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What kind of sink to buy?

DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 01:11 AM

I'm replacing my 16 year old acrylic sink, but was all ready to purchase a porcelain over iron when someone told me these can scratch. My acrylic seems nicked, with little black pits. I hate it. I'm not wild at the thought of stainless, since I'd had one of these back in the early 90s and found it "soulless". Countertop is white Corian, so I'm planning to put in a white sink. I was wondering about the new granite product.

Any advice? Thank you, chows.

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  1. Candy RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 01:49 AM

    You need to take this to Cookware for good answers. I will tell you that I have stainless steel and am ready to go back to porcelain over cast iron. They both scratch but if you use something non-abrasive like Bob-Ami to clean with it is not a big deal. The advantage over stainless to something softer is that your risk of chipping china and crystal is less. I wash china in the dishwasher and crystal in a plastic dishpan inside my sink so it is not an issue. My problem with stainless is that it seems to get grubby faster than other materials.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Candy
      Theodore RE: Candy Dec 6, 2006 06:25 PM

      This may sound crazy, but because of the way they are made, all stainless steel sinks have a grain, like wood, and if you try to clean it by going against the grain, the sink will eventually look all scratched up.

      If you get the sink new, take a close look and you will be able to see the grain (usually oriented front to back on the bottom and clockwise around the sides). If you scrub it with comet in the direction of the grain it will look great for a very long time. If you use a scrubby and go against the grain it will very quickly look like every other scratched up stainless sink you've ever seen.

      Where does the grain come from? It's a byproduct of the forming and stamping of the sink. Since most people don't buy brand new sinks and don't read the owners manual, the problem persists.

      1. re: Theodore
        Hungry Celeste RE: Theodore Dec 7, 2006 04:37 PM

        My stainless steel sink looked scratchy (it came with the house). So I just scrubbed the hell out of it with Comet. It doesn't shine, but it does have a hand-rubbed luster that is even all over.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste
          cayjohan RE: Hungry Celeste Dec 7, 2006 08:46 PM

          I though I loved my porcelain-over-iron sink, but as the years went on I got tired of the bleaching/cleaning I had to do (yes, I peel veg into the sink prior to the compost bucket). My stainless sink (high-end Moen) is great - low noise (an issue with me - get the heavy insulation on the bottom) and really easy care with a good nylon scrubber and a little stainless polish.
          It doesn't look *new* after 5 years, but it looks good. And it works, which goes a long way with me. A few scratches are not an issue.

    2. Cheese Boy RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 05:10 AM

      Supposedly good for sinks... http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/

      1. w
        wally RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 05:19 AM

        I had a corian sink that was integrated into the corian counter. No seams, no edges to catch stuff. I loved it. Bon-Ami to clean and occasionally bleach for a stain. I had it for about 6 years with no problems.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wally
          bolivianita RE: wally Dec 12, 2006 02:14 AM

          I considered a corian sink when we redid our kitchen but the idea of it being burned by a hot pot was too much for me. I do live the seamless look though

        2. andreas RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 02:49 PM

          Believe it or not, IKEA does a excellent porcelain sink. We've got it when we renovated our kitchen, it's the best sink I've ever had, in any kitchen.

          Link: http://tinyurl.com/ye5w4w

          2 Replies
          1. re: andreas
            sianyoga RE: andreas Mar 8, 2007 11:16 AM

            I have that Ikea sink right here on the floor in it's box - I'm replacing a two-year-old horribly scratched Corstone sink.

            1. re: andreas
              tirgoddess RE: andreas Apr 9, 2007 06:58 PM

              I am contemplating this same sink, how has it been after a year of use? Would you purchase it again? Thanks in advance for your response.

            2. r
              rtmonty RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 06:15 PM

              Wouldn't trade my Franke stainless sink for any of the others. Have had Corian and porcelain and neither compare. It's underhung in a granite countertop, has two sides, one deeper of course. Outstanding.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rtmonty
                NickM RE: rtmonty Dec 9, 2006 12:26 AM

                I've had Franke sinks in three locales, and they've held up well. It does help to minimize scratching if you use a grate on top of the base.

              2. f
                fauchon RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 06:32 PM

                My stainless steel sink is over 20 years old & looks great. What you want is a product called Sheila Shine...comes in a spray can and also a tin...makes your ss glow & gleam and also creates a finish that resists water...I believe that it was originally made for the brightware on yachts...so if it's good for metals exposed to salt water, it's got to be good for home use, right? Anyway, it's indispensable in my kitchen...wouldn't be without it!

