Best Kitchen Sink Materials for New Multifamily Constructions

You already know a beautiful kitchen is one of the best ways to attract high-quality residents to a multifamily build.

Since the sink is the most visible fixture in most kitchens, choosing the right basin can help your entire design shine.

It’s also one of the most heavily used areas in a home. Everything from washing hands to preparing food, cleaning up after entertaining loved ones to bathing pets and babies. It all happens at the kitchen sink.

But with thousands of options out there, it can be hard to narrow down your choice. Especially if it’s a multifamily property where the residents may change every few years. 

Which sink will make the most people happy over the longest period of time? 

Best place to start? Choosing the best kitchen sink material.

Chapter 1: What Makes a Good Kitchen Sink Material for Multifamily Projects?

Finding the right fixtures for a multifamily residential build comes with unique challenges. 

First, the kitchen needs to appeal to a wide range of buyers and residents, each with their own aesthetic styles. So surfaces and finishes need to stand out, yet be neutral enough that residents can put their own touches on the decor. 

Next, the average multifamily resident moves every 3 years. That means fixtures need to stand up to a lot of heavy use by people who may not be worried about long term upkeep. It’s very unlikely that residents in a rental will pay for specialty cleansing products. Or do monthly maintenance like adding wax or sealant to their sink.

And finally, you’ll need several sinks for the multifamily project, and the whole order has to stay under budget. So you’ll need material that is affordable, available, easy to source, and easy to replace.

So what makes a good kitchen sink material for multifamily projects?

  1. Affordable within the project budget
  2. Immediately available and easy to source
  3. Lightweight enough to minimize shipping costs
  4. Lightweight enough to not cause problems during installation 
  5. Comes in lots of different designs that will fit different aesthetics
  6. Tough enough to stand up to heavy use
  7. Will look great for several years without special care

Now that we have an idea what we’re looking for, let’s look at three top contenders for the best kitchen sink materials for multi unit residential builds.

Chapter 2: Stainless Steel Is the Best Kitchen Sink Material for Multifamily Builds

When it comes to large, multi unit residential projects, there is one kitchen sink material that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

2.1 Why Stainless Steel Is an Unbeatable Option for Large Projects

1. It’s affordable and easy to source. 

Staying on budget is the number one priority for any build. If your project has hundreds of units, there’s usually not a lot of wiggle room for how much you can spend on each fixture or surface.

Stainless steel is one of the most affordable kitchen sink materials. 

It’s also lightweight, making it easy to install without extra support. Which cuts down on your costs for shipping, materials, and labor. 

Your deadline is nearly as important as your budget. So the best basin in the world won’t do you much good if you can’t get all the units you need on time. As one of the most popular materials for kitchen sinks, stainless steel is usually easy to source and a good bet for preventing delays.

As important as your budget is, you don’t want cost-efficient fixtures that make your kitchen design look cheap. Stainless can help with that, too.

2. It looks high-end.

Finding budget-friendly fixtures doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. There’s a balance. Saving money on the install won’t do your business much good in the long run if it’s not appealing to high-quality residents and buyers.

Stainless steel gives you the best of both worlds and lets you create a luxury kitchen sink without blowing your budget.

Classic silver stainless steel is a great neutral that blends with a wide range of design aesthetics. It has warm undertones that make it a great match for preferred color palettes in 2024.

Stainless also comes in other colors like gunmetal and gold. These specialty finishes are more expensive than standard stainless. But they cost far less than other materials that have a similar look. 

So you can get a unique, eye-catching detail that’s still relatively affordable.

Stainless is also easy to work with. That means a quality manufacturer can create endless options for shapes, mounting styles, and number of bowls.

So you’ll have more options in stainless than with most other kitchen sink materials without struggling to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Once you find the perfect basin, you want it to keep looking great for years to come so all future residents can enjoy a beautiful kitchen.

3. It’s durable. 

Stainless steel can stand up to a lot of abuse. 

It’s resistant to corrosion and staining. It can handle extreme temperatures like someone dropping a hot pan directly into the basin.

Some people worry about stainless steel kitchen sinks getting dented or scratched. 

Regular use and abrasive cleansers may cause scratches on stainless steel. But Allora USA’s sinks feature a scratch-resistant brushed finish that significantly reduces such wear. 

Like any material, stainless steel will inevitably accumulate scratches through use. However, a notable quality of stainless sinks is the way these scratches mature over time. They gradually blend into the sink’s grain, becoming less noticeable and enhancing the overall patina and character of the sink. 

