Natural stone kitchen sink kitchen sink materials

Stylish kitchen sink materials for all budgets

We often hear the saying that tapware is the jewellery of a kitchen… But in recent years, kitchen sinks have also become a focal point. Finding the right kitchen sink is one that elevates your overall kitchen design and is functional while fitting within your budget. From stainless steel to fireclay, these are the top kitchen sink materials for kitchen renovations and design.

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Textured cabinetry in white kitchen
Mitch and Mark used an undermount white composite sink in their luxe kitchen, see all The Block kitchens here

But first… function is key

While kitchen sinks can be a design statement in your kitchen, first and foremost, they serve a function. So it’s important to balance style choices with practical needs.

The material you select can require different types of care and daily routine. For example, in a busy household constantly rotating through dirty pots and pans, you may prioritise a kitchen sink that is durable and easy to clean. However, in a new show-stopping kitchen you may put more weight on a kitchen sink that is strikingly unique and be willing to give it a little more daily care and cleaning.

Similarly, it’s important to think size. A single bowl kitchen sink is not suitable for a family of 5. Even with a dishwasher, you will need a sink that is large enough to wash, drain and dry items throughout the day.

Cleaning and maintenance is also important. As we mentioned earlier, durability and ease of cleaning can vary significantly between kitchen sink materials. The ability to avoid blockages with clean drains and plumbing is also crucial.

We’ve done the research for you and have summarised the pros and cons of each material. So keep reading for the 6 most popular kitchen sink materials to find the right fit for your home.

Stainless steel kitchen sinks

Affordable, durable, easy to clean and impervious to corrosion, there are plenty of reasons why stainless steel kitchen sinks are a popular option! As a non-porous material, stainless steel sinks are also easy to sterilise — removing harmful germs and bacteria.

This classic kitchen sink material has come a long way in the design stakes. In stainless steel you can find the most versatile offering of kitchen sink shapes, sizes and styles. There are drop-in, over-mount or undermount options, square or round profiles, with or without a drainer, and a wide range of bowl sizes too.

One key thing to look out for is the composition of stainless steel. This is your indicator of quality and good value. The ideal ratio is 18% chrome and 10% nickel, otherwise referred to as 18/10 grade or ‘304 stainless steel’.

Together, the two elements increase toughness and resistance, offering long-term durability. Lower ratios are weaker, will damage more easily and lose lustre more quickly.

The price of stainless steel kitchen sinks vary significantly depending on size, style and quality. Stainless steel kitchen sinks start from $100 and can cost up to $3000.

Brushed metal kitchen sinks

Stepping up from plain stainless steel, you find brushed metal. The material of these sinks is still stainless steel, however they are coated in a metallic finish to create a design statement. While early iterations of these sinks were prone to scratching, there are newer, award-winning ranges on the market now.

You can find these in unique finishes, such as gunmetal black, brushed bronze gold and brushed nickel. This allows you to match your kitchen sink to your tapware just like in the kitchen pictured below. There’s also a wide range of sizes, including single, one and a half, and double bowl variations.

Quality is especially important when selecting a brushed metal sink to avoid issues of scratching or colour wear. Look for the term ‘PVD’ as this is a more premium coating technique. Other benefits of PVD coating is that it shows fewer fingerprints and can be easier to clean and maintain than standard stainless steel.

Depending on size and brand, brushed metal kitchen sinks can range from $350-$1200.

Brushed metal sink
Brushed brass sink in Collector House, image via Tile Republic

Granite or quartz composite kitchen sinks

Composite kitchen sinks are made from granite or quartz dust and combined with acrylic materials. A typical composition is 80% granite or quartz with 20% acrylic resin. Composite sinks are heat, scratch and stain resistant making them incredibly hardwearing. This material is also non-porous adding to their durability.

Generally available in matte black or matte white, these modern sinks fit seamlessly into contemporary kitchens. Due to their popularity, you can find endless design options including single, one and a half, one and three quarter or double bowl, with or without a drying rack, as well as various shapes.

The price of composite sinks range from $450 to $2000, depending on size and quality.

Read more about quartz composite sinks here.

Breakfast bar hidden behind cabinetry
Granite composite sink in this contemporary kitchen

Copper kitchen sinks

If you’re happy to splurge, a copper sink can make a true statement. Made from real copper (versus a copper finish), this living material with achieve a beautiful, organic patina over time. This is where the copper surface will darken or develop a green tinge as the metal ages.

Copper sinks are available in a smooth or hammered finish, further adding to their character.

As well as costing a lot more, copper sinks require more care and consideration. They should be cleaned with mild products, such as dish soap, warm water and a cloth. If you love to clean with heavy chemicals, this is not the sink material for you. However, it’s worth noting that copper has the natural ability to kill 99.9% of bacteria so it isn’t necessary to go heavy on cleaning products.

