What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Sinks?

What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Sinks

Choosing a solid, durable, functional, and attractive kitchen sink is a feat in itself. With hundreds of styles, designs, brands, colors, and price points out there, deciding on the best option for your home can be tricky. 

Once you narrow down your scope to a particular material, the search becomes (somewhat) more manageable. There are nearly a dozen popular kitchen sinks, from more expensive options (like copper) to inexpensive options (like solid surface or acrylic). 

However, if you’re unsure which material you want to get, you’re back at square one with hundreds of options to choose from. We put together a list of some of the most popular sink materials, along with a few benefits and drawbacks of each type, to help you decide which option is best for your home. 

Stainless Steel

As one of the most popular kitchen sinks available on the market today, stainless steel sinks are a solid choice. They represent about 70 percent of sinks in circulation and are exceptionally popular due to their durability, cost, and ease of installation. 

These sinks are lightweight and easy to install, yet they are durable and last many years. However, one of the main selling points of these sinks is the price point. They’re surprisingly affordable, especially considering how long they can last. 

They’re widely available in varying configurations and mounting styles, so it’s relatively easy to find something to fit any home. You can find tiny stainless steel sinks ideal for RVs and compact kitchens or sprawling, massive sinks for expansive kitchens. 

Stainless steel sinks come in varying gauges, ranging from 14 to 22-gauge steel. The gauge represents the thickness of the steel. Generally, the thicker the steel, the more sturdy and expensive the sink. 

Lower gauges are thicker sinks and are often found in commercial settings where robust durability is essential. Higher gauges are standard in residential settings, with the highest gauges featuring the lowest prices. 

If you decide to go with a stainless steel sink, pick a decent gauge – not too thick, not too thin. For most homes, a stainless steel sink between 16 and 18-gauge is perfect. 

Pros And Cons

Stainless steel is an excellent choice, although there are a few things to consider. Here are a few of the notable pros and cons:

Pros

  • One of the most affordable options available
  • Heat resistant
  • Long-lasting 
  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to install
  • Various sizes and designs available
  • Nonporous surface is highly sanitary

Cons

  • Prone to scratching
  • Thinner gauges may dent easily
  • Thicker gauges can be heavy
  • Susceptible to water spots
  • Dropped dishes and water falling into the sink can be noisy

Popular Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks

If you decide a stainless steel kitchen sink is the best option for your home, here are a few highly rated models to keep in mind:

SaleBestsellers
Kraus KHU100-32 Standart PRO 16 Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink, 32 Inch
  • Made of stainless steel | Corrosion and rust-resistant, will not fade over time | Set includes Sink,…
  • Product dimensions | Overall – 32” L x 19” W x 10” D | Min cabinet size – 36” | Bowl –…
  • A best-selling stainless steel sink paired with a commercial kitchen faucet for an in-demand…
  • Resilient and easy to clean commercial-grade satin finish resists corrosion and rust & matches most…
SaleBestsellers
Kraus KTM33 33 inch Topmount 50/50 Double Bowl 18 gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
  • No.1 IN QUALITY and VALUE: Made from Heavy Duty T 304 Stainless Steel, Ideal for All Home…
  • LIFELONG FUNCTIONALITY: Durable and Dent Resistant 18 Gauge Construction Protects Against Damage…
  • THE QUIETEST KITCHEN SINK: Industry Best Noise Defend Soundproofing Technology Eliminates Noise When…
  • EXTRA THICK Rubber Sound Dampening Pads Cover OVER 80 percentage OF SINK BASE

Fireclay

Fireclay is a solid option, despite its lesser-known status in the world of kitchen sinks. Fireclay effortlessly combines old-world composition with new, modern touches to create beautiful sinks. This material is commonly used for farmhouse sinks (also known as apron front sinks), although it can be used for other sinks. 

Fireclay consists of ceramic clay and glaze, which are fired at an incredibly high temperature. Most manufacturers fire the clay at temperatures between 1,600 and 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.  The result is a robust, durable sink that holds up well under heavy use. 

Fireclay sinks are resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, making them an ideal option for busy kitchens or family settings. The material resists cracks well and doesn’t chip easily. 