If a sink is particularly scratched, property managers can easily buff the basin with a gentle abrasive like baking soda to prepare the unit for a new resident.

As for dents, if you go with a thicker 16 or 18 gauge sink, it’s extremely rare to dent a stainless steel basin. Dents are most likely to happen during shipping, which is why we put extra care into how our sinks are packed, and offer ongoing support to resolve these types of issues.

Once it’s installed, the sink also benefits from added tension and support from the plumbing and installation hardware. This reinforces its structure and helps distribute forces evenly, making it extremely durable.

Stainless steel will almost never  become discolored. It can retain its shine for years without any special care, making it a dependable option for the long term success of the property.

 In the rare cases when stains occur they are typically due to exposure to chemicals like hydrochloric or muriatic acid. Even if that happens, these are just surface-level issues and can be effectively treated using the right cleaning methods. (For more information, check out Allora USA’s stainless steel cleaning guide.)

4. It’s hygienic.

Because it’s completely non porous, stainless won’t collect bacteria, mildew, or odors. 

Certain types of ceramic may be porous if they’re not sealed properly. Some surfaces may become chipped or cracked, leaving tiny crevices where bacteria and fungus can take hold. 

That not only leads to unsightly discoloration, it also increases risks for food borne illnesses.

Food debris rinses easily in a stainless steel kitchen sink, especially if you choose a rounded bowl with no sharp corners.

So stainless is a great choice for its affordability and looks. But it’s also a great way to protect future residents from potential health problems.

Overall, stainless steel is ideal for large projects. Choose the right stainless steel basin, and you can give potential residents a luxury kitchen within budget and on time.

2.2 How to Get the Most Out of a Stainless Steel Basin

Now we know why stainless steel is the best kitchen sink material for almost any multifamily project. 

But that still leaves you with thousands of options to choose from.


These are our top recommendations for what to look for in a stainless steel kitchen sink.

  • Undermount stainless steel sinks look the most high-end. Beyond great looks, it’s also the most functional design, since there’s no lip above the countertop to collect debris.

    That makes it easy to sweep crumbs and debris directly from the countertop into the sink.

    It also protects the countertops from damage because there’s no lip where water can get trapped. That means less risk for laminate to swell and rot. For stone counters, that means less potential for staining and water damage, too.

If you’re looking for something with a little more personality, stainless steel farmhouse sinks have a frontapron thatlooks stylish and adds interest to the kitchen. They also maximize available space inside the basin by extending it all the way to the front edge.If you want the look of an apron front sink but don’t have the budget for custom cabinets, our retrofit apron front sinks may be a perfect option.

Workstation Sinks

  • Workstation sinks come with accessories to make a single bowl kitchen sink more versatile, which can be a huge selling point.

    If you have the room in your budget, this is a great upgrade option for luxury builds catering to high-income residents, especially if the units will be sold rather than rented.

  • Double bowl kitchen sinks add versatility that many residents love. However, large single kitchen sinks are the standard for most new construction.

    The best choice? Go with the largest basin your layout can comfortably fit.

    There are lots of pros and cons to consider between single vs double kitchen sinks, but you can never go wrong with a roomy basin either way.

Tight radius designs with clean lines and sharp corners maximize basin space and elevate the appearance of the basin.

Rounded and D-shaped

  • On the other hand, many of today’s trends call for arches and curves. Rounded and D-shaped basins will soften the look of the sink to suit these design trends.

    Again, your specific project design will determine the best-suited fit, and each type of sink radius has its own pros and cons.

  • Mount the sink in attractive natural counters like quartz or stone. You can even go with butcher block or concrete and get an appealing modern industrial look.

  • Pair it with a streamlined faucet with an integrated sprayer.

As you can see, stainless is truly unbeatable as a kitchen sink material for multi unit builds. 

But what other options should you consider?

Chapter 3: Stone Composites: Luxury That Lasts

Working on a luxury building with a generous kitchen budget? 

Then you might want something unique and eye-catching that will really set your build apart from the competition.

Stone composite sinks are made of crushed stone and high performance resin, molded together at high pressure and heat. The result is a beautiful and durable, but heavy sink.

3.1 What Makes Stone Composite a Great Kitchen Sink Material?

Stone composite has some major advantages.

1. Durable. Mixing stone with resin creates a more durable, lower-maintenance material than carved stone. In fact, durability is one of the main advantages of stone composite. 

