What Is My Kitchen Sink Made Of?

Updated on May 13, 2019
K9keystrokes profile image

I have lots of experience with DIY plumbing and am here to share my tips and step-by-step pictorial guides with you.

Home Plumbing Made Easy
Home Plumbing Made Easy | Source

What Are Kitchen Sinks Made Of?

When the time comes to replace or install a new kitchen sink, many things must be considered: style, size, color, durability, and of course, price. The goal for most people is to manage that fine line between looks and cost.

The stuff the sink is made of is extremely important. If you don't understand the different materials, you might finger through a hundred sites, only to end up unknowingly choosing the wrong sink for your needs and taste.

Even though high-end sinks are beautiful and stunning to look at, they come with beautifully stunning price tags as well! So let's take a look at what we can find to fit your needs, style and most importantly your kitchen project budget.

You will find an overview for each type of material used to manufacture sinks. Each will tell you what problems the sink material may bring as well as the good reasons for choosing each sink type. And a very in-depth look at everyone's favorite sink material, stainless steel!

Price Comparison for Kitchen Sink Materials

(click column header to sort results)
Sink Material   
Sink Price   
Stainless Steel 
$30 to $1,000 and up 
$100 and up 
Cast Iron
$75 to $500 (as cheap as $5 if used)
$200 and up
$200 and up
$2,000 to $10,000 or more
$3,000 to $4,000 (also, allow for cost of custom cabinets)

A Comparison of Kitchen Sink Materials

You should always visit a showroom or home center before buying a sink. You will want to touch and see for yourself. A picture won't give you a reliable impression.

Here are the seven main materials that kitchen sinks are made of:

  1. Stainless Steel
  2. Enamel
  3. Cast Iron
  4. Composite
  5. Acrylic
  6. Fireclay
  7. Copper (and other metals)

1. Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks

Stainless has to be the most popular sink material installed. The quality and price is as vast as the Grand Canyon is deep. Even as stainless is the most common sink choice, not all are created equal. You want to look for a sink that is solid and has a heavy feel to it. The metal needs to be pretty thick. Be sure to find the "gauge" of the metal before buying—for example, 18 is thicker than 22 gauge; the lower the gauge number the thicker the metal will be. The thicker the gauge, the more the sink is going to cost due to the higher quality and durability. Oh, and that high-end mirror finish; it is simply an extra buffing that makes the sink shine so brilliantly, so this is strictly a matter of taste not practicality. The mirror shine sinks have quite a beautiful visual appeal. But remember, when it comes to stainless steel sinks you really do get what you pay for. A thinner gauge steel is likely to vibrate, bend, and twist as you use the faucet head, no matter how shiny the finish looks. To be safe, it's recommended that you avoid the cheapest models at all costs!

The Stainless Nickle Blend

Some lower end stainless sinks will have problems with surface rust and staining. To eliminate these conditions be sure you are choosing a sink that has at least 10% nickel in the metal. Most low-end sinks only have 8%, which is why these kitchen sinks develop surface rust. You want to locate a sink that is rated 18/10 (which means, 18-gauge thickness and 10% nickel content).

Soundproofing a Stainless Steel Sink, really?

Another component to consider when buying a stainless steel sink is the soundproofing. You want to find a sink that offers enough coating on the underside, as do most of the better quality stainless sinks. This material is a spray-on soundproofing flock that absorbs the "dong" sound some stainless sinks can bring. It is easy to tell the difference, as low-end sinks will only have a little foam pad stuck to the underside of the bowls instead of the coating or nothing at all. If the budget is really tight, you can always buy a spray-can of car undercoating and apply your own soundproofing.

2. Enameled Kitchen Sinks

If you are in the market for a low cost, shiny and beautiful sink, enamel-on-steel is a good choice, at least when you first bring it home. It has the appearance of cast iron, but is far lighter in weight. It can chip easily if something heavy gets dropped on it or bangs against its sides, it will probably lose its shine after only a couple of years, and the enamel has a tendency to wear off in spots in under a decade. Think of those sinks you find in early model mobile homes; possibly not the top choice for your kitchen sink replacement.

3. Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks

The cast-iron sink was the pillar of early plumbing and seems to be making a comeback in some areas. These are made by laying a hardy porcelain coating over heavy cast iron. Cast-iron sinks can be beautiful and will stay so for a lifetime. The porcelain keeps its showroom shine for decades and is far more resistant to chipping and cracking than the enamel-on-iron sink. However, if a pan is heavy enough and moving fast enough you can be sure even porcelain will give up a chip or a crack. A good safety prevention against such chipping and cracking is to place a mat in the sink basin. Always avoid setting a hot cast-iron skillet directly in a mat-less sink, as this will guarantee a chip (or pop-out) for sure!

Finding a kitchen sink made out of the right material for your taste requires a little research-- don't forget to feel the materials!
Finding a kitchen sink made out of the right material for your taste requires a little research-- don't forget to feel the materials! | Source

4. Composite Kitchen Sinks

What do you get when you mix stone, dust, and resin? Composite material! And kitchen sinks made of the stuff are very popular. You will find two types of composite sinks: shiny and dull. The shiny composite sinks look just like a porcelain-on-cast-iron finish (but are a lot lighter). The dull composite sinks look just like stone and can have a smooth or semi-rough finish. It is easier to scratch the smooth finish, but these scratches are pretty simple to buff out. The semi-rough finish has often been advertised as heat, scratch, and stain resistant. One of the more convenient aspects of composite products has to be in the kitchen countertop arena. You can order composite countertops with an integral sink built right in! Now that's an awesome "two-birds-with-one-stone" scenario! (Note: I do not support or advise any stone throwing at any birds).

5. Acrylic Kitchen Sinks

If you shop carefully and know what brand to search for, acrylic sinks can be an amazing choice. Acrylic products—sinks, tubs, and showers—are made using a very cool technique where by a vacuum pulls a solid sheet of acrylic into a mold, morphing it to the desired shape. A high-quality acrylic sink is beautiful, quiet, and is resistant to stains; and some models even have a germ-fighting compound built right into the material. On the flip-side, common acrylic is quite vulnerable to surface cuts and scratches. If you use an abrasive cleanser the surface of the sink will dull, and metal pans will absolutely leave ugly skid marks across the sink.

If you want to get a hold of a high-density acrylic sink that is virtually indistructable, a company called Karran USA is your answer. These guys make an acrylic sink whose color will not fade, and that no household chemical or food stain can penetrate. That's right, it is okay to use any household cleaser—even the super abrasive cleansers and bleach—without leaving any sign of damage at all. And get this, the high-density acrylic sink material is totally heat resistant up to 400°F!

6. Fireclay Kitchen Sinks (or Vitreous China)

For those who have a six-figure budget, Fireclay sinks may just be what you are looking for. Also referred to as "vitreous china," Fireclay sinks are a very high-end product. This sink is the same color all of the way through and can have some exquisite (even custom) detailing. The Fireclay sink is more a work of art than a utility item. The best sinks of this material are handcrafted in Limoges, France. The factories that manufacture this product are as environmentally considerate as one can find. Unknown to most consumers is that this kitchen sink is a lead-free product and is also a very eco-friendly and completely recyclable item.

7. Copper Kitchen Sinks (and Other Handcrafted Options)

Another high-end option is the handcrafted copper kitchen sink. One company, Oregon Copper Bowl has a variety of finishes: polished, satin coffee, antique patina, satin nickel, and stainless steel. You can even find the old farmhouse-style double-bowl, but expect to pay a pretty "penny" for it. This style of sink may require some fancy custom cabinetry work to house it, so make sure to allow for this extra cost in your budget. For me, no more beautiful material for sinks exists.

What You Think Really Does Matter!

What material do you like your Kitchen Sink made from?

See results


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    7 years ago

    haha. Very different but very useful post.

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 

    7 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    Interesting hub. I only associated the kitchen sink with stainless steel but to think there are options makes it seem like a more conscious selection than previously thought.

  • Hui (蕙) profile image

    Hui (蕙) 

    7 years ago

    This is a unique topic to talk! Great knowledge to build a comfortable and neat kitchen. I like cooking, and so I love to have a comfortable kitchen.

  • ComfortB profile image

    Comfort Babatola 

    7 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

    Very well-written hub. You went to great details. Congrats on the HOTD award.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this informative post that gives us a good look at kitchen sinks--very useful.

