What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink Is Best? 16 OR 18?

Looking to buy a stainless steel sink but already in a dilemma as to how to determine the quality and durability? Whenever you are in a market and are aiming to buy something for long term use, the first thing you’d like to check is the quality. Nonetheless,  if you have a fixed budget you might want to look for items accordingly. It sure is difficult to figure out the various elements of the product you’re looking for. 

Before considering buying stainless steel sink for daily use, you need to go through certain aspects of the commodity as hasty decisions can lead to awry judgements and you may end up buying something unavailing. 

This article will help you make the right decision and will also guide you through the various aspects you need to go through before buying a suitable stainless sink. 

Types of Kitchen Sinks

Following are the three types of kitchen sinks that are available in markets and can be used for your home’s kitchen: 

  1. Granite Stone /marble Sink. 

Usage of granite or marble sinks is a very traditional concept. You will find kitchens with granite and marble sinks in the kitchens of old homes (if they haven’t been renovated). These sinks are simply made using the same materials used for kitchen countertops i.e. granite or marble. An adhesive is used to keep the slabs intact and attached to each other. 

Granite/marble sinks are by far the cheapest options available for your kitchen but they can prove to be problematic because the edges can be difficult to clean which may cause microbes and fungi to accumulate in the corners. The adhesive used to keep the slabs intact can with the passage of time erode away and cause water leakage issues. 

  1. Quartz Sink

Quartz sinks are made of a stone known as quartz (mineral/pigmented), which is available in the form of a condensed crystal form it is colourless and transparent. Quartz sinks have everything you desire your kitchen sink to have – scratch and stain resistant, easy to clean and wash, hygienic and resistant to heat. As a result quartz sinks are relatively expensive when compared to it’s alternatives. 

  1. Stainless Steel Sink 

Stainless steel sinks come in an assortment of designs and sizes and give us a smooth and visually appealing finish. They can also be selected in accordance with the kitchen platform and the concept matches with most modern-day kitchen appliances making it the most suitable option that can be afforded under a decent budget. 

One disadvantage of stainless steel sinks is that they can make some noise while utensils are being washed. 

Why Stainless Steel? 

The Fridge, Hob and Sink are the three most important components of any modern kitchen model. The sink being one of the 3, has to have a strong constitution and long-lasting durability. Therefore, the sink being such an important factor should be planned very carefully beforehand. The material used for the kitchen sink is a core component that is to be taken into consideration.

 Stainless steel in this case is the best possible option. For a durable and long-lasting stainless steel sink, one should always keep in mind the gauge used for making the sink. Stainless steel sinks even come in various designs to choose from, such as single bowl, single bowl with drainboard or double board or double bowl with tray.  16-18 gauge stainless steel sinks can successfully complement a marble, soapstone or granite countertop.

What is a Gauge? 

The standard measurement unit for stainless steel products is known as the gauge. When manufacturing the sink, the gauge is used to determine the thickness of the steel product. In the case of stainless steel sinks, the measurement is done based on the gauge thickness i.e. lower the number, thicker the steel, i.e. thicker the steel better the quality. You would not really want a steel sink that makes clanking sounds and can get eroded easily, in that case, selecting a thicker gauge is a necessary measure to determine the quality. 

18/10 labelled on the steel also known as type 304 determines the grade and the percentage of chromium and nickel in the steel product. Grade 304 is naturally the best choice when buying a sink since it gives a better finish and longer-lasting durability as compared to other grades like 430.

Another feature that should be taken into consideration while buying steel sinks is the noise suppression feature of the gauge. A thinner gauge clearly will make much more noise than its thicker counterpart. If you want to avoid the clanking of the utensils and water pouring in, 16 or 18 gauge is exclusively recommended. 16 GA will produce lesser noise than 18GA naturally.

Sinks used in commercial workplaces such as restaurants and hotel kitchens are usually 16-18 gauge which means that they are suitable for extensive daily usage, while thinner lower quality stainless steel sinks are numbered 22 to 23. 

 16-18 gauge is recommended as the best possible option in the case of household kitchen steel sinks as well. 

What should you avail? 16 GA or 18 GA? 

Surely, 16 GA seems to be a better option than 18GA, but the craftsmanship and quality may not always be up to the mark, even when 16 GA is used. Some brands can make quality and durable products with 18 GA steel that can provide longer service than 16 GA products of other brands. Therefore, you should always keep in mind the brand you’re availing before you take further decisions. 

