A kitchen sink gets a lot of use, and as such must be decided on carefully. A homeowner looking to upgrade has a number of materials available to choose from. Two very popular choices include a granite or composite material sink. Granite wins users over with its durability and elegant appearance, while composite sinks offer the perks of multiple materials at low costs.
While granite sinks are self explanatory, composite sinks consist of two materials blended together. The first combination is polyester and acrylic, which is affordable but not especially durable. Another option is quartz composite, which is very durable but not as colorful. Another type of composite sink type is granite based, which is extremely scratch resistant (much like real granite is) but is only available in one type of finish, limiting its appearance.
Granite sinks do not come in the variety of colors that some of the composite sinks do, but the natural stone appearance does well in kitchens for those looking for a more rustic style. Composite sinks can have much the same problem, except the polyester/acrylic combination can be customized and made into any color, making it a favorite of homeowners looking for a colorful kitchen.
Granite sinks are very durable and require very little maintenance, although they do tend to chip at the corners over time. This is easily remedied by granite dust on the affected areas. Of the composite sinks, the granite based and quartz composite are every bit as resilient as granite material, but the acrylic/polyester sinks are made of softer materials, and are much easier to scratch and dent and will require additional care.
While composite sinks provide affordable prices for high quality sinks, the average granite sink is considerably more expensive, usually ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the size (prices as of November 2009). Some granite sinks can be as much as $6,000. Composite sinks are much cheaper, starting as low as $200 to $250 in the case of acrylic/polyester composite or quartz composite. The granite based sinks are a little more costly, ranging from $350 to $500.
A drawback to granite sinks is how heavy they are and how much counter support they need. Composite sinks are much easier to install. As with any material made from natural stone, granite is porous and will require occasional resealing for protection from moisture and staining. These disadvantages aside, a granite sink will easily outlast a composite sink.