8 Oct 2016
Sinks come in numerous materials that influence performance and appearance.
Porcelain-enameled cast iron or steel. A heavy, molded base of cast iron (a tough-as-nails alloy of carbon and steel) or a lighter-weight base of steel features a high-fired, durable coat of porcelain enamel—a beautiful glossy finish that’s easy to maintain but can stain and chip.
Vitreous china. A reference to the durable, glasslike coating (similar to the porcelain-enamel finish on a cast iron sink), a vitreous china sink features a molded ceramic foundation, such as porcelain. Like their cast iron cousins, vitreous china sinks bring attractive shine, durability, and easy maintenance to the bath; however, they can stain and chip.
Plastics. You’ll find a variety of sinks made from plastic composites, such as solid surfacing and acrylics. Some plastic composite sinks come in cool shapes and can mimic other materials from a distance. Keep in mind that some plastics are brittle and can scratch easily and even show a burn mark if you leave a curling iron on the surface, for example.
Glass. Pretty bowls and vessels made of tempered glass bring ethereal beauty to the bath and come in thick, durable glass, a material that’s impervious to stains and resists scratches. One caveat: a heavy object dropped from above could shatter the glass.
Metals. Stainless steel, copper, and other metals lend a decorative touch to the bath as well as shine, and can be fashioned into a variety of unique shapes. Hammered finishes offer a handcrafted look as well. Metals promise durability but can scratch, dent, and show water spots.