Types of Materials for Kitchen Sinks
 
 
Cast Iron – To make a cast-iron, molten iron is poured into a mold.  An enamel coating is fired on for color, shine, and durability.  These sinks lesson noise and vibration more that many other materials, although they can be extremely heavy.  If you’re interested in one of the bigger models, make sure your builder is comfortable working with cast iron.


Composite – Every company seems to have its own secret recipe for composite material.  Whether a sink is made of quartz, granite, or other minerals mixed with an acrylic- or polyester-resin base, these sinks usually feature speckled color, resistance to stains and scratches, and easy care.  

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Fireclay – As its name suggests, a fireclay sink consists of a clay base, which is fired at intense heat to produce a durable, glossy finish.  The glazed surface resists scratches and abrasion, and it won’t rust, fade, or discolor.  Some manufacturers offer fireclay sinks with painted designs that are fired onto the surface, these add considerably to the cost.
Vitreous China – popular for bathroom sinks and fixtures, vitreous china has made its way into the kitchen.  This material is clay coated with a fired-on glaze.  Hard and nonporous, vitreous china boasts a glasslike shine.  It is similar to fireclay in construction, durability, and cost, but vitreous china is less porous than fireclay.  Also, the nature of the construction process makes it easier to mold larger objects, such as double-bowl kitchen sinks, out of fireclay.

Solid Surfacing – Known for its easy care and stone-like beauty, solid surfacing consists of a polyester or acrylic base, with different ingredients used by each manufacturer.   Available in almost every color of the rainbow-from vibrant primaries to subdued pastels, plus patterns that mimic stone - it also resists scratches and chips.  Although many manufacturers now offer ready-make models, solid surfacing is known for its customization potential.  Because the color runs through the entire material, minor burns or scrapes can be sanded out with relative ease.



Stainless Steel – Stainless steel has come a long way from its humble roots as an inexpensive builder-grade sink.  There’s a new generation of 16- and 18-gauge sinks that are thicker and less noisy than their less expensive predecessors.  Stainless-steel sinks contains a percentage of chromium and nickel, which is indicated by numbers such as 18/10 (18 % chromium and 10% nickel).  The metals impart a rich glow and add corrosion resistance.  You also can choose a stainless steel sink in any number of finishes, from a mirror like shine to a satiny luster.