If you had to go with a stainless sink . . .

MizLizzieFebruary 13, 2013

What brand would you buy? And what about gauge? The smaller the gauge the thicker the metal, right? Or am I screwed up? And I see Kohler sells something with special soundproofing. Do the other brands?

My sink of choice has always been cast iron but I cannot get a Kohler color to match my Cambria. A Silgranit in biscotti might match, but I think not. Have a call in for sample chips. At the end of the day, I think I will have to go stainless and I know nothing about them.

Thanks for any guidance.

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Mind you, I'm somewhat budget-minded in some areas and the sink is one of them. I will be going with a Kraus 16-gauge single bowl sink when we remodel. Their sinks have sound-proofing and they get a lot of love on GW. I have a double bowl ss sink right now and look forward to having a single bowl ss sink.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Thank you. I have not looked at Kraus, so I will do that.

The Kohler ss look pricey. My KD recommended Houzer. They seem very inexpensive compared to some. Just trying to grasp the differences. Like you, I have no interest in spending just for a name.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Rachiele, LLC

By the way, sound proofing does almost nothing unless it is applied to a very thin stainless. Look at warranty and where it is made. Best sinks are made in US, Canada, Europe. Be wary of those made in China.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:14PM
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I hope you consider the Silgranit sample (in biscuit). That's the one I have and I've loved it for the last 4 years. One benefit of the silgranit that I did ot realize was that the dishwater does not cool off quickly. Like you, I bought it to coordinate with the color of my countertop. I am so happy with it; I was never a fan of stainless steel.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:22PM
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I have the Blanco super single and it is 18 gauge. It was about $250. I have been using it alot for dishwashing lately due to a broken DW. I have no sound issues at all. I have never heard any clanging sounds when pots and pans are banging around the sink. I'm sure each brand may be different.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Another here with the 16-gauge Kraus (not zero radius but nearly square corners), and love it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Thank you all. I did not see a place to request Silgranit samples on Blanco's site so I just sent a general email. Do you think they will send anything?

I like the look of stainless, but the last one I had required constant attention, and it did clunk. It came in our vacation house so I did not buy it. I think it was maybe a cheap sink.

I think the Houzer sinks must be Chinese?

Thanks all.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:49PM
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I have the Kraus 30" single bowl sink also. It's 16 gauge ss and appears to be very sturdy. It came with a grid that I am using - never had a grid before but I love it. It also came with a thick towel for wiping it dry. I have never seen anything packed as well as this sink was. Nice sink for a very good price.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Kraus is Chinese also with a German name on it. The Chinese know that people don't like to buy things made there because hard telling what is in the metal so they make up names that sound like places known for quality. However, I have a Kraus sink and it seems ok so far. Have only had it less than a year. Did not know it was made in China until it arrived. It's in my laundry room and gets a workout. So far so good. Hope you find a sink you like!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:01PM
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I'd recommend going with 18 gauge stainless steel sinks which is a bit thicker. I found a useful article on some tips to check out when shopping stainless steel sinks

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 Tips on Shopping for a Stainless Steel Sink

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Sorry, Mike, you got it backwards. Heavier gauges have smaller numbers, so a 16 gauge is thicker than an 18 gauge.

If you get a SS sink (I also love my 30" Kraus single basin!), you can comfortably go with either 18 or 16 gauge. I lean towards 16, but it's not strictly necessary. Just don't go with 20 or 22.

I think before you make a decision, you need to see some SS in action. Do you have friends with SS? Take a discrete look at their sinks and check a couple of things. Do you object to "water spots"? I never notice them, but some people feel the need to wipe them off each time the sink is used. If that's you, get something else. Also check the scratch situation. That's another one that bugs some people. Again, if that's you, look for something else. I don't think the sound concern will be a real issue with any decent SS sink.

When I was at Lowe's the other day, they had a silgranit-like sink on display. i don't think it was the real thing, but you can see how they look and feel in general. It might be worth a trip to kitchen & bath stores locally to see if they have some on display.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:19PM
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I think I just sent a general email to Blanco when I requested my silgranit chips a couple of years ago. I don't recall a special spot to request samples. You can also call them if you don't get a response. My samples came in about a week or so. I think you should wait to see samples before you default to stainless. Silgranit is such a lovely sink material with many pros in its favor without any cons.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:03AM
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Love my Franke.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:13AM
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I think you'd get faster results from Blanco for samples if you call them directly and speak to a live person. The customer service number is 800-451-5782. And, don't limit yourself to one color, ask to get samples of several colors. What color is your Cambria? Maybe this forum could help you with Silgranit color suggestions. We chose the anthracite color because (a) we wanted the contrast with our counter rather than matching it, and (b) it shows nothing in the way of wine, spaghetti sauce, coffee, etc. All the Silgranit colors are easy to clean, but we liked that the anthracite wouldn't show anything until we got around to cleaning LOL!

