Stainless steel is the most popular kitchen sink material used by many homeowners across the globe. For, it is the best value for money due to durability and high strength. However, the stainless steel sinks are available in both cheap and expensive versions.
Now the question arises what the significant differences between cheap and expensive steel sinks are? Let’s explore what differentiates the two different varieties of stainless steel sinks.
Grade of Stainless Steel
When buying a stainless steel kitchen sink, it is essential to know that there’s a vast difference between the grades. If you need a durable and cost-effective sink, consider 316 stainless steel. Even the 304 grade is the best value for money and commonly used in many households.
On the other hand, the cheaper 430 grade is the high chromium stainless steel. But it lacks durability and flexibility. Moreover, it is not resistant to dents.
Gauge of Steel
The thickness of steel is measured in gauges. The higher the gauge, the thinner is the metal and vice-versa. Therefore, the 22 gauge stainless steel sink is the thinnest, and 14 gauge stainless steel is the thickest.
When choosing the best stainless steel sink, you must look for 16 gauge steel. The 18 gauge steel is cheaper but quite good too. However, the 20 gauge steel is skinny and not a good value for money. In some domestic kitchen sinks, 14 gauge steel is used due to this thickness and durability.
While the thickness of steel sinks is not significant, but if you’re seeking durable sinks that can withstand the impact of heavy pots and pans being dropped, then you must choose expensive and thicker stainless steel sink.
Stainless steel is a quite durable material for household usage if considering practical usability. But if you’re concerned about the appearance and hygiene of the sink, the durability might be compromised.
As mentioned above, the more expensive stainless steel sink has sturdier composite stainless materials and can better withstand dents, knocks, scratches, and corrosion than cheap stainless steel. An inexpensive material can quickly begin to look scratched and shabby while losing its sheen.
The expensive stainless steel sinks could easily avoid scratches or dents caused by the dropping of heavy pans or pots while washing. The higher quality sinks tend to look more polished and bright even after a long duration compared to the cheap sinks. However, don’t expect that buying expensive steel sink won’t be vulnerable to scuffs and scores. Since the stainless steel, in general, is prone to scratches than other materials, you must take care of this material while considering regular polishing and gentle rubbing. But the good news is that some more expensive stainless steel sinks contain a higher amount of chromium and molybdenum. Due to the presence of chromium, these stainless steel sinks attain the self-repair quality that helps in preventing deep scratches from exposing the steel to oxidation. It means that the metal won’t rust even on the scuffed areas.
Discolouration and Corrosion
The cheaper stainless steel sinks are more prone to discolouration and corrosion. But the expensive steel sinks offer better protection against stain and corrosion. It is because the costly sinks contain chromium that gives primary protection against discolouration. Even molybdenum present in the expensive steel sinks offers better protection and anti-corrosion properties compared to cheaper steel sinks.
The expensive and high-quality kitchen stainless steel sinks are added with more noise-reducing materials. But the cheap sinks often tend to enhance the sound of water running from your Blanco taps in the UK or any other faucet whenever you use it. All thanks to expensive steel’s noise-cancelling materials, you can get rid of the noise problem.
Size & Type of Kitchen Sink
The price of your stainless steel kitchen sink depends on the material quality and its gauge. Moreover, the size and type of your steel sink will also vary the cost. For instance, a quality stainless steel sink can range somewhere between $100 and $800. It could be cheaper than that if you want a reduced sink size with cheap material. But the only issue is that it would wear off very soon.
When buying a stainless steel sink for your kitchen, you need to weigh all these factors and consider which steel type fits your needs and budget. But the higher you’re willing to pay for your stainless steel kitchen sink, the better quality you’re likely to get in return compared to the cheaper versions.