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Copper Sinks 101 | SoLuna Competition


Copper Sink Buyer's Guide

Big Box Retailers vs. SoLuna


SoLuna Competition

As the leading copper sink retailer in the USA for over a decade, we have always prided ourselves on offering the best handcrafted copper sinks for the lowest price. We are able to do this because we make our sinks directly and sell them to you without a middleman. So how is it that the two largest big box DIY retailers in the US are offering a copper kitchen sink for less than what we sell ours for? We purchased a farmhouse sink from each of these two megastores and did some side-by-side comparisons. The copper sinks they are offering are vastly inferior and the small additional price you will pay for a genuine SoLuna copper sink will save you the expense and hassle of replacing your copper kitchen sink in just a few years. Why? Read on…


 

The Weight Difference

 

The big box store farmhouse sink (33” x 22” x 9”) weighs 35 lbs. Our basic model farmhouse sink at the same size weighs 40lbs and our Fernanda version weighs 42lbs making our sink nearly 20% heavier! Although they claim their sink is made of 14 gauge copper, the weight of the sink suggests a much lighter and thinner 15-16 gauge. Copper is a soft metal and the thickness can have a dramatic effect on how well the sink wears over time. This is especially important for kitchen sinks that are under a constant barrage of pots, pans, tools and cleaning products. In copper, the thicker the gauge, the lower the number. Though you’ll find bath sinks made from 20 gauge to 16 gauge, most kitchen and farmhouse sinks range from 18 gauge to 14 gauge. SoLuna Kitchen sinks are made from the heavier 14 gauge copper. When shopping for copper sinks, always ask about the gauge. A thicker gauge sink will be more expensive but in most cases will be well worth the extra cost.


 

Country of Origin

 

The big box store copper sinks are made in India. We’ve found from sampling many sinks made worldwide that lead in the copper can be a problem. Our SoLuna sinks made by the Santa Clara del Cobre artisans are the exception to that. You can buy our SoLuna sinks with confidence that they will be lead-free and made by the most talented coppersmiths in the world that have been making hand hammered copper products for many generations.


 

Sound

 

A lighter gauge metal can sometimes produce a tinny sound when the faucet is turned on and water drums on the sink surface. For this reason you’ll often find lower quality sinks insulated with foam blocks in an effort to help dampen the sound. Thin, light gauge copper will also dent more easily, which is a big consideration, especially for kitchen farmhouse sinks. In testing these sinks, we found there is a significant difference between the big box sink and our genuine artisan made copper sink. Our SoLuna sink sounds deeper and solid, signaling a more substantial product. By contrast, the big box sink sounds light and tinny, and will likely need some type of sound dampening.


 

Construction

 

The big box sink apron supports are visible on the underside of the apron and are welded together with only a few small dots of weld material. This type of welding does not hold up well and can break during shipping, or worse, after it has been installed in your kitchen. Note in the photo below that one of the flimsy supports was crushed and bent during shipment.

construction1 construction2

In contrast, the supports on our SoLuna basic farmhouse sinks are TIG welded with copper rod along the entire length of the support where it attaches to the apron and to the well of the sink. SoLuna sinks not only display superior craftsmanship, they are also sturdier and very solid feeling—the result is a sink built to last a lifetime.

construction3 construction4

We also offer our exclusive Fernanda farmhouse sink which includes these important features:

  • The Fernanda sink is closed on the bottom and sides of the apron. While giving the sink a more finished look, it creates an increased solidity and substantial feel to the sink. Closing off the bottom of the apron prevents small hands from going up inside and provides a finished look if the apron front is installed extended out from the cabinet.
  • The Fernanda sink also features an X pattern in the bottom of the well---this helps facilitate drainage and gives the sink a distinctive look.

construction5


 

Hammer Pattern

 

The purpose for hammering a copper sink is to both harden the copper and to give the metal its unique hand crafted appearance. The big box sink has skimped in this area as well providing fewer and shallower hammer pits on the sink.

pattern1


 

Finish

 

Our SoLuna artisans have developed a unique tighter hammering pattern that produces not only a harder surface sink, but also an appealing look that is not to be found elsewhere.

Soluna Copper Sink hammering pattern

The big box sink patina finish is not applied in the same way as our SoLuna sinks, made by 2nd and 3rd generation copper artisans with years of experience applying this technique. We noticed while examining the big box Indian made sinks, that some of the finish rubbed off in several places even while handling it gently. Over the course of time and normal wear and tear, you can expect that the appearance of these sink will not hold up. The result is as testified to the sink below---a very shabby appearance.

finish1finish2finish3

SoLuna copper sinks are offered in the four unique finishes as shown below: Dark Smoke, Rio Grande, Café Natural and Matte Copper. These finishes have been developed and applied to the sinks by the Santa Clara artisans in a method passed down through generations. Not only are SoLuna copper sink finishes deeper, richer and more luxurious, they do not rub off--and are virtually maintenance free. For basic cleaning simply use mild soap and water – other cleaners are not necessary.

finish4


 

Customer Service

 

Copper Sinks Online is recognized as an authority on the subject of handcrafted copper sinks, having over a decade of experience working with customers from across the globe, who seek our help and expertise in handling presale questions or problems they may be experiencing.

Currently, and in the past, we’ve received calls and emails from customers who have purchased a copper sink from one of the large DIY retailers or other competitors, citing frustration that they cannot get knowledgeable help from any of these stores. The last thing anyone wants is to buy from a company who cannot really support the products they sell or is unable to help customers find solutions to problems they may be having. We do our best to accommodate these customers, and our site features a wide range of on-line articles with helpful information for copper sink owners and for those considering a copper sink purchase.

When you purchase your copper sink from us, you can be assured that our knowledgeable staff can assist with any questions or concerns and help coordinate faucets, sinks, lighting and accessories for your project.


Conclusion

SoLuna copper sinks have set the standard for artisan quality copper sinks. Having sold our sinks to thousands of satisfied customers over the last decade, our quality has a proven track record. While a genuine SoLuna copper sink may cost a little more initially then the big box store sink--as demonstrated above, our handcrafted sinks are vastly superior and our customer service is second to none. A kitchen sink is often the focal point of the kitchen and at our very affordable prices, there should be no reason to accept anything less than genuine SoLuna quality.