We are replacing kitchen sink with new drop-in, plain white but can't
decide which type of material to purchase. We want a sink that is
easy to clean and will resist scratches and marks.
We find several types of materials, all of which brag about their
great finish but would like opinions from actual users.
We have a RO unit so must have at least 5 holes cut in the sink for
connecting faucets etc. Can all materials be drilled for these
We have been told that enamel on cast iron is tough but will show a
mark whenever a pan is placed in the sink??
Other materials show less marks but are subject to scratches??
All opinions and help appreciated.
As the old saying goes, opinions are like asshole. Everybody has one. Mine
is this: If materials other than stainless steel were so terrific, they'd be
used in restaurant kitchens. They are not. You have to be out of your mind
to have anything but stainless.
Home Depot & Lowe's don't seem to carry top of the line sinks. You'll need
to open the yellow pages and find a kitchen specialty or plumbing store.
Probably no single place carries all models, so this will take some leg
work. One downside to cheap stainless sinks is that the decks will flex when
you move the faucet around while washing pots. When the deck flexes, the
deck plate gasket may eventually stop doing its job and you get just enough
drips into the cabinet to be annoying. ("Hmm....is it a leak from a pipe, or
what?" - 20 minutes before you're expecting guests and you don't need any
Drilling: Any material can be drilled for whatever you want. The question is
whether the sink of your choice will be large enough to accomodate all the
As far as marks on enamel, I never had that problem unless it was a cast
iron pot, and even so, it cleaned off easily. As far as the composite
materials, I've never lived with them, so I don't know what happens if you
take a pot directly from the hot stove burner and place it in the sink.
Stainless does nothing when it encounters high heat. You don't have to
"baby" a stainless steel sink.
13 years ago I went through the same data gathering. I ended up
getting a white porcelain on cast iron sink from Kohler. It has held
up fine but we do have to scour it once in a while. Note: the first one
that arrived had a corner smashed, so inspect carefully.
I was cautioned about getting stainless steel because it attracts dirt
and grease and needs to be cleaned often. My GF insisted that I not get
stainless appliances because of the cost and cleaning.
Also, I am happy with the uneven double sinks. However, apparently
wooden cutting boards are no longer available. Some health nazi decided
bacteria might grow on them. (I'm still using a 100+ year old hardwood
board my grandmother had. Nobody has gotten sick from it as far as we
I don't know what a "RO unit" is, but I would never think about drilling
A related feature that I'm happy with is the Chicago faucet. I really
like the high rise spout, similar to what you see in a chem lab. It
lets large pots be moved under the water for washing. Chicago is an old
company that makes quality products (at a price!).
The finish has remain perfect with no chipping, blistering or cracks.
The valves do not leak, although I have replaced the rubber seals twice.
Comparing a stainless sink to stainless appliances makes no sense.
Appliances are harder to BE HAPPY with because you cannot clean them in
exactly the same way as a stainless sink, so you may end up with streaks.
(Rubbing alcohol's the trick, by the way). But, stainless sinks do not
"attract dirt and grease". That's silly.
Referring to store names, where have you shopped and been unable to find
wooden cutting boards?
Stainless steel kitchen sinks are my preference actually. Haven't had
a single problem cleaning mine, and it's the only material I haven't
had to scour periodically to keep clean.
Regular SS for appliances I agree can be a pain to keep up with if the
appliance is in a place where fingerprints are common.
Been around for 90 yrs and seen a few sinks in my time from Toyko to
My advice, a good grade double deep stainless. Will serve any need
that arises now and in the future. Not cheap exactly but worth ever
We have a porcelein on cast iron Kohler. Finish is worn out after 9 years.
Will be going with Corian soon but otherwise I would go with a deep
stainless steel double sink drilled at the factory. Consumer Reports says
thickness doesn't matter but my parents have a cheap thin one and even
though the faucet is mounted tightly it flexes because of the thin stainless
Better ones often have some sort of coating underneath, which lowers noise
(from clattering objects in sink, and running water), and, I suspect, help
keeps a sink full of water hot longer, if you're soaking things in one side
and washing in the other.
I have had white enamel on cast iron in many homes with no problems.
Occasionally, in my well-traveled renter days, I would get an enamel on
cast iron sink that had a chip in the enamel, so apparently that can
happen, but I have never managed to chip one no matter what I dropped
on it, so don't know how the previous residents managed to pull that
I have never had a problem with staining in any but the very oldest
ones, in which the enamel had been scratched and worn away over the
years, and even then I was usually able to remove staining with a
bleach soaking. Rust staining could be a problem, but if you take the
usual care to avoid it (don't leave SOS pads on the sink, don't leave
damp cast iron or rust-prone metals in the sink, etc.), I don't see it
being a problem.
I've also had many stainless steel sinks and actually, based on my
experience, find them no harder and no easier to maintain -- just
Currently, I have a bathroom sink made of Corian (the vanity top and
sink are one seamless piece) and have found it scratches readily. Not
big, deep gouges, but it takes more care than I would have expected
(based on Corian's advertising, having had no prior experience with it)
to avoid fine scratches. That's the one sink material I've had that I
Sadly, that's not my experience. I've found that slight touches
from a metal pan can leave marks that are moderately hard to
remove. Certainly not impossible to remove but an inconvenience
More recently, I created a chip of several square inches simply
by pouring some hot (near boiling) water into the sink. There was
a loud "ping" and I found several large "flakes" of enamel had
detached from the cast iron. I was not a happy camper at that
I've always found SS easy to clean. My caffeine problem does
lead to some slight staining which is soon eliminated with a
little bleach once a month or so. I figure that also helps
to disinfect the waste disposal and P-trap.
I agree. Corian is certainly a neat material but I don't think
it's sufficiently durable for kitchen sinks. At least, not one
that is subject to all of the abuse a large family will throw
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Thanks to all of you that responded. I gave me good information to
consider when making the purchase.
Bottom line is that wife selected solid white American Standard
"Americast" sink. Now the problem is that we need one more hole
drilled for mounting faucets etc.
Anyone have any experience drilling holes in this particular sink?
I am open to suggestions again.
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