Is your Franke undermount difficult to clean?

erikanhDecember 15, 2008

I read a post by limequilla complaining about how hard it is to clean her Franke stainless steel sink, hope it's ok to copy it here. She also complains about the quality which surprised me because I thought that Franke wasn't a cheap brand. Would love to hear from other Franke SS sink owners.

"There is a visible lip on most of the under counter models right where it meets the countertop and side wall of the sink. I'm not sure why it's there unless it's to give stability if you have a huge sink of water and dirty, heavy skillets. I thought I was getting a deal by buying Franke from Lowe's for 1/2 the cost, and it has been a nightmare to keep clean. There is a double roll that was finished poorly all around the perimeter. Also, the soundproofing on some -- for instance, on mine it sounded hollow when we ran water. So I had to do a little work on it to make it sound better...the difference in the expensive klunk of a Cadillac door complared to a Ford Mustang....yo know it when you hear it :)"

Here is a link that might be useful: Original thread

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Okay, a Franke from Lowes is not the same Franke that most people describe when they are talking about the Orca for instance. There are actually three Franke lines and it is quite confusing. There is the Swiss Franke, their is FrankeUsa and Kindred which is now owned by Franke also. If you go to is the Swiss Franke. There is a lot of confusion now since they are all called Franke. There is also a canadian Franke if I remember correctly. Not very helpful but I just wanted to clarify something that I learned.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:19PM
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homepro, thanks so much for the clarification. I'm going to assume that the Franke GNX that you recommended in my other thread is one of their higher quality sinks. =)


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:25PM
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The Franke GNX is one of the premium sinks. I am actually looking to purchase the 18" version. It is a toss up between the 20" fireclay sink or the 18" stainless sink from Franke.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:55PM
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Yeah, I don't know what she's talking about. I have the Franke Orca - a "made in Switzerland" product and it is the only "Franke" that I know about. There's no lip, there's no roll, I got a beautiful installation, it is a spectacularly quiet sink in that you hear water running but you don't hear any drumming whatsoever. I don't understand the Cadillac/mustang door analogy but it sound like she bought her Cadillac/Mustang/Franke from the same guy who sells burberry handbags off a cart in the mall for $39.95.

These are good sinks but apparently then one needs to do ones homework as homepro pointed out. I had no idea Loewes sold Franke but I'm not shocked that someone has a complaint that for 1/2 the money that she didn't get all the quality. C'est la vie.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:19PM
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I bought a Franke from Lowe's last year and it is impossible to keep clean, and is already showing
signs of rust. Even if it came from Lowe's, they
should be ashamed to sell such a crappy product.
There is no way that I'd buy an expensive Franke
sink. They've lost my business forever. Who cares
how much you paid for a sink. If they put the Franke
name on it, it should be a quality product, regardless
of the price.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:32PM
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rayrose, what a shame. I don't understand why a company like Franke would allow their name to be attached to such an inferior product.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 12:42AM
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I just saw a Franke sink at Lowe's too and I did consider it because it is a 25x19 undermount. It's a little bigger than most standard rectangular sinks(23x17) adn would have fit in my 27 inch cab. I wondered about the quality, seemed to good to be true.After seeing this post I think I'll go back to the Ticor.

Rayrose what size was your sink?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 6:01AM
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Mine is a top mount sink 33x22 double bowl. Stick with the Ticor. I clean my sink twice a day, and it still stays dirty. It's the worst sink I've ever had. I'm ashamed
to have people come into my kitchen, that's how bad it is.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:38AM
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Rayrose, I am sorry you are unhappy with your sink. I did buy Ticor and I am glad I did....they are fantastic. I do have one quick question for you though. Have you had any carbon steel in contact with your sink? Steel wool, chrome plated spatulas with rust showing, Cast iron pans? The reason I am asking is stainless, even the highest grade stainess, can become contaminated with iron from any carbon steel it comes in contact with, causing the stainless to rust. That may be the source of rust in your expensive sink.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:59AM
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The answer to all of your questions is no.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 6:27PM
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WHat about the quality of Kindred/Franke? I'm looking at this one which seems to have good reviews. Undermount 25x19 stainless steel , 18 guage.

