Consumer reports--silgranit

wallycatJune 10, 2012

Am asking for comments/reactions. I was at the local library and paged through the current Consumer Reports (fyi, I am typically NOT a fan of their ratings), but was a bit taken aback when I found this issue looking at kitchen stuff.

They did a test with Silgranit sinks and said they crack easily when something is dropped (apologies as I do not know what the poundage was that they used). They recommended the stainless sinks. UGH.

I was a few months away from pulling the trigger and had my color narrowed down and now I wonder if I should go back to stainless.

Any thoughts, conversations, etc. are very welcome.

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I think it is unfair if they failed to mention poundage, shape of object and from what height the object was dropped. I mean, I'm not going to be dropping a 10 pound pointed object from a height of 10 feet into my sink.
Now if it was a cast iron skillet from a height of 12 inches, then maybe that would be more cause for concern for some people.
I have mine in the garage right now and I have no intention of sending it back.
Out of curiosity, how did they fare vs porcelain? And also consumer reports doesn't take into account a very important part of a sink-the DESIGN.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:05PM
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The article specifically says 5 lbs. from as little as 4-inches.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Charliehorse, thank you for that...I know they did indicate the pounds/distance but I posted that I did not recall what they said.

I am sure most of my Le Creuset weighs more than 5 pounds.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I rad that too. And was a bit alarmed. But, I've been reading on here time and time and time again on people who are using the Silgranit sinks and I don't think that even once I've seen anyone mention that their sink has cracked in their normal usage.

I also have to wonder, in CR, was the sink installed or was it just sitting on something? I've read before on here that the sinks have come damaged and do damage relatively easily before being installed, but they went on to say that the installation is what "firms" them up.

Based on what I've read on here, I'm pretty certain that I'm still going Silgranit regardless to what CR said.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:29PM
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It is probably worth a letter to the editor to ask if the sinks were installed before testing. I doubt they were. I have heard of many cracking before installation, but I've never heard of one cracking after installation. Nevertheless, I will probably refrain from throwing 5-lb weights in my sink.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Btw, that kitchen report also states that soapstone stains.
Enough said.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:53PM
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darbuka-As one who has both a silgranit sink and soapstone countertops-LOL. And also-thanks.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:34PM
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I give little faith anymore to the way CR conducts testing. Some of the methods used to test appliances (as reported on the Appliances Forum) seem odd and unrealistic.

I love my silgranits. Six months in, I know I've dropped fairly heavy pans in my sink without issue.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Years ago CR reviewed bicycles and dinged higher end bikes for being too light- any serious cyclist woul chuckle at the review ( my bike weighs 17-18 lbs) so better get rid of it for a tank!
In any case, I will also avoid tossing 5 lb weights into my new sink and will use the sink grid for cleaning heavy pots!
Usual iPhone text errors and cryptic response

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 5:07AM
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BTW - If you drop a 5 lb weight on a stone or quartz counter top - it is likely to crack also!

I will also try to avoid that scenario -

Off to work for the week - back next weekend or maybe before if all goes well with the launch.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 7:13AM
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I've had my Silgranit sinks for 9 mos., dropped a couple of pans, and had no damage. I do have the stainless grates in both sinks -- I would think that helps protect against damage if something is dropped.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Debbi Branka

I've had my silgranit for almost 2 years. It's white too! No stains, cracks - perfect like it's brand new! I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. I must say that I don't remember dropping stuff in it. Is that normal to "drop" stuff into your sink? Most of my stuff is glass and I wouldn't drop it! And I wouldn't want to dent my stainless pans either.

A2 - I love this "Usual iPhone text errors and cryptic response" - I think it should be my tag line on my phone! My typing on my iphone is so terrible that I've just ordered a sliding keyboard for it. We'll see if it helps.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:05AM
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We have a HD brand "fauxgranite" sink that's been in our kitchen for 7 years with no problems at all. We have cast iron pans, are canners of food (so pour gallons of boiling water down the drain at times) and in general are hard on stuff. The HD version isn't as snazzy as a real Silgranite, but at $350+-, it fit into our budget kitchen plan.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:23AM
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My reaction is that they're reporting on Silgranit, not our children. :) No need to rush to its defense or to denigrate CR.

For those shopping, no material is perfect after all, and all reputable test results should be among the factors considered. If need be, just plan to blow off CR's "unfortunate" attitude toward expensive trendy materials.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Thanks all.
I just sent consumer reports a question asking if they tested it mounted into a countertop or not...I'll post back if they respond.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Rosie, I'm looking forward to the CR report on my children. I'm pretty sure that if they drop 5-lb weights on them, they won't crack. Maybe bruise.

