One trend that continues to appear in both kitchen and bathroom designs is the use of stone sinks. There are several different stones that can be transformed into vessel, undermount, drop-in, and farmhouse style sinks. As with any time that natural stone is used in a wet area, some considerations need to be made to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
Much of the time, the stone that is being used in kitchens and bathrooms is fairly hardy, such as granite or soapstone. These sinks require little sealing, and generally only need to be dried after use to prevent water spots. Depending on the manufacturer, some sinks may come presealed, and will need yearly or regular ongoing maintenance to prevent them from becoming stained or etched over time.
Unfortunately, sometimes softer stones are used in the same situations. Onyx, Rosso Asiago, Bianco Carrara, and Verde Mare can all be found as vessel and drop in sinks. These softer stones may require more diligence and maintenance to prevent them from losing their shine and color over time. In the case of serpentines such as Verde Mare, regular sealing and drying is crucial to the stone. Serpentine left to absorb water over a period of time could begin to spall or peel and flake in a snake skin-like pattern.
Most stone sinks used in either bathrooms or kitchens cannot be fitted with an overflow valve. This means that they should be installed with a grid drain to help prevent overflowing, particularly in states and areas that require overflows or grid drains present in the sink to pass inspection. In states that require overflow valves, it should also be considered that sinks without them – like stone sinks – cannot be installed beneath the counter line, so stone sinks can only be used as vessels and not as undermount or drop in installations.
A stone sink can add a lot of interest and character to any room that it is installed in. Take care to ensure it gets proper maintenance to ensure it lasts as long as possible.