Here is a link that might be useful: kindred sink

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:23AM
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Some companies like Franke (maybe I don't know) may manufacture knock down versions of their products which chain stores sell under their house brands or alternately they may manufacture a lower priced line that is available only through that chain. It does not make any sense for a company to be selling lesser versions of their standard product in chain stores under their own name (as rayrose's reaction demonstrates), this is an urban myth. Franke is an international company but Franke Canada is part of the Franke Group as are all the others. A Franke sink that is part of their regular product line will be the same at Lowes as it would be at a plumbing showroom. What grade of stainless is the sink? 304 has anywhere from 8-10.5 % nickel which would usually make it pretty rust resistant. I didn't spend a lot of time on the Franke website but product specs didn't seem easy to find.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 11:16PM
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Sorry to disagree. caryscott, but manufacturers definitely make a lower spec product for the big box stores, sometimes. The way it works it this: draw in the name brand, sell lots of their product on volume discount, name brand creates infrastructure to support increased business, big chain begins to insist on cheaper price, name brand must lower quality to sell item so cheap because they are now dependent on increased sales... etc. DH was in the paint business and has intimate experience on how Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart work with suppliers. That's why we've all learned to check model numbers. It's very possible that the Franke sink sold at Lowes is not the same as the one sold elsewhere for more money.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 11:43PM
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Hmmn....I have the "Franke/USA" stainless steel sink from Lowe's for 7 months, and do not have the above problems. The only issue I have are the "whitish" water spots I get from any water left to dry on it, but the same happens to my granite countertops by the sink due to our hard water. I use Bon Ami cleanser to scrub it once a week, and it gets nice and shiny again. Also, I have a very high-arched faucet, and I don't get any "Mustang" sounds when the water is on (sink is 20" deep, too). So I really don't have any complaints about my sink, except I would never get a 20" deep sink of any make....too deep for me.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 6:53AM
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Disagreement is healthy but I know a Master Plumber who knows fixtures who works at Home Depot and a Kohler Vinnatta is the same at Home Depot Canada as it is anywhere else. That isn't to say that a name brand isn't manufacturing an exclusive line for HD that is stripped down and sold as either a special line of the brand name or more commonly as some house brand of the chain like Pegasus. You can subsribe to all the conspiracy theories you wish but it would be fraud to sell a lower quality product identical to a higher quality one without differentiating between them in some way not to mention what a monumentally stupid business practice it would be on the part of the manufacturer. I wouldn't suggest it has never happened but suggesting it is a broad based practice in a retail operation the size of Lowes or Home Depot seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Not sure whether this makes me cynical or naive, maybe both.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 8:06AM
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So, those of you who've purchased a Franke sink from a builder's outfit like Lowes for the great deal etc. what did you think you were getting for 1/2 or 1/3 the price? Exactly the same sink that Franke sells elsewhere for twice the price but that you found a way to beat the system? Or that you expected a lesser product with lesser specs? Or that it was the same quality product but perhaps you'd have less choice? Or ...?

I ask this in all seriousness because frankly, when I find what looks like a deal, I always try to get to the bottom of WHY that is a deal. If the answer isn't clear, I always assume that it is a lesser quality product. For HD and Lowes products, that assumption is probably not far off the mark.

I have the Franke Orca - a Franke product made in Switzerland etc. I've never heard of FrankeUSA - is it a related company? If so, what are they manufacturing? I don't always wipe it down after I've washed and for the better part of a week after I've washed it, even with water droplets on it, it looks GOOD. I used to be able to wash it every other to every third day but lately, I haven't been able to wash it but every other or every third week! By the end of hte period, it DOES look very scruffy but seriously, by then it ought to. Most normally, I wash it every week and the sink certainly holds up very very well for the week.