Best stainless sink choices

I. Kraus Standart PRO 16 Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Kitchen Sink

A very popular brand of choice in the kitchenware industry, Kraus brings to us the Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink, which has lived up to its name. 

The construction of this product is sturdy and the quality is excellent. 

Made with Type 304 stainless steel 16GA gauge to provide exceptional resistance to corrosion and rusting.

It also comes with a new designed clean and wear-resistant finish which compliments most kitchens at homes.

It also has a multifunctional dish grid that protects the surface of the sink. 

It comes with a basket strainer set (3 pieces).

The installation method is undermount which gives a smooth and seamless look.

II. Kraus KBU25 Undermount Bowl

The Kraus KBU25 Undermount Bowl comes with excellent T304 stainless steel that prevents corrosion for long periods of time and can remain quite durable even with continuous and rigorous usage and is dent resistant. 

Its superior drainage system is designed to prevent water stagnation and materials such a glass from falling. 

Includes a high capacity sink that comes with a deep bowl for stack washing and a flat surface that offers ample capacity for stacking utensils. Its generously curved corners are designed in such a way that it is very easy to clean. 

Includes ultra-thick sound-absorbing pads that can cover 80% of the sink base which as a result allows noise suppression by absorbing noise from washing.

 The proactive undercoating prevents condensation that damages kitchen cabinets. 

III. Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink 

The single-bowl Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink is made with T304 (18/10 chromium/nickel0 16 GA stainless steel and is guaranteed to never rust or stain. 

It provides a deep, square bowl and a zero radius corner. It comes with a commercial-grade brushed finish: easy to clean and long-lasting. 

It comes with a stainless steel bottom and rinse grids that protects the sink from any kind of scratches, it also acts as a drying rack for utensils such as pots, dishes and pans.

It also includes a basket strainer drain which traps organic waste and can be emptied easily into the trash. 

IV. Dayton Double Bowl Top Mount Stainless Steel Sink

The Dayton D225193 Equal Double Bowl Top Mount Stainless Steel Sink comes with a drop-in installation and contains two bowls of equal size. 

Includes sound deadening pads that effectively minimize any source of sound and vibration that may cause disturbances to the surrounding environment. 

It also comes with a U Channel installation i.e. the mounting clips designed to place inside the channel before installation means lesser time consumption that provides an easier installation. 

V. Blanco Performa Cascade Super Single Bowl Sink 

The Blanco Metallic Gray 440067 Performa Cascade Silgranit Undermount Kitchen Sink with Colander is ultra-durable and is heat, scratch, stain, impact and chip resistant. 

This product is guaranteed to be 100% hygienic and food-friendly. 

The smooth surface provides maximum hygiene protection which means no bacteria or mould growth. No harsh chemicals are required to clean the sink. 

Heavy-duty non-porous surface makes the product stain resistant. The sink surface does not get affected by acidic chemicals or alkaline substances. 

VI. Ruvati Workstation Ledge Sink 

The Ruvati 30-inch Workstation Ledge Undermount 16 Gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Single Bowl comes with a 16 Ga T-304 grade stainless steel which prevents rusting and corrosion and provides durability. 

A finely designed brushed finish is easy to clean and durable. A brushed finish also hides any scratches and commends your kitchen appliances  (commercial grade).

Soundproof undercoating and thick rubber padding minimize noise, reduce condensation and is relatively heavy duty. 

A sloped bottom with grooves allows complete water drainage 

It has a 0 radius sharp inverted edges gives a relativelyand a resolutely modern look. 

VII. Zuhne Modena Single Bowl Sink

The Modena Undermount Kitchen Sink Set, 16-Gauge Stainless Steel comes with a Chef Grade sink set. 

The indestructible rustproof T304 stainless steel allows you to suspend heavy iron casts or hot pans into the bowl without worrying about dent or damage.

Comes with a silent feature that cancels noise and vibration with a much better noise and thermal insulation than any other brand. 

Has a premium brushed stainless high-end finish that blends in with modern decor along with sleek aesthetics plus comes with easy maintenance. 

Designed to have a sloped base that drains fast without tipping glasses. 

Kitchen appliances are prone to rigorous handling and a kitchen sink is a core commodity for any household’s kitchen. It is liable to getting used continuously on a daily basis throughout the day. As a result, it is very important to give it some thought, research a bit and invest into it wisely to prevent any incurring losses due to denting or corrosion and rust.

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