Having decided to change the stainless-steel sink in your kitchen, ensure to go for the best, and invest in a quality product that will last for long.
It’s not a perishable good, after all; therefore, it should be durable to last for many years.
When considering the brand of choice, you’ll get to discover they are available in various thicknesses or gauges.
So, what does a gauge mean?
How do these different gauges affect your buying decision?
These and much more will be the focus as we guide and help you to determine the level of thickness that is right for your stainless-steel sink.
Let’s dig in!
What is a Gauge?
A gauge is described as the thickness of the stainless-steel material while manufacturing a sink.
The measurement for the gauge is different from other means of determining weight or size since a thicker gauge has a lower number and vice versa.
The measurements of thickness used are 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24.
What Should Be a Significant Factor in Buying a Stainless-steel Sink?
As you review the different stainless-steel sink on sale online or in a physical shop, you should always remember that the lower the number, the better the thickness.
A stainless-steel sink with 16 gauge is better than a 24-gauge sink considering the thickness level – and the quick formula above.
When making a 24-gauge sink, manufacturers use 50-60% fewer materials compared to a 16-gauge sink.
A 16- or 18-gauge stainless steel sink may be expensive, but they have the thickness to withstand rust and damage, unlike 22 upward, which are low in quality.
Why You Should Choose a Low-number Gauge Stainless Steel Sink?
- The thickness and stiffness of the sink will prevent bowing and denting
- Adequate insulation and soundproofing with pads or coating reduces noise from dropped weight and running water to a minimal level
- The strength of the stainless steel protects it from damage
- They can withstand movement and thermal expansion
- They are ideal for household kitchen sink
Why You May Not Choose a High (Thin)number Gauge Stainless Steel Sink?
- They are prone to bowing, denting and dings
- Thin sinks tend to vibrate and resonate, causing uncomfortable noise indoors
- They get easily damage when heavy pans are placed on them
- They can’t handle a garbage disposer
What Gauge is Best?
Having known that the gauge is essential when deciding on your choice of a stainless-steel sink, which one should you opt for?
If you have a large budget, the 16-gauge is the best choice, followed by the 18-gauge variant (which is still good too).
20-gauge and above may be a cheap alternative only if you fix the sink where you don’t use it regularly because of the thinness.
Also, the thickness will prevent your kitchen counter from shaking whenever the waste disposal unit is on.
However, if you are installing a stainless-steel sink in your garage, cabin or home bars, you can opt for 20, 22, or 24 gauge, since they won’t be used frequently and do not have space for garbage disposal.
It is advisable to buy a sink with a gauge that is thick enough, durable, and will withstand heavy use in the kitchen, no matter how expensive it is.
This point is crucial, considering the fact that you do not buy sinks every day, but once in several years or even decades.
In this regard, this brand will serve you well: MSDP3322SB 33-in x 22-in 20 Gauge Stainless Steel Single Bowl Kitchen Sink.
For cafés, commercial establishments, and restaurants, you can go for 14-16-gauge stainless steel, even though they are more expensive. These quality pieces will add glamour to the overall glossy look of the kitchen.
Besides, the aesthetics, you will want a product that is efficient, functional, and can withstand heavy use repeatedly.
Spending on a quality thick sink will save you from spending money on repairs in the long run because a flexible sink can break the drainage outlets seal, which will result in leakages that may damage your kitchen units.
Your choice should be a function of performance, cost, and value.
Which is the Better Choice Between 16-gauge and 18-gauge?
A lot of renowned kitchen brands recommend both the 16- and 18-gauge stainless steel sink considering that they are affordable and the perfect size for use in the kitchen.
However, if you have to choose between the two and if they have a similar price, you can go for the 16-gauge sink.
You might ask why?
Whereas a 16-gauge sink has 0.0625” thickness, the 18 gauge is 20% less thick with 0.05”.
Although, there is not much difference between them but the thicker the kitchen sink, the better for you.
With the extra thickness, it is a less noisy and low maintenance product.
The quality of a 16-gauge is a better choice than others for the fact that it is stain-, heat-, dent-, and scratch-resistance.
But if you have to choose between them based on the price difference, you can select the 18-gauge; it will serve you well too.
Take a look at Ruvati 33 x 22-inch Drop-in Tight Radius 16 Gauge Stainless Steel Topmount Kitchen Sink Single Bowl.
How Durable is a Stainless-steel Sink?
Your kitchen stainless-steel sinks are durable and can last for 15-30 years, even with heavy usage.
If you buy a quality product with 16- or 18-gauge, you will use it for much longer than 30 years as long as you use it well and care for it properly.
The value you get from a product is more vital than the amount you spend on it.
When choosing your next stainless-steel sink during a renovation project, let the thickness be the major factor in helping you make an easy choice among the different styles and varieties you will find.
Since you use your kitchen sink in many ways, many times a day, you have to give priority to functionality and durability to get the most out of it.
The 16-gauge comes recommended at all times as the best, while the 18 gauge is a second option that will not disappoint you.
Consequently, you need not bother about the high number gauge for your household use.
Your kitchen deserves the best at all times, considering the volume of washing tasks you will subject it to daily.