The material that your sink is made from can make a big difference in your kitchen. Different materials require different levels of maintenance and have different types of aesthetic appeal. In the world of kitchen sinks, there are two standard options that most people can pick from: stainless steel or porcelain. In today’s post, we’ll discuss these two materials at length, covering the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can make an informed decision. Understanding the specifics of these two different materials can help you decide which type of sink is best for your needs.
Cast iron coated in porcelain was the standard for kitchen sinks back in the day. In modern times, these elegant fixtures are more of a novelty. For homeowners who appreciate vintage styles, and for those who like the quaint look of a country kitchen, porcelain sinks have subtle beauty that can leave visitors and friends saying “Ooh” and “ahh”. Porcelain can also come in different colors, which makes it easy to match the sink to the rest of the room.
That said, porcelain sinks have a downside that can shorten the life of the sink and repel some consumers. Porcelain is not as durable as stainless steel. Over time, the protective glaze on top of the porcelain can chip or crack, exposing the softer, more porous layer beneath. When this happens, the sink can easily become stained.
The only way to prevent the glaze on top from becoming marred in this way is to avoid use of all abrasive cleaners and cleaning materials. It’s also important to limit the porcelain’s exposure to foods and beverages that can stain, like coffee grounds, coffee, berries and turmeric. One more thing to know about porcelain sinks: if the porcelain chips and the cast iron is exposed, the sink must be reglazed before the cast iron begins to rust.
While porcelain sinks are beautiful but high maintenance, stainless steel sinks have gained in popularity because they’re durable, easy to maintain and easy to clean. Stainless steel doesn’t rust and never needs to be reglazed. Whereas porcelain needs periodic upkeep, stainless steel needs little more than regular cleaning. It’s not porous, so wiping away food that has hardened to the sink’s surface is as easy as wiping down the sink with a wet sponge.
Unfortunately, stainless steel doesn’t have the natural beauty of porcelain. There are no fun color options, so a homeowner who wants to install stainless steel in his or her kitchen will either have to match the kitchen to the sink, or choose not to care if the sink doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the décor.
If you’re a homeowner trying to decide whether or not to install a stainless steel sink or a porcelain sink, we recommend that you start by acknowledging your priorities. Ask yourself whether you value aesthetics over practicality, and also take into consideration how hard you are on your sink. If you’re the kind of person who loves to use abrasive powder cleaners and bleach in your cleaning, a porcelain sink may not be good for you.
All in all, we highly recommend you give it careful thought. There are also a variety of useful articles online that cover this topic. You’ll be living with your sink for a long time, so picking the right fixture made from the right material is important. If you have questions or want advice, you can also contact us at Terry’s Plumbing. We enjoy giving advice and recommending the best plumbing fixtures.