Kitchen and Lavatory Sink Materials

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With so many sales papers advertising kitchen and lavatory sinks we thought we would put together a comprehensive list of the different materials used in manufacturing these sinks along with their benefits and drawbacks.

VITREOUS CHINA ? Basically this is china that has been glazed so the surface is nonporous as to ward against bacteria growth. This the most common material used in lavatory sinks, it?s actually the most common material used to make all plumbing fixtures but for the sake of this article we?ll stop at lavatories. China is relatively cheap to manufacture, the technology is mature and the finished product is relatively durable. Manufacturers can make product in a wide variety of colors and china can be molded into any shape so it is very versatile. Here are some pictures of the various sizes, shapes, colors and mounting options for vitreous china fixtures.

STAINLESS STEEL SINKS? Although stainless steel has been used as a material for kitchen sinks in the home and the food service industry for decades its popularity has exploded over the last 10 to 12 years. Stainless steel is very durable, acid, corrosion and stain resistant, easy to manufacture, fairly affordable and relatively easy to maintain. We?ll go into a little more detail with stainless because when we say fairly affordable those words are very relative to the quality of the product. Here are the different gauges of stainless the lower the gauge the thicker the material:

FIRECLAY? Fireclay ceramic is a relatively new material being used to manufacture kitchen and lavatory sinks. It is very durable and

can withstand extreme heat.ÿ It can be made in a glossy or matte finish. This is a premium material so it tends to be very expensive.

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BENEFITS OF VITREOUS CHINA

BENEFITS OF VITREOUS CHINA

DRAWBACKS OF VITREOUS CHINA

DRAWBACKS OF VITREOUS CHINA

SOLID SURFACE? OK we?ll attempt to be as brief and to the point as possible. Solid surface sinks cover a wide range of products butthey all have one thing in common plastics. The brand name Corian? is one of the most popular solid surface products. It comes in a ton of colors and is usually integrated into the countertop. Translation, the countertop is made and the lavatory or kitchen sink is fused to the counter, the bowl is usually a different color to add contrast. The long and short of things is that Corian? is molded plastic. It?s pretty tough stuff; naturally sound deadened but fairly expensive because you usually buy it in conjunction with a countertop.

SOLID SURFACE QUARTZ/GRANITE SINKS ? Most of the sink/molded stone manufacturers make this type of sink. For the most

UNDERCOUNTER MOUNT LAVATORY

WALL HUNG LAVATORY

part it is acrylic mixed with some type of aggregate whether it is granite silica or quartz. They are virtually indestructible, and are naturally sound deadened. The quartz/granite really gives the sink character as you can see the fleck in different light. They can be under-mount or drop-in and are extremely competitively priced.

OTHERS ? There are other materials used to make kitchen and lavatories like copper, bronze and even titanium however they are extremely expensive usually fairly custom made, meaning Kohler/American Standard/Franke doesn?t have a hundred of these sitting in a warehouse and these are sinks that you once again design a room around.

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