Composite sinks are a durable, lightweight alternative for homeowners who desire something other than a stainless steel sink in their kitchen. Composite sinks are made of a mixture of resins, and can be combined with other materials such as quartz or granite to provide a durable, heat- and stain-resistant surface. While granite and quartz composite sinks are made from up to 70-percent natural stone material mixed with resin, there are some differences between them. The decision to choose one over another may be based on which qualities you are looking for in a sink.
Quartz Sinks Overview
Quartz composite sinks are made from up to 70-percent crushed quartz mixed with an acrylic resin. The mixture of quartz and resin creates a nonporous, solid sink that is lighter than cast iron and more durable than stainless steel. A quartz composite sink is extremely heat- and stain-resistant. Pots can be placed on it directly off the stove with no consequences, and food stuffs are unlikely to stain its surface. Quartz composite sinks are also fairly resistant to most chemicals and can be cleaned with any material. While they're unlikely to scratch easily, quartz composite sinks can scratch if knives or other sharp objects are used on them.
Granite Composite Sinks Overview
Granite composite sinks are made from up to 70-percent crushed granite mixed with acrylic resins. Granite, which is made up from a number of minerals, including quartz, feldspar and mica, is more dense and durable than quartz alone. When mixed with resin, it becomes even more durable than a quartz composite sink. Granite composite sinks are heat-, stain- and scratch-resistant. They are completely chemical-resistant as well and can be washed with any material. They are unlikely to be damaged in any way by regular use. They are dense enough and hard enough, however, to potentially damage fragile glassware or china that is placed too roughly in a hard sink.
Quartz Appearance and Cost
The mixture of quartz and resin can be injected with a wide range of pigments and dyes to create a large range of finished colors for the sinks. This includes contemporary shades of bright blue and yellow, as well as more traditional colors such as white, biscuit, black and gray. Most quartz composite sinks are matte in finish, although it is possible to find some that have been polished to a high shine. The majority of quartz composite sinks are fairly affordable, with prices beginning under $200 as of July 2011. Sizes include single, double and D-bowls, and most sinks can accommodate a disposal. The most attractive things about a quartz sink over a granite sink are its color, style, availability and price.
Granite Appearance and Cost
Granite is a much denser material than quartz. When mixed with resins, it is not as likely to accept various dyes and pigments, which means that most granite composite sinks are black or dark in color. As with the quartz composite sinks, granite composites are typically matte in finish. Granite composite sinks come in a variety of sizes, including single and double bowls, and most are available for either drop-in or undermount installation. Prices can be slightly more expensive than quartz composite, starting at around $250 as of July 2011, only because the product is slightly newer and has only been around for the early part of the 21st century. The benefit of a granite composite sink over quartz is in its increased durability. A granite composite sink is much less likely to chip or scratch, and requires no maintenance.