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 sleek and modern look. Today, in 2018, most kitchen and bath industry publications show variations on these square products. These original Zero Radius units had sharp square corners. They are made from a flat piece of steel. The sides are folded and welded together.

Aside from the modern look, a big advantage to this method is that the sinks don’t draw 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 more resistant to damage, but also quieter. Most traditional sinks have numerous sound pads to reduce noise. The more sound pads, the cheaper the sink, as the pads are needed to compensate for thinner or cheaper steel.

There are two disadvantages to zero radius sinks. Because manufacturers 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, sinks drain slowly. Many sinks have a crease in the bottom to make it appear as if they are draining, but this is an illusion.

The second disadvantage is that the sharp edges are difficult to clean, particularly the bottom corners where the sides and bottom meet. A black spot may develop in the corners.

To keep the look modern and eliminate the hassle of cleanliness, forward-thinking sink manufacturers developed sinks with small radius corners, typically three-eighths of an inch. These rounded corners make the sink easy to clean and stiffen the sink for quieter operation.

Small radius sinks are made using the same method and have the same problem with slow drainage and pooling if the sink is not flat.

Square Sink Purchase 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 does not retain its shine. Be especially careful if the sinks are free with your countertop, as most are made from cheaper 301 steel or worse, steel that hasn’t been graded. Some sink companies are using coatings to match the gloss and shine of 304, but the coatings wear off and you are left with a dull sink.

Make sure the sink drains. The best looking sink is no good if it doesn’t drain.

Find certified 304 stainless steel to match your appliances

· Who is behind the sink? Internet companies are known to sell a product and not follow up on the service. Knowing how to clean your sink is critical, as a high-gloss sink may require more maintenance than old, boring undermount sinks.

Does the sink come with a set of racks? A rack or rack assembly is a wire frame that sits on the bottom of the sink to prevent the sink from getting scratched. Protecting the bottom is important with today’s larger and heavier trays. All stainless steel will scratch. The grids will protect the bottom of the sink where most scratches occur.

The new PerfectFlo™ flow spreader was recently introduced to the market. It’s made of 304 stainless steel, has Drainfast technology that uses a patented process, and has a team of sink and faucet professionals behind the sink.

The sink is made of steel that is pressed before bending and welded for quick drainage, it has inner three-eight corners so they can be cleaned.