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If you are considering buying a stainless sink, there are some few facts to understand to pick a quality kitchen sink. Stainless steel is a popular material for making kitchen sinks and other kitchen appliances. Stainless steel has a clean and attractive finish and matches with most of the kitchen concepts.
What gauge stainless steel sink is best? This article answers this question by determining the best and most highly recommended stainless steel sinks.
What is the Gauge on a steel sink?
You may have seen this term in stainless steel appliances. The gauge is the thickness of stainless steel material used when manufacturing the kitchen sink. Gauge is measured differently from other measurements because the lower the number, the thicker is the gauge.
Most of the quality kitchen sink has 16 or 18 which are very heavy to resist damage, rust, and noise. A higher number shows low quality like 22 and above which are thin gauge stainless steel.
What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink is Best? The best gauge to have is between 16 and 18 stainless steel kitchen sink. This gauge is the best material because they are durable and less prone to denting or bowing. 16 and 18 will handle daily usage of the kitchen sink without any problems. This gauge is recommended for household sinks.
The process of manufacturing stainless steel involves a mixture of other alloys to achieve the quality stainless steel we see. Nickel, copper, Titanium, and Molybdenum are added to enhance the structure of final stainless steel.
What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink is Best?16 Gauge vs 18 Gauge
If you see labeling like 18/10 or also known as 304 means the percentage of chromium and nickel in the steel. The 16 gauge is better than the 18 gauge because of the lower the number, the thicker the kitchen sink.
As a quick side note, 304 grade is a better grade than 430 on the other end of the stainless spectrum, so keep that in mind if you see the other number when buying a sink. The 304 is the most durable composition and will last longer with a better-looking finish for longer. You may start to see rust on the 430 as it ages, and the durability will vary as you continue on the spectrum between 304 and 430.
16 gauge is quieter than the 18 gauge due to its thickness. A drop of metal in the sink can be different between the two.
Both 16 and 18 gauge are used and recommended by reputable kitchen sinks brands like Blanco, Kraus, and Kohler. These stainless steel are standard with the perfect size for home use and also affordable. The thicker the stainless steel sink is, the most costly it is.
Should I get a 16 or 18 gauge sink?
There are factors that come into consideration because it doesn’t mean 16 gauge is better to make you not choose 18 gauge. Most Blanco kitchen sinks are made with 18 gauge and have been proven to be quality and durable. The brand is very important when it comes to making a decision to buy.
Cheap brands may have 16 gauge kitchen sink but the style and craftsmanship are poor. Between the two gauges, it’s better to choose any but from a reputable brand like Blanco.
Top Ranked 16 gauge stainless steel sink
16 gauge stainless steel sinks are 25% thicker than the standard 18-gauge and therefore the quality is better compared to thinner sinks. The heat, stain-, scratch-, and dent-resistance is is more improved than any other kitchen sink types.
Also, the noise dampening level is perfect for a quiet environment in the kitchen, especially when using a garbage disposal machine.
If you are interested in buying a new 16 gauge stainless steel sink, check out the recommended kitchen sink below.
- Improved noise dampening due Exterior sound-dampening pads
- Less prone to denting and bowing
- Low maintenance
- Protective spray coating
- Expensive than the thin gauge sinks
18 Gauge Vs 20 Gauge Stainless Steel Sinks
The 18 gauge stainless steel sink is thicker than the 20 gauge. 18 is the best for the kitchen sink if you are looking for durability, noise reduction, and value for money. The 20 gauge is considered thin stainless steel which is not economical and flexible to use. 20 gauge can be perfect for premises without heavy usage.
Recommended Best 18 Gauge Stainless Steel Sink
Commercial Gauges (14 gauge stainless steel sink)
Commercial kitchen sinks require heavy and thicker gauge for efficient usage in commercial kitchens. They can withstand constant usage and heavy utensils and damage. Mostly, commercial kitchen sinks have 14 gauge stainless steel sink. The 16 gauge can also be used for restaurants and commercial kitchens.
12 gauge stainless steel sink is also available which is thicker than the 14 gauge. They are not common because of their bulkiness and cost.
20, 22, 24 gauge stainless steel sink
These gauges are referred to as the thin gauges (high gauge number) which are perfect for small kitchens, bar sinks, and cabins. They are inexpensive than the thick 14, 16 and 18 gauge stainless steel sinks. If you are using cast iron cookware which is usually heavy, these gauges are not appropriate.
- Perfect for small kitchen
- Prone to denting
- They cannot handle the vibration of a garbage disposer.
- prone to bowing
- Less resistance to discoloration and corrosion
Stainless Steel Sink Frequently Asked Questions
How long do stainless steel sinks last?
Kitchen sinks made of stainless steel can last for at least 15 to 30 years. They are very durable even under heavy usage as they can resist denting and bowing. With a quality gauge like 16 and 18, the kitchen sink can last more than 30 years with good usage and care.
How do you keep a stainless steel sink from rusting?
With simple, routine maintenance and a little upkeep work, your sink should not rust. Rinse or wash out the sink every time you’re done with it (remove food pieces by rinsing or washing, make sure no soap foam is left behind), avoid using bleach on it, and don’t let metal cookware (especially cast iron) sit too long in a wet sink.
When used as normal in the average kitchen, you’re unlikely to ever see rust before your sink is at the end of its life decades from now, so don’t worry too much. If you do see rust, try a light scrub with something like vinegar to be mildly corrosive and “eat through” the rust.
My sink is getting some scratches. Can I remove them?
Try using something like Comet and lightly buff the sink to clean it. This may help remove the fine scratches that show up with normal use.
I’m getting some brown discoloration on my stainless steel sink. How can I remove it?
This can happen from water sitting on the surface too long (like metal cookware sitting around in moisture too long, as mentioned above). Try using vinegar to give it a little scrub and you should see improvement if that’s the culprit cause.
What should you not use on stainless steel sinks when cleaning them?
Avoid using steel wool and similar products as you’ll definitely put some scratches into the surface and increase the chances of rust and stains. Also avoid abrasive and strongly corrosive cleaners, like undiluted bleach.
Conclusion (What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink is Best)
Finally, the best gauge stainless steel sink depends on the thickness and percentage of chromium. The 16 and 18 gauge makes the best stainless steel kitchen sink. Their difference is not that much and the price range is almost the same. 16 gauge has 0.0625 inches thickness while the 18 gauge has 0.05 thick.
Between the two gauges, the price is the most determined when shopping for a stainless steel sink. With many stainless steel kitchen sinks on the market, it’s easy to get confused with the variety and styles they possess.
Now you know the difference and the best gauge stainless steel, ensure to buy a 16 or 18 gauge sink.