Most often when homeowners replace their kitchen countertop they replace the kitchen sink as well. Many contractors even offer “free sinks” as incentives. Beware of the free sink because too often it is the cheapest thing the contractor could find because it was cheap. If you install a sink and it goes bad – turns grey in the case of stainless steel or faded or chip sin the case of many of the granite composite or porcelain sinks – you are likely stuck with it because the hole cut in your top for the sink is specific to the brand you purchase.
Here are some thing to look for in you new sink:
- Make sure it is certified to meet US codes – AEMS 119.112.3. Many are not certified at all or are certified using standards for the country of manufacture such as China instead of US standards. Certification assures you that the sink will meet you building codes and has the proper materials to be safe to use around food and people. A stainless steel sink should be a minimum of 18 % chromium and 8% nickel.
- Make sure you know the brand of the sink. Many of the cheap sinks have not brand on them. If they go bad you have not manufacturer to go to.
- Ask if the sink is CNC certified. CNC certified sinks are build to more exacting size standards for use with computer operated top making machines. If you damage your sink and the sink was CNC certified you can be confident the new sink will fit in the same hole.
- In the case of stainless steel sinks machine finished sinks will be much more uniform than hand finished sinks. Hand finishing is cheaper.
- Stainless steel sinks should have a condensation pad on the bottom of the sink to reduce condensation if you fill the sink with cold water you do not want condensation forming under your sink. Some sink manufacturers install pads on the sides of the sinks as well to make up for thinner or cheaper steel. Generally the more side pads on a sink the cheaper it is.
- A quality Stainless steel sink should be bright and shiny at install and remain that way. Cheap sinks will turn dull and grey over time.