Are you in the market for a new stainless steel sink? Stainless steel kitchen sinks possess great qualities that make them a good choice for just about any kitchen. Their look is timeless and complements other stainless appliances. They can be rugged and durable but quality construction is important in obtaining longevity and satisfactory performance. Look to these guidelines to make sure your purchase is one you’ll be happy with for years.
Stainless steel is ranked to reflect its contents. You want 300 series, or about 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel for optimal corrosion and stain resistance. Not sure if the sink is 300 series? Try the magnet test: If the sink holds a magnet, it is not 300 series.
Stainless steel sinks are made using sheets of metal, and the thickness of these sheets is measured in terms of gauge. The lower the gauge, the thicker and more durable the metal, while higher gauges are associated with thinner steel. To minimize dents and dings, choose the lowest gauge possible. Blanco America, Inc. suggests 18 gauge as the optimal thickness for residential stainless steel sinks.
When you’re shopping for stainless steel sinks, it’s easy to be drawn to the shiny mirrored finish found on polished stainless steel sinks. While this finish sparkles in the showroom, it’s notoriously difficult to maintain in the real world, as polished finishes show every fingerprint and smudge.
For easier maintenance, choose brushed or satin finishes, which do a better job of hiding scratches and water spots.
Shape and Depth
Generally speaking, the deeper, the better. A 10 inch sink is going to give you lots of flexibility with large pots and roasting pans. You will also avoid splashes and will maximize counter space. Shape matters too. You get more volume with square corners, straight sides, and a flat bottom, but soft angles allow for easy cleaning and good drainage.
Don’t forget about the drain! Toward the back means more usable space in the base cabinet and better drainage when dishes are piled in the sink.
Bottom grids, rinsing baskets and basin racks are a great investment to extend the life of your sink. Available in a variety of sizes, they keep pots and pans from scratching the sink, protect your dishes and save space.