ALL that said, I do agree with the last part of caryscott's statement: viz. at the end of the day, SS 304 is SS 304 whether from Franke or from Wolf or from Miele. It doesn't make sense that one persons experience with a 304 sink involves rusting or pitting while others do not. I do suspect some sort of inadvertent manhandling.
Speaking of which, deedee, you might well join the ranks of the Lowes-FrankeUSA disgruntled - bon Ami is not recommended for cleaning stainless steel. It is too abrasive for SS - read the guidelines for cleaning SS and Bon Ami is expressly called out as a no-no. Try Barkeep's friend. I also got a tube of sink cleaner from Franke that I think is very good - worthwhile picking some up.

I'd surely recommend getting a proper Franke sink and forgoing the made-in-China ones.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Home centers on the shelf vanity cabinets by KrafMaid ARE less quality than their standard vanity lineup or their KraftBath series. I was quoting a KraftBath vanity and the homeowner told me the price from Lowes. It was a LOT less...and usually, my KM prices are better than Lowes. So, I went down the street (2 blocks away) to our local Lowes to see this vanity for myself. It was NOT the same at all. It has the same general appearance...fluted columns with rosettes, but it was done differently. The furniture toe wasn't as nice, the drawer guides weren't as nice. The doorstyle wasn't the same at all. It looked really cheap and flimsy compared to one in my showroom. Well, the cheaper price still won out. Oh can't win 'em all.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 12:23PM
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Mindstorm...Where did you see that BonAmi is bad for SS? I'd love the reference if you have it. The FrankeUSA website does say to use a gently cleanser to clean it, and I thought that what BonAmi is, so I would like to see where you got the counter-report. Also, FrankeUSA is made in Pennsylvania, not China. I do agree that HomeDepot/Lowes do carry alot of substandard items, but I do not have any issues with this sink. Mindstorm, do you mind me asking why you seem so sour on this product? Are you a plumber? Do you have a beef with Lowe's? Also, just because YOU don't need to wipe your sink down, is that an accurate barometer of your sink's quality? I stated how my sink gets alot of white spots, but it's because I have mineral-heavy well water.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 2:09PM
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If the two items (sink from Lowes/HD vs. sink from plumbing showroom) have IDENTICAL model numbers, then the item is the same. I got caught on a Kohler faucet I bought at Lowes. There was one number different (at the end) and as a result the drain is plastic, not metal. My stupid mistake. But I have ordered many items from HD/Expo/Lowes without long as the number is exactly the same. Watch out for a dash and a letter or number at the end.

I use liquid Barkeeper's Friend, rinse, and then Gel Gloss on my sink. I don't do this often, I'm willing to live with a non-sparkling sink (the reason I got stainless and not a farmhouse sink).

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 6:05PM
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I had a Franke D shaped sink in the last kitchen and it was a breeze to keep clean, however, I did not purchase from Lowes. Got it at Home Expo.

I bought the 16 gauge Elkay for this renovation and am finding that I can't get it as clean as the Franke... will try the bar keeper's friend (so far have just used the previous technique of scouring side of the sponge with dish soap, but without the same results ).

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 6:26PM
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Mindstorm, do you mind me asking why you seem so sour on this product? Are you a plumber?

I suppose you could say I'm a plumber - (I'm an aerospace engineer and occasionally get into modeling fluid dynamics or the hydraulic actuators), but I really wouldn't recommend hiring me to install your piping or your sinks and faucets.

Why do *I* seem sour on the product? Have you read the posts from other Lowes-Franke purchasers above? 'Nuff said.
I LOVE my Franke sink - but it is not a FrankeUSA one or one from Lowes. My question was to those who HAVE purchased a Franke Lowes product which is much lower priced than you'd find outside but then equate their experiences to that of the nominal Franke product at large.

