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Advice on Acrylic Sinks
Acrylic sinks are relatively inexpensive compared with alternatives.
They are available in a number of different colours and styles.
Some acrylic sinks can be jointed and sanded virtually seamlessly to an acrylic and some other worktop materials.
Being a plastic, they do not readily transfer heat, reducing the time it takes for dishwater to cool.
The surface of acrylic sinks do not chip as a rule
They can be easily repaired.
The material is relatively good at absorbing shock, so there is less chance of damaging your dishware.
Sinks made of acrylic are very light in weight.
Advantages of Acrylic Sinks.
Disadvantages of Acrylic Sinks.
Being made of a thermoplastic means they are poor at resisting heat and can easily be damaged by hot pans.
The surface is not very hard and can easily be scratched or scraped.
They can be damaged by some solvents and mineral oils.
Some foods such as acidic food, hot natural oils and fats can cause staining which is difficult to clean.
Being reinforced with fillers and fibres, they are not easy to recycle. Pure acrylic sinks can readily be recycled.
Limited range of styles and colours.
What are Acrylic Sinks made of ?
When it comes to integrating a sink into your worktop, you be unlikely to find any other sink material that offers the ease and affordability of acrylic.
The photo opposite shows a white acrylic sink that has been integrated into a white flecked worktop. Even under close inspection the seam is near invisible.
What is an integrated sink ?
An integrated sink is a sink that is attached seamlessly or near seamlessly to your worktop to achieve the effect of both components being one piece.
Bushboard is an established company that as well as producing it's own range of acrylic worktops, produces a range of acrylic sinks that can be integrated into their work surfaces.
Ikea offer a small range of acrylic sinks. Sometimes they are displayed integrated into their own range of acrylic worktops.
Plain white is the most popular choice for acrylic sinks as it is easier to join but in case you were thinking that only white is available, Corian is a well known brand for offering other colours such as this flecked integrated sink and worktop made by Cerrig Granite and Slate.
Acrylic sinks need not be colour matched to your worktop. They can make an effective contrast to your work surface.
Acrylic is one of the few materials that allow you to have a matt finish. But be warned, a matt finish can be a magnet for stains. With care, some stone sealers can be an effective way of stopping stains (test a small area first) but you may lose a little of the matt effect
On this page we are talking about reinforced Acrylic sinks. It can be confusing as some manufacturers use an acrylic based resin as as a binder when they are manufacturing composite resin/ composite stone sinks. Composite sinks use a thermosetting resin, this means that once the material is set, it is permanent and can no longer be melted back to it's original form . These are sometimes referred to as acrylic sinks by some sources but are more accurately called composite or composite resin sinks. The physical properties are very different from a thermoplastic, acrylic sink. If you are looking for advice on Acrylic, Composite resin sinks Click Here.
Acrylic sinks are made from a thermosetting plastic called polymethyl methacrylate, probably best known under some of it's trade names like Perspex or Plexiglass. The coloured plastic polymer is often mixed with fine powder filler and when making sinks, is sometimes reinforced with fibres, usually glass fibres to improve strength. It is then moulded using heat into a sink mould using vacuum and heat. Occasionally, sinks are left transparent and some novelty sinks even have shells, plastic figures or other ornamentation moulded into the acrylic. The surface can be gloss or matt, although they can sometimes come in a high gloss, this is often avoided as acrylic scratches easily and scratches will be more noticeable on a high gloss finish. If required, scratches can easily be removed using a number of grades of wet and dry sandpaper. Other than damage to the surface, acrylic sinks are otherwise durable and you are unlikely to cause any structural damage to the sink during normal use.
Although acrylic can be readily drilled, care must be taking if drilling a tap hole or otherwise working acrylic as too much vigour can cause enough heat to damage the surrounding area. It is prudent to keep the tools and working area cooled with water.