16 vs 18 gauge stainless steel sinks--what's the difference???

robbi25January 14, 2012

Is an 18 gauge elkay sink good quality and fine for a kitchen or does one need to buy a 16 gauge sink

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16 gauge is thicker. The smaller the number the thicker the steel. The 16's aren't as prolific as the 18 and 20 gauge.. HTH : )

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Thanks. But is 18 gauge acceptable and strong enough or do you need to have a 16 gauge---they are twice as expensive and I don't want to spend that much money unless it's necessary.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 8:55PM
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18 gauge is perfectly fine for a kitchen sink. Not to worry!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Consumer Reports did a sink review not long ago and concluded that 18 was just fine. Despite that, we bought a 16. If you find a sink you like and it's an 18, you can be comfortable that it's just fine.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Robbie. it is wrong to think 18 gauge sink is twice as expensive. Check out Kraus sinks or the sinks at galaxytoolsupply. Not only 16 gauge, but comes with sink grid free. Many happy users on this forum. Elkay is an excellent brand, but expensive for what you get. I personally prefer a 16 gauge despite what Consumer Reports says.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 9:18PM
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The guy who "refreshed" my parents' kitchen (they kept their existing cabs, but added new doors, granite, sink, faucet) supplied an Artisan sink. It's 16 gauge, and I'd have to guess it wasn't pricey. I looked it up for them before they got it and all the reviews were positive.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 9:21PM
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thanks, everyone. I have to do a total renovation due to damage from hurricane Irene and I'm trying to get the best possible products while staying within the "not enough" insurance allowance.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Be careful about getting a stainless sink made in China. You have to ask where the sink was manufactured. They don't tell you unless you ask. I have seen posts about stainless sinks rusting.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 6:51AM
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LOVE my S405D sink from Galaxy Tool Supply !!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 7:02AM
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There is more to stainless sinks and their guage. Look for the metal elements they are built from. Reviews show that the more chromium and nickel, the better the sink. Plus sound deadening added to the underside.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I have an Elkay Lustertone 18 gauge sink that I bought at a good price on Amazon last year. I have no complaints about the quality of the sink or its sound deadening.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:49AM
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How do you find out the amount of chromium and nickel used to make the sink. I don't see it listed on any of the product specs

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Have you looked at Kraus sinks? They are 16 gauge, and have an 18/10 chromium to nickel ratio, which is supposed to be the best composition. It also has the sound deadening on the underside. We bought ours from expressdecor.com.

I did go to some local kitchen showrooms who sold mostly 18 gauge but they were twice the price of my 16 gauge Kraus sink. I have been very happy with our sink. We have only had it for about a month but i don't expect any problems.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:19PM
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I haven't checked Kraus but I will now!! Thanks to all of you--this has been so incredibly helpful--I can't even fathom how i would have learned all this without you!!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Here is an article on stainless steel sinks which includes the gauge and metal content info. While trying to find this another article mentioned that most of our sinks are from China. Nickle is becoming short in supply and not unusual to find sinks without. All sellers and the sink info itself should have the metal content listed as 20/10 for a higher grade. I'm not an expert, but when buying my sink the information was explained on the description and became curious. Had never heard of this before in looking at sinks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sink information

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 8:00AM
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I ordered a Kraus sink last night from Amazon--it was half the price and the specs were as good or better than the others I was looking at. I spent more time on making this decision than almost anything else in my life--and, living in NYC, my kitchen is so much smaller than all the pix I see on this site!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 8:27AM
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You should also be aware that the gauge is how think the sink blank starts out before it is formed.

The final sink will be thinner than the starting blank since the flat metal is stretched to form the sink.

Add a GD to a thin sink and you can watch the vibration on the surface of the water in the sink when the GD is turned on.

A deeper sink may benefit from a thicker starting blank than a shallow sink would.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 11:07AM
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are you saying 18 gauge would be better for a deeper sink? now I'm really confused

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 11:16AM
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No, brickeye is saying that a thicker gauge might be better in a deep sink with a garbage disposal. The thicker gauge is 16 - I know, the gauge numbers are confusing. From thinner to thicker is 20-18-16-14, etc.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Our C-Tech-I sink and the similar Ticor sinks that many on this site have used come from China. Both are 18/10 steel which is good type of steel for a sink. Ours is 16 gauge as are many of the Ticor sinks. We haven't had any rust issues and I haven't seen any others post about it with those brands. Ours has been in use for over 5 years.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 3:53PM
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"We haven't had any rust issues..."

Many years ago I had a customer that complained the stainless sink was rusting.

It was a large and expensive name brand, and I was sort of taken aback.
I went over to look at the problem, and sure enough a light rust film was over a lot of the sink, but not everywhere.

I opened the cabinet to look at the underside of the sink and saw the box of Brillo Soap Pads.

I used some rust removing chemicals (oxalic acid) and told the owner the rust was from the pads.

Their maid had been dutifully scrubbing the sink with the pads.
They are plain steel wool loaded with soap.
Enough of the carbon steel can rub off on a brushed stainless surface from the pads to then cause light surface rust to appear.
After my cleanup and a switch to non-woven pads (3M Scotch Brite type) the problem never appeared again.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 4:19PM
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I found a great article on sink gauge, I'll post a link below. Summary: the lower the number, the thicker the sink. Thicker sinks are more resistant to dents, vibrate less with a garbage disposal attached and flex less under a full load, especially in large single bowl sinks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stainless Steel Sink Gauge Explanation

2 Likes    Bookmark   December 5, 2014 at 5:00PM
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I have 18 gauge in both our homes and in my first home that we sold. No issues at all with less expensive online Amazon ordered 18 gauge stainless sink some no name brand. They have sound pads on the bottom and the bottoms are coated in some substance to help insulate the metal ( I've seen the same stuff under pricier sinks too ). I've used both my sinks in different states for three years and ten years without any issues. I love my single bowl sinks !

2 Likes    Bookmark   December 9, 2014 at 9:05PM
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