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The sink is an essential part of a bathroom, not only from a functional standpoint, but they also contribute significantly to the decor and style.
If you are out in the market for a bathroom sink or are just curious about these artifacts, it is important to know what materials bathroom sinks are made of. This sort of knowledge will allow you to make informed decisions as to what styles are available in the market, and also maintenance and durability of the different sink materials.
Among the most common materials for bathroom sinks, out there are ceramic and porcelain.
Nonetheless, there are many other options available such as stainless steel, tempered glass, stone, cast iron sinks, wood, copper, resin, bronze, etc. Manufacturers may even come up with some crazy designs with other materials aside from those mentioned above. Still, in this article, we will dig a bit deeper into the more popular ones.
Porcelain is a clay material that is heated at extremely high temperatures. The process results in a hard nonporous finish that looks great in bathrooms. Some manufacturers may even enhance the porcelain with vitreous china, an enamel coating that is applied after the heating process is finished. Sinks made with vitreous china are more resistant in general, and the coating provides a glossy and elegant look
It is very common for bathroom sinks to come in porcelain. These sinks might be made entirely of porcelain, or the porcelain might be coating another material.
Sinks made out of porcelain are classic in every household. Due to this, there is a plethora of styles and designs to choose from. The advantage of so much availability is also that the options in the market have a wide price range that would fit virtually every budget. If they are well maintained, this type of material can be very durable. These sinks are heat resistant and easy to clean, so just wiping it down with some non-abrasive cleaning product should do the trick. Harsh chemicals might damage the surface of the sink, so stay away from them! Dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner should be fine. Moreover, porcelain sinks can be susceptible to stains; therefore, it is essential to clean them often.
Porcelain sinks can be a bit less sturdy than other materials, and chips and cracks may appear if impacted. Although the porcelain material is durable, it can be more on the fragile side. Also, when compared to other options, these sinks can be heavy, which is something to be mindful of for transportation and installation purposes.
These sinks are incredibly durable and come in great style with a wide variety of options and prices. Ceramic sinks are resistant to chips and scratches, and their surface is tough, which makes them great for everyday use. Nonetheless, they are not unbreakable, so it’s important to take care of them as a hard enough impact can make them crack, and they can be challenging to repair. Since they are completely sealed, this type of sink is resistant to stains and, in turn, easy to clean. The ceramic sinks are also resistant to acids and alkali; hence they can be cleaned with almost any product. We would still recommend sticking to an all-purpose cleaner, as some ceramic sinks have beautiful paint and designs that we would not want to damage.
The ceramic material is more susceptible to wear and tear and needs to be appropriately maintained, given the aging process may damage the finish. This should prove an easy task, as they are relatively easy to maintain.
Natural Stone Sink
As the name dictates, these sinks are made or carved out of natural stone. Consequently, its properties, shape, color, and design vary according to the actual stone used to make the sink. Since they are carved out of blocks of stone, no two sinks are the same, which makes them unique. Although stone sinks have some beautiful designs, they are harder to maintain, as virtually all stones are porous in nature. Meaning, liquid or dirt may permeate its surface, ultimately resulting in decay. Stone sinks, due to their properties, can be more prone to staining and susceptible to harsh chemicals when cleaning them. The stone should be cleaned regularly with mild detergents to prevent any sort of buildup that may damage it. Then, make sure you dry the natural stone sink with a cloth.
It is a good idea to invest in a stone sealer to preserve your stone sink as much as possible. A stone sealer prevents and delays corrosion and staining by covering the pores in the stone. Apply the sealer once or twice a year for optimal maintenance. Avoid using oil-based sealers, as they may stain the sink. The sealer will also offset some of the water damage that may happen over the years of regular use.
Natural stone sinks are on the heavier side, so make sure you are careful when installing them. They can also be more expensive than other options on the market. On top of that, maintenance and installation costs can add up to the bill.
The good news is that this sink material is very resistant to heat or humid climate, giving it some edge on places with high temperatures. When stones are well taken care of, they can be very durable.
Among the most common stones for a bathroom sink are granite, marble, travertine, sandstone, onyx, and green jade.
Stainless steel Sink
This type of sink has many attributes that make it quite attractive to consumers. Stainless steel is one of the most durable products out there, and the material naturally offers one of the most robust resistance to impacts, making it virtually impossible for them to crack or chip. Moreover, it is a corrosion-resistant material, a feature that contributes to its low maintenance and care. These sinks are available in a wide range of options and prices, typically starting around $100 and up to around $600, making it relatively inexpensive.
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option, then stainless steel sinks are a great choice, given they are recyclable. It also helps that they resist germs, offsetting the need to use any harsh chemicals. Nonetheless, stainless steel sinks are reasonably easy to clean, and any mild detergent will work effectively without damaging the product.
To avoid stains, water spots, or other deterioration, wipe the stainless steel surface dry with the use of a cloth. This will avoid any mineral buildup associated with standing water. Also, try not to leave any utensils on the sink’s surface either, as these may develop rust spots.
