All About: Stainless Steel Sinks

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen? If so, then our Sink Spotlight series will help you. Today we begin looking at different sink materials, starting with the most common: stainless steel.

Sink Style: Stainless Steel

Associated with: Industrial style, but really works with all kitchens styles.

Distinctive Features: Stainless steel sinks are usually designated by their chromium-to-nickle ratio. For example, a stainless steel ratio of “18:8” means there is 18% chromium and 8% nickel present. The higher the percentage of these elements, the better the stainless steel grade. Stainless steel sinks usually range from 16 gauge (thicker) to 22 gauge (thin). Thicker stainless steel will be more resistant to dents and have better sound insulation, i.e. the sink will be less “noisy” when washing dishes or running the garbage disposal. Look for 16 to 18 gauge if you want a good quality stainless steel sink.

Pros: Durable, shiny, nonporous and easy to clean and disinfect; works with every kitchen style; impervious to heat, rust, corrosion, and stains with proper care; less likely to shatter dishes if they’re dropped inside, as compared to cast iron or another hard-surface sink; affordable.

Cons: Cheaper, higher gauge models can be noisy; only one color option; prone to scratches.

Installation: Topmount or undermount.

Price range: Starts around $50 for a 22-gauge sink (the cheapest kind).

Kitchn Reader Reviews:

Whenever our stainless steel sink gets rust stains in it from cans I’ve accidentally let sit, I just scrub them right out with good old baking soda and water. I sprinkle a bit of baking soda on, use my regular sponge with a scouring pad on it, and voila! No more rusty stain! – lani2112
When my mom got a new stainless steel sink the first think the guy who installed it said was before you run any water in the sink be sure and wipe it down with baby oil. It helps clean and seal the surface and the sink was still shinning many years later!!! Not so sure about using it on the frig as I find just a cloth with water works about as well as anything. – ccp mbd
I much prefer what I have – enameled cast iron [sink] with double basin. Easier to keep clean and better looking. Scotch Brite pads are a wonder. I’ve had single basin and stainless steel and they were not for me. – krnstn Related Kitchn Posts:

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(Images: Jess Watson | Apartment Therapy)