Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink


Buyer's Guide

Affordable and functional, stainless steel kitchen sinks are a tried-and-true favorite for contractors, builders, and homeowners.

Stainless steel sinks are one of the most popular sinks on the market, as they are user friendly and have distinct advantages over other materials.

This short guide will give you an overview stainless steel and help you decide if it’s the right choice for your kitchen.

About Stainless Steel

Closeup of a stainless steel kitchen sink

Stainless steel is simply steel combined with other elements. Stainless steel is durable and highly resistant to heat, rust, and stains. It is also one of the more affordable kitchen sink options on the market.

Steel Gauge

The gauge of a stainless steel sink refers to the thickness of the stainless steel, and impacts how easily the sink will dent, scratch, or sustain other damages.

Standard sink gauges run from 14 to 23. A lower gauge indicates a thicker material. A gauge of 16-18 is considered optimal.

Some manufacturers claim additional durability including increased resistance to scratching and denting based on production process and specialty finishes.

Styles

The popularity of stainless steel makes it easy to find something that matches your design tastes and budget. Stainless also goes well with most kitchen decor and appliances, making it an excellent and affordable option for home builds and remodel projects.

See the Ideas & Inspiration section at the bottom of this article for a gallery of unique stainless steel sink designs.

Many people are familiar with the standard overmount style sinks, but may not realize that there are a number of more modern designs.

Drop-in stainless steel sink
A standard overmount (drop-in) sink from Moen

The undermount style produces a clean, modern look (but is a bit more difficult to install).

Modern stainless steel sink from VIGO
VIGO 30-Inch Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink

Farmhouse (or apron front) stainless steel kitchen sinks blend the modern look of stainless steel with the classic look of a farm-style sink.

Apron front stainless steel sink by Kraus
Kraus KHF203-36 Farmhouse Double Bowl Kitchen Sink

Finishes

Stainless steel sinks are typically available in a highly polished mirror finish and less reflective satin brushed finish.

Brushed finishes are generally considered to be lower-maintenance because scratches, water spots, stains, and fingerprints are less noticeable than on the polished finishes.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Stainless steel sinks are more resistant to chipping and cracking than other kinds of sinks, although they are more prone to visible scratches.

When maintained correctly, stainless steel sinks are antimicrobial (resistant to germs and bacteria), making stainless steel the sink material of choice in commercial kitchens.

With the appropriate and commonplace cleaning supplies, the ease of maintaining a stainless steel sink is one of the reasons they have maintained their popularity in non-commercial and industrial settings.

Some common cleaning products and tools can cause scratching, discoloration, and pitting–all of which can lead to rust. Make sure the cleaning product you use is safe for stainless steel sinks.

Noise Level

For some people, sound is an important factor when considering a stainless steel sink. Stainless steel can be considerably louder than cast iron or granite, and the metallic nature of stainless steel means that the impact of items against the sink can produce “tinny” sounds that some people find irritating.

Higher-quality stainless steel sinks are often built using thicker steel and typically make less noise. They may also come equipped with built-in sound-reducing features such as pads or a special coating, as seen on the bottom of the Vigo sink below:

stainless steel kitchen sink noise dampening

You can soundproof an existing sink with DIY sound dampening kits. Another popular option are specialized pads used for reducing car noise.

Costs and Price Range

Stainless steel sinks are one of the most affordable sink options available, but there’s still a lot of variation in price.

The cost of most residential stainless steel kitchen sinks ranges from $50 to $500, with most models falling somewhere between $100 and $300.

Cost is largely a function of basin design, steel gauge, and manufacturer. Stylish sinks from high-end brands like Kraus, Franke, and Vigo are going to skew towards the more pricey end of the spectrum.


Pros

  • Antimicrobial
  • Chip resistant
  • East to clean
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Prone to scratches
  • Can be noisy
  • Limited finish styles/colors
  • Prone to dents


Stainless Steel Sink Ideas & Inspiration

Below you’ll find a gallery of stainless steel kitchen sinks. Clicking any image will take you Amazon, where you’ll find more information about specs and pricing.

Aquarius Farmhouse
VIGO 33-Inch Farmhouse Single Bowl
VIGO 32-Inch Undermount 50-50
VAPSINT JZX005S
Stufurhome NW-3322SO Single Bowl
StarStar Single Bowl Undermount
Ruvati RVM4250
Ruvati RVH8150 33-Inch Single Bowl
Ruvati RVH8050 Double Bowl
Ruvati RVH8001 Single Bowl
Kraus KHF203-36 36-Inch Farmhouse 60-40
Kraus KHF200-33 Farmhouse Single Bowl
Kraus KHF200-33 Farmhouse Single Bowl
Kraus KBU21-KPF2170-Double Bowl
KOHLER K-3821-4-NA Vault Single Basin
KES Single Bowl
KOHLER K-3183-NA Undertone
Houzer BLS-3322 Bellus Series