The Stainless Steel Sink Manufacturers states that a good stainless steel sink should be able to spend years of daily use and abuse without much care. However, if the sink is poorly constructed, the standard will not be met, and it will become soiled, scratched, sunken, and look old in just a few years. By knowing what to look for in a good sink, you can spend money wisely and avoid problems associated with a poor sink. The following describes the method of judging the quality of stainless steel sinks:
1. chrome and nickel
The stainless steel used for sinks is a combination of steel, chromium and nickel alloys. Alloys are what make steel strong and durable. Large amounts of chromium and nickel lead to higher quality sinks. There are two sets of numbers indicating the amount of these metals present: ratio and series. This ratio represents the percentage of chromium and nickel, for example a 20:10 sink contains 20% chromium and 10% nickel. Ideally, the ratio should be between 18: 8 and 20:10. The series is a number that indirectly represents a ratio. The stainless steel series 300 is of high quality, meaning that the ratio is in the range of 18: 8 or 20:10. The quality of other series is lower.
Gauge refers to the thickness of stainless steel used to make sinks. Heavier sinks resist dents and bites and don't transfer noise like thin sinks. Thin water tanks are also more prone to vibration or resonance than thick water tanks. Ruler thickness is expressed in contrast to other common measurements-the smaller the number, the thicker the ruler. For example, most high-quality sinks measure 16 or 18 and are heavy enough to be used daily without dents. Inferior sinks are 22 or higher in size, and thin metals can easily be damaged by heavy pots.
High-quality stainless steel sinks do not always contain fillers or insulation on the bottom surface, but they are included in many cases and are not common on low-quality sinks. Thermal insulation reduces noise from running water and dishes, and prevents water from condensing under the sink, which can damage wooden cabinets for long periods of time. It also helps protect the surrounding countertops from excessive moisture.
To save material and reduce costs, some stainless steel sinks are made of high-quality steel, but the sinks are shallow. This means that they can't hold many dishes, and they can easily spill water when filled with water. For some homes, saving space may be worth the cost, but for many high-quality sinks, it also means that a sink deep enough to hold a small stack of dishes, not just two plates.
Surface quality does not necessarily mean quality, because the quality of a sink and its improper fabrication can have the same surface quality. However, glossy mirror finishes are easy to scratch, and some heavily brushed finishes may look rough. Satin is often used in high-quality sinks. This light-colored texture creates a matte finish that covers small scratches without creating noticeable or cheap patterns.
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