Like stainless steel, it’s almost impossible to dent, chip, or stain. In fact, stone composite is even more durable than stainless because it won’t scratch as easily. 

One weakness is that it’s not quite as heat-proof as stainless. Although it’s still very difficult to damage with heat, the resin component may warp or melt in extreme situations.

Another disadvantage of a stone composite sink compared to stainless steel is the potential for damage from a sudden, severe impact. This could require a full sink replacement, while a stainless steel sink might only sustain a small dent under similar circumstances.

High quality composite lasts several decades, making it a great choice for condos where homeowners plan to live for many years.

2. Less noisy than stainless. One of the main drawbacks of a stainless steel kitchen sink is that it can be noisy when pots and pans hit the sides. 

(Which is why Allora USA adds sound dampening to our stainless steel sinks!)

However, if you’re worried about noise, stone composite is a great option. 

3. Antibacterial. Granite composite has natural antibacterial properties. Its completely non-porous surface won’t collect stains or bacteria. It’s also incredibly easy to keep clean without special cleansers or maintenance.

4. Reasonably affordable. Although stone composite costs a bit more than stainless steel, it’s far more affordable than solid stone. So it’s a great mid-range option that will give you luxury results.

5. Unique and increasingly popular. Stone composite is growing in popularity. And a big part of its draw is how unique it is. 

Granite composite kitchen sinks are typically a dark charcoal color, but can come in other colors. They have a matte finish that feels luxurious and appeals to current demand for low-shine fixtures and natural materials.

Of course, that unique look isn’t right for every design, and it’s not as neutral as stainless. So it’s helpful to know how to incorporate it with a few different design aesthetics.

3.2 Best Kitchen Styles for Stone Composite Kitchen Sinks

Let’s take a look at how to get the best results from your design when you use a stone composite sink.

  • Elevated minimalism. Modern and minimalist kitchens are great for large residential builds. It’s easy for residents to bring in their own decorative touches to these designs. But it can also look boring when people are browsing properties. Stone composite is a great material to create interest with unexpected texture and color without being flashy.

  • Scandinavian. A dark sink might not seem like an obvious choice when Scandinavian kitchen design is all about light woods and an airy feel. But the soft, low-shine finish on a stone composite sink is a perfect complement. Since stone composite is a natural material, it blends perfectly with wood countertops.

  • Eclectic. Eclectic kitchen designs are all about unexpected choices that work together. A stone composite sink can help create a more interesting mix with color and texture you don’t normally see in a sink. A granite composite sink adds a pop of contrast that looks great in eclectic kitchens.

  • Industrial. Raw materials, exposed hardware, and utilitarian fixtures make high-end industrial designs appealing. Stone composite can add softness to an industrial look, making a highly functional kitchen feel more like home. A stone composite sink paired with a minimalist or commercial-style faucet can take an industrial kitchen design to the next level.

Stone composites make a strong statement. But they’re not a great fit for more traditional kitchen designs.

There’s one more great material to consider for multifamily projects.

Chapter 4: Fireclay for Clean White Kitchen Sinks

White sinks aren’t as popular as they used to be, but they’ll always be an attractive option with timeless looks.

If you are going white, ceramics are usually not your best option for multifamily projects. They’re too easy to chip or crack, and can be hard to keep clean. 

Fireclay is a much better choice.

4.1 The Ins and Outs of Fireclay Kitchen Sinks

Fireclay is a type of ceramic that’s fired at extremely high temperatures. The manufacturing process makes it far tougher and less porous than alternatives like porcelain.

Its superior durability makes it an ideal kitchen sink material. It’s resistant to scratches, stains, extreme temperatures, cracks, and chips. It’s also resistant to both acids and alkalis, making it ideal for serious home chefs.

Fireclay is pretty low-maintenance and easy to keep clean with mild, non-abrasive cleansers.

Fireclay is heavier than stainless. But it’s lighter and easier to install than enameled cast iron or other ceramic alternatives.

Although it’s more expensive than porcelain, its superior durability and longer lifespan will end up paying for itself in the long run. It’s also much more affordable than cast iron kitchen sinks, making it an ideal midrange option if you need a white sink.

In general, stainless steel still beats fireclay for most multifamily projects.

But fireclay is worth keeping in mind. Especially for smaller projects where buyers are looking for high quality fixtures and surfaces.

4.2 When Is Fireclay the Right Call?

Stainless will still be the right call for these projects in almost all cases. But fireclay can create a gorgeous center point for several kitchen aesthetics.