Really, though, CR is just one source of info and you take it for what it's worth. When I'm looking for a refrigerator, I look at their "temperature performance" rating because I can't test that in the store, but I don't pay any attention to their "ease of use" ratings. Similarly, I like the way they bake multiple batches of cookies in the oven and report on the evenness of baking. One thing they often can't test is how well a product will hold up over time, and I don't find the reliability ratings particularly useful.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 3:07PM
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:)! I wonder how they'd rate on ease of use?

For the rest, exactly. Personally, I appreciate their input when looking for a coffee carafe that doesn't dribble when pouring. For the coffeemaker itself, these days I like Amazon. A few years ago, in a good-toaster-desert era, I bought my kids a feature-packed toaster that many reported being extremely pleased with and that only burned through its bottom on its way to setting the house on fire for a vocal minority. No minor problems reported. You know where you are with feedback like that.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Have had a super single Silgranit sink for a year and almost a half. The metal sink grid (removable, but here it's in all the time) protects the base from anytbing dropped, so the only risk would be banging something like a cast iron skillet against the sides. No problems yet.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Have had my silgranite sink for four years. No problems at all. Love it!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Mine has been in 1 week. We still treat it as a baby, no plans on sending it back. Love it too much!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Rosie, don't get me started on the "ease of use" rating for my kids. They are extremely high maintenance. And the reliability? Noise? Not so good.

Just to be safe, I'm seriously considering buying a grid for my new sink.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:29PM
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I looked at them (Silgranite II) again today at Ferguson's and with all due respect and I really mean that, I don't understand the love. I was standing there looking at the pretty display of them in all colors and for the life of me I can't see what is so attractive about them! I think they look like plastic and the colors are not pretty (to me). The brown was my least favorite color followed by the biscuit or biscotti, I understand that the black gets a film on it and has to be oiled. Why am I so out of it? What am I missing? I must be a square...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:56PM
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SaraKat - Aren't we SO lucky to have so many different options? Not everyone likes the same thing, thank goodness. Different sizes, different configurations, different materials, different colors. With so much out there, hopefully everyone can find the sink they like the best.

Personally, we plan on on Silgranit in anthracite (black)...and if it does get a film on it, oiling it is nothing new to me - I do that all the time with my stainless steel sink now.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:47AM
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I have had the silgranite anthracite sink for 6 months and it has not gotten any kind of film on it. It does not need to be oiled. I think perhaps the sinks are loved by so many because they are so easy to take care of and they don't get stained or scratched up.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:02AM
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SaraKat, what I like so much about Silgranit is that it's not as cold or hard or chippable or heavy as enameled cast iron or fireclay, yet is easy to clean and keep clean, and is quiet.

I've never had a stainless sink, and they don't appeal to me at all. My previous sink was an ancient enamel number that was chipped and stained and worn -- basically impossible to clean or keep clean. If I'd had porcelain enamel in good shape, maybe that's what I'd have wanted, and the Silgranit would seem "plastic-y". But to me it's just highly functional and pleasant to work with. (Mine's white, f.w.i.w.)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:05PM
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I've been selling Silgranit sinks now for probably 10 least 8. They are my #1 seller and I have yet to have any of my past clients call me about a broken sink. There are risks with all materials.

I would still rather buy two Silgranits and keep one in storage (if the first ever broke) than to ever have another stainless steel sink again!!!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 3:32PM
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After reading this thread last night and worrying about my two week old Silgranit sink, this morning I accidentally dropped a frying pan into the sink while trying to get a dish underneath it from the drying rack. My first thought was "Consumer Reports was right" when I saw the black mark that I thought was a chip in my brand new sink! However, upon closer inspection and with a bit of rubbing, it came right off, and thankfully, no chip. So, I can say that it is safe to drop a pan from about 22" high into the sink!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 5:14PM
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Deb - yup - I am terrible at texting!!
Hopefully better at keeping my silgranit safe!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 6:45PM
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DH & I go to lots of rummage sales. I've seen several used quartz composite sinks at sales. So far, all I've seen are the white ones and they've been dowdy looking & stained. Haven't seen any colored sinks to get a feel for how they will age. And they do look like plastic. I had considered the super single because of the drain placement but will most likely go w/ stainless steel.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:18PM
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snaupal - thanks for "taking one for the team" and trying out the drop test. ;-) Glad to hear that it passed. And really, even if it had chipped, that's not nearly as bad as what CR was making it out to be - the way it was described, it cracked, which would make the sink pretty much unusable.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Ci_lantro--were those quartz composite sinks you saw silgranit? Not all composite sinks are the same. Silgranit is the benchmark and the superior product.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:39AM
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CR doesn't consider reliability when ranking products (unless they fail during testing). They provide separate reliability information by brand (not product). Their overall rankings are based on the products performance under the identified criteria. I agree with mpagmom that ease of use is very subjective and is one criteria I throw out and is often the one that pulls down the overall scores of European appliances.CR is a useful tool but it certainly shouldn't serve as a stand alone measure of what product is going to work for you.

