Sales director at Leisure Sinks James Cunningham explains why sink styles may come and go, but stainless steel has been used in the kitchen for over a century, and will never go out of fashion.
"The sinks market, much like other kitchen sectors, will often go through several trend cycles over time; one moment, granite composite models might be the most popular choice, then ceramics the next. Equally, just as inset sinks look set to become the mainstay, undermount models take precedence as the preferred option.
"However, one product that is always popular – regardless of the style of kitchen or latest trends – is the stainless steel sink. Its toughness, durability, ease of cleaning and resistance to corrosion will always make it the number-one choice for UK customers. So, what sets one stainless steel sink apart from another? Firstly, there are often clear differences in quality from one manufacturer to another. For example, the gauge of material used varies dramatically and this can be a very important factor, as the thicker it is, the greater the robustness and sound-deadening qualities. As retailers well know, low-quality components can compromise longevity, so it’s essential to utilise high-grade materials – such as 18/10 stainless steel – for peace of mind and durability.
"With so many kitchen sink options out there, it can sometimes be challenging for retailers or consumers to identify the one most suitable for their needs. After all, there is a wide choice of brands, each offering models that, on paper at least, appear to provide the same levels of quality. A useful guide to help with the buying decision is to look for the BSI Kitemark. Sinks with this accolade have been tested and proven to benefit from the highest manufacturing standards and management systems. The Kitemark is one of the most recognised symbols of safety and quality throughout the industry – it symbolises true value to consumers, businesses and procurement practices. In fact, here at Leisure Sinks, we have the largest range of BSI Kitemark sinks in the UK, each of which is manufactured from high-grade 18/10 stainless steel.
"When considering conformity, it’s important to mention that as a result of Brexit, the CE mark is being replaced with the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark from 1st January 2022. We transitioned our AGA Rangemaster brands to the UKCA mark earlier this year because we want our customers to have continued confidence in our products. As the market leaders, it’s important we’re ahead of the game, supplying long-lasting, high-quality products that satisfy consumers’ needs.
"Stainless steel has been used in kitchens and sinks for over a century, due to its universal appeal and ability to provide a durable and attractive appearance for many years. It’s also important to recognise that, from an end-user viewpoint, these sinks are simple to clean and have a high level of corrosion resistance against many household chemicals and detergents. This allows them to maintain their smart looks and, for this reason alone, continue to be a popular choice in kitchen design.
"There isn’t a ‘one sink fits all’ formula. As a result, retailers need to keep up-to-date with the latest product developments, as well as interior design and style trends, to meet customers’ requirements or answer any questions they may have. Yet, despite all this, the stainless steel sink will continue to be the number-one product for UK kitchen – and that should never be forgotten!"