Belinda Carson. Sinks. February 28th , 2017.
The current trend is starting to change in the stainless steel undermount sink. In the past most people preferred a double bowl sink, however a single large bowl is being selected much more frequently. It would seem many people are using the dishwasher and they want a larger single sink to wash just the pots and pans. It should be noted that the largest undermount single bowl on the market today is typically 30 inches long (measured horizontally) by 18 inches wide (front to back). This does not seem like big difference from the typical double bowl that measures 33 inches long (measured horizontally) by 22 inches wide (front to back), but the reality is the reduction of the sink size allows for much greater room behind the sink which will now open up your faucet choices and it also allows placement of the sink a little farther back in the countertop which allows the front edge of the counter top more meat which helps significantly in keeping breakage of the countertop to a minimum. This is truly important because most solid surface countertops fail at this critical point not only at installation but a year or two after installation after your fabricator is now no longer responsible.
When you see a stainless kitchen sink in an advertisement, or in a store, it will usually have some information attached. One of the first things you will see, besides size of course, is Gauge. The Gauge of stainless steel measures the thickness of the steel itself that was used to create the sink. Usually you will see a number between 16 and 23. In most circumstances a higher number indicates a higher quality or larger measurement, but Gauge is like Golf, the lower the number the better. I personally recommend a 16 or 18 gauge sink, especially if you are doing an apron front sink or a zero radius stainless steel sink. Anything higher than that, while it may be cheaper, is much more likely to dent or crease, especially when your belt buckle hits the front of a stainless farm sink while you are doing dishes. 18 gauge stainless steel is 0.0500 inches thick and weighs 2.016 pounds per square foot, and 16 gauge stainless steel is 0.0625 inches thick and weighs 2.52 pounds per square foot. While that may not seem like much, that is actually a 25% increase in both thickness and weight, making 16 gauge a considerably more durable and sturdier sink.
Copper starts out in sheets of various thicknesses or \"gauge\". The thickness of the metal can also be referred to by the weight per square foot. The thicker the gauge copper, the lower the number. Most bath sinks are made from 20 gauge (the thinnest) to 16 gauge (the thickest) and most kitchen sinks range from 18 gauge to 14 gauge. When shopping for copper sinks, always ask about the gauge and be aware that a thicker gauge sink will cost more - and in many cases is worth it! A lightweight gauge metal can result in a \"tinny\" sound when running the faucet.
Undermount and drop-in sinks are usually used with vanity cabinets, and either mount underneath the sink opening or simply drop into the sink opening. Because they are used with a countertop, these sinks offer a lot of space for toiletries. These sinks are usually made of vitreous china, ceramic, fireclay, or porcelain, but are sometimes available in unique copper, bronze, and glass options.
The last variety of sink has gotten more popular in the last decade or so. The fifth type of sink is called the vessel sink. A vessel sink is a basin that sits n top of the counter. They can be any shape but the most popular ones are circular or oval shaped bowls and square basins. The vessel sinks are hard to clean because you have to try to reach into the small space between the vessel and the counter, but they look very nice.
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