On the sink I find this site so funny sometimes, in threads on stainless sinks folks are often told they need 16 gauge sinks (to guard against dents from dropping boulders into them I guess) but in this thread it finally occurs to someone no one really does that in their kitchen sink?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 6:00AM
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I like my new cast iron, I'm a sucker for pretty shiny things, lol. Kohler has some very pretty new finishes in their cast iron line that are sort of sparkly. Not sure what it is called. It's so pretty, wish I had seen them first. ... I would have considered the Silgranite ll and really was disappointed that it didn't come configured in the way our drains are set up. In the end I could have done it because the plumber cut the PVC totally out as it had to be redone completely, errr.... If I had just known that from the start I would have had way more choices. The reason they had to do that was because the new sinks are so much deeper the pipes underneath wouldn't let the sink rest all the way down into the opening.

Oh well....I'm not unhappy with our choice. It was very heavy 126 lbs. and had to have a cradle built to help support it, so just remember that if you go the cast iron route. Don't trust your granite fabricators to do it right, my husband redid the whole thing because the supports they built didn't even touch the bottom of the sink. Good grief, you would think that would be elementary but apparently not.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 6:29AM
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Just got a reply from consumer is what they sent:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Consumer Reports�. I want to express how much we value your choice of our products and services to help you make informed purchasing decisions.

The additional information you have requested about the report "sinks" in Consumer Reports magazine is as follows: sinks featured in the report are are tested in a frame that approximates a countertop installation. I hope this information is helpful.

Consumer Reports is committed to making your experience positive and informative.


Aoife Stack
Customer Relations Department

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:16AM
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My anthracite sinks have been installed for two years, no problems. And no film, either.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Thanks for posting the reply, Wallycat. Somehow I doubt that the test frame works the same as a countertop installation. Some granite slabs are prone to cracking during transportation, but after they are installed they are no problem at all. I imagine the silgranit sinks are the same way.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Thanks for finding out more, Wallycat.

Personally, I think I'm still going to take my chances...there are a good number of GWers who have Silgranit sinks and the lack of "OMG, my sink broke" posts lead me to believe that this is less of an issue than CR would have you believe. It's good to have a heads-up and certainly worthwhile posting it on here so that it's easier to hear from others about this potential issue, but I'm pretty confident in going forward with our Silgranit plans.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I agree, I would definitely consider them next time around. Interesting thread! GW'ers who have them are very loyal to them so must be good : )

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:59PM
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I didn't read the article, but I am wondering, what sink material WOULD survive unscathed a 5-lb. object dropped into it? Certainly not enamelled cast iron, which would chip. Not stainless which would scratch AND dent., no (it crackles if you tighten the drain flange a hair too much). Did CR test all sinks the same way? Or just Silgranit? I find CR has a built-in prejudice against anything that has not been around for minimum 20 years. I remember reading last year's CR kitchens report, and it had so many inaccuracies it was ridiculous. I didn't bother with this year's.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Hi Wallycat! I personally don't have a silgranit - just not my preference - but I would take anything written in consumer reports with a grain of salt. The "tests" they do are outdated and the reviews aren't very scientific. They are given by a small group of consumers, not a lab and not everybody who has purchased the item for a fair review. As we know, more people will give a negative review than a favorable one. If you like the silgranit, then get it. They have a long fabulous warranty and a lot of people on this site seem to love them. As an FYI - consumer reports also recommends a model of Chevy over a model of Honda and if that isn't the wackiest thing I've heard, I don't know what is!! Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 5:20PM
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ShedtheChrysalis: No one was speaking about "reviews." They were speaking about CR tests. They ARE done in a lab. You are free to discount their findings, but you are not free to make up fictional statements about what they report.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Have had a silgranit sink for about 5 years. The first one delivered was fractured out of the box, Big Box retailer replaced with no problem. (I was told by their kitchen designer that they are somewhat fragile in shipping but she had not heard of any cracking issues post-installation.)

I have not babied this sink, had a Le Crueset dutch oven slip out of my hands with no impact on the sink. Only complaint is a mineral film that forms over time (noticeable on 'anthracite', I live out in the country with very hard well water). But with minimal maintenance, it's taken care of.

I learned about oiling silgranit from this forum, I don't do it very often (several months) and it does a nice job of restoring the sheen.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:19PM
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To 3blackdogs

I am considering getting a Silgranit sink and I also have extremely hard water. Have you been able to remove that film that you mentioned? Does oiling the sink help remove the mineral buildup?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 6:29PM
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