There are lots of kitchen sink options but few offer the look and feel of a concrete sink. Sonoma Cast Stone makes a variety of concrete sinks including one they call the ChefSink. It comes in several styles and configurations along with a wide range of colors. But maybe the best part is that it's pre-cast, meaning it's already made, ready to order and install.
The concept of using concrete in the home is still closely associated with an art form.
A concrete kitchen sink can still be cast in place but concrete's increasing popularity has spawned innovations like pre-cast sinks that make it easier and more convenient to obtain one.
Material advancements have also eliminated some of the problems associated with concrete, like staining and cracking. As a result, more concrete home interior products like sinks and countertops are better than their predecessors and more accessible to buyers.
You might still see concrete sinks referred to as a "cement sink" but this is a misnomer. "Cement" is actually just one part or ingredient of concrete's makeup and it also happens to be non-earth friendly. Sonoma Cast Stone formulates concrete mixes, like their EarthCrete™ product, with reduced amounts of cement, and they're working on eliminating it from their formulas altogether.
Sonoma Cast Stone's ChefSink is one style of kitchen sink that's hard not to notice. Most cement sinks have a distinct feel and presence and Sonoma's ChefSink is no different.
Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Cast StoneIf you're not too familiar with concrete, particularly as it's used in the home, you might be asking yourself how a material that's used to make sidewalks could be appealing as a kitchen sink. Yes, both are made with similar materials but a concrete sink is polished to a smooth finish, almost velvety to the touch.
Sonoma's ChefSink emulates those qualities while adding style and functionality as well. These sinks have a hefty thickness giving them a presence that's hard to match with ordinary stainless or cast iron sinks.
This "presence" also makes them heavy however, weighing in anywhere from 300 to 400 pounds. You'll need some durable cabinetry to support one of these sinks and several sets of hands to install one.
Despite its beauty at the hands of skilled craftsmen, concrete does have its warts. It has a natural tendency to develop small cracks over time. It's also a porous material that needs to be sealed periodically to avoid stains and damage from acids.
The ChefSink however is made from Sonoma Cast Stone's NuCrete™, an improved form of concrete. Sonoma Cast Stone modified it's mixes and concrete processing methods and conducted several years of experiments to develop their trademarked pre-cast concrete material. They tout their NuCrete™ as being both stain and crack free, a true advancement in the development of functional concrete products.
Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Cast Stone
Let's face it; any kitchen sink is going to take its share of punishment. Pots and pans ultimately take their toll on the bottom of a sink in the form of scuffs and scrapes.
Sonoma's ChefSink takes on that issue however by incorporating a stainless steel grid that's embedded in the bottom surface of the sink. Dishes and utensils make contact with the perforated steel, not the concrete, helping to resist abrasions.
Other features include a sliding stainless steel rinse board that makes for a handy helper when washing or rinsing. It fits into tracks on the front and back edges of the sink. Slide it under the faucet when you need to wash some vegetables and then slide it out of the way when you're finished with it. It's useful and convenient.
ChefSinks are available in single and double bowl designs. Both styles have an integral drain board and you have the option of getting it on the right or the left side of the sink. Double bowl sinks are separated by a stylish S-shaped divider, resulting in one basin that's slightly larger than the other. This styling also gives the sink a nice visual touch.
ChefSinks can accommodate standard garbage disposals and even come with their own disposal flange and basket strainer, extras that you usually have to buy separately with other types of sinks.
There are several features about Sonoma's ChefSink concrete sink that I like. One of them is simply the smooth, sleek look of the concrete combined with it's substantial presence. It just looks good in my subjective opinion.
Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Cast Stone
On a more objective note, I think the durability of the NuCrete™ material is an advancement worth having in a concrete sink. Anything that will increase concrete's stain resistance and reduce or eliminate the requirement for periodic sealing is a benefit.
The sink's movable drain board is also a nice feature as is the built-in stainless steel grid. The grid is not only practical but I think it adds a nice visual contrast to the otherwise monochromatic look of these larger sinks.
Then there's the fact that these concrete sinks are pre-cast. There's no need to find a local concrete contractor and worry whether they actually have the skill that's required to properly craft a concrete sink right there in your home. You get the attributes of a concrete sink with the convenience of a standard "pre-manufactured" product, as well as the peace of mind that it's made by people who specialize in these types of products.
Although there's not much to complain about regarding these sinks there are a few things that would cause me to pause and consider carefully. First, concrete doesn't really "give" and won't be as forgiving to dropped glassware as a stainless steel or solid surface sink might be.
Then there's the issue of how these sinks might stand up to the wear and tear and the scuffing that might occur, particularly on the side walls. Heavy pots and pans might scuff the surface, though some might consider this to be desirable in the long run, adding to the sink's patina as it ages.
Despite these minor quibbles however, there's much to like about Sonoma Cast Stone's ChefSink. It offers a nice blend between unique style and hard-working funtionality.
You can see more of these concrete kitchen sinks at Sonoma Cast Stone's website, www.sonomastone.com.
Copper Sinks - A concrete sink is unique but there are other distinctive choices as well. Check out this article on the ins and outs of choosing a copper sink.
Choosing Kitchen Sinks - If you're still not sure about what kind of kitchen sink to choose, check out this article that lays out the highs and lows of a wide range of choices.