The demand for kitchen sinks has always been high in the market. After all, you depend on this single fixture for every small and big task. To capture the customer’s interest a bit more, many companies started offering multiple choices in sink materials, such as fireclay, granite, porcelain, and more. Still, the one option that has arguably beaten them all is stainless steel. Everyone knows about its endurance, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility. People repose faith in stainless steel as it has been serving them for ages and continues to do the same.
A time had come when its shiny surface became a problem. Homeowners with urban taste found it to be too overpowering for their sleek and sophisticated modern kitchen interiors. For meeting their requirements, evolved designs and finishes came into the market. The new stainless steel sinks retained all the powerful features of their old self while incorporating everything else that was new and much needed. The upgraded designs helped this material tide over that phase. Today, it is one of the most common kitchen sink materials in American homes once again. However, now the problem is you get tremendous varieties in styles, sizes, and prices.
If you don’t have sufficient time to spend on your shopping, you can get easily frustrated or nervous. Like everything, there is a solution to this issue also. Don’t worry about the options. Focus on some of its essential elements, and you would be able to decide what you should choose quickly. So, here are some facts that can come in handy at the time of shopping for stainless steel kitchen sinks.
Kitchen sinks: A small buying guide for stainless steel
A variety of factors make this a go-to choice. Of them, easy maintenance and aesthetics can play an important part. Like others, your mind can wander from one question to another about design. For instance, you can think whether a single or double bowl system will be best or why you should choose top mount over an undermount. These are some visible areas of concern that you can figure out by paying attention to your habits. But from quality and value perspective, you need to consider less obvious questions, such as the appropriate drain positions, gauge, and so on.
The depth of the sink
The size of the basin can start from under 20 to more than 35 inches. Different lengths can offer different depths. Ideally, a decent size bowl can be 9 to 10 inches deep. It can hold plenty of dishes and take care of splashing. The smaller sinks may not be too deep, due to which you may have to put up with storage and water splashing issues. If you still need to buy a small basin, make sure it is not less than 7 to 8 inches deep.
The position of the drain
It can sound surprising, but drain placement can also be an essential factor. Many people don’t know its significance, so they prefer to talk about superficial aspects more. But once you learn about its utility, you will probably keep it in mind while selecting any specific design. Look for stainless steel sinks that feature drains toward the back. When you pile up utensils in the bowl, you will not face any drainage issue. For that matter, the drain holes can be to the right or left corner. And even if it is in the center, you can check whether there is a slight slope around the drain or not.
The steel grade
It can be a bit technical, but you cannot ignore this factor if you want to give your kitchen a lifelong partner in the form of a stainless steel basin. You can read product descriptions, usually talking about series 300, 304, and others in the context of this material. The makers highlight this because these grading systems demonstrate the actual quality of the steel. Anything in series 300 can offer excellent resistance to corrosion, extreme heat, etc., due to their unique construction. They generally contain a mix of nickel, chromium, and other elements that increase their strength.
When you check in to a store, look for a 304 series. It tends to be versatile and contains low carbon levels, which help control carbide precipitation. It can tolerate high temperatures. Since it also possesses terrific corrosion resistance, you can find it a safe choice for your busy kitchen.
The Undercoating or Pads
The main challenge with a low-quality stainless steel basin can be the noise that it produces when water stream or utensils hit its surface. But this problem will not exist if a particular design comes with rubber undercoating or pads. These can absorb the sound and also control condensation inside the cabinet.
The Steel Gauge
When you think of stainless steel and silence, the two can sound counterintuitive. But it is where you need to consider how thick your steel base should be. You can see product details specifying 16-, 18-, and 22-gauge. All these variants represent the thickness of the material. While 16 and 18 numbers show that your basin is strong enough to bear dents and noise, anything in the range of 22 or so can be a red flag. These will have more vibrations and can easily dent. And if you buy a drop-in model with a higher gauge, you cannot expect them to remain firm and bear the burden of the whole system for a long time.
Understandably, design, trends, colors, and shapes can be exciting to discuss. While these aspects are easy to decide, you cannot figure out the real issues without a few necessary details. If you keep these points in mind, you will not worry about the right quality as much at the time of selection. You will know you have already ticked off the critical areas, and after that only, you made this decision. Make sure you visit a reliable branded store only for this. You can expect to get varieties, favorable pricing, and customer support there.