Zero Radius, Small Radius, or Square Kitchen Sinks
Zero radius stainless steel sinks were the first “square sinks” introduced to the market. They provide a stylish and modern look. Today in 2018, most of the kitchen and bathroom industry publications show variations of these square products. This original Zero Radius unit had sharp square corners. They are made of a flat piece of steel. The sides are folded and welded together.
In addition to the modern look, a big advantage of this method is that the sinks are not drawn like traditional stainless steel sinks, so a sixteen gauge sink is sixteen gauge and not thinner due to stretching. Heavier sinks are not only stronger and resistant to damage, but also quieter. Most traditional sinks have numerous sound pads to reduce noise. The more sound pads, the cheaper the sink will be, as the pads are needed to make up for thinner or cheaper steel.
There are two downsides to Zero Radius sinks. Because fabricators start with a flat piece of steel, they don’t drain well. If the countertop is not completely flat, water can collect on the front, back, or sides. Even if they are level, the sinks drain slowly. Many sinks have a crease at the bottom to make it look like they are draining, but this is an illusion.
The second downside is that the sharp edges are difficult to clean, particularly the bottom corners where the sides and base meet. A black spot may develop in the corners.
To keep the look modern and eliminate the problem of cleanliness, forward-thinking sink manufacturers developed sinks with small radius corners, typically three eighty inches. These rounded corners make the sink easy to clean and stiffen the sink to make it quieter.
Small radius sinks are made by the same method and have the same problem of slow drainage and puddling if the sink is not flat.
Square Sink Shopping Checklist
· Make sure any stainless steel sink you buy is certified 304 stainless steel. If not, it will not match your appliances. Lower grade steel also ages faster and will not retain its shine. Be especially careful if sinks are free with your countertop, as most are made from cheaper 301 steel or worse, steel that has not been rated. Some sink companies are using coatings to match the luster and shine of 304, but the coatings wear out and you are stuck with a dull sink.
· Make sure the sink runs off. The best-looking sink is useless if it doesn’t drain.
Check Certified 304 Stainless Steel to Match Your Appliances
Who is behind the sink? Internet companies are notorious for selling a product and not following through on the service. Knowing how to clean your sink is critical, as a high-gloss sink may need more maintenance than old built-in sinks that were dull.
Does the sink come with a rack kit? A rack or rack set is a wire frame that is attached to the bottom of the sink to prevent scratching the sink. Protecting the bottom is important with today’s largest and heaviest pots. All stainless steel will scratch. The grates will protect the bottom of the sink where most scratches occur.
The new PerfecFlo ™ flow sump was recently introduced to the market. It’s made from 304 stainless steel, has Drainfast technology through a proprietary process, and has a team of professional sinks and faucets behind the sink.
The sink is pressed steel before folding and welding so it drains quickly, it has three-eight inside corners so they can be cleaned.