Kitchen Sinks: Not Just Stainless Steel Anymore

When you’re first thinking about a kitchen remodel, the material of your kitchen sink probably isn’t on your mind But the durability, maintenance and color options will all factor into the material you choose.

There are three material types that are the most popular, and each one has its pros and cons depending on your needs: stainless steel, cast iron, and composite (sometimes referred to by the brand-name Silgranit). “Most people’s first thought when it comes to kitchen sinks is stainless steel, but once we explain the options maybe 80 percent end up choosing a composite sink,” says Normandy Designer Becca Ruggiero.

Below is a breakdown of each sink material:


    stainless steel apron front sink in gray kitchen

“Stainless steel is the tried-and-true option, I recommend them for contemporary kitchens because it works well with the aesthetic,” Becca says. “The biggest negative to stainless steel is that it can scratch or dent, which can be a concern sometimes with kids or clients that cook with heavy cookware.”

If this is an issue for you, the gauge (or thickness) of the sink is important. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. “The most common options for stainless steel are 18 and 16 gauge, but if you’re really concerned about durability, there are affordable options in 16 gauge,” Becca says. “You can’t visually see the thickness, but it can be impactful on sound deadening as well.”

Despite its name, stainless steel can stain over time. Becca recommends regular cleaning with soap and hot water, and if there’s any build-up, a non-abrasive cleaner. When it comes to cost, stainless steel can be less expensive than cast iron, and about the same as a composite sink. “Stainless steel is a timeless option for good reason, you just have to remember that it can have some drawbacks.”


Farmhouse sink with a black and gold faucet in a rift cut white oak kitchenDon’t picture a cast iron pan – a cast iron sink is layered with a silky enamel and is beneficial for keeping water hot if you prefer to soak your dishes or pots and pans. “If someone is looking for true farmhouse sink, I’ll recommend they do cast iron because that shiny white enamel sink embodies the style,” Becca says. “Cast iron is beautiful, but it can also stain if not treated right, we would not suggest leaving food or drinks in the sink for long periods of time. And the color of the enamel can shift after years of use.” Cast iron is the most expensive when it comes to sink materials. For cast iron sinks there are a few color options – the most popular right now is white, according to Becca.


“Composite is becoming popular because it’s resistant to staining, chipping and scratching, and it comes in a variety of colors,” Becca says. “If your family includes kids or if you have a very busy life, we like to look at composite for that durability factor.” Many people who are considering remodeling their kitchen also like that composite sinks are matte versus shiny, which can create an unexpected texture, Becca says. “There’s something about composite that people tend to like because of the variety of options it provides,” she says, “You can most easily find an option that suits your kitchen design.” This versatile material is also one of the more affordable options, which is a big selling point for many homeowners.

Choosing the material for your kitchen sink is not only about aesthetics – consider the wear-and-tear of your lifestyle and household, and how much time you want to spend maintaining its appearance.

If you’d like to meet with Becca or one of our Normandy Designers to discuss more about your kitchen remodel, schedule an appointment. And follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest for updates on projects and more design inspiration.




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