If you decide instead to go with a stainless sink, I prefer the thicker 16-gauge. We were going to get a Kraus stainless single-bowl 16-gauge sink until we got converted to Silgranit, so I did check out many stainless sinks. I could not believe how Kohler and Franke charge so much for a thinner-gauge sink than Kraus' thicker-gauge sink. Just cause of the name. BTW, many Kohler sinks are made in China, no longer USA-made. While we didn't care about that, we did care that a Chinese-made sink with the Kohler name on it cost so much more than another brand's Chinese-made sink. As to gauge, while many feel that 18-gauge is OK, I think that if you can get the thicker 16-gauge for a good price, why not go with the thicker gauge. The website expressdecor is a good website for Kraus. We bought our Kraus faucet there for a great price, and we love the faucet.

Having said all that about stainless sinks, I am such a convert to Silgranit, I will never go back to stainless sinks in any future home. No more scratches, dull film, and water spots for me. My stainless sink only looked clean for the 2 minutes immediately after washing. Uh uh. The Blanco Silgranit Super Single sinks price in the mid-$300's. We got ours from qualitybath, and were very pleased with how well it was packed, and how quickly it came.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Yes, it is mostly about brand-name recognition, but not entirely.

I love the looks of Blanco and Elkay though I am not sure I can justify the price. I have a 20 gauge Franke sink in the utility room and like it very much.

But the design is also important. Blanco and Kohler offer some designs that less expensive brands do not. If you want certain features, I'd consider going with more expensive brands. It is something you'd be using for a long time and if you are not happy with it, a few saved $$$ won't make up for it.

That is why I am going with Kraus for the clean-up sink but considering Koher for the prep sink.

BTW, AJM has some sinks on their Outlet page.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Thank you all so much! So, I have called the 800- # and left a message in follow up to my emailed chip request to Blanco. I have seen one at the local Ferguson's, but it was unlabeled as to color, and you can't ever get help in Ferguson's. (They have a wait list to even see a salesclerk!) It was either biscuit or biscotti, I couldn't tell. A tad too orange, I thought, for my Cambria, which is Shirebrook. Dark cranberry, butter, and taupe.

I am pairing the Shirebrook with Rixi crema, which is a pale yellow-gold so I can't add a clashing shade of yellow. When I get the chips, I can be sure if one of them will work.

My sister sister put in a Pegasus, which I think is the HD version of Silgranit, when she built her new house at least twelve years ago, and it still looks brand-spanking new. She LOVES it. Worships it. She is a cook who moves fast and slings pots. She cans and pickles and entertains massive crowds. It has been an amazingly durable sink.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Franke stainless sinks have a really beautiful smooth finish (their higher-end line is much different than the one carried at Home Depot). I thought I HAD to have the 16 guage and looked at EVERYTHING. After doing some research, I determined that 18 guage stainless is still plenty thick and durable enough for a residential sink, and I thought the finish on the Franke was nicer than any other sink I saw. It has soundproofing material coated on the exterior and it is quite effective. One thing I really like is the little ledge that Franke puts about midway up on the interior of their sinks (it's an option). I purchased a stainless steel grid that fits on the ledge which is pretty handy for washing vegatables, drying dishes, etc. I've only had my sink for about six months, but it still looks new. I don't thrash it though, and I dry it off with a microfiber towel at the end of the day to keep the water spots off. I don't think it would look nearly as good if I just let it go. The stainless does require a bit more effort to keep it looking nice, but I never have used any special polishes or stainless cleaners, just a rinse and wipe dry. I really like the stainless ... it's a welcome change from my old chipped cast iron.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:45PM
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I just looked online at the Cambria Shirebrook, and the Rixi Crema tile. Lovely! But I always favor the dark Silgranits like anthracite, and you want a light-color. So, I would gravitate toward the anthracite sink to go with the Shirebrook, and to contrast the Crema tile. But I think you'd find that too dark. For a light color sink, I would get the Silgranit Biscuit (not the biscotti). The Silgranit Biscuit color is a straight-ahead creamy white and goes with most everything.

I will link the counter and tile so others can weigh in who have the light-color Silgranit sinks as to which would look best.

Cambria Shirebrook

Rixi Crema Tile

This post was edited by alwaysfixin on Fri, Feb 15, 13 at 8:48

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:43AM
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Krauss 30 inch under mount ss, 16 gauge love it, with grid, single bowl. Best sink I've ever had

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Elraes Miller

Also look at the metals used for SS. Whatever the gauge, there are mixed metals which will help determine the strength and long time use. Each SS sink should have information regarding the metals added. I'm not sure of or how different manufacturers handle this and if it relates to pricing.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Alwaysfixin, I had a brain glitch. My apologies. I keep calling it Rixi crema but it is Rixie Dore, the slightly more creamy one. I am trying to play on the gold and cream in the Shirebrook. I am still hopeful the biscuit or biscotti will work, but I am kind of getting over my stainless dislike. I think the one stainless sink I did own was a cheap one, and also an old drop in, so lots of lateral surfaces to water-spot.

