Stone has been a popular material in the kitchen for years, both for countertops and floors. But now it’s becoming a popular option for kitchen sinks. Combining form and function, stone sinks work perfectly with the current trend toward Old World style featuring natural materials. Stone sinks offer a natural beauty and warmth that is unmatched by other materials. Because every piece of stone is unique, no two sinks will be alike.
Stone sinks offer exceptional performance and durability. They are extremely difficult to chip and they won’t dent or rust. When sealed properly, they resist stains well. They are also highly resistant to heat. Natural stone also provides these sinks with exceptional sound deadening properties.
While stone sinks cost considerably more than stainless steel, porcelain, or composite sinks, they will last a lifetime with proper care. Stone sinks should be sealed periodically to help prevent stains and make it easier to keep your sink clean. If it is not sealed properly, your sink can absorb liquids and crack, chip, or stain easily. Because a stone sink can weigh as much as 300 pounds, you will need to equip your countertops with extra reinforcement to handle the extra weight.
Although soapstone and granite are the most popular choices for stone sinks, there are several options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:
- Soapstone is soft to the touch but one of the densest materials for sinks. It won’t stain or etch and offers excellent heat resistance. Soapstone does need to be oiled periodically to keep the color even.
- Granite offers exceptional beauty and durability. It will maintain a consistent color and will not fade over time. However, it may be hard to find some granites in large enough slabs to carve into a sink.
- Marble is denser than many granites. A honed finish will be less likely to show etching from acidic foods and can be smoothed easily.
- Limestone makes a great statement piece. It is more porous than other stones so proper sealing on a regular basis is imperative.
- Travertine offers great warm, earthy tones. It is susceptible to etching so it’s important to avoid harsh cleansers and wipe up and dry your sink after use to keep it looking great.
If you want the look of a natural stone sink without the cost and weight, consider a granite composite. It has a similar look to stone but without the expense and additional weight. However, granite composite is more susceptible to scratches and staining.