                1. d
                  DonataGuerra RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 09:15 PM

                  Hi, everyone. Great replies.

                  When I had my stainless sink, I never had a scratch or shine problem.

                  The acrylic-coated sink cleans up best when I use Bon Ami, and I noticed it's also a great product on porcelain.

                  I checked out the Ikea sink website. I do need four holes thought for faucet, controls, and sprayer.

                  I never do my good china and crystal in the dishwasher since I'm afraid of the gold pigment chipping off, but I am a little concerned about when I wash these in the sink. I'd have to be extra, extra careful if these are done in a porcelain-coated sink as opposed to acrylic which seems a good bit softer.

                  I was warned that impact disasters can crack porcelain, such as dropping a pasta pot filled with water from a few inches above. Doubt that would happen. I do have concerns about pots and pans cracking the porcelain as I have Calphalon cookware that is somewhat on the heavy side.

                  Two years ago, I was almost ready to replace the acrylic sink, but I figured I could get at least a little more time out of it. Lately it's really been looking bad with all the nicks. I'm just hoping that a porcelain one would last longer than the thirteen years I've had this acrylic. I know that stainless would be well nigh indestructible.

                  Thank you all!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DonataGuerra
                    andreas RE: DonataGuerra Dec 7, 2006 02:00 AM

                    Allow me to introduce you to the IKEA professional faucet with sprayer: http://tinyurl.com/tht76

                    I would have never thought to buy serious kitchenware at IKEA, but both the sink and the faucet rock my world.

                    1. re: andreas
                      amoncada RE: andreas Dec 7, 2006 08:30 PM

                      Yeah, I've seen some pretty cool porcelin sinks and stainless faucets at IKEA. I bought one of those one piece porcelin tops with the sink base from Ikea. The sink and faucet are going strong after 2 1/2 years but the cabinet is on the cheapy side...no matter cuz it's for my office powder room.

                  2. m
                    MakingSense RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 09:25 PM

                    I am getting ready to make some changes in my kitchen and debating the extent of them. I have two Kohler porcelain on cast iron sinks. One is in perfect shape and will be used again. The other, which gets the hardest use - prepping, garbage disposal, pots, cleaning game and fish, everything - needs to be replaced after 20 hard years! It was probably $400 or so and I have enjoyed it. That means I've gotten my money's worth at What? $20 per year! And I didn't have my china and crystal breaking into pieces everytimes I used it which is regularly. I do put a cloth into the bottom of the sink when I have a lot of crystal to wash or I use a dishpan. No big deal.
                    If you got 13 years out of an acrylic sink and don't break your lovely things carelessly, you'll be just fine. Go for it! Get what you will enjoy looking at and using every day.

                    1. s
                      Susan627 RE: DonataGuerra Dec 6, 2006 11:38 PM

                      In my old house I had a very high grade SS sink and loved it. My current sink (different house) is porcelain - I have hated it since the day I moved in! It scratches, never looks clean, every time one of my kids "throws" a pot or dish in, I'm afraid it will crack. It's just not me! They do look nice, but I thought my SS sink looked nice too. As the above poster said, get what you want!

                      1. d
                        DonataGuerra RE: DonataGuerra Dec 7, 2006 01:13 AM

                        Another matter a little related: what happens to the discarded acrylic-coated sink? Will the installers remove it, take it and recycle it in some way? Or is it destined to live for years on a junk heap? I don't know what's under that acrylic, which, I take, can be removed somehow, leaving the original hard mold of something.

                        In terms of sink usage, with our children both graduated from college and out of the house, the sink's wear will probably just be related to the two of us. (Although I'd just love to set up one of those "secret" house-based restaurants.)

                        1. c
                          chops RE: DonataGuerra Dec 7, 2006 05:28 PM

                          I bought a Blanco granite composite sink about a year ago and so far it has been perfect. Easy to keep clean and will not scratch.

                          1. sivyaleah RE: DonataGuerra Dec 7, 2006 06:07 PM

                            I have a granite composite sink, black. I love it. I can't remember the manufacturer off-hand, as we've had it for about 4 years now. Best thing we put in our kitchen. No scratches, no stains, cleans like a charm. Shows no dirt (obviously, it's black). Always looks like new. The one we bought is very deep. I'm telling you - it really was the best decision we made.

