Renovating your kitchen or bathroom is a big task that can improve the overall look and value of your home. But when it comes down to deciding what kind of fixtures to use, many people want to know about the longevity of the products they’re choosing. Specifically, the question of how long a sink lasts often comes up.
Sink durability and longevity really comes down to two factors: use and material. Stronger materials like stone obviously last much longer, but those that are used less often generally hold up better over the long haul. Here’s what you need to know about sink longevity.
How Long Do Most Sinks Last?
In general, most sinks last anywhere from ten years to well over a century. Again, this generally depends on the type of material it is made from and whether or not it is getting heavy use on a regular basis.
For example, a stainless steel sink in a busy family kitchen will likely only hold up for ten to twelve years before needing to be replaced. Likewise, a soapstone sink in a guest bathroom with very little use could last for over a century.
This is why it is so important to remember sink construction and anticipated use when purchasing a new sink for your kitchen or bathroom.
Approximate Sink Longevity by Type
So, this leads us to a very important question. If sink material is so important, what is the best type to choose? We’ve put together a list to help get you started. Here is a comprehensive guide to approximate sink longevity by type.
Stainless Steel Sinks
One of the most popular options for home kitchens is stainless steel. Part of the reason why many people make this decision is overall longevity and durability. It doesn’t scratch and can handle daily use with ease. In addition, stainless steel is preferred in gourmet situations, as it is easy to disinfect and clean against germs and bacteria growth.
The general lifespan of this type of stainless steel sinks is fifteen to thirty years.
Granite Composite Sinks
Another popular sink option for kitchens is granite composite. These sinks are made from a composite mixture of crushed granite or quartz and resin, which makes them incredibly durable and tough. However, they are notoriously susceptible to damage and can easily scratch and do not withstand heat (such as from a warm pan) very well. Unlike traditional traditional stone sinks, they are very easy to clean and care for and do not stain.
The approximate lifespan of granite composite sinks is forty to fifty years without any accidents.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind appeal, a copper kitchen sink is an excellent choice. Each one is handmade and hammered for a unique look. Copper sinks are also naturally antimicrobial and studies have shown they can kill harmful bacteria in only a few short hours. And, despite common myth, they are no more difficult to care for than a stone or acrylic sink.
The approximate lifespan of copper sinks is forty to fifty years.
While it is a less popular option, fireclay sinks are still one of the most durable choices on the market. They are handmade by artisans using a special clay that is glazed and fired at a very high temperature. The resulting piece is a sink that is beautiful, durable, and tough. However, it can still chip or scratch, and discoloration due to using certain cleansers is still a major concern.
The approximate lifespan of fireclay sinks is over twenty years depending on care.
Ceramic sinks are one of the more common bathroom sink options and one of the most durable. Made from pottery that is glazed and fired at high heat in a kiln, they are designed to withstand heavy daily use. However, they are not the same as fireclay sinks, which use a different type of material. They are also one of the more affordable and economical bathroom sink options.
The approximate lifespan of ceramic sinks is undetermined, as these sinks can be refinished and last fifty or more years with proper care.
Another option for your home is porcelain. Many freestanding bathroom sinks are made from porcelain, which is a very durable material used frequently in plumbing fixtures, such as toilets. It’s the hardest possible type of clay available and doesn’t easily scratch or stain. It’s also incredibly durable, with some sinks lasting well over a hundred years or longer. In fact, if your home has an existing porcelain sink, you might not even need to replace it.
The approximate lifespan of ceramic sinks is fifty years or more.
Another durable bathroom sink option is stone. Natural stone sinks are handmade and carved from a solid block of naturally occurring stone. The exact material can vary, but a few of the most popular are granite, marble, travertine, onyx, and sandstone. They’re also quite expensive, but each one is a unique piece of art that really becomes a focal point of the room. The biggest downside to natural stone sinks it that they are porous and can stain easily if they aren’t sealed correctly.
The approximate lifespan of natural stone sinks is endless, as they are virtually just a solid piece of natural rock.
If you’re looking for a durable and affordable bathroom sink, resin is an optimal choice. These sinks are made from a blend of polymer and resin, which is injected into a form to give the sink shape. The biggest benefit of resin sinks is that they can withstand even the heaviest amount of use with very little care requirements, which makes them ideal for active households.
The approximate lifespan of resin sinks is between ten years and forty years, depending on quality and thickness.
Tempered Glass Sinks
Finally, there’s the tempered glass sink. Glass sinks make a beautiful addition to any space and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are also designed to break safely in the event of an accident, making them safe for daily use in your home. Required care is minimal and the added elegance of this sink style make it a very popular addition to luxury and upscale spaces.
The approximate lifespan of tempered glass sinks is between ten and thirty years depending on care and thickness.
What About Faucets and Drains?
When discussing the lifespan of your sink, you need to also consider the type of faucet and drain you choose. While this generally depends on the manufacturer and style, most faucets will easily last ten to twenty years without any problems, other than having to replace a few parts along the way.
However, this doesn’t always mean that you won’t opt to change out the faucet much sooner than this for style reasons. New designs come out all the time, which makes it easier than ever before to update the look of your sink without actually having to replace the bowl itself.
Tips for Keeping Your Sink in Great Condition
With care being such a key component in the longevity of your bathroom or kitchen sink, we’ve included a few ideas on how to ensure yours always looks great. Here are a few of our top tips for keeping your sink in great condition so that it lasts as long as possible.
- Don’t Let Food Particles Sit: Food brings in bacteria, which can cause mold and staining on certain types of sinks. Instead, rinse plates and debris as quickly as possible.
- Dry Your Sink After Use: Water can cause mold to grow and unpleasant odors to come from your sink. When possible, dry away any remaining moisture after you’re done cleaning up in the kitchen.
- Choose the Right Cleaner for Your Sink Type: Whether you choose a granite or stainless steel, make sure to always select the correct type of cleaner for your sink.
- Decide When to Refinish: Some fired and ceramic sinks can be refurbished as long as the bowl is still in fairly good shape, making it last even longer.
- Never Place Hot or Heavy Pans on Your Sink: No matter what type of sink you have, never place hot or heavy pans directly into the sink. The heat can cause burning and discoloration, while the weight can cause denting or cracking.
- Avoid Letting Bright Liquids Sit: Red wine, juice, and soda that feature a bright hue can easily stain cream or white hued sinks.
Also, if you notice an issue with your sink, make sure to address it immediately. The faster you can get any chips or cracks sealed, the less likely they will become bigger and require the need for a total sink replacement.
Wrap Up: How Long Do Sinks Last?
Determining how long your sink will last depends on use, care, and the materials it is made from. Choosing a kitchen or bathroom fixture made from quality materials coupled with proper care can extend the life of your sink for years or even decades.