The pool of options for sinks made of fireclay is considerably more limited than other materials, like stainless steel. While the manufacturing process allows creators to make varying shapes, there isn’t much variation in styles and designs. Many fireclay sinks feature a farmhouse-style configuration, but you can find other types made of fireclay. 

Additionally, most fireclay sinks are white or slightly off-white. While you can find fireclay sinks in other colors, options are minimal. 

Pros And Cons

Like any other sink material, fireclay sinks have a few benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Pros

  • Nonporous surface is hygienic
  • Easy to clean
  • Visually appealing
  • Available in varying designs
  • Resistant to heat, chips, cracks, rust, stains, and scratches
  • Incredibly durable

Cons

  • Can break or shatter if dropped 
  • Heavy construction may require extra support
  • May need extra help to install the sink
  • Can be pricey

Popular Fireclay Kitchen Sinks

A few highly-rated fireclay kitchen sinks to consider include:

SaleBestsellers
Sinkology SK411-33FC-WH-1 Jackson Drop-in Fireclay 33 in. 1-Hole Single Bowl Kitchen Sink, Crisp…
  • Outer Dimensions: 33 in. x 22 in. x 9 in.
  • The Jackson single bowl drop-in kitchen sink is made from high-quality fireclay material. Fireclay…
  • The single-bowl design offers plenty of space for stacking and cleaning dishes, 1 faucet hole, and a…
  • The Jackson is designed for easy renovation. The drop-in installation style offers a straightforward…
Bestsellers
Ruvati 33 x 20 inch Fireclay Reversible Farmhouse Apron-Front Kitchen Sink Single Bowl – White -…
  • Made in ITALY – each sink is meticulously handcrafted by skilled Italian artisans. Constructed of…
  • Resistant to high temperatures, hot water, acids and common household chemicals.Reversible: One side…
  • Includes stainless steel protective bottom rinse grid and basket strainer drain assembly. Standard…
  • Exterior Dimensions: 33″ (wide) x 20″ (front-to-back). Interior Dimensions: 31″ (wide) x 18″…
SaleBestsellers
Houzer Farmhouse Apron Front 33 inch Fireclay Single Bowl Kitchen Sink, White, PTG-4300 WH
  • 100% Fireclay sink with contemporary 10mm radius adding European flair
  • Non-porous semi-glossy surface that is impervious to stains, chips, cracks, or scratches
  • Farmhouse Apron front with 9 inches of internal bowl depth consisting of 1” thick solid fireclay…
  • External dimensions: 33″ L x 20″ W x 10″ D & internal bowl dimensions: 31. 31″ L x 18. 25″ W x 9….

Cast Iron

As a common material used for cookware, cast iron is no stranger to the kitchen. Cast iron sinks are heavy, durable, and visually attractive. 

These sinks consist of two layers – the bottom layer is made of thick, durable iron alloy. The second layer is made of enamel, which protects the iron beneath it and prevents rust from taking hold. Manufacturers generally fuse the enamel layer to the metal during production, which helps improve overall durability. 

Cast iron sinks are usually considered a luxury option, as they are expensive. The material and production process drives the price, so it isn’t a budget option by any means. However, you pay for what you get – these sinks last decades, many times lasting a lifetime. 

Generally, cast iron sinks feature white or off-white enamel, although other color options may be available. These sinks are widely available in numerous models, so finding one to fit your kitchen shouldn’t be overly complex. 

Cast iron sinks weigh about four times as much as a thick-gauge stainless steel sink, but the sheer weight of these sinks is a benefit and a drawback. The heftiness lends well to the sink’s durability but can make installation tricky. You’ll need extra support in the base cabinet and additional help to maneuver the sink into place. 

Pros And Cons

As you browse through your options, here are a few ups and downs of cast iron sinks to consider:

Pros

  • Incredibly durable
  • Enamel coating makes cleaning a breeze
  • Resistant to stains
  • Nonporous surface 
  • Varying colors, styles, and designs
  • Undermount styles are easy to find
  • Lasts for decades

Cons

  • Trickier to install
  • May require extra support in the base cabinet
  • Pricey
  • Enamel coating is prone to chipping
  • Color matching enamel repair kits to the sink can be difficult

Popular Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks

If you want a kitchen sink that will last a lifetime, cast iron is an exceptional choice. Here are a few models to consider:

