We're beginning to renovate our kitchen, and I'm amazed and bewildered by the various materials sinks are made of and by the astonishing difference in prices just for stainless steel sinks. My priority is ease of care, not looks (though my head, too, can be turned by a pretty sink). But I'm not sure what makes a sink good or bad for durability, for cleaning, and for not harming my glasses, dishes, pots, etc.
Stainless steel sinks:
1. Why, for roughly the same size and configuration and gauge, does the range of prices go from about $200 to more than $1,000, with some more than $3,000? What is the difference between the $250 triple-bowl 18-gauge stainless steel sink, the $1,000 triple-bowl 18-gauge stainless steel sink, and the $2,500 triple-bowl 18-gauge stainless steel sink?
2. Are there different kinds of stainless steel? How do I find out what the differences are? Is some stainless steel more stainless than other stainless steel? Is some more easily scratched? Does thicker gauge SS make for a better sink?
Enamel or porcelain-coated sinks:
1. The enamelled cast iron sinks look very, very, pretty, but even if they're advertised as "crack, chip and burn"-proof, they're not scratch- or stain-resistant. I figure they'll end up just as dull as the old porcelain sinks I've come across. And once the shiny surface is gone, don't they stain worse and worse? Does anyone have any observations about having enamelled or porcelain-coated sinks?
2. Do you risk scratching or breaking more of your fine glasses and dishes in coated iron sinks because they are so hard?
Other materials: granite, corian, etc:
1. Do you have any experience with or observations of sinks made of other materials? How easy or hard are they to take care of?
If you particularly like or dislike the sink in your kitchen, why? If someone came along and offered to install another one for free, what would you choose and what would you never choose again?