Searching for a new kitchen sink for your home can be easy and pain-free if you are well informed. There are several aspects of stainless steel kitchen sinks that many consumers are not very well educated on, one of which being a sink’s gauge. The gauge of a stainless steel sink indicates the thickness of the metal that is used in its manufacture. It can be measured using a micrometer. The gauge of a sink will vary depending on brand, type, and purpose of the sink. It can be very deceiving to the uninformed consumer who finds a 18g and a 16g sink and assumes it is of better quality and thickness because the number is higher. In truth the lower the number, the thicker the sink.
If you are having granite, marble, or another solid surface countertop installed you will most likely have an undermount sink installed. Undermount sinks range in gauge from 16-20g. The average thickenss in stainless steel undermount kitchen sinks is 18g. The 18g is widely considered a good thickness for use in a kitchen sink. You should have no bending or dinging over time from an 18g sink. Twenty gauge sinks are usually not used as they are generally regarded as very thin. Obviously, the best choice would be to go with a 16g sink. A 16g sink is going to be the most durable option, and will most likely outlast your kitchen.
If you are having laminate or another type of countertop installed you will most likely have a topmount sink installed. Topmount stainless steel sinks are usually available thinner, and are generally less expensive than undermount sinks. The average topmount sink is 20g, but they can be found ranging 18-22. The same rules apply to topmount sinks, the lower the number, the thicker the steel, and more likely the better the quality of sink.