Despite the price and maintenance copper sinks require, they are a fabulous option because of the unique character they can bring to a space. That striking colour and ongoing, changing finish is truly divine. Especially suiting farmhouse, industrial or luxe interior styles, copper sinks are a statement piece.

Prices of copper kitchen sinks can range from $700 up to $3000, or even more.

Fireclay kitchen sinks

As the Hamptons and farmhouse design styles continue to gain popularity in Australia, so too do fireclay kitchen sinks.

Often seen in a butler’s style or farmhouse style shape (as pictured below), they also come in inset or undermount styles, in both square and round shapes. Recently, black fireclay sinks have come onto the market as well as new design features like a fluted front.

Fireclay is an ultra-durable material that can withstand high heat and is impact-resistant to handle the knocks, drops and messes that come with day-to-day life.

Prices range from $650 to $3000. However, premium brands can offer a lifetime warranty to give you peace of mind.

Natural stone kitchen sinks

The final option that’s less common but can look incredible is a natural stone sink. Generally made from granite or other dense natural stones, such as soapstone, these sinks are anything but mainstream.

Natural stone kitchen sinks are either carved directly from stone as a full, seamless sink or use several pieces of stone that are bonded together.

While they have the benefit of generally being extra-deep to fit large pots and pans, stone is a natural material that is somewhat porous. This means, the sink may stain or discolour over time, and requires regular sealing. You also need to be mindful of what products you use to clean the sink, avoiding any acidic or bleach cleaners that can ruin your sink in an instant. Stone sinks are also very heavy, requiring reinforced cabinetry. 

There is also a massive price jump to natural stone sinks as they are generally custom made to fit your space.

Natural stone kitchen sink kitchen sink materials
Natural stone kitchen sink via Bluebell kitchens

Has this guide to the 6 most popular kitchen sink materials helped you? Hopefully, we answered your questions but if you have any more, pop them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you asap!

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Top 7 stylish bar carts to suit all budgets

Looking for a bar cart to elevate your home entertaining? Whether you’re a pro mixologist or not, these stylish bar carts are sure to make you look the part!

From boho to luxe, contemporary or retro, our latest top 7 round up is everything bar carts. Bring on Happy Hour!

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Bring a bit of art deco style and sophistication to your home with this round drinks trolley in electroplated-gold steel (also available in black and chrome). Easy to manoeuvre, this one could also double as a side table or indoor plant stand with its sleek design and mirrored glass shelves.

Shop this stylish bar cart here

Gold Gatsby_Temple

Perfect for a small space, this stylish antique silver framed bar cart is simple yet elegant. With 3 levels of mirrored glass and a polished metal frame, it will keep everything for your favourite cocktail ready to go.

Shop this stylish bar cart here

Arden silver mirrored drinks trolley

Blending on-trend boho vibes with rattan, this bar cart ticks all the boxes! With handwoven accents in bamboo and rattan, it’s sure to add those summer vibes to your next cocktail hour. 

Shop this bar cart here

Bamboo and rattan drinks trolley

Mixing traditional lines with modern styling, this stunning bar cabinet has ample room for all your tasty tipples. The doors feature hand-inlayed rattan covers, making each one that little bit unique and special.

Shop this stylish bar cabinet here

Cabana bar cabinet_Freedom

This Brooklyn mirrored drinks trolley gives us all the Great Gatsby vibes, don’t you think?! Its art deco frame screams elegance and will bring nothing but sophistication when Friday drinks roll around.

Shop this stylish bar cart here

Gold mirrored drinks trolley

Cheap and cheerful, this bar cart is a total steal with its simple, classic design. The black metal frame and durable tempered glass is stylish and functional. And at this price, there’ll be plenty leftover to fill the cart with all your cocktail needs!

Shop this stylish bar cart here

Aragon bar cart_Fantastic

Available in white or black mango wood, this stylish bar cabinet from Brosa features gorgeous terrazzo detailed handles. We love how they picked up the gold trim around the handles on the legs as well, adding to the luxe factor!

With plenty of storage inside, this cabinet also comes as part of the whole ‘Greta’ range, meaning you can carry more pops of these gorgeous terrazzo and bling accents across your home.

Shop this stylish bar cabinet here

Do you have a favourite bar cart from our Top 7 round up? And how would you style a bar cart in your home? Tell us in the comment section below!

More Top 7 articles here

Disclaimer: This post was first published in March 2020 and continues to be updated with the best bar carts. Prices accurate at time of publishing. This post contains affiliate links. This means that when you click on a link and purchase something from that site, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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