                            1. r
                              rootlesscosmo RE: DonataGuerra Dec 7, 2006 08:12 PM

                              No one has mentioned size but I think it makes sense to get a really large sink--either as one of a pair (the other can be smaller) or one of the big "farm-style" sinks. The reason is that if you want to soak a large pan (like a 12-inch skillet) with a handle, you'll need a big sink to get it to sit flat on the bottom.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: rootlesscosmo
                                Sherri RE: rootlesscosmo Dec 7, 2006 08:39 PM

                                You are dead-on correct! Huge sinks are terrific. I lugged around 1/2 sheet pans, my really big stockpot and largest roasting pan when I was looking at sinks. Not only did it need to hold these items flat, but I also the sink should be deep enough to provide decent washing.

                                On another, related, topic, faucets ....... I bought the easiest-to-clean models that I could find. No gee-gaw design with nooks/crannies for grunge to hide in, just slick & simple. They're high-arching with flexible hose for even more versatility.

                                The sink I found would be classified as European farmhouse and I would rescue it in case of a fire. Love it. It doesn't fit your criteria because it isn't really white white, but being kind of dirt-colored limestone is a huge plus. If you decide to go with SS, get a really good, thick product. The thin sinks dent and make a lot of noise as well as scratch easily.

                                1. re: rootlesscosmo
                                  Scrapironchef RE: rootlesscosmo Mar 7, 2007 11:38 AM

                                  +1. I found a SS sink at Ikea that was a two pot, 1 small and one large extra deep. The large side would hold a 1/2 sheet pan flat. The smaller side took the dispaosal with no problems. I almost took it out of the condo when we moved but figured I'd jsut get a new one for the new kitchen. Of course, Ikea had discontinued it.

                                2. j
                                  Jack_ RE: DonataGuerra Dec 7, 2006 08:50 PM

                                  I'm not sure why people say Bon-Ami is non abrasive, it is. Just rub it between your fingers. Comet cleanser with bleach is not and is the only product that Kohler recommends for their porcelain products

                                  That said my sink preference is stainless. I've had Elkay and Franke and they are both great. I prefer a large single bowel to a double. Porcelain is too hard and is damaged too easily. There's a reason you rarely find anything but SS in a commercial kitchen.

                                  1. c
                                    carfreeinla RE: DonataGuerra Dec 8, 2006 12:02 AM

                                    Franke. Nuff said.

                                    1. s
                                      Shazam RE: DonataGuerra Dec 8, 2006 06:39 AM

                                      I use Vim on my SS sink. Works great. Just squirt it along the sides and let it drip down. Makes the sink look brand new.

                                      1. e
                                        EclecticEater RE: DonataGuerra Dec 10, 2006 06:19 AM

                                        We bought as Blanco stainless farmhouse sink with an apron in front, 12" deep. The depth and the fact that it's big enough to put large pots in it are fantastic. We also bought a grid for the bottom of this sink, and it impressed our friends so much they bought one too. You can see it at


                                        This sink isn't cheap, but it works well after six months of being installed and we love it. We bought a 1 hp disposal from Insinkerator too and it is heavy duty, no clogs yet no matter what we put down in it.

                                        The sink with the raised grid is just what we always wanted, but didn't know it. Not cheap, it's expensive but worth it. Much better than any porcelain sink or other materials we saw. I recommend looking at it, if you can, and seeing it. Just one big sink, 12" deep, 30 x 16".

                                        Let us know how you decide.

                                        1. d
                                          DonataGuerra RE: DonataGuerra Dec 10, 2006 07:04 PM

                                          The blanco sink looks beautiful, both in stainless and their granite offering.

                                          The Ikea link posted by another chow was also attractive with the faucet elements coming from a single hole but with the goose-necked sprayer as the actual faucet.

                                          However, I already have a four hole unit, about two years old, with the goose-neck faucet for filling large pots and some white decoration with the stainless hot and cold levers, so I do have to get a four-hole sink that will accomodate this fixture that is still in perfect condition and that I love.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: DonataGuerra
                                            Scrapironchef RE: DonataGuerra Mar 7, 2007 11:42 AM

                                            Don't sweat the holes, a good plumber will just drill the fourth hole, plus you can put it on whichever side works better for you.

                                          2. spigot RE: DonataGuerra Dec 11, 2006 04:31 AM

                                            I have Franke ss in one bathroom; Kohler porcelain in the kitchen. New four years ago.

                                            Stainless steel is noisy and needs constant polishing; if unpolished it shows marks, including from water. It's not difficult to keep polished, but it's fussy and annoying.

