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Everything You Need to Know about Kitchen Sink Materials

Several factors need to be considered if you are planning to replace or install the new kitchen sink. The material used is one of the major factors to look at and understanding it is extremely important. Manufacturers today make kitchen sinks from a wide variety of materials.

These materials come in different colors, styles, sizes, and designs. Certain materials are incredibly durable and resistant to scuffs, stains, and scratches, while others are more delicate and best suited for medium to light use. Your kitchen sink material will affect the way you use your sink.

The variety of these materials is incredible, from natural stone to cast iron to copper. It has made it hard for homeowners to choose from the choices available. Luckily, we have chosen the 5 best types of kitchen sink materials you can find on the market and online as well.

1. Stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most economical materials for kitchen sinks. It is the most common material for modern kitchen sinks, offering a sleek and contemporary look, particularly when combined with stone, granite, or wood countertops.

The kitchen sink’s classic material is impervious to corrosion and does not allow bacteria to live, providing an attractive surface for food and family lifestyle preparations.

Items made of stainless steel are rated according to gauge. The higher gauge is strong and costlier, whereas the lower gauge is less strong and cheaper.

Most sinks have a gauge that ranges from 15 to 24 and many use it with either 18 or 22 styles. Such sizes show that thickness drops from 0.48 to 0.30, respectively. The fact about gauge is that smaller gauge numbers mean a thicker material. 

Sink Formula says, “stainless steel is still a standard option because of its simplicity in maintenance and durability.” Sinks made from stainless steel require daily cleaning to retain their look. The material’s most significant advantage is its ability to withstand high impact, shock, fire, rust, and corrosion. Apart from this, stainless steel is extremely lightweight and well suited for the ever-popular undermount sinks.

You can toss heavy-duty cooking utensils on it without worrying about the material losing its integrity. The drawback of the material is the fact that it lacks soundproofing and color options. 

 Everything You Need to Know about Kitchen Sink Materials

2. Pure granite sinks

If you are a person who loves aesthetics and is willing to pay less for a stylish and shiny kitchen sink, the way to go will be a pure granite sink. The majority of granite kitchen sinks are made from a composite or a mixture of granite dust and acrylic resins.

 High-quality granite shapes a non-porous and robust material. It is rare to find pure natural granite sinks, and if you find one, it is correspondingly expensive. 

The sheer magnitude of the varieties of color, finish, texture, and mounting it provides will leave you breathless. Because of its porous nature, if you do not clean the surface well after intensive dishwashing, its surface will easily trap stains and grime. If your countertop is made of these materials, it will bring incredible fluidity to the entire system. 

Granite sinks are less prone to accidents and damages compared to stainless steel. They also make less noise than other materials even though stainless steel is easier to maintain and less expensive than granite. Like the majority of the materials, they are also durable, long-lasting, and hardwearing. Every piece produced is uniquely carved, chiseled, sculpted, or smooth. 

3. Copper

Copper is one of the unique materials available for kitchen sinks. The appealing color and constant, shifting surface provide a style and look that makes your sink stand out.

Usually, copper sinks are made from hammered Copper. These sinks come in several colors and are sealed for corrosion protection. Without the proper coating, it requires regular polishing and can be coated by wax. 

Copper sinks come with the finished appearance known as a patina, which is the shiny look that most of us notice. Studies have shown that bacteria can’t live on a copper surface for more than a few hours. Copper is highly reactive, and a distinctive blue/green patina may grow over time.

Copper goods tend to look appealing to the eyes, but their unique features make them more striking. Copper is measured in scale-like stainless steel and can be noisy, depending on the thickness. The capacity to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria naturally makes it perfect in terms of hygiene. 

Copper is easily pliable, making it easier to design the sink’s style that fits your kitchen countertop. A bright, warm, rosy-colored copper sink will be the focal point of a kitchen, attractive as both a drop-in model and a farmhouse style. In addition to the elegant look, Copper is also blessed with high thermal resistance making it rust and corrosion-resistant.

4. Fireclay

Fireclay is a type of ceramic-coated refractory clay that makes the surface of the sink glossy and impervious to scratching, chipping, and stains. Thanks to its striking finish and high malleability that has increased the demand for fireclay ceramic. Fireclay sinks are created by molding ceramic clay into the sink form and allowing it to dry for up to 40 hours at a high temperature. 

Although fireclay sinks are available in different styles and installations, this material is commonly used in farm sinks. Individuals prefer fireclay farmhouse sinks for their conventional but timeless styling. Homeowners can come up with great designs and mold the sink as their wish.

This ultra-sustainable material is perfect for pots and saucepans. Fireclay is known for its ability to withstand extremely high heat. The heat produced transforms the clay into a solid material that is extremely robust and suitable for sinks in the kitchen. Just like their traditional counterparts, they are heavy and need to be protected by reinforced countertops and cabinetry.

Fireclay can also be more susceptible to cracking than other materials, although you can reduce the risk by doing the proper installation and providing excellent care. Such kitchen sinks mimic conventional sinks made of cast-iron enamel but are more resistant to stain and scratch.

 Everything You Need to Know about Kitchen Sink Materials

5. Enameled Cast Iron

The bright, smooth, and polished design of cast iron sinks makes it one of the favorites for our modern kitchens. Cast iron sinks are robust and can last for several years without losing its natural beauty. These sinks are heavy, so they require reinforced countertops and cabinetry support. These are often susceptible to staining and chipping.

Irons are susceptible to rusting, and not many individuals like this. That is why they are heavily coated with a porcelain enamel finish. Classy enamel is ideal for iron, as it covers water spots and makes it easy to clean the sink. Porcelain enamel also renders iron light and fading resistant, which every homeowner requires.

It is not advisable to use a harsh abrasive cleaner to scrub its surface. It can erode the protective enamel that coats the sink, breaking your hopes of having a beautiful kitchen sink that lasts for long. Usually, the smooth, glossy finish on cast iron sink can be kept clean easily and do not hold water spotting.

Which material is suitable for a kitchen?

Well, more than half of the world’s kitchen sinks are manufactured from stainless steel material. It is because the material is lightweight, resistant to corrosion and rust, and easy to clean and maintain. It is also an extremely versatile material for sink design with an incredibly wide choice of styles that suit any kitchen.

The good thing about these sinks is the variety of options they can give, to complement any kitchen décor. The choice of surface finishes is one of the options it offers. The common stainless steel finishes are satin, matte, and polished. The robust metal thickness is also another thing that makes stainless steel a better choice.


Comparing the different sink materials helps you choose the most reliable and robust sink material that fits your style. All the options available hold up well and provide resistance to various potential kitchen damages. Choosing the best material for your kitchen, therefore mean checking through a variety of factors. You are advised to look for an alternative that suits your kitchen decor, needs, and budget.

Image courtesy of White Arrow LLC / Keren Richter / Thomas Richter / Interior Design / 2017