Budget can play a critical role in the choices that you make, and kitchen sinks are not an exception to this. Since you don’t want to loosen your purse strings, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise with the quality. On the market, you get a vast range in affordable kitchen sinks too, and of them, stainless steel seems to be most prevalent. Stainless steel sinks tend to be cheaper than other materials, such as granite and fireclay. So, when it comes to selecting something from high-quality cheap kitchen sinks, you can focus on stainless steel.
Stainless steel has been in the market for many decades. And there are a large number of households which choose stainless steel sinks over others. The reasons are quite straightforward. Stainless steel sinks offer them similar experience in terms of appearance, performance, and functionality as the high-end options. However, you must not overlook the fact that there can be differences in quality in the stainless steel itself. So, don’t get lured to something just because it is stainless steel and cheaper than other models in the same material.
For the right choice, you would need to weigh your chosen product from various angles. In this article, you will learn about them.
Grade of stainless-steel sinks
A 304 grade of stainless steel is what you may like and desire for an affordable price. These sinks can be durable and cost-effective compared to other variants in the same base. For instance, you cannot expect flexibility and durability from a stainless-steel sink featuring a grade of 430. Also, even if the product reads stainless, it doesn’t mean it is immune to color fading. The reason behind this is the use of a certain amount of substances and compounds in the product that equip it with strength, flexibility, and an ability to withstand discoloration and dents, etc.
Usually, a mix of 18% chromium and 8% nickel is considered to be a standard ratio. It stands for strength and long lastingness for a fraction of the price. Plus, it also prevents oxidation, which can lead to rusting. You can find such a combination in 304 series of stainless-steel sinks. These sinks make an excellent choice in the cheaper range because they stand for hygiene, corrosion resistance, and long life. However, excess heat and salt and other acids are some of the things that you would have to be wary about when using the sink.
You can get tempted to a sink that contains 10 to 12% of chromium and is available for a lower price. But avoid those things at every cost. Denting and discoloration is the most common problem with them. However, if you can afford to pay a high price, then you should probably search for something in the higher grades having about 30% of chromium.
A gauge of stainless-steel sinks
If you pore over the product details, you will come across something like 16 gauge, 18 gauge, 22 gauge, and so on. Of the various measurements, 16 is the best, followed by 18. It shows the thickness of the metal. Some brands offer fantastic choices in 16 gauge stainless steel sinks for an affordable price, which means you don’t need to raise your expenses to enjoy this benefit. You also get 14-gauge material, which tends to be very thick. But it is rarely found in domestic use structural products.
It is evident from this that a higher gauge reflects the thinness of the metal and lower gauge thickness. So, if you get to choose between 22 and 16 to 18, then opt for the latter range. Don’t run after a lower price. Otherwise, you will be giving up on traits like durability and dent resistance.
Size and type of stainless-steel sinks
It goes without emphasizing that the quality of the material and gauge bear upon the cost of a stainless-steel kitchen sink. But apart from them, there is one more factor that can add to the price, which is its size and style. For instance, some single bowl units can be cheaper compared to double bowl sinks. If your kitchen area is smaller, then you can directly focus on single basin sinks. These can save not only your counter space but the overall budget too.
It can feel like a myth when you hear that a cheap sink can be high-end too. But in today’s world, nothing is impossible, particularly if you look for it diligently. Some trusted brands offer similar qualities in a low-priced product as in any other expensive materials. For instance, you can think about noise reduction. A cheap quality stainless steel can fail to absorb the sound of water and utensils that bump its surface. However, if the material and engineering are right, you can expect it to possess excellent acoustic properties. Then, you can also look for options with the installation.
Usually, you get stainless steel sinks within any price range in top-mount and undermount configurations. In top-mount mounting, the sink sits in the cut-out template, and a seal is applied on the lip and surface to secure its position. In the other option, the sink fits in the cabinet from underneath. Both these have their pros and cons. But in terms of the price, the top-mount installation can be preferable for being more cost-effective.
So, don’t think that just because there is a limited budget, you will not get desirable choices. The new age kitchen sinks can satisfy any need with ease, whether it concerns price, quality, style, or something else. And the best part is, you don’t need to look for a short-term solution for the fear that a stainless-steel sink can go out of fashion. Steel has been there for a long time, and it will continue to be a part of every household in the coming years for the simple reason that it possesses many plus points, which can even be lacking in the expensive ones. Hence, when you shop, don’t lower your expectations too much.