                                            Porcelain is flawless except for -eventually, over time- *very* teeny scratches/pits. On the whole, porcelain will look and perform much better than SS.

                                            1. c
                                              cuisine RE: DonataGuerra Dec 11, 2006 01:33 PM

                                              We just had a Franke installed, undermount. I bought a sink grate thing to put over it. Really love it. The Franke faucet was twice as much as the sink but worth it imo.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: cuisine
                                                MakingSense RE: cuisine Dec 11, 2006 05:53 PM

                                                What do you mean by "a sink grate thing to put over it"? Is the sink deep and does this cover the sink up in some way?

                                              2. m
                                                mich RE: DonataGuerra Mar 7, 2007 07:00 AM

                                                I have a question, some people are referring to "porcelain" sinks. Is that porcelain bonded to metal or fire-clay? I'm interested in a farm-house style, fire-clay sink, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has one. How do they wear?

                                                1. r
                                                  RBCal RE: DonataGuerra Mar 7, 2007 01:02 PM

                                                  I bought a Blanco Silgranit sink for my kitchen remodel. On the Gardenweb forums several people who own it highly recommend it. Stainless steel is out of date and Corian can crack.
                                                  "SILGRANIT is manufactured of 80% rock hard granite. Features of SILGRANIT include heat resistancy up to 536° F, stain, scratch & chip resistant, impervious to acids & alkalis, easy to clean & maintain, and colored all the way through."

                                                  1. c
                                                    Cheesy Oysters RE: DonataGuerra Mar 8, 2007 09:44 AM

                                                    Guess I'm out of date, but I really like our Kindred 18 guage stainless sink. It's an undermount with one large bowl. Looks good and so far no scratches.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Cheesy Oysters
                                                      foodstorm RE: Cheesy Oysters Mar 16, 2007 08:21 PM

                                                      Well if you are out of date, then a bazillion other people are right there with you. SS is all I see in our area, in new construction and remodels. I don't particularly care for it, but it sure is popular.

                                                    2. e
                                                      EclecticEater RE: DonataGuerra Mar 15, 2007 10:31 PM

                                                      We got a deep 11" Blanco that is essentially one big oblong sink and love it. We also got their secret weapon, which makes them better than any other sink, namely a grid that goes on the bottom of the sink -- one of the world's best inventions.

                                                      1. e
                                                        embee RE: DonataGuerra Mar 16, 2007 10:43 PM

                                                        We have a white Blanco SILACRON (Quartz) composite sink. It's softer than granite, though not by much. It looks great when shiny clean and we haven't had any problems. It's quiet, it isn't porous, and it doesn't seem to scratch. The one issue has been keeping it looking good. Though stains and other marks don't penetrate the surface, it takes quite a bit of Comet or Bar Keeper's Friend to keep it looking nice. We wanted a white sink, but we are sorry now that we didn't get it in black. I don't think this model is available in the U.S.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: embee
                                                          Axalady RE: embee Apr 9, 2008 08:44 AM

                                                          The installer is coming tomorrow to measure for our new counter and sink. YIPPEE!! I've chosen Technistone Crystal Sahara counter top and a biscuit colored Blancodiamond silgranit sink. I'm firm on the counter top decision. I'd like to know from those that have a silgranit sink, are you still happy with it? Any other comments on care? Thanks!

                                                        2. karmalaw RE: DonataGuerra Apr 9, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                          I have a Blanco Silgranite and love it.. it's NOT shiny (matte finish), easy to clean, and can take some abuse. It's made of a special composite -- nothing to chip off. I have a twin sink model -- with one huge deep sink, and one smaller sink -- used to get fresh water when the main sink is in use.

                                                          I use a Blanco pull down/out faucet -- which at first I though looked too huge -- but after getting used to it I wouldn't have it any other way.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: karmalaw
                                                            Axalady RE: karmalaw Apr 9, 2008 05:46 PM

                                                            Thanks for your comments Karmalaw. I'm planning in putting in a Blanco classic faucet in biscuit to match the sink.

                                                            1. re: Axalady
                                                              karmalaw RE: Axalady Apr 10, 2008 09:46 AM

                                                              I have the Rados with Pull Down Spray

                                                              I'm not sure which one is the Classic.. but I love the pull down/out spray (as opposed to a separate spray) -- and the height makes cleaning almost anything easier... even the dog.. haha!