Bestsellers
Kohler K-5864-5U-0 Cape Dory Undercounter Kitchen Sink, White, 2.375
  • 36″ minimum base cabinet width.
  • Single bowl.
  • 9″ (229 mm) depth provides generous workspace.
  • Three oversized faucet holes with two oversized accessory holes to the right.
Bestsellers
KOHLER K-6426-0 Whitehaven Farmhouse Smart Divide Self-Trimming Undermount Apron Front Double-Bowl…
  • 36-Inch minimum base cabinet width
  • Large/medium bowls
  • 9-Inch depth
  • Shortened apron allows sink to be used in most standard cabinetry or retrofitted to existing…

Copper

Copper is an excellent option for your kitchen sink if you’re looking for an eye-catching statement piece. The material features a warm, amber hue, which offers a touch of cozy elegance to the space. Over time, the rich hue oxidizes, leaving an aged, deep color in its place.

For many folks, oxidation is an added benefit. However, if you enjoy the shiny, coppery finish, you’ll need to stay on top of maintenance. The surface of the sink, whether it’s oxidized or not, offers a touch of elegance to any space, making it an incredibly popular pick for kitchen and bathroom settings.

Copper is a somewhat softer metal than other sink materials, like stainless steel, so it’s more prone to damage, such as scratching and dents. However, while it is somewhat more sensitive than other sink materials, it’s incredibly sanitary. Copper is naturally antimicrobial, meaning it has a natural ability to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria. 

Scientists have discovered that copper molecules can “punch holes” into bacteria membranes, in turn halting their growth by inhibiting their metabolisms. Considering the kitchen is a place filled with food and, therefore, a breeding ground for germs, this is an asset. 

Like stainless steel, copper sinks come in varying gauges, so you can pick the thickness that works best for your home. If you decide copper is your best option, look for a model composed of 99 percent copper and 1 percent zinc, as these tend to be higher-quality options. 

Copper sinks tend to be one of the pricier materials, usually starting at around $600 for a high-quality sink. Cheaper copper sinks tend to be thinner-gauge metal, which tend to damage much easier, so be aware of this as you browse. 

Pros And Cons

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of copper to consider:

Pros

  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Dynamic color
  • Varying styles and designs
  • Widely available
  • Offers a warm, cozy feel
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Variety of finishes available (hammered, flat, etc.)

Cons

  • May tarnish if improperly cared for
  • Color change may be unwanted
  • Thinner gauges are prone to scratching and dents
  • Expensive 

Popular Copper Kitchen Sinks

Although copper kitchen sinks are pricey, they’re well worth it. Here are a few highly-rated kitchen sinks to consider:

Bestsellers
Strictly Sinks 32 Inch Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink – Copper Designer Shelf Accessory 16…
  • 𝗖𝗢𝗣𝗣𝗘𝗥 𝗦𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗟𝗘 𝗕𝗢𝗪𝗟 𝗞𝗜𝗧𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗡…
  • 𝗜𝗡𝗗𝗘𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗨𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗕𝗟𝗘 & 𝗗𝗨𝗥𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘…
  • 𝗟𝗔𝗥𝗚𝗘 & 𝗦𝗣𝗔𝗖𝗜𝗢𝗨𝗦 𝗞𝗜𝗧𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗡…
  • 𝗜𝗡𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗗𝗘𝗗 𝗜𝗡 𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗣𝗔𝗖𝗞𝗔𝗚𝗘 – Our package…
Bestsellers
Monarch Abode Pure Copper Hand Hammered Milan Single Bowl Kitchen Sink
  • HANDCRAFTED HIGH QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: The Pure Copper Hand Hammered Milan Dual Mount Bar…
  • VERSATILE DUAL MOUNT DESIGN: The bar sink has a dual mount design for flexible and easy…
  • STYLISH APPEARANCE AND DESIGN: The single bowl kitchen sink is enhanced with hand hammered…
  • ITEM OVERALL DIMENSIONS: Outer dimensions: 21 in x 15.15 in x 7.25 in, Inner dimension: 19 in x 13…
Bestsellers
Strictly Sinks Undermount Workstation Kitchen Sink 30 Inch (Single Strainer Flange, Copper)
  • 𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗦𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗟𝗘 𝗕𝗥𝗨𝗦𝗛𝗘𝗗 𝗖𝗢𝗣𝗣𝗘𝗥…
  • 𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗩𝗬 𝗗𝗨𝗧𝗬 𝟭𝟲 𝗚𝗔𝗨𝗚𝗘…
  • 𝗟𝗔𝗥𝗚𝗘 & 𝗦𝗣𝗔𝗖𝗜𝗢𝗨𝗦 𝗨𝗡𝗗𝗘𝗥𝗠𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗧…
  • 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗟 𝗚𝗥𝗢𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗦𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗗…