Stainless steel sinks are very versatile. Although it is more common to find them in the kitchen, they provide great finishes to the bathroom as well, because of the ability of this sink material to blend elegantly with many styles and colors. But, when it comes to the sink’s color itself, the choices are limited to only different tones of the stainless steel material.
A downside, however, is that the stainless steel can be scratched or dented if proper care is not taken. It is possible to see scratches due to wear and tear as a result of extensive use.
Wooden sink materials are typically comprised of hardwood that is resistant to moisture, such as bamboo or teak.
Sinks made of teak offer amazing designs that make it very unique, topped with the fact that it is rare to use this sort of material for a bathroom. Luckily, this type of wood is naturally resistant to moisture, mildew, fungi, or mold. This makes it suitable for the bathroom environment and a distinct piece. Although aesthetically pleasing, it is important to use non-abrasive soft soaps when cleaning. Harsh chemicals could easily harm the wooden surface or cause discoloration. It is important to note that teak naturally darkens its color over time; therefore, your sink will turn darker over the years. The good news is that these sinks require little maintenance due to the properties of this material; therefore, occasional cleaning should maintain the sink perfectly.
Due to bamboo being a grass tree that grows very quickly, a bamboo sink is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly options for sink material. Like other wooden products, bamboo sinks can be affected by harsh chemicals and should be avoided. Use a mild soap mixed with water and a soft sponge for cleaning this type of sink. It is also recommended that the sink is dried thoroughly to avoid water spots. Try applying a wood sealer every year to promote care and preserve. When compared to some of the other sinks in the list, bamboo sinks can be more high maintenance.
Tempered glass sink
Bathroom sinks made of tempered glass can be very resistant towards heat, making them suitable in cases where hot water will be used often. Another good feature of the tempered glass material is its resistance to chemicals, which facilitates the cleansing process and makes it easy to maintain. These sinks can make for some very stylish designs as well.
Also, beauty comes at a price, since these bathroom sinks tend to be more on the expensive side.
In order to maintain shine and overall appearance, it is a good idea to clean the sink with a glass cleaner.
Another good tip is to use equal parts of vinegar and alcohol in case you encounter water spots.
These bathroom sinks are made of a poly-resin blend that resembles a stone. Something that makes this sink material different is that they come in many different colors and designs, as they can be molded and colored in every possible way. Resin is an outstandingly resistant material-as a result, these sinks are very durable, to the point where they are even hard to scratch. Anf if you do manage to scratch the resin sink, it is possible to sand the surface and polish it to remove the mark. Resin sinks are able to withstand heat really well, and it is even resistant against stains.
If you acquire a good quality bathroom sink made of resin, then you would not even have to worry about bacteria, mold, or mildew, either. This is because this material naturally resists these things, which is great new news as the bathroom is an environment prone to make these organisms thrive.
As you may have already guessed, these sinks are very low maintenance. It helps that resin is a nonporous material, and therefore preventing dirt buildup of any sort on its surface. Sometimes a wet cloth is enough to clean it thoroughly. If you would like to use some type of cleaning agent, make sure it is not abrasive (just to be on the safe side). Abrasive products may damage the paint, and colors on these bathroom sinks.
Cast Iron Sink
It is common to find a cast iron sink in older houses. This bathroom sink is made of two different materials: a heavy and durable iron alloy is covered by a softer, but stylish enamel layer. Most of the time, the enamel is white, but it is not uncommon to find these sinks in other colors. Another plus of the cast iron sink is that companies use recycled iron for their manufacturing, making it an eco-friendly product.
The enamel layer is a nonporous sink material, which facilitates cleaning and prevents dirt buildup. However, these sinks are not exempt from cracking or chipping. It is important to take good care of them, avoiding the use of abrasive cleaning products or harsh chemicals as the enamel can be damaged. Although the cast iron foundation is tough, it is the outer enamel layer that accentuates the sink’s good appearance.
For a cast iron sink, it is also essential to consider not to leave things that could potentially stain the surface. An example would be leaving heavy pots or products that could leave iron stains. Make sure you do not leave any other staining agents for too long on the surface, like coffee or tea. Also, if the cast iron foundation is exposed, it can get rusty, so the enamel surface should be protected against impacts.
When compared to other sink materials, this one can be heavier; therefore, its installation could be difficult. Other than that, with good care, cast iron makes a fine bathroom sink.
Although porcelain and ceramic sinks are very common for the bathroom nowadays, you should be aware of the other materials as each one has something unique to offer. Whether it is a versatile design to match decor using a stone sink, getting a resistant stainless steel sink for durability, or playing it safe with porcelain; the materials you choose for a bathroom sink can impact many things (maintenance, price, installation, etc.) We hope this article will lead you to make a more informed decision when replacing your sink or to redesign your bathroom.