                                                              My sink is the BLANCODIAMONDâ„¢ 1-1/2 Bowl

                                                          2. e
                                                            EclecticEater RE: DonataGuerra Apr 9, 2008 10:49 PM

                                                            First of all, let's talk size. Get as deep a sink as you can. Those with removable steel chrome grids on the bottom let the gunk and parings go down to the disposal and help to keep many fragile things like plates from breaking. Get a great new professional disposal, by the way, at 3/4 horsepower or more and you will never have it stop up or clog or freeze. We got a steel Blanco that is about 12" deep, a farmhouse style sink that has a steel front to it that extends down the front of the cabinet. It has no separations in it, no divisions, and it accomodates all the big pots we have as well as plates. We have granite on both sides. Our sink is about 27" or 30" by 16" front to back. I believe it is their Farmhouse Style Single Bowl Undermount 501-113-A (Without Towel Bar). My wife and I love this sink; it is the best sink we've ever had. Yes, the stainless does show scratches and it might be possible to find one in white porcelain. But the size, the single large area without divissions (which only eat up space, it was pointed out to me), the grid, all make it easy to wash anything, to fill large pots with water, to stack any dishes and glassware, even to salt and pepper and use rubs on meats or fish. As you can hear, we love this part of our kitchen. Never thought I'd love a sink. After our friends used it a couple of times, they got one very similar.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: EclecticEater
                                                              Axalady RE: EclecticEater Apr 10, 2008 01:57 PM

                                                              Thanks everybody.

                                                              1. re: Axalady
                                                                tim irvine RE: Axalady Apr 10, 2008 03:05 PM

                                                                Amen on BIG sinks. I have a "built-in" seamless Corian, one small and shall for the disposal and the other bigger but not huge. I'd MUCH rather have one the size of both put together. If I ever have the bugs I am going to cut them out and drop in a single sink. I have been checking into soapstone and am leaning that way. I am not doing it for cosmetic reasons but one benefit if you have a color you are trying to match, like two whites, good luck. Of course SS has that benefit, too. Working in restaurants I loved SS because it has a little give and things don't break.

                                                                1. re: tim irvine
                                                                  Axalady RE: tim irvine Apr 10, 2008 07:03 PM

                                                                  Hi All. Again thanks for all your help. The installer did tell me that the colors of the Blanco biscuit sink and faucet don't match "exactly". She said that because they're made of two different materials (the sink silgranit, the faucet metal) the sink looks darker. I had been toying with the idea of a brushed or oiled bronze faucet and think one may look really good with the sink and counter top. I do like the look of the Rados though, and it's got a 10" reach which is apparently important too!! Decisions, Decisions!!

                                                                  1. re: tim irvine
                                                                    Siciliano RE: tim irvine Apr 30, 2008 09:18 AM

                                                                    I've just signed a contract to have a new countertop and sink installed. The counter will be quartz Zodiaq, with an undermount Corian sink. I'm wondering about the durability of the Corian sink. I've heard that it's not wise to pour boiling water in it or it might crack, and that you cannot put a hot pan in the sink. Just how is one to use the sink if that is true? I don't want another porcelain sink. Looking for pros/cons & suggestions please.

                                                                    1. re: Siciliano
                                                                      karmalaw RE: Siciliano Apr 30, 2008 09:49 AM

                                                                      Look at the Blanco Silgranit sink we've mentioned above. I love mine -- and have had no issues with boiling water or anything else.

                                                                      1. re: karmalaw
                                                                        Axalady RE: karmalaw Apr 30, 2008 12:57 PM

                                                                        Just an FYI about checking prices. I was going to purchase a Blanco faucet ($350 from installer) but decided to purchase a rubbed bronze Delta faucet. It was a special order at Lowes at $325 (which means it can't be returned unless there's a problem with the faucet itself) and at Home Expo was a special order at $323. I found the faucet online at FaucetDepot for $224 and with shipping it came to $232. I had it in four days. Needless to say I'm thrilled to have saved $100.

                                                                        Oh, also, stainless steel sink grid for my silgranite sink $89 at Home Expo, $56 online at HomeClick.

                                                              2. m
                                                                mr5890 RE: DonataGuerra Oct 14, 2008 08:08 PM

                                                                We bought the Kohler porcelain coated cast iron sink. It was great for a year or so, but now after about 3 years of use the gloss has worn off, and it stains. It will clean up with Barkeepers Friend, but then after a couple of days it's stained again. Our next sink will be a stainless steel sink. I like the looks of the stainless steel farmhouse sink like this one at Lavello, but my wife prefers the regular undermount sink.

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