No one questions the presence of a sink in the kitchen, because it is a multifunctional part of the room. However, in addition to working functions, the bowl should be easy to use and fit into the interior of the room.
If we consider the evolution of such equipment, then elegant stainless steel has replaced the Soviet enameled “monsters”, and today products from real granite, marble and their analogues are becoming more common. But, natural material is very expensive, but kitchen sinks made of artificial stone perfectly imitate the natural color, while maintaining all the functions.
What parameters to look at when choosing
Today, the market is flooded with various types of kitchen sinks made of artificial stone — cheap “analogues” and technological copies of branded products. However, for cheap, it is impossible to get a really high-quality thing. And so that after a short period of time the question of replacing one stone sink in the kitchen with another does not arise, it is worthwhile to be very critical in choosing a product. Low-quality acrylic stone products are easy to distinguish by such signs.
- The first thing that should be alarming is the cost below the market price. Even if the seller assures that this is an exact copy of the brand, in compliance with the manufacturing technology. Quality implies the use of an appropriate amount of material, which in turn is not cheap.
- Branded products also cannot be sold at a low price, and as the seller does not assure that this is a sink from the “same factory”, such a product is in any case an ordinary copy from cheap raw materials. The price of a foreign-made car wash can reach $2,000, while domestic counterparts are sold in the range of $200–400.
- The strength of the sink body, its durability, as well as stability will depend on the composition and proportional ratio of the components. Usually, artificial stone is made from mineral chips (granite, marble, quartz) and a binder polymer.
Quality products have a material composition of 80/20%, where the first component is stone, and the second is binder polymers. It is this ratio that gives the sink a proper margin of safety, and stability when exposed to high temperatures.
The most durable will be a sink made from granite chips, also not too inferior to analogues with quartz in the composition. Such sinks can withstand a drop of an object weighing up to 2 kg from a height of 1.5 meters!
- Packing quality. By the way the product is packaged, you can easily understand what kind of product is offered. A really good sink from any well-known manufacturer is wrapped in good cardboard, with all the precautions against impacts, and the obligatory manufacturer’s instructions and quality mark.
- Proportions and workmanship. A good sink from the manufacturer has clear contour lines, and proportional sizes, defects and errors are very rare for well-known brands.
- Manufacturer’s contact information. In case of doubt, you can easily contact the indicated contacts on the packaging, or they must be provided by the seller of the goods.
Also, do not forget that today, in the Internet era, it is very easy to find reviews and descriptions of well-known branded products, by which it is easy to determine the characteristic features of products. If there are differences with the store goods, then it is best to refuse to purchase.
What are sinks made of?
Kitchen sinks today are made from a variety of materials, from steel to natural stone. Each product has its positive and negative qualities. But when choosing a sink, it is worth considering all the options.
Artificial analogues of stone
Mortise kitchen sinks made of artificial stone are produced with a significant amount of natural stone (marble, quartz, granite) chips and a binder polymer, usually acrylic resins. They are very durable and can withstand the rigors of the kitchen. Such sinks can be made from various materials: porcelain stoneware, syngranite, fragranite, crystallite and others, they all have one thing in common — it is an artificial stone.
More often they are called acrylic, for their composition. These products are made from quartz chips with the addition of binders — polyester, acrylic resins, rubber, as well as a dye that gives the desired shade and color.
The products are quite durable and resistant to mechanical stress, but are more sensitive to hot dishes, which can leave visible marks.
Composite sinks are glued into the countertop using a seamless technology, which results in a hermetic structure that is integral with the working area of the kitchen.
Ceramic sinks are made of earthenware or porcelain, which are made from white clay, quartz chips and kaolin with some differences in the recipe (adding other materials). High-temperature processing gives products strength and a high degree of water resistance.
Ceramic sinks are not as sensitive to temperatures or aggressive substances as composite sinks, but at the same time they can be broken.
A natural stone
Sinks made of granite have a huge margin of safety, and marble samples are slightly inferior to them. Outwardly, such products are one piece with a tabletop carved from a single piece of stone.
Marble sink comes in a wide variety of colors and shapes. It is easy to match it to the appropriate kitchen design.
Granite in the interior will also look great, as they can be mounted anywhere in the room.
Consider the pros and cons of marble kitchen sinks.
