Are all kitchen sinks the same? Well twenty years ago the answer to that question probably would have been yes, as then the majority of sinks were made out of pressed stainless steel with any alternatives being beyond the financial reach of most of us.

Now though, there are a wide range of designer kitchen sinks on the marketplace, and whilst stainless steel is still the most predominant due to its relative low cost, many people are opting for design led alternatives.

New materials coming on to the market with regards to designer kitchen sinks are Fragranite, Glass, Ceramic and Techtonite. So let us look in to these new materials in more detail.

Firstly Fragranite, invented by Franke, features a much more compact granite surface that is 50 times more compact than a normal granite surface, and this means it is much harder for bacteria, lime scale and stains to penetrate the surface. Resulting in lower levels of germ build up, as well as vastly improving the surfaces stain resistance. There is also a version of Fragranite that is treated with a sanitized coating that helps to stop bacterial build up.

This granite composite is very tough and available in a range of colours.

Glass sinks? Well you may think they would break easily, but in reality for safety they feature a stainless steel bowl, with an extremely tough glass surround on the top that will not break or chip easily, thus you get the designer look of glass and the safety of stainless steel. They are currently available in only a limited range of colours though, but they do look very hi-tech once installed.

Ceramic sinks are now becoming very popular as they are available in several colours, but their main advantage is that the ceramic sink surface is virtually impervious to virtually all liquids such as red wine, beetroot and coffee, as well as nearly all household chemicals. You can even cut on them without making a mark, although this is not recommended, it merely highlights how tough a ceramic kitchen sink is.

Techtonite kitchen sinks are made from a new synthetic material that has very good resistance to heat, staining, shock and impact, yet being synthetic it means that when it comes to sink design the possibilities of its uses are almost limitless.

It is extremely smooth to the touch, so much so that water just beads off of it, and being synthetic, Techtonite kitchen sinks are available in a wide range of colours.

So if you are looking at buying a designer kitchen sink then consider looking beyond stainless sinks for something that is a little more different.

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