What are Kitchen Sinks Made of? Types & Materials Explained!

Kitchen sinks withstand so much: we throw in dirty plates, flaming hot pans, and sometimes, heavy metal utensils in the sink several times a day. The material of the kitchen sink must be one that can handle all that while looking dent free and shiny as new even after years of use. Can aluminum be that hard, enduring material? 

Are kitchen sinks made of aluminum?

No, kitchen sinks are not made of aluminum. Aluminum cannot withstand very high temperatures and usually fades over time when in contact with water or if it is washed often. Also, it is a delicate metal that scrapes easily. The most common kind of metal used to make kitchen sinks is stainless steel. 

Aluminum is everywhere and is one of the most useful materials out there. We agree! However, there is a reason aluminum is used in airplanes and not sinks. It’s because it is a very lightweight material. 

This means kitchen sinks made of aluminum are not strong enough and will be more prone to scratches and dents. Unlike other materials like cast iron, stainless steel, or composite granite, aluminum dulls away more quickly with regular washes. Something we don’t want for the material of a kitchen sink. 

What materials are kitchen sinks made of?

Stainless Steel

Most sinks are constructed with stainless steel as it is more resistant to heat and corrosion. Steel sinks stay bright, are more durable and cost-effective. 

Cast Iron

Sinks made of cast iron have a layer of porcelain on top of them, which makes these sinks strong, long-lasting, and quite easy to clean. 

Composite granite

Composite is “composed” of different materials and is very similar to stainless steel, although more durable.

Copper

Copper sinks are considered fancy of their high price, and require specific cleaning for maintenance. Copper usually stains easily and changes color. 

Fireclay

This material is a combination of heated clay together with glaze and produces the hardest kitchen sinks, although this fireclay scratches very easily. 

Enamel

No sink is made of enamel completely. The cover is usually enameled over a stainless steel or cast iron. This layer gives off a thicker end product. Although not the best material for sinks, enamel becomes dull quickly and cracks or bends quickly. 

Glass

Sinks made of glass are pretty and hardly ever stain or scratch. Although very sturdy, glass is a costly material for kitchen sinks and is used in modern, trendy homes. You might need to be careful with thermal shocks when using glass sinks. Thermal shocks are when unexpected temperature changes cause the glass to crack or break. 

Wood

Sometimes called apron- front sink, wood is used for farmhouse kitchen sink, usually made for larger sinks without dishwashers. Sinks made of wood are pleasant to the eyes and enables large amounts of dishes to be washed at once. 

Stone

This includes natural stones such as natural granite and marble. Stone kitchen sinks are classy looking and hard-wearing. 

Is my sink aluminum or stainless steel?       

The two metals look strikingly similar. Same polished gray. We understand you might not be able to tell the difference. Kitchen sinks are not made of aluminum. On the other hand, most sinks are made of stainless steel. 

You can still check by placing a magnet near the sink. If the magnet is pulled by the sink, your sink is made of stainless steel. No questions asked. If it doesn’t stick, your sink is not steel, but it still might be made of materials other than aluminum.  

Keep in mind; aluminum will bend or scratch easily in comparison to steel. Steel doesn’t wear away from all that wash, unlike aluminum, which eventually becomes dull and loses the shine. That is why aluminum is not used to make kitchen sinks. 

What type of material is best for kitchen sinks?

Stainless Steel is the best material for constructing kitchen sinks, and that is why it is so widely used. Among other options, like composite or copper, stainless steel sinks look shiny even after years of use. 

This durable material is highly resistant to heat and can be washed quite effortlessly. Although sinks made of stainless steel tend to be noisy, they hardly discolor or stain. Stainless steel is also incredibly budget-friendly and looks good with all kinds of kitchen fittings. 

The thickness of stainless steel is measured in gauge, with lower gauge numbers meaning thicker steel. The best thickness for stainless steel used in kitchen sinks is 16 to 18. 

What is the most durable type of kitchen sink?

Composite granite sinks are the most durable kind of kitchen sinks, with stainless steel sinks being a close second. As the name suggests, materials like acrylic resins and granite dust are brought together using remarkably high temperatures and pressure. 

Due to its rigid molding and higher percentage granite composition, composite granite sinks are usually is considered to be the most durable type of kitchen sink.

Kitchen sinks made of composite materials can endure incredibly high temperatures.

They are also the most resistant to harsh chemicals or stains, making the sinks last of a lifetime. Stainless sinks are slightly more stain proof, but when it comes to durability, composite granite sinks have stood the test of times for light, as well as heavy sink uses. 

What are the costs of the kitchen sink of different materials?

Below we have summarized the cost ranges of medium-sized kitchen sink according to the materials used, with the most affordable option being on top. Do keep in mind the costs mentioned here are without installation costs. 

Cast Iron Sink: $230-$450

Stainless Steel Sink: $200-$800

Composite Granite Sink: $220-$500

Copper Sink: $600-$900

Fireclay Sink: $650-$1200

Of course, materials will largely determine the cost of a kitchen sink. However, several other factors may affect the overall cost of your kitchen sink. Factors include

  • What material did you choose? Fireclay is the most expensive, and cast iron is the most affordable
  • Is it a single, double or triple sink? A stainless steel triple sink installation is likely to cost more
  • Does your sink require faucet installation? Faucet installation increases the overall cost. 
  • Is your sink under or top mount? Under-mount sinks will cost more.
  • Are you installing additional accessories? If you add extra soap holders or dispensers, it will cost you more

We’re not delicate when handling kitchen sinks. Hence, kitchen sinks must be composed of a material that is defiant to heat, stain, and of course, it must be comfortable to clean. A heavy-duty material like stainless steel or composite granite is more suitable. Aluminum, while it has innumerable uses, is too thin and delicate for kitchen sink. You surely don’t want to be changing your sinks every other month! 

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