Buying Guide

Kitchen Sinks

You may not cook every day, but is there ever a day when you don't use your sink? We subjected more than 20 double-bowl sinks from major manufacturers to a barrage of hot pots, scouring pads, dropped weights, and stains. The results of our sinks tests:

Stainless: Gauge Doesn't Matter
More people buy stainless-steel kitchen sinks than any other type. We tested 18-to-23-gauge sinks; the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. We also listened to the noise made by running water and dropped weights. We found the gauge had little to do with performance and sinks with sound-absorbing pads, placed on the exterior's bottom and sides, were quieter than those with a spray coating.

Enamel: Colorful and Easy to Clean
These sinks, sold in two versions (enamel-on-cast iron or lighter, less expensive enamel-on-steel), are available in many colors and are easy to clean. Our hot pot test didn't damage them, but when we dropped a 5-pound weight, similar to dropping a heavy pot, enamel-on-steel sinks were chipped or cracked. Enamel-on-cast iron chipped when we dropped a sharp, light object, similar to a knife, on them. Damaged enamel can cause the metal underneath to rust. Acrylic sinks might look like enamel but they scratch more easily and heat can be damaging—our hot pot melted the surface.

Solid Surface: Sleek and Seamless
These sinks can be paired with counters made of the same material for a seamless look. In our tests, high heat and dropping a sharp, light object, similar to a knife, damaged solid surfacing.

Count Inches
Double-bowl sinks let you soak a pot in one bowl while you rinse in the other. Just be sure that at least one of the bowls is wide enough to fit large pots or roasters. Sinks that are rectangular shaped are standard; D-bowls have a curved back and offer more space, front to back.

Think About Depth
Bowls are usually 6 to 12 inches deep. The deeper ones reduce splashes, but depending on your height you may find it uncomfortable to reach the bottom of a very deep sink. Remember that under-mounted sinks will be up to 1 ½ inches lower than a top-mounted.

Buyer's Guide taken from

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