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    I don't think I've ever seen a cast iron sink. Interesting hub with all of the different kinds of sinks laid out well. This is a very attractive hub, too! Congrats on hub of the day! Well done!

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 

    7 years ago from North Carolina

    Hi India, Congrats on the HOTD and well deserved. Your hubs are always so thorough and useful. I enjoyed reading this-you dig in areas others skim over. :)

  • Sally's Trove profile image


    7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    Wonderfully informative. I don't happen to be in the market for a kitchen sink, but I found your writing so enjoyable I couldn't stop reading. :)

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 

    7 years ago from Western NC

    Oh, how I wish I could have the high-end sink without the high-end price, hehe. Awesome, informative hub! This is also a perfect hub for HOTD - congrats! CONGRATS!

  • Doc Sonic profile image

    Glen Nunes 

    7 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    K9 - congrats on HOTD! I'm in the midst of kitchen renovation planning right now, so this is helpful info. I've been assuming the new sink would be stainless steel, but you've given me some interesting options to think about. Thanks for the info.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    7 years ago from Florida

    Congrats on HOTD! Very interesting and informative. I have a stainless steel sink, but it gets stains from tea,etc. Not exactly stainless. Guess there are pros and cons to each kind.

    Voted UP and will share.

  • Dannytaylor02 profile image

    Daniel Nathan Taylor 

    7 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

    Being able to make such a boring article interesting is truly the mark of a great writer, Well done mate very well researched and put togetherand i can only hope my hubs are this good someday!

  • kikalina profile image


    7 years ago from Europe

    I love corian sinks. Love the idea of a seamless finish. Well done on this hub.

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Mrs. M~ Thank you for such nice remarks! I am over joyed you came by to learn a little about what our kitchen sinks are made of!



  • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

    Mrs. Menagerie 

    8 years ago from The Zoo

    This hub is so well done K9!! I can always recognize your signature style...great info, great photos and videos, well written...UP!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Chin chin~ Interesting about ceramic tile sinks in the Philippines. A good old fashioned 18/10 Stainless Steel sink has to be the most popular sink style in the world!

    Thank you for your commetns!



  • Chin chin profile image

    Chin chin 

    8 years ago from Philippines

    The most common sink I see are the stainless steel. But in the Philippines, I see some homes make ceramic tiled sinks especially in the dirty kitchen. Maybe only in the Philippines?

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Om Paramapoonya~ Thanks so much! I am thrilled the hub was picked by the staff! It says a lot when you (the next day's staff winner)enjoys my hub. I sure apreciate your comments and that you found the kitchen sink price chart helpful.



  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    Hi! Congrats on the win. This hub is really awesome. So informative and well-written. The price comparison chart is also very helpful. :)

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Les Trois Chenes~ Thanks for the comments! It was a lot to research, but I was able to find the perfect kitchen sink for our home needs by doing the footwork. So pleased you stopped by.



  • Les Trois Chenes profile image

    Les Trois Chenes 

    8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

    Goodness,I never thought so much about sinks! Just goes to show. Many thanks for an interesting hub.

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Simone~ I know! When I was researching kitchen sinks for my own home, I found that stainless steel sinks have to be soundproofed. Then I thoguht, yep. I can remember my mom's older sinks making that familiar "dong" noise when bumped. Thanks for stopping by!



  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    8 years ago from San Francisco

    Wow, this is SUPER helpful! I've learned a lot of just plain interesting things from this Hub, too. I didn't realize that stainless steel sinks could be soundproofed, for example. How interesting!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    8 years ago from Northern, California

    Gypsy Willow~ Thanks for the extra tip on composite kitchen sinks! I am sure someone will find it useful. Good luck in your new home, it must be very exciting! Thanks for your comments on the stuff sinks are made of.



  • Gypsy Willow profile image

    Gypsy Willow 

    8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

    Very useful hub. I bought a house recently with a black rough composite sink. It drove me mad trying to get rid of the white stains on it until I went to a hardware store and moaned about it. An elderly assistant told me about a special sink cleaner and now it's as good as new! (Just in case someone else has this problem!)


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)