Porcelain, also known as ceramic, is a building material that contains clay, glass and metal. The porcelain was originally created in China around the 7th century and used frequently with tiles. This porcelain has very low moisture absorbency, which makes the porcelain better at preventing leakage. Homeowners can use the porcelain for bathroom sinks for hand washing or the sink in the kitchen for dish washing and various other tasks.
Stainless steel sinks are the most common sinks due to their durability and the ease of cleaning them. Porcelain sinks are not as easy to clean as the stainless steel sinks, though very abrasive scrubbing pads can remove most stains and dirt from porcelain sinks. However, these abrasive scrubbing pads scratch both stainless steel and porcelain sinks. No special chemical is needed to keep the sink clean. Also, over time, the porcelain sink starts to discolor and develop stains that cannot be removed.
Porcelain sinks are not very sturdy and there's always a risk that the sink will crack or chip. Homeowners cannot easily repair a crack in a porcelain sink and might need to replace the entire sink. However, there are some do-it-yourself kits that help homeowners repair some damage done to porcelain. Professional repairs tend to last longer and look better than amateur repairs. Also, the porcelain sink does not withstand extreme temperatures as well as the stainless steel sink. However, some porcelain sinks are actually cast iron with only a layer of porcelain on the top of the cast iron, which gives the sink more durability than a pure porcelain sink would have.
Porcelain and stainless steel sinks both have roughly the same cost. However, custom designed sinks cost more. As of 2010, the stainless steel and porcelain sinks cost between $200 and $400. However, there are some designer sinks that can cost as much as $1,000.
Stainless steel sinks have a shiny and silvery look that may appeal to some homeowners. Porcelain sinks are white, which matches some kitchens and bathrooms, while clashing negatively with others. Both sinks can have a more rounded look with no corners, which makes it easier to clean the sink, given that there are no corners in which debris can get stuck. Other sinks are more square-shaped, but still tend to have more rounded corners to ease cleaning.