Sinks


An important architectural element

While sinks can be mundane, they don’t have to be. Today, many top architects and manufacturers treat the sink as an altar, which can make the simple yet ritual process of washing your hands completely unforgettable; especially if you are remodeling


Acrylic / Fiberglass

Plastic, the blessing and bane of the 20th century, has come to your kitchen sink. Tough polycarbonate -- known as acrylic -- present in paint, windows and even wall corner guards, can be molded into all sorts of home furnishings. As with any material, acrylic sinks have definite advantages and a number of disadvantages.

Pros

Polycarbonate plastic can be molded into just about any shape, if you’re willing to spend the money for a one-time mold, but acrylic sinks come in a wider variety of stock shapes. Unlike enamel, the material is the same color throughout, so minor scratches can be removed with some car-buffing compound. The sink is reinforced with fiberglass and resin and the stain-resistant surface is soft enough to muffle noise. A lightweight acrylic sink makes installation or replacement easier than enamel, steel or composite material for a do-it-yourself homeowner.

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Cons

Acrylic is durable -- with careful use -- but not as long-lived as enamel or steel under normal kitchen usage. That soft polycarbonate will not stand up to petroleum-based materials, so don’t clean your paintbrushes in it after varnishing the kitchen cabinets. It also scratches and gouges easily. Steel wool and other abrasive materials might scratch the sink’s surface. Like any plastic, it burns, leaving ugly marks that penetrate through the surface and defy removal. Plastic-on-metal joints are subject to vibration -- such as those with garbage disposals -- and may periodically work loose, leading to leaks.

 

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