chromium and nickel content within the sink. Higher grade sinks are of better quality. This also means that they will last longer. An 18/8 sink implies that there is an 18% chromium content and 8% nickel content. This will also mean that the sink is more stain-resistant.
Series. Series is another term you may run into. We recommend opting for a sink that is 300 series. Most household sinks are 304 series. If you see the 316 series, that signals that it is a surgical-grade sink. To test the series, a magnet should stick to the sink.
Stamped sinks. Stamping is a method of molding the sink. This refers to a process in which steel is heated and shaped. They don’t offer the same quality as their counterpart, folding. This is because some of the stainless steel can be stretched when stamping.
Folded sinks. Folding is the process of folding or fusing the walls of the sink. This generally results in a higher-quality sink. This results in an equal thickness throughout the sink.
Pros of Stainless Sinks
Now it’s time to compare the pros and cons of undermount stainless steel kitchen sinks. We’ll begin by outlining some of the most notable benefits of choosing this option.
Kitchen sinks will undoubtedly see some trauma. We wash heavy dishes in them, including metal pots and pans. Furthermore, they will see sharp objects, such as knives or broken glass. This means that most homeowners want a durable kitchen sink, which is why a stainless undermount sink is perfect.
Stainless steel is durable and can stand wear and tear as it is made with a great combination of chromium and nickel. It is pretty rare to cause catastrophic failure with these sinks. They will also retain their shine. To clean, you can use gritty scrubs, and it shouldn't cause too much damage.
Due to their incredible durability, single bowl undermount sinks are long-lasting, especially when made in stainless steel. These sinks can last for ages! Though they may begin to see some scratching, it is unlikely that they will become discolored. If you’re looking for a sink that will last the lifespan of your home, a stainless steel sink is the way to go.
Having a strict budget is a healthy thing. Putting money into countertops and cabinets is more common when planning a kitchen. Usually, a sink falls second fiddle to splurging. That's okay! Luckily, you can get a great sink at an affordable price. Single bowl stainless steel undermount sinks are some of the cheapest on the market. If you want to save some money, this is the way to go.
Stainless sinks are significantly less costly than other stone and composite sinks. This is one factor that makes them so common.
It's natural for our sinks to come into contact with heat. After all, we use hot dishes and liquids in the kitchen. Some materials can become burned, warped, or discolored with heat. Thankfully, stainless steel doesn't do this!
Because it's heat resistant, you can put hot pans or pour out hot water directly into the sink. This will save you time. Instead of waiting for everything to cool down, you can immediately use your sink to clean dishes and dispose of hot liquids. This will simplify your cooking experience.
With foods with beets, heavy oils, wine, and dark juices, stains live in the kitchen. However, with your single bowl undermount kitchen sink, you can leave the staining for your apron. Stainless steel is virtually stain-resistant. No matter what comes into contact with your sink, it won’t leave unsightly stains.
Stains will make your kitchen look dirty or messy. This can be a huge deterrent to many materials. However, the ever-popular stainless steel doesn’t have that problem, which is exactly where it got its name “stainless” from!
Kitchens have many different things to think about! There are countertops, cabinets, hardware, faucets, and appliances. This means that many colors are at play. With such a busy kitchen, it can be overwhelming. Many people love the idea of having a neutral sink that will blend in and not compete with other factors in the kitchen.
Stainless steels are extremely neutral. They will complement any granite countertop. They match just about anything you choose. Furthermore, they will play nicely with the appliances that you have installed.
Unfortunately, bacteria are rampant in the kitchen. Kitchen sinks are the worst for harboring bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, so precautions are important. Because of this, you want a sink that’s easy to clean. It’ll give you peace of mind knowing the bacteria has been killed off.
Thankfully, stainless steel sinks are very hygienic. You can give them an in-depth clean with some bleach or a kitchen spray. This will kill any remaining bacteria left. This allows you to use the kitchen sinks for food prep without worrying about last night’s meal.
One of stainless steel's main competitors is granite sinks. While granite sinks are beautiful, they are made from natural stone. This means that they can crack over time! To have a fully functional sink, it must be one smooth piece. This will hold water and liquids. One small crack can be catastrophic!
You don't have to worry about any significant damage being done. This adds to the lifespan of the sink.
It is easy to maintain because stainless steel is stain-resistant, hygienic, and many other things. To properly maintain your sink, follow these steps. This will keep your sink clean and shiny.
Rinse the sink with warm water
Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the sink
Lightly scrub the sink with a sponge
After scrubbing, spray some vinegar over the baking soda
To shine, put some olive oil on a microfiber cloth and buff
For regular cleaning, use any kitchen cleaner. Spray the sink and wipe it down. Rinse the cleaner for a clean surface.
Cons of Stainless Steel
There are many benefits of stainless steel sinks. However, for an educated decision, you must know the cons. There are three primary cons that we will discuss.
Poor Sound Proofing
Noise is a big nuisance for those who have discovered a loud kitchen sink. Some sinks can cause a lot of noise when you're doing dishes. Stainless steel can be one of the worst offenders of this. To avoid this, opt for a thicker gauge. However, granite sinks will be a lot less noisy.
Kitchen sinks can quickly become blemished with scratching. Thankfully, they don’t crack or discolor. However, you can expect scratching. When washing sharp objects or scrubbing with abrasive sponges, this can occur.
This is primarily an aesthetic problem. However, it cannot be very pleasant. Once the stainless steel is scratched, it's unlikely you can fix it.
Stainless steel is metal! As with most other metal materials, denting is possible. If you drop a heavy pot or pan in the sink, this will likely cause a dent. While this likely won't be catastrophic damage, it can be slightly annoying. To avoid, be careful when setting down any heavy pots and pans.
If you're looking to change your kitchen sink, a stainless steel undermount sink is excellent. These neutral-colored sinks will complement any style or color scheme of the kitchen you have. They are highly hygienic and are easy to clean and disinfect. You will appreciate the long lifespan of these sinks. Because they are heat-resistant and stain-resistant, you can feel confident that they will last many years.