Zero radius stainless steel sinks were the first “square sinks” introduced to the marketplace. They provide a sleek modern look. Today in 2018, the majority of publications in the Kitchen and Bath Industry Publications are showing variations of these square products. These original Zero Radius unit had sharp square corners. They are fabricated from a flat piece of steel. The sides are folded up and welded together.
In addition to the modern look, a big advantage of this method is the sinks are not drawn like traditional stainless steel sinks, so a sixteen gauge sink is sixteen gauge and not thinner because of the stretching. Heavier sinks are not only stronger and more resistant to damage but quieter. Most traditional sinks have numerous sound pads to reduce noise. The more sound pads, the cheaper the sink as the pads are necessary to make up for thinner or cheaper steel.
There are two disadvantages of the Zero Radius sinks. Because the fabricators start with a flat piece of steel, they do not drain well. If the countertop is not dead flat, water can puddle in the front, back or sides. Even if they are level, the sinks drain slowly. Many sinks have a crease in the bottom to make them look like they drain but this is an illusion.
The second disadvantage is the sharp edges are difficult to clean, particularly the bottom corners where the sides and bottom meet. A black spot can develop in the corners.
To maintain the modern look and eliminate the cleaning problem, the forward-thinking sink manufacturers developed sinks with small radius corners, typically three-eights inch. These rounded corners make the sink easy to clean and stiffen the sink to make then quieter.
The small radius sinks are made with the same method and have the same problem with slow drainage and puddling if the sink is not flat.
Square Sink purchase Checklist
· Make sure any stainless steel sink you buy is certified 304 stainless steel. If it is not, it will not match your appliances. Lesser grade steel also ages faster and will not retain its shine. Be particularly careful if the sinks are free with your countertop as most are made from cheaper 301 steel or worse from steel that has not been classified. Some sink companies are using coatings to match the luster and shine of 304 but the coatings wear off, and you are stuck with a dull sink.
· Make sure the sink will drain. The best looking sink is no good if it does not drain.
· Check for certified 304 stainless steel so it will match your appliances
· Who stands behind the sink? Internet companies are known for selling a product and not following up with service. Knowing how to clean your sink is critical as a high luster sink may need more maintenance than the old drop-in sinks that were dull.
· Does the sink come with a grid set? A grid or grid set is a wire frame that is placed at the bottom of the sink to keep the sink from scratching. Protecting the bottom is important with today’s larger and heavier pans. All Stainless steel will scratch. The grids will protect the bottom of the sink where most scratches occur.
Recently the new PerfecFlo™ flow sink has been introduced to the market. It is made from 304 stainless steel, has Drainfast Technology using a patented process, and has a team of sink and faucet professionals standing behind the sink.
The sink is made from steel that is pressed before it is folded and welded so that it drains quickly, has three-eights inside corners so they can be cleaned.