Bowls made of natural natural material are practically unaffected by chemical compounds, impacts, and high temperatures. Well-known manufacturers give a guarantee of 10–15 years for their products made from real stone.
However, the transportation and installation of natural kitchen sinks requires experience and one cannot do without specialists.
Positive and negative properties of artificial sinks
Critics often describe the disadvantages of mortise kitchen sinks made of artificial stone: the color is not natural, they are very sensitive to temperature, they cannot withstand loads, and others. However, do not confuse acrylic products with higher quality products. Ideal and “eternal” products do not exist, and each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Kitchen sinks made of artificial stone have such positive qualities.
- Strength and durability. Living conditions practically cannot harm an artificial stone sink, because it is very difficult to break it. In addition, high-quality products from both foreign and domestic manufacturers are able to withstand fairly high temperatures (180–280 degrees) created by the hot surfaces of utensils. And even with the formation of chips or scratches, the sink can be restored.
- Since the sink is one piece with the countertop, there are no gaps or even more pores. As a result, there is no accumulated or absorbed dirt, and the stone does not have unpleasant odors.
- A long period of operation will not affect the color of the sink, it does not fade and does not lose its original aesthetic qualities.
- A variety of shapes, textures and colors allows you to fit the sink into any kitchen design.
- Stone sinks are better than stainless steel because of their quietness.
The disadvantages of sinks made of artificial stone include the following characteristics.
- Considerable price. For example, composite types of sinks cost twice as much as high-quality stainless steel sinks. The high cost is due to the high cost of raw materials.
- Cheaper analogues made of artificial stone do not tolerate high temperatures and mechanical stress very well.
- Sinks combined with a worktop with significant damage will have to be replaced completely with the entire lid.
- Quite often come across fakes for original products.
The parameters must be selected in accordance with the size of the kitchen. Large artificial stone kitchen sinks with wings and several bowls are not very suitable for installation in a small Khrushchev room. In this case, it is better to purchase a corner sink for the kitchen made of oval or round artificial stone with one bowl, which will allow you to use the “dead” space of one of the corners of the kitchenette.
The same applies to the number of bowls, it is more advisable to buy two or more compartments in case of frequent cooking in large volumes, then it is really convenient.
If the dimensions of the kitchen allow, then you can choose a product with a double-sided arrangement of wings, a suitable shape with several bowls.
When choosing a sink, you need to be guided by the general style of the room. With the predominance of strict rectilinear forms, it is best to purchase the same sink, in smooth outlines a round or oval bowl will look more harmonious.
There are two designs of sinks made of artificial stone, embedded, which are mounted in an already installed countertop, and one-piece with a table top. Accordingly, the technology of their installation will also differ.
Embedded provide the following installation steps:
- Installation on a sink fasteners from a delivery set.
- Tabletop preparation. An opening is cut out in its surface to fit the kitchen sink made of artificial stone.
- Installing a sink, sealing gaps, and fixing fasteners.
Countertop sinks require experience and are best installed by professionals.
When installing, you need to follow some general rules: do not install the sink next to the refrigerator and oven, do not place the bowl far from the work area, and also remember that the sink divides the kitchen into two parts, for dirty and clean work.
The presence of additional protective accessories is relevant when buying cheaper sinks. In this case, it is best to purchase a removable mesh basket. It is very convenient for washing food, but most importantly, it will protect the not quite high-quality sink bowl from being hit on it.
Also important will be the presence of various coasters for hot dishes, which will protect the bowl from staining.
Even if the purchased sink is made by a well-known manufacturer, and with the appropriate composition of natural materials, it is worth using such additional devices.
How to maintain a sink made of artificial stone
Sinks made of artificial stone also need little maintenance, like similar stainless steel counterparts. It is best not to start the washing service from the moment of installation.
- After use, the bowl must be rinsed with a degreasing, non-aggressive detergent, removing any remaining dirt from the bottom and walls. The ideal option would be to wipe the surface of the stone dry.
- All pots, pans and baking sheets should only be placed on stands.
- When draining boiling water, you should first open a tap with cold water, this will significantly reduce the temperature load on the surface of the bowl.
Also, do not neglect the manufacturer’s recommendations during operation.
The selected high-quality kitchen sink made of artificial stone, with proper installation and care, will last its warranty period without any problems.