Stainless steel kitchen sinks possess great qualities that make them a good choice for just about any kitchen. Their look is timeless and complements other stainless appliances. They can be rugged and durable but quality construction is important in obtaining longevity and satisfactory performance.
“Gauge” refers to the thickness of the metal used to make the sink. The important point to remember relative to gauge is that smaller gauge numbers mean thicker material. Yes, it’s counter-intuitive but that’s the way it was established long ago.
Stainless sink thicknesses ranges from 16 gauge (thicker) to 22 gauge (thin). The benefit of thicker material is that it’s more resistant to dings and dents, is less “noisy” than a thinner gauge sink and more robust in terms of handling things like the vibration associated with a garbage disposal. Good quality stainless steel sinks are usually 16 to 18 gauge.
Quality sinks with reasonable care should last forever. They’re made from a corrosion resistant steel that’s harder and tougher than other types of materials and won’t chip, crack or wear out.
Depending on your perspective and taste, stainless steel sinks provide a consistent look in a kitchen with stainless appliances. Even without these types of appliances, stainless steel sinks have consistently been in fashion and immune from fluctuating style trends.
Stainless steel sinks are easy to clean and non-porous giving little refuge to bacteria and other nasties.
Stainless steel’s relatively light yet strong properties allow it to be formed into larger and deeper bowls that might not otherwise be feasible with cast iron or other materials.
Stainless steel doesn’t like chloride compounds which are found in many soaps, cleaners and detergents and they can harm the steel’s surface. The good news is that these chlorides are water soluble so thoroughly rinsing out the sink after using these types of cleaners should prevent any problems.