Stone

Stone is an exceptionally durable type of sink material. Stone sinks are available in natural stone and composite stone, with the latter being less expensive. Natural stone sinks are precisely that and tend to be on the expensive end of the spectrum.

Composite stone sinks are less expensive and are made of crushed natural stone mixed with acrylic resin. Generally, they’re made up of 80 percent stone and 20 percent resin. The mixture is molded into the desired shape and set to dry. 

These sinks are incredibly durable and long-lasting, making them the second-most sought-after sink. Composite stone sinks are generally more prevalent than natural stone, as they are less expensive yet mimic the benefits characteristic of natural stone. 

While these sinks are durable, they can be susceptible to cracks and chips. Luckily, it’s easy enough to repair minor damage with a resin filler. Color matching the filler to the sink can be tricky, but other than that, the repair is straightforward. 

Composite stone is nonporous and highly hygienic, which is a must-have in a busy kitchen. Natural stone is porous, which isn’t ideal. However, these sinks usually feature a sealer to prevent the absorption of whatever liquids end up in the sink. 

Natural stone tends to have color variations and patterns on the surface, making every sink or product unique. Composite stone, on the other hand, has a uniform appearance, as the stone contents are powdered. 

Pros And Cons

Here are a few pros and cons of stone sinks to consider:

Pros

  • Composite is more affordable than natural stone
  • Incredibly durable
  • Resistant to heat and scratches
  • Nonporous surface (composite stone)
  • Easy to clean
  • Offers a mix of luxury and affordability (composite stone)
  • Widely available in varying designs and styles (composite stone)

Cons

  • Pricier than other options
  • Lighter colors may be prone to staining
  • Prone to cracks and staining
  • Heavy 
  • Hard to install due to weight
  • May require extra support in the base cabinet

Popular Stone Kitchen Sinks

Stone kitchen sinks are an excellent option, so if you decide to purchase one, here are a few models to consider:

Bestsellers
Native Trails NSKQ3320-A Farmhouse Quartet Apron-Front/Under Mount Native Stone Kitchen Sink, 33″ x…
  • Four installation options: undermount or apron front with the bowed edge in the front or back
  • Handcrafted from an innovative blend of concrete and jute fiber
  • IMPROVED SEALER! – Better Protection from stains, scratches and cracks
  • Finished on all four sides
SaleBestsellers
KRAUS Forteza™ 33” Dual Mount Single Bowl Granite Kitchen Sink in Black, KGD-54BLACK
  • KITCHEN SET INCLUDES: Sink, drain assembly, silicone mitt and trivet, mounting hardware, cutout…
  • Dimensions | Overall – 33” L x 22” W x 9.63” D | Bowl – 29” L x 16.37” W x 9” D |…
  • LOW MAINTENANCE SURFACE is highly resistant to dirt and grime, and easily wipes clean
  • A QUIETER KITCHEN SINK: Thick stone-like material engineered to eliminate vibration and noise when…

Solid Surface

Expensive, luxurious sink materials aren’t ideal for budgeting, so this is an area where solid surface sinks really shine. Solid surface sinks are composed of manmade acrylic resin, which is often referred to as specific brand names, like Formica and Corian. 

Solid surface sinks offer the classy appearance of enamel but without excessive weight and a hefty price tag. Like most of the other sink materials on our list, there are cheaper solid surface sinks and more expensive options. The most expensive solid surface sinks are still more affordable than other materials on our list. 

If you decide to purchase a solid surface kitchen sink, be wary of the cheaper options. In many cases, the ultra-cheap solid surface sinks are made of poor-quality resin, which turns yellow and appears dingy within a few months to a year. 

It’s usually best to splurge a bit and get a better-quality solid surface sink, as they will retain their appearance for longer. The glossy surface lasts longer and retains its white hue for longer instead of turning yellow under regular use. 

