How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink Material

Heather Asiyanbi - 2/9/18 11:41 AM

Choosing the right kitchen sink can be a make or break decision for your overall design. One of the primary concerns – aside from the size – is what material you should get. Not only does your new kitchen sink need to be hardworking and reliable, it has to look good for years to come.

In addition to the standards - stainless steel, enameled cast iron and fireclay - there are quite a few newer options for you to consider as well that might take you by surprise.

You'll also need to think about durability and cost. A natural stone sink might take your breath away and with good reason; this is by far one of the priciest kitchen sink materials on the market, and it can scratch and dent more easily making maintenance something to consider. On the other hand, stainless steel sinks typically start at the low end of the budget but are also super easy to maintain and can hang on to their luster with minimal care.

To help you wade through the options, we’ve put together this list of materials with pricing and suggestions to match your style:

Kraus Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink.jpg

Stainless steel – Shapes can be traditional or modern, classic or contemporary with stainless steel sinks. More, stainless steel sinks can come with an industrial twist on a farmhouse sink or settle in as a simple drop-in. The most durable finish is brushed because it hides smudges and water marks better than polished, and the price is almost always right, starting at about $100. Because stainless steel sinks are so versatile, they are a solid choice for every style. We've put together the top five reasons to choose a stainless steel sink.

Kohler Whitehaven Sink.jpg


Enameled cast iron – Cast iron sinks never go out of style for a reason; they last forever and are probably the easiest sink to keep clean. Cast iron is also extremely heavy so preparing the sink area for its weight – which can average 100 pounds or more – is key. This kitchen stalwart starts at around $200 and can go as high as $3,000. Like its stainless steel counterpart, cast iron sinks come in a variety of colors, shapes and installation configurations so finding one to match your style shouldn’t be stretch.


Blanco Silgranit Kitchen Sink.jpg

Composite granite – Most often constructed of crushed granite or quartz and mixed with a strong resin, composite granite comes in a variety of natural colors, from off-white to black. Composite granite sinks are strong, durable and stand up to the use of daily life and the energy of hosting parties by resisting scratches and being easy to clean. Composite granite works great in a traditional and transitional setting primarily because of the color choices and its undermount installation. Prices are generally between $200 and $500.

 Elkay Drop-In Copper Sink.jpg

Copper – Did you know that copper, like fine wine, improves with age? Copper sinks come in almost the same number of shapes, sizes and configurations as stainless steel but acquire a lovely patina the older they get. More, copper is naturally anti-microbial and rust-resistant. Prices for copper sink vary by size and the thickness of the metal. You can expect to pay around $300 for a 25-inch, single-bowl sink and $5,000 or more for a custom, designer piece with detailing. Country and vintage designs can incorporate a copper sink best whether you’re choice is an undermount or a farmhouse style.

 Alfi Fire Clay Farmhouse Sink.png

Fireclay – Ceramic sinks that most often come in white, fireclay sinks are most often seen in a farmhouse style, which can also evoke a European or Old World flavor at the same time. Fireclay sinks can stand up to a lot and take a cloth with dish soap and water to keep clean. Homeowners with a traditional sense of style would do well with this kind of sink, but be prepared to pay for it. You'll have a $600 to $3,000 cost consideration for a fireclay sink.

Solid surface – Integrated solid surface sinks provide seamless transition between the counter top and the sink, making clean up a snap. Because some materials hold up better than others, you should get a sample or two and test them before you make a final choice. Pots and pans will need to cool before you place them in a solid surface sink, and the material doesn’t always hold well to scratching. Solid surface sinks are best in modern and transitional design because of the sleek and seamless integration with counter tops and are relatively low cost. For a 10 x 10 kitchen counter/sink installation, you'll pay around $3,000 for the counter installed.

Natural stone – By far the priciest on this list, natural stone is also a show-stopper, especially when matched to natural stone counter tops. Costs for a natural stone sink can start as high as $1,000, and they are extremely heavy so appropriate support is imperative for successful installation and longtime use. Country, traditional, and modern homes can successfully feature natural stone.

Topics: Kitchen- Decision Guide- Sink

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