  • Farmhouse. Obviously, fireclay is the way to go if you’re looking for a traditional farmhouse sink. You can use fireclay to take cozy country kitchen and rustic designs to the next level. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that an apron front sink in stainless steel can be a great alternative that adds a lot of interest. Plus, there are more color options to give you a more varied look.

  • Traditional. White sinks are a kitchen design classic. They add elegance and sophistication that look great with traditional aesthetics. If you’re looking for a stately, timeless kitchen, you can’t go wrong with a traditional style faucet beside a fireclay sink.

  • Modern Minimalist. Fireclay can create an unexpected inversion of what makes black sinks so attractive. Especially if you mount it in a dark or concrete countertop and pair it with a modern faucet. Playing with a monochromatic color palette can help your fireclay sink make a strong statement.

  • Transitional. Fireclay can make an elegant focal point to balance more modern elements in a transitional kitchen design. For best results, pair it with a sleek transitional faucet with functional features like an integrated sprayer.

Between stainless steel, stone composite, and fireclay, you should be able to find the perfect kitchen sink material for any projects.

What about all the other popular materials? Why not choose the cheap, available, and frequently used sinks from the local hardware store?

Chapter 5: Materials That Aren’t Right for Multifamily Projects

Now that you know a few of the best materials for large multi unit builds, it might be helpful to call out a few that can be left off your list entirely.

1. Acrylic Resin (aka solid surface) 

Acrylic resin can be very tempting because of how affordable it is. 

Afterall, purchasing managers are often judged on how much of the budget they saved.

But the savings could end up compromising your reputation and costing you future contracts.

This is because acrylic resin wears out very fast. 

In fact, it can start becoming yellowed and discolored in as little as one year. It’s also easy to damage and may even melt if a resident puts a hot pan into the sink. 

2. Enameled Cast Iron

Since they cost so much, cast iron probably won’t even make the list for most projects. 

However, it has the best lifespan of any kitchen sink material. That makes it an appealing option for an increasing number of people looking for a luxurious condo or townhouse where they can live out their elder years.

But cast iron only lasts as long as it’s maintained properly. The enamel can become chipped, scratched, stained, and worn without regular upkeep. 

Since multifamily builds will likely be renovated regularly, it’s not worth the extra expense to invest in a sink that lasts 40 years.

3. Unusual Metals 

Like cast iron, you probably won’t even consider uncommon metals like copper or bronze because they’re usually too expensive. 

However, demand for statement sinks is on the rise.

In our experience, You can often get a similar effect with a high quality stainless steel sink. For instance, a gold stainless sink can stand in for a copper sink. 

While these finishes are more expensive than standard stainless, they’re far more affordable than other metals. And far more durable, too.

So there you have it! We hope this guide has sparked your imagination for how to incorporate gorgeous kitchen sink materials into your project.

There’s just one more thing to do. Find a great manufacturer so you know you’re getting the highest quality from whichever material you choose.

Chapter 6: The Best Sink? One That Comes from a Reliable Manufacturer, On Time and Within Budget

Hopefully this guide has given you a good starting point for what kitchen sink material is best for your build. 

Ideally, your search for the perfect sink for this build might even make it easier to get what you need for future projects as well. 

That’s where Allora USA can help!

We specialize in professional support for builders, designers, and purchasing managers for multifamily projects. We’ve got options to suit every budget and design.

We also understand that a great-looking sink that’s within budget does you no good if it’s not available. That’s why we have guaranteed stock, so you know you can get what you need on time without worrying about supply chain issues.

To make things even easier, our designs come in standard and ADA options, which means you can get everything you need for your entire build in one place. You’ll get consistent quality and compatible fixtures for every unit in your project.

Buying ADA fixtures from a reputable manufacturer means you know you’re getting products that meet regulatory and quality standards.

Plus we offer:

  • Discounts for commercial projects.
  • Guaranteed pricing.
  • Product warranties.
  • Fast customer support
  • Free shipping to most areas in the US.
  • Delivery within 5 days or less anywhere in the US.
  • Unlimited phone and email support.

Ready to get started?

You can filter through the amazing variety of basin options on our site, and hone your search with specifics like what finish or style you’re looking for. Or look through our catalog for a full list of options and alternatives.

Or, send us your specs and we’ll put together a list of options that will fit your project. We can set you up for ongoing care for all your builds, so you can get a great basin every time without wasting hours searching for what you need!

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