What types of sinks can we use on a stainless steel countertop?
There are two options when adding a sink to a stainless steel counter top. Below are details on the two options:
Integrated Welded Sink
This is the most popular option since it creates a seamless continuous counter. There are no possibilities of leaking in or around the sink. This also allows countertop splashes and spills to be simply brushed directly into the sink. The sink is welded directly into the countertop then polished to a brushed finish. There are many shapes and sizes of sinks that can be integrated in a stainless steel countertop. The sinks can be commercial with thicknesses of 16 gauge or they can be of residential quality at 18 gauge. Residential sinks are typically more expensive but offer elegant shapes and contemporary designs.
Brands such as Franke Kindred and Blanco offer a balance between commercial and residential. The majority of these sinks will be 18 gauge which makes them more challenging to integrate into a 16 gauge countertop. These premium brands typically use type 316 stainless steel which offer better corrosion resistance.
The drop-in sink is an option available to those who do not require an integrated welded sink. The stainless steel countertop is made with a sink cut-out similar to the rendering below. Once the plywood substrate has been applied the drop-in sink can be installed. A drop-in sink can be made of any material but must have a flange which will sit on the countertop and provide a water tight seal. This option allows some cost savings compared to an integrated welded sink.
Note: An under-mount sink is not recommended to be installed on a stainless steel countertop since it would expose the plywood substrate. In order to install an under-mount sink a stainless steel ring would need to be welded the perimeter of the sink to close and protect the exposed plywood.