Still, I will always be a cast iron lover. I just can't work with Kohler's colors right now.

Thanks, all.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Rixi colors

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:09PM
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MizLizzie, you should get what you like, and if you love stainless, definitely get it. As can be seen by this thread, many here love their stainless steel sinks. But regarding your comment about your previous SS sink, note that even the best quality stainless steel, and regardless whether it's undermounted or not, will scratch, water spot, and show a dull film. Spots and film will happen much less depending on your home's water mineral content. But if you didn't like your previous stainless steel sink because, as you said, it needed constant attention, that will still be there for your new stainless sink. My experience was that having a Silgranit sink liberated me from all that.

I also think the Silgranit biscuit would work very well with your tile and counter. The biscotti color has a yellowish-orangish tone that would not work. Sorry - I do not mean to be pushy. I just wouldn't want you to choose stainless cause you think it will behave differently from your previous stainless sink.

This post was edited by alwaysfixin on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 9:25

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Thanks, alwaysfixin. No, I hate stainless. I am a diehard Kohler cast iron fan. Always will be. But none of their colors will work with the Shirebrook. And no, you are not pushy. You are helpful. I think you are right about the biscotti. The biscuit is likely my only option there. But . . .

Nothing from Blanco. Not even an email or return call. I got 3 more Kohler CI chips today. No luck. I think I will have to go stainless and learn to love it. My time is about up.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Not trying to be pushy here either, I just hear a tone of giving up in your post that I don't like to see. Is there not a plumbing showroom anywhere in your area where you could go see some silgranit sinks or at least see the little sample chips that most showrooms have?

What's your drop dead date for ordering your sink?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Have you seem this Shirebrook image? Looks like a silgranit to me!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Image gallery where I found the photo

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:06PM
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You know, in many of the photos of Shirebrook I just saw online it looks like brown is a prominent color. Or, at least I'm seeing brown when I look at a large counter of it. Have you considered the cafe brown silgranit? I really, really liked that yummy chocolately brown and was planning on using it when I wanted to use Bianco Antico or similar granite. It's a different effect from a light color--as in the dark color sink recedes more, whereas a lighter color calls more attention to itself. Just trying to help. :)

Edited to correct an embarrassing misspelling of Shirebrook. :-/

This post was edited by breezygirl on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 20:43

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Thanks, breezy! I do think that pic might be Silgranit. The local Ferguson's had only one Sigranit on display. There is one other place I can check, about 20 miles away I've just learned. My cabinet order has to go in next week. But I guess I don't HAVE to know the sink at that point, it now occurs to me. Not until they are ready to cut the Cambria. The brown you are seeing in the Shirebrook is what they call "cranberry," but I would call it more of a red-mahogany. It is gorgeous, and full of yellows.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:08PM
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You're welcome!

In that case, wait for your silgranit samples. You have time. Then, if you're not sure, call the other showroom to see what they have on display or in chips and make a nice road trip out of it.

I wish Monday wasn't a holiday so you could possibly receive a call or email from Blanco or even receive your samples in the mail...... :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:46PM
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If you don't hear from Blanco, follow up again. I sent an email requesting samples and never received them. Luckily my final choice of counter made the color choice easy. I was looking at another granite that would have been more difficult to choose colors for and wanted the samples.

Others seemed to get samples, but just wanted you to know that I didn't. Don't wait too long before following up so you can make your decision!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:42AM
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I am going to be ordering 2 kraus sinks. One 30 inch and another 23 inch. I have only read great things!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 6:37PM
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While it seems to now be off thread for the poster, who I agree needs to stick to something non-stainless, here are my experiences with stainless steel.
1) I like 16 or 18 gauge, especially on bigger sinks
2) They all will not look perfectly clean unless you clean them every day and wipe down after every use. If you think a sink needs to "look clean" then a) don't come to my house, and b) don't get a stainless sink
3) The differences between high end stainless sinks and Chinese sinks are like wine. Most can't tell the difference between a 100$ bottle and a 40$ bottle. We can usually tell the difference between $40 and $3 though. For bar sinks, laundry room sinks etc, no question, go to Ebay and spend If you want something very specific in your stainless, like I did with floating cutting boards, then you may have to step up to Kohler or Franke.

But, having looked at big box store (HD, Lowes) sinks, I can barely find a reason to get one of their middle brands in thin steel for more money than a thicker Chinese sink online. I've bought 7 sinks in 10 years, if that helps reassure someone.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:32PM
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