Last Updated on December 30, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki
Stainless steel sinks are a popular choice for many kitchens. They come in different sizes, and the two most common sizes are 16 inches and 18 inches. So, what stainless steel sink is best for you?
In this complete guide, we’ll compare the two sizes and help you decide which one is right for your kitchen. Plus, we’ll give you some tips on how to care for your stainless steel sink. Let’s get started!
What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink is Best and Why
Stainless steel is one of the best and most popular materials for kitchen sinks. It’s easy to clean, corrosion-resistant, durable, and affordable. It’s also gaining popularity on bathroom sinks!
Stainless steel comes in different thicknesses and gauges starting from 16, 18, 20, 22 to 24 gauge. But do you know the meaning of this stainless steel gauge variation? Are you confused about what gauge stainless steel sink is best for your kitchen?
Well, don’t worry!
We’ve got you covered. The article focuses on helping you make the right decision on hat gauge stainless steel is best for you without necessarily breaking your banks.
What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink is Best: Definitions
What’s Stainless Steel?
It’s a metal alloy that comprises 10.5% chromium and steel. Chromium gives steel its stainless properties.
Additionally, stainless steel has other components such as titanium, nickel, copper, and molybdenum that increase its formability, durability, and strength.
As such, stainless steel sinks deliver a clean look that matches your best stainless steel cookware sets, thus giving your kitchen an unmatched elegance.
What’s A Stainless Steel Gauge?
Perhaps you’ve heard this term in many stainless steel appliances. It refers to the thickness of the sheet material used in the kitchen sink construction.
Unlike other measurements, gauge measurements are inversely proportional to the thickness of the stainless steel metal. That means that the lower the number, the thicker the gauge.
In other words, thicker stainless steel has a small gauge number, and a thinner one has a higher number. For example, an 18-gauge stainless steel sheet is thicker than a 20-gauge steel.
Most kitchen sinks have 18 or 16 gauge that is extremely heavy to withstand rust and damage.
Stainless Steel Gauge Chart: Thin/Thick Classification
Thin Gauges (Higher Gauge Number)
Thin stainless steel gauges are outstanding for small kitchen sinks. Although they are prone to bowing, dings, and denting, they are highly effective and affordable for small households.
However, sturdy pans and pots can easily damage thin gauge stainless steel sinks as they are weaker when compared to thick gauges. More so, thin gauge sinks are highly susceptible to denting and vibrating.
As such, they are only best in small bar sinks, cabins, and recreational vehicles. For home use, we recommend using thicker stainless steel sinks.
Thick Gauge (Smaller Gauge Number)
What gauge stainless steel sink is best for you? Well, here’s your answer: Lower-gauged or thicker stainless steel is more preferred than thin ones. This is why:
- A thicker (lower gauge) stainless steel gauge is more durable and sturdy.
- It’s less prone to denting and bowing.
- It produces less noise as you undertake your daily chores
Therefore, thick stainless steel gauges are the best for your kitchen sink, and most kitchen sinks are designed with 18 or 16 gauge thicknesses. These thicknesses are essential in terms of durability and size and are required for daily use with no dents.
Also, they are reliable, cost-effective, lightweight, and durable enough to withstand your kitchen requirements.
What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink Is Best? 18 Gauge vs. 16 Gauge
Both 18 gauge and 16 gauge are preferred for stainless steel sinks. A 16-gauge stainless steel is approximately 0.0625-inches thick. On the other side, an 18-gauge has a thickness of 0.05 inches thick. In other words, a 16 gauge sheet steel is about 20% thicker compared to an 18 gauge.
Furthermore, it’s stronger than an 18 gauge, thus making it ideal for most homeowners. It guarantees higher usability and durability.
However, either will deliver almost the same value in terms of overall user satisfaction, cost, and performance. What varies most is the durability. And yes! You should invest in longevity.
The difference in pricing is minimal but significant. The little bucks you spend will give you a long-lasting sink!
Pros Of 16-Gauge Stainless Steel Sinks?
- Longevity and durability: Stainless steel kitchen sinks are designed to last when given reasonable care. They are made out of corrosion-resistant steel that’s tougher and harder compared to other materials and won’t wear out, crack, or chip.
- Sanitary Surface: 16-gauge stainless steel kitchen sinks are non-porous and easy to clean, offering no refuge to nasties and other bacteria.
- Larger Bowl Capacity: The thicker gauge stainless steel is lightweight but strong and can easily be formed into deeper and larger bowls that won’t be feasible with a cast-iron material.
- Noise control: as pans, silverware, and dishes rattle all over your sink, the result of this cookware on the stainless steel leads to too much noise within the kitchen. Also, water from the faucet can cause too much-unwanted noise. With 18 or 16 gauge stainless steel, there is a low impact on noise and sound levels.
- Recyclable: thick Gauge stainless steel comes with a recyclable sheet constructed from salvaged raw materials. It doesn’t lose any of the properties or degrade during the recycling process making the thick gauge stainless steel sinks a perfect green option.
- Durable: thicker gauge stainless steel sinks are durable even on heavy usage and can prevent bowing, rusting, and denting. With best quality gauges such 16 gauge, your kitchen sink can last up to 30 years with proper usage and care.
Bottom Line: What Gauge Stainless Steel Sink Is Best for You?
With numerous stainless steel sinks available on the market, you can easily get confused with a range of styles and variety they have.
16 or 18 gauge stainless steel variations are the best for your kitchen sink. We recommend that you choose the 16-inches, which is thicker, regardless of the pricing.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.