Pros And Cons

Before you decide to go with a solid surface kitchen sink, consider these aspects:

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Nonporous surface
  • Affordable
  • Durable for the price
  • Customizable
  • Available in a range of colors, styles, and designs

Cons

  • Sensitive to extreme heat
  • Susceptible to discoloration over time
  • Poor quality sinks degrade quickly
  • Prone to scratches
  • Shorter lifespan than other materials

Popular Solid Surface Sinks

If you decide a solid surface sink is your best option, consider these sinks. They have great ratings and are popular picks from the available options. 

Bestsellers
Weibath 35 Inch Wall-Mount Rectangular Floating Sink Solid Surface Stone Resin Bathroom V-Shaped…
  • Dimension: Overall Length:35.43″ (900mm); Overall Width: 17.72″ (450mm); Overall Height: 4.72″…
  • Premium Material: Made of tough stone resin in matte white to ensure a non-porous solid surface that…
  • 2-In-1 Design: Rectangular sink features 2 slopes for a quick, easy drainage and integrated…
  • Installation Type: Designed for wall-mounted installation to give a new dimension to your bathroom….
Bestsellers
Serene Valley Bathroom Sink, Wall-Mount or On Countertop, 32″ with Square Sink and Flat Space,…
  • Serene Valley floating bathroom sink SVWS602-32WH is made of premium solid surface material that is…
  • It comes with an overall dimension 31-1/2” L x 18-1/8” W x 5-7/8” D and the bowl dimension…
  • Its superior material characteristics also include its ability to maintain its original matte white…
  • Dual install design enables you to install it in a way you prefer. Wall-mount installation gives you…
Bestsellers
Cpingao 24″ X 16″ Rectangle Solid Surface Vessel Sink and Pop Up Drain Combo -Cpingao Bathroom Sink…
  • ❤MATERIAL: Made of stone resin in matte white to ensure a non-porous solid surface that resists…
  • ❤MINIMALIST DESIGN:Matte texture to enhance the grade.Suitable for family and hotel decoration,…
  • ❤REPAIRABLE:Small scratches can be removed with sandpaper. Severe damage can be repaired by…
  • ❤EASY TO CLEAN:The surface of the sink is solid and non-porous. Stubborn stains such as ink,…

Which Sink Material Is The Best?

Each of the sink materials on our list shines for different reasons. For example, if affordability is the name of the game, copper isn’t going to be your best option. A solid surface or stainless steel sink might be your best bet in this scenario. 

Or, if you want a show-stopping, eye-catching statement piece in your kitchen, stainless steel might not be your best option. Instead, a copper sink will do the trick, drawing the eyes of everyone who enters your kitchen. 

So, what we’re trying to say here is that the best material for your home hinges on you. You need to consider what you’re looking for in a sink. Here are a few questions to help you decide:

  • How much am I willing to spend on a sink?
  • How long do I expect this sink to last?
  • Do I want a sink that blends in or stands out?
  • Does my kitchen’s base cabinet have space for extra support for a heavier sink?
  • Do I have a specific model or style in mind?
  • Do I want a bold-colored sink, or do I prefer a neutral tone?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Kind Of Kitchen Sink Lasts The Longest?

Buying a new kitchen sink every few years is overrated, especially if you choose a more expensive material. If you buy a good-quality sink, it should last around 10-15 years. However, copper, cast iron, and stone are your best options if you want a sink that will last for decades. 

However, these three options can be pricey, so stainless steel is an excellent option if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly version. Although it might not last a lifetime like copper or cast iron, a good-quality stainless steel sink could last a few decades. 

What Type Of Sink Doesn’t Scratch?

If you want a kitchen sink that is rarely susceptible to scratches, fireclay and stone are probably your best options. Fireclay is incredibly durable due to the manufacturing process, and mother nature does an excellent job of making stone durable. 

What Kind Of Kitchen Sink Is Easiest To Keep Clean?

Most of the sink materials on our list are extremely easy to keep clean. Stainless steel, solid surface, composite stone, and fireclay are materials that are easy to clean and maintain. Natural stone and copper tend to require more maintenance, as natural stone can be susceptible to staining, and copper will oxidize over time and may tarnish.