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Just because it's pretty doesn't mean it will stay that way. The material your sink is made of will determine if it stays beautiful over time or looks old and abused within several years.
The Shops at Marlborough Barn
45 North Main Street
Marlborough, CT 06447
These are the most popular sinks on the market today. In fact according to a national study 70% of all sinks are made using stainless steel. One advantage to these sinks is that they are generally less expensive, unless you go with a major design brand. They also come in a variety of installation types (undermount, top mount, etc.) and a variety of thicknesses or gauges. Usually the thicker the gauge the more resistant it will be to denting or making noise. However, it is usually best to look up the brand in Consumer Reports since this is not always true. Overall stainless steel sinks are very durable and resistant to heat and stains. But since they tend to scratch easily and show water spots, it will be difficult to keep them looking immaculate over time.
This is one of the oldest materials used for kitchen sinks, and it's still around because it works so well. The bright glossy enamel design works perfectly with barn sinks etc., and these sinks can easily last for decades. The enamel used is extremely tough and does a great job of resisting stains and scratches. The smooth glossy finish also makes these sinks easy to clean, and very resistant to water spots and fading. The only drawback is that they are really heavy, which can make for a tough installation. These sinks can also be pretty expensive, especially when you get into custom color options. But if you want the best, a sink that is durable and will look new for years to come, it's worth it.
These are the new sinks on the block. They are made from either granite or quartz composite. This means they are composed of crushed granite or quartz with a resin filler. The combination produces a meterial that has the same aesthetic qualities as granite or quartz without the maintenance and durability issues. This makes them tough as nails, highly resistant to stains, scratching, and dents. Granite is the tougher of the two, with most manufacturers claiming they are the most durable and longest lasting sinks available. Only time will tell, but they appear to be as strong as advertised, and when you combine that with color options and a low cost, these sinks could be the new top dog.
These are very similar to cast iron sinks. But instead of covering cast iron with enamel, these sinks are made by baking the enamel on a ceramic clay base for up to 20 hrs. The effect of fusing the enamel to the clay increases the strength of both. Therefore, these are regarded as being more durable than cast iron. The enamel, just like cast iron, is resistant to heat, stains, water spots, and fading. If you want the best for your farmhouse sink this is it.
Nowadays sinks can be made from almost anything. Glass, granite, marble, and copper are just a few examples, but there are tons of options. However, if you are considering one of these less conventional materials, do your homework to avoid buying a sink that has durability or maintenance issues.