In general - at the risk or repeating myself and boring myself - I do wonder why a stainless 304 product from Lowes should be any different than a stainless 304 product from the Swiss Alps or any other location but beyond that I don't wonder that a lower price tag brings a lower quality item. It stands to reason. No?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 7:31PM
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There are different web sites for the different divisions of Franke. As you can see from the link below, you go from there to either FrankeKSD, FrankeUSA or Kindred. They have different sinks with individual model numbers. The Orca, for example, which I have, is only offered through FrankeKSD. FrankeUSA has a much more limited number of sizes and styles and they do not give as much information about the sinks, like gauge. People here seem to place a lot of stock in the gauge, although Consumer reports found no difference in function or sound between them, and personally, I found the sound deadening pads or spray to be more important in that than gauge. But I wonder when the information is only provided for one line and not another. Regardless of materials, the difference in styles, sizes and accessories available between the divisions indicates that they are obviously not just different places where the product is being distributed, but entirely different lines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Franke website

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 3:20AM
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It's a very common for companies to manufacture specific poducts for particular markets (car companies are the most obvious but there are plenty of others). I find the lack of key specs on the FrankeUSA and FrankeCanada sites ridiculous and a complete deal breaker (note: the KindredCanada site has proper spec sheets for all their sinks).

We bought are sink through Novanni Stainless who own Elkay Canada (our sink isn't an Elkay but it did come in an Elkay box) and they provide spec sheets for the top line Elkay sinks down to the budget line stock Wessan sinks they manufacture - I think this is a consumer friendly practice and if a manufacturer is offering anything less consumers should consider spending their money elsewhere.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Franke Canada seems to be more of a Canadian arm of Franke KSD than an alternative like FrankeUSA... Looking at the line up the Franke Canada site the list of models (ie: the numbers) for single bowl undermounts seems to be the exact same as the list on the Franke KSD site. I'd expect that to be the same for other categories. The USA site has a much more limited selection with completely different model #s.

Not sure which specs are missing from the Canadian site (for the sink I was looking at it had the guage, dimensions including a drawing, and the req. cabinet was listed but it seemed to be a typo lol) but honestly that wouldn't surprise me at all. I don't know why it works out like but I've found a lot of Canadian mirror sites to be missing a lot of info that you can find on the American ones. It's really annoying but with some extra work (even though it really shouldn't be needed) it's easy to get around. Just need to be a cautious consumer... learn the model numbers / SKUs and always refer to / double check those.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:02AM
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In big box chain stores you can find faucets that look identical to more expensive ones in specialty plumbing stores. Same label. All legal and lawful or close to it.

Manufacturers lower parts quality. Buyers are ignorant. They don't get the same product as they may be thinking they are getting. This happens every day.

I agree that one should be informed clearly.

I believe the above posts saying it happens with sink material quality too.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:38AM
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I also have a Franke Orca. Never checked where it was made, but I love it and have received quite a few compliments on it too. It cleans easily with bar keepers friend and is quiet. It's a quality sink.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:39AM
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The bar keeper's friend really is a miracle worker. I never had to use it to keep my Franke sink clean, but the Elkay has been filthy despite all of my scrubbing and trying different products. I bought the BK friend and voila, I have a clean sink. Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Franke sold in Lowes is not the same as Franke sold at specialty kitchen/plumbing stores. When I was shopping for a sink, the salesperson showed me the 2 versions side by side (good sales technique on his part) and, besides the item numbers, the differences are readily apparent. Is Franke sold at Lowes a bad product? Not at all. It just has less sound-proofing and the finish on the metal is not as nice. You get what you pay for.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 11:27AM
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I am fascinated by this discussion. Choosing between 2 sinks right now for my kitchen island: Franke's round ERX110 (Elements series) or Kohler's rounded edge (but not completely round) undertone sink, model no k-3336. both are around $400-$500 (expensive) and sold on amazon. both are 18 gauge. Any thoughts? which one should i choose? Thanks

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:23AM
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