You don't have to get a sinking feeling when it comes time to choose a sink for your home: Granite sinks offer a multitude of choices in terms of color, size and shape, which means they can complement just about any style of decor. In addition to being functional and durable, granite sinks add a polished look to contemporary, traditional, formal or country bathrooms and kitchens.
How A Granite Sink Is Made
A granite sink is made of solid stone; a composite granite sink is manufactured from several man-made products. Although the term granite is used to identify both types of sinks, a composite granite sink is an engineered, rather than a natural, product. Generally, a granite sink is made in one of two different ways: It can be carved from a single block of granite or it can be constructed out of multiple granite pieces or slabs that are bonded together and later sealed to ensure that the sink doesn't leak.
According to Mick de Giulio, a leading kitchen designer, "Granite sinks offer definite functional advantages in addition to their beautiful appearance." Available in colors ranging from gray-green and black to yellow-tan and white, granite sinks offer a natural look. And because no two slabs of granite are alike, every sink is different, so your sink will be unlike that of anyone else. In addition, granite sinks can be cut to any size and can accommodate virtually all types of faucets.
Because granite sinks are very heavy, they require a significant support structure underneath and, consequently, are not the ideal choice if you prefer an undermount sink. As for maintenance and cleaning, these types of sinks can stain (so having an extra sealant put on is a good idea) and small food particles can get caught in the right-angled corners. If a granite sink becomes chipped, you can't simply buff or smooth away the damage, but a patch can be applied, usually by a professional, made up of granite dust mixed with epoxy.
Granite sinks don't come cheap; they can range in price from $600 to $6,000 (prices as of November 2009), depending on what type of granite and finish you select as well as the size of the sink. Because of the cost, not to mention the special installation considerations such as additional structural support, a granite sink isn't a short-term commitment; it's not a fixture you'll want to change out frequently.
Martha Stewart, renowned home living expert, recommends avoiding ammonia-based products when cleaning a granite sink. Although granite sinks offer superior durability, these types of products can damage the sink's surface and dull the finish.