Ask The Contractor: Pros outweigh cons of composite sinks

Good morning. Our column last week on knowing where your property pins are, generated quite a few phone calls that uncovered encroachments from fences to garages and even a spa pad.

In all seriousness readers, it is of the utmost importance that you know where your property corners are and you should also be aware of any easements running through your property. Follow the steps that were in the article and you can print out your lot with the applicable dimensions and then start your scavenger hunt for your corner pins. If you cannot locate them, a RLS (Registered Land Surveyor) will be required.

So on to our question this week: My husband and I are having discussions about a new kitchen sink. I say composite material and he is insisting on stainless steel. — Beverly and Mac of Prescott

What is practical, durable, and elegant and has value-added potential and are long-lasting beauties? Of course, the answer is composite sinks.

The pros of composite sinks:

Durability. Quality composite sinks are formed under high pressure, making them nonporous, hygienic, and resistant to heat, stains, scratches, and chips. Plus, a composite sink surface won’t require sealing.

Variety. You’ll find a wide range of styles, sizes, shapes, finishes, and color options to complement your countertops. White, black, and brown remain the most popular color choices.

Consistency. A composite sink, features uniform color throughout the material.

Possible cons of composite sinks:

Harsh chemicals can damage a composite sink, so follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for cleaning them.

Hardness. While some sink materials are more forgiving, composite is hard enough to break glassware when dropped onto the surface.

Costs. Quality composite sinks are more costly than sink materials such as stainless steel and porcelain.

Could be damaged by abrasive chemicals. Soap or vinegar and water is all you need to clean. (That’s true of most kitchen sink materials, and a great way to keep chemicals from seeping into the environment.)

I have had some homeowners tell me that staining has occurred with white versions.

On a personal note, I purchased a composite kitchen sink about four years ago when I installed Quartz countertops. I love, love, love, and will repeat love my composite sink. It is mahogany brown and makes me smile whenever I am at the sink. It is a “thing” of beauty and I am ever so glad I opted for composite.

By the way, stainless steel is still the most popular sink material. If you go that route, make sure you get 16-gauge. The stamping process that shapes stainless steel sheets into sinks can thin the thickness. Also avoid those that have a proportion of nickel, which makes them tinny.

If you have shower doors, I am sure we all have the same problem — water stains. I find it very difficult to squeegee the shower door after every shower to keep it sparkling clean. I read that Rain X or any windshield rain repellent sprayed on shower doors will keep them looking nice. I had to try that cleaning hack and it works! The shower water just rolls off the shower doors. Now, not only am I in love with my composite kitchen sink, I am in love with Rain X on my shower doors!

I researched additional cleaning hacks and discovered a few more. How to whiten bathtub grout. If excess moisture has left your tub grout dingy, first dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for a little while (it may bubble slightly), then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times, depending on how much mildew you have, but eventually your grout will be white again.

Commercial toilet bowl cleaners contain poisons that can literally take your breath away — bleach, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and naphthalene. Instead of using toxic substances, use hydrogen peroxide as an all-purpose cleaner. Fill a dark spray bottle with 1:1 water/hydrogen peroxide. Spray directly on toilet seats or around the rim. Brush and flush.

De-clogging drains? Instead of pouring industrial-grade acids down your drain to dissolve clogs, pour in a half-cup of baking soda followed with a half-cup of vinegar. Cover for at least 30 minutes, and then flush with boiling water. If rock-hard clogs resist the baking soda-vinegar method, try an enzyme-based cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m. on KQNA 1130AM/99.9FM or 95.5FM or the web, kqna.com. Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